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15barcam's avatar

Opinions on Avatar, (the movie)

Asked by 15barcam (756points) October 5th, 2011

So I just watched it again for the first time since it was in theaters, and I remebered how much I loved this movie! So I looked it up and apparently there is going to be a sequel, and it’s going to take place in the oceans of Pandora. If you have any thoughts about this or any predictions about what’s going to happen write it down! I’m just interested to hear what people thought of the first movie and what they think will happen in the second.

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58 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You asked what people thought of the first movie: I walked out. I thought it was entirely predictable and boring.

Blackberry's avatar

I used to like it, but after second thought, I don’t know what was so special about it.

15barcam's avatar

Hawwaii Jake, just wondering, what do you think happened? And we both know it doesn’t count if you heard it from someone else or online or something. :)

15barcam's avatar

And i mean what happened in the end of the movie

Jeruba's avatar

Here are three prior threads about it on fluther. I seem to remember at least one more, but I’m not finding it.

[ 1 ] . [ 2 ] . [ 3 ]

[Edit] Found three more; see below.

zenvelo's avatar

James Cameron is great at visuals, and lousy at creating a story. Avatar is the only movie I have seen that used 3D to its full advantage; watching it at home on TV sure shows how weak it is in all other respects.

dreamwolf's avatar

I’m more of an independent film type. However, this big blockbuster movie had me in a different world. Yeah I typically like original story plots, but a plot that is based off of truth is a fun one too. I like how it’s a futuristic outlook yet, human greed is still prevalent and taking something as stupid as minerals and giving it value is the main plot. I like how it recognizes colonization and taking something from somewhere at all costs. It’s got that Indian vs European feel. I think it especially appeals to me because I love nature. The imagery is magnificent too. I wonder if Tim Burton could do a side story within Pandora the world alone! No human bs. I’m thinking it’ll follow the Native American story here. Some tribe in Pandora works with the “Sky People” and civil war starts? Haha. Typical.

Blueroses's avatar

I’m firmly on Team Jake on this one. I know a lot of people love the film but for me, it makes the shortlist of 3 movies I’d like to demand my hours back for the time I wasted watching it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@15barcam : I left about halfway through, and I could see that the stranger was going to marry or mate with the chief’s daughter. They would lead the noble natives in victory against invading white people. I learned later that’s indeed what happened.

Jeruba's avatar


[ 4 ] . [ 5 ] . [ 6 ]

Number 6 was @Hawaii_Jake‘s response to the question “Worst movie you’ve seen recently?”

My reaction on leaving the theater after a 3D showing was “We’ve seen that story a lot of times before. But never like that.” The story was cliché-ridden and utterly predictable from a point very early on, but that’s true of a huge number of movies. I enjoyed the visual effects very much. In fact, I bought the DVD just to see them again. There are times when I prefer to see something like Wild Strawberries or Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring, and there’s times when I just want an Arnold movie, you know?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I really liked the movie, and it isn’t normally the type of movie that would appeal to me. I don’t get into any sci-fi, fantasy type stuff.. but I thought Avatar was beautiful to watch, and I liked the story. I doubt I’ll be interested in the sequel, though.

15barcam's avatar

Hawwaii Jake: Your close :) but really you missed the true essence of the story. Next time stay for the whole thing! You really didn’t give it a chance! Don’t worry, I’m not criticizing, it just seems funny.

satunnainen_narttu's avatar

I love sci-fi, but this movie put me to sleep. I slept through the second hour of this film, and I watched it in the afternoon. (no drugs, alcohol or previous sleepless night made me tired. the film did)

Pretty visuals, but that’s about it.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s very classy and stylistic to bash a movie most people found entertaining. It gives them the top movie critic award. It puts them in a very special class of their very own. I bet it feels tingly all over.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@woodcutter : I disliked the movie enough to walk out. I’m not trying to be classy or stylistic. I’m not looking for an award. I don’t even care if I get any lurve for the answer. Also, I don’t feel tingly.

Jeruba's avatar


Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Jeruba : I wondered the same thing, but says stylistic is a word meaning “of or concerning style.”

satunnainen_narttu's avatar

@woodcutter I loved Napoleon Dynamite. Now that’s stylish and classy. haha

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, it is, @Hawaii_Jake. I don’t see how it applies in this context. But whatever it’s supposed to mean here, I get that you’re not trying to be it.

Prosb's avatar

For a movie that had so much go into making it pretty, you’d think they could’ve had a little more effort towards a plot that wasn’t just a copy/paste of, Dances with Wolves.

Sunny2's avatar

I enjoyed the fantasy, the color, the imagination that went into the costumes and makeup and the visual effects. When they started fighting, I wished I wasn’t there. I don’t think I would go see a sequel.

woodcutter's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake So , you’re going to pay your 10 or 12 bucks to see a new movies and walk out because it didn’t look like it would eventually “measure up” to you expectations? Curious…since the beginning of humanity with story telling, there are a finite number of stories or variations of them as well as outcomes/ emotions, conclusions that we can expect to see. They all are predictable to some degree, So if predictability is a walk out, what are you looking for that will totally surprise you?

Stylish in this context was to mean you didn’t find the work fitting to your exceptionally particular standards to even give it a fair viewing. Maybe I was looking for another word. Some people get a nice feeling to not like something most people do. Usually means they have more style or more class in the movies they pick.Spending so much time criticizing something searching for standards that may be impossible to satisfy and cheat themselves out of maybe a good time. A Si -Fi adventure? How high were your hopes?

Napoleon Dynamite was an Indyish work that was a worthwhile and fun time. I knew beforehand it wasn’t going to be a Gone With the Wind classic but it had a decent story.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

It was really Pretty the first time, and in 3-D Prettier *But that time the company sucked

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@woodcutter : I really don’t know what I’ve said that has made you get so riled up, but there you have it.

I paid my money to see the movie and didn’t like it. Done. Why does anyone care what I think? I answered the OP. Finished.

I remember hearing someone sometime (Don’t ask me who or when. It’s ancient history.) attribute to Shakespeare that there are only 135 original plot lines. There are some of those plots that I love. Put me on a deserted island with The Iliad, and I’m good.

I’m often surprised by how a storyteller will weave the plot to relay what might have been otherwise uninteresting. I thought The King’s Speech did that recently. It’s a true story based on history, so we all knew the outcome. Still, the script was so well done that by the end, I was cheering inside.

I don’t have exceptional, particular standards. Indeed, you’re right that some people enjoy disliking what a great number of others like. I generally don’t care what others like or don’t like. I liked the Harry Potter books and movies. I found them very entertaining and exhilarating.

When did I say anything denigrating sci-fi? I even liked the last Star Trek film, which—if I remember correctly—the critics didn’t.

I won’t comment on Napoleon Dynamite since I didn’t see the movie.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@woodcutter Here baby doll… Don’t sweat the small stuff. *Smiles.

Hee Hee… That’s lame, but it’s funny, and I hope you get a smile?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@satunnainen_narttu I have a confession… I don’t always read your answers… But I keep giving you luvre because I Love that damn dog picture! LOL

fizzbanger's avatar

I fell asleep, too! That movie blew, IMO.

DominicX's avatar

Eh. I certainly thought it was overrated and almost every review I found talked about visually stunning it was and how amazing the visuals are. I agree that visually speaking, it was amazing, but there’s more to a movie than just how it looks. I felt it was a bit lacking in the other departments. And I didn’t even see it in theaters…

Jellie's avatar

Hated it. Hated it more for the hype surrounding it. Oh wow it’s in 3D… still boring, predictable and un-original! It took me like 5–6 tries to watch the movie entirely.

Jeruba's avatar

I have to stand up and declare absolutely that once I have paid to read or eat or wear or watch something, it’s mine and I can ditch it if I want to. I can toss the book, abandon the meal, donate the skirt to Goodwill, and walk out on the movie, play, concert, or opera if I choose. (The only one of those that I haven’t done is walk out on an opera.) So I agree with @Hawaii_Jake that no defense or explanation is required.

Ayesha's avatar

I still haven’t seen it. I still hate it.

Buttonstc's avatar

I absolutely loved the entire look of the movie and the world that was created. Fantastic visuals.

But the heart of any movie is it’s characters and how much one gets involved in what happens to them.

Unfortunately, the plot was basically Star Trek Insurrection recycled with different place and characters.

Plus all of the hype surrounding it left many, including me, quite disapponted.

But I would watch it again. I would just do it with the sound turned off. It’s a great movie for playing in the background at a party or to show off ones new gigantic HDTV flat screen.

But when any movie is all style with no substance, that’s not such a good thing.

Actually what I enjoyed far more than the movie itself was a documentary I saw on TV about how it was made and interviews with James Cameron about how technology had finally advanced enough for him to finally be able to bring his long time vision to the screen.

That doc was a really fascinating look behind the scenes while it was being made.

It’s a real shame that Cameron spent the total of that huge budget on the effects alone and didn’t think to hire a decent screenwriter to come up with characters and a plot that audiences could actually care about.

Had he done that it would have gone down in history as a truly great movie rather than just a remarkable technical achievement. Such a shame.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I loved that Cameron had obviously read all the same sci-fi that I had as a kid; Burroughs, McCaffrey, Harrison, Heinlein, et al. Yeah, the script was a bit soft, but the whole nostalgic homage thing was wonderful.

Mariah's avatar

It was absolutely beautiful and great fun to look at, but an unoriginal storyline. Basically a sci-fi version of Dances with Wolves.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Mariah: Actually that storyline goes back to classic drama I can’t remember which it is, but I think there’s a famous Greek one with that theme which may be why it’s a bit cliched, it’s been around for so very long.
I, too, thought it was pretty, I loved all the bright colors and shiny stuff! ;-)

Sunny2's avatar

@Jeruba I’ve walked out of an opera, the same one, twice. Berg’s Lulu. I wanted to see the costumes particularly, but couldn’t stand the music. Also walked out on Die Fledermous. Joan Sutherland playing coy, was more than I could take. But I’ll never forget her in Turandot.

Qingu's avatar

Avatar was the raddest movie I’ve ever seen. I was high as a kite when I saw it in theaters, but nevertheless…

I also don’t get the criticisms made against the movie. Yes, the story is a trope. So is Star Wars, arguably moreso. So is Lord of the Rings. Saying Avatar is “like Dances with Wolves with Blue people” is like saying that Star Wars is like Lord of the Rings with space wizards. It is, but that’s because both LoTR and Dances with Wolves were also based on existing tropes; they didn’t invent the tropes.

Yes, the blue people are a lot like native Americans. They’re also, I’d argue, a lot more like elves. In fact, here is how I would characterize the movie in one sentence:

Avatar is a movie about elves who ride dragons into battle against Republicans in mecha suits.

Jeruba's avatar

Avatar is about 2½ hours long. I’ve spent that long looking at a single painting, and it didn’t bother me that there was no plot.

15barcam's avatar

Heres the thing: WHY DOES IT MATTER IF THERE WERE MOVIES LIKE IT FIRST? Whats wrong with that! Have you guys seen all the vampire book knock offs since twilight came out? People read those and enjoy them!

Mariah's avatar

@15barcam It’s just predictable and loses its profundity when it’s already been done before.

Nullo's avatar

The plot was weak and predictable. The writers politicized it (poorly! throwing in War on Terror buzzwords instead of coming up with something more specific to the setting!), which rarely improves a film.

And Quaritch simply wasn’t the villain that Cameron wanted him to be: he’s a guy living on an alien world where he must fight every day to survive; this is underscored by his insane persistence in fighting after the war was over – he had nothing else left, so he might as well try to kill the guy who ruined his life. Ultimately a tragic figure, not the stone-cold Darth-Vader-Of-A-New-Hope.

woodcutter's avatar

Tough crowd.

Prosb's avatar

I think people sometimes particularly rip into this movie in because it was advertised as this crazy awesome thing, and came up short for them. Meanwhile they see others fascinated with the movie, sometimes oblivious to it’s flaws, and feel as though it is their duty to point out that a movie generally needs more than pretty pictures to be considered “good”. Although, no one has usually asked for their opinion on the matter.
Even though I’m in the “good looking movies deserve a plot and characters to match” group.

TexasDude's avatar

I know Quaritch is supposed to be this big meany-head, but I couldn’t help but think he was fucking badass as hell. If I had to be a member of a dastardly planet-raping corporate militia, I’d want to serve under his leadership.

Jellie's avatar

@15barcam most plot lines are repeated over and over again. What makes a movie is the acting, character development, twists, etc etc. This, Avatar lacked therefore it was unbearable to watch.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo I loved Quaritch for the reasons you pointed out and I think your description is exactly how Cameron intended him. I mean, in a slightly different Cameron movie (Aliens 2) Quaritch would be the good guy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Q’s aircraft gets blown up… so he, while on fire, jumps into a mecha suit, then jumps out of the aircraft, while it is plunging to the ground, and lands while the craft explodes behind him. I mean I started laughing in the theater when that happened because it was so badass. He was totally a worthy villain.

woodcutter's avatar

@Qingu That was my favorite scene. I mean the guy’s on fire and it’s more of a nuisance than something to worry about. That was one bad-assed, focused individual. Too bad he was killed off.

Qingu's avatar

There’s also that scene where he notices the heroes taking off, grabs a machine gun, kicks down the door outside, unloads the entire clip, pulls out his handgun and unloads its entire clip too… all while holding his breath because the air is poisonous.

Srsrsrly Quaritch was like the best villain.

TexasDude's avatar

Col. Quaritch/Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore 2012

woodcutter's avatar

The guy’s tough. After his ship is strafed by the female pilot he gets pissed and orders his crew to“LIGHT THAT BITCH UP!” Holy shit. He’s the closest thing to the Terminator, just keeps coming after ya.

Arewethereyet's avatar

I loved it… stock standard plot and story line… I’ve seen so many times before but it was great, I loved the visuals, the 3D and I have to confess a mate of mine was one of the animators so I had a special interest in it. He did the tree of life, MAGIC animation.

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