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Thread: Avatar - I really wanted to like this one, too...

  1. #31
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    That's because he IS a marine that was badly hurt in combat. Who knows, maybe he was nearly torn in half and there is nothing left of his lower spine. BTW you are right about the plot and it's not a spoiler, that's the given synopsis.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimK81 View Post
    That's because he IS a marine that was badly hurt in combat. Who knows, maybe he was nearly torn in half and there is nothing left of his lower spine. BTW you are right about the plot and it's not a spoiler, that's the given synopsis.
    Oh. I only watched the trailer, er teaser. Since it seemed to give away everything the film was about, I didn't look any further.

    If he were badly hurt in combat he wouldn't be wheeling himself off a transport that came down from orbit. He'd be shipping home. Unless there were some mission critical reason from him to remain. In any case, whatever happened to him must have happened a long time ago, so his presence is still silly.

    It also doesn't explain why his chair is hand powered. Surely there are mechanics there that could slap one together.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  3. #33
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    I agree, maybe being a soldier he likes the workout his arms get? There are people today that could get motorized wheelchairs but choose not to so they can stay in shape. Example > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_YndvUOj2k

    As far as him shipping home, that may be easier said than done, considering it could be 100s of light years away OR he came from Earth and he was a good candidate for this experimental Avatar program.

  4. #34
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    I just figured he came from someplace that didn't have the resources that the army we saw has. After all, right now on this planet, there are hand-held PCs and cellphones that come pretty close to PCs, stealth fighters that can operate from nuclear-powered aircraft carriers... and guys trying to get around on one leg and one crutch.

  5. #35
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    Some answers

    Quote Originally Posted by weatherc View Post
    I saw the trailer for James Cameron's upcoming film Avatar, and I must say I'm a bit disappointed. If I can find this many issues in just the teaser trailer, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the film.

    • Giant floating rocks. I thought this was supposed to be a science fiction film, not a fantasy film. While I might accept giant floating rocks in a Dungeons and Dragons type of setting, in a serious science fiction film it's just laughable. Somebody needed to tell Mr. Cameron that this was just a dumb idea. I mean, really, giant floating rocks? Seriously?
    • The blue guys. While I can accept a bit of a humanoid appearance, the blue aliens still look just a little too human. The females even have human-style breasts, for crying out loud, a feature not even found on most species on earth. There's also a scene in the trailer that shows a blue alien female crying tears of sorrow. As far as I know, there is only one species we know of here on earth that sheds tears for emotional reasons, and that's us. I'm supposed to believe that an alien species happens to show grief in exactly the same way as us, when countless species on earth don't?
    • The lead's wheelchair. If the humans possess the technology to have big mecha/gundham things walking around, why would the main character need a wheelchair? Wouldn't the technology be available to hook him up to a mini-gundham to walk around with?
    • Where have I seen this before? The big beastie in the woods bears more than a passing resemblance to the beasties from the movie Hellboy to me.

    I'll probably still rent this one, but I was hoping for better. I thought Cameron's attention to detail would make for a better science fiction film than this, but I guess I was wrong.
    Floating rocks : I like it , remember "Castle in the sky" from Miyazaki ? and old cover or rock album from YES ?

    Blue guys : quite sexy !

    The lead's Wheelchair : He could have his legs repaired if he had the money , but military pension is much too small. If he goes to Pandora that's in hope of getting his legs back. He is just a wounded veteran.

    Where have you seen that before ? I don't know , it is a marvel or imagination and production. It is even almost too much ! this a great movies if you like special effects and beautiful landscapes , scenery and great action. The synopsis is a little light to my taste : it is just an ecological fantazy and I am not very impressed.

    An other point , the 3D is not so impressive in the second half of the movie , I don't know if I became acustomed to it or if it was less used . The 3D is impressive but not the revolution you can think.
    Last edited by galacsi; 2009-Dec-16 at 11:26 PM. Reason: more chocolate ! more popcorn !

  6. #36
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    • floating rocks - 0:53 - the resource the humans are coming for.
    • wheelchair - 1:27 - he is doing the mission to get his legs regrown.


    so your basically complaining about humanoid aliens & a fictional resource, thus dubbing it a fantasy world... along with almost every other sci-fi out there?

    its not that i don't enjoy hard sci-fi & unique believable aliens, but to make it a minimum requirement for the genre is to say sci-fi had probably less then a dozen movies.

  7. #37
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    Also, in the case of Avatar, having non-humanoid aliens wouldn't serve the purpose too well.

    Would most people empathize with the plight of beings that look like a cross between a centipede and an octopus?
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    So, having M. Night Shamalamadingdong (or however you spell his last name) direct wasn't a deal breaker for you? I've never seen any of his movies, but the word "trite" comes to mind, based on the comments I've heard from people I trust, who've seen his movies and found them to be lacking.
    Shammalamma's got a gem or two in the collection. I thought Unbreakable was a fantastic twist on superhero origin movies.

  9. #39
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    So the alien fauna has been designed by Wayne Barlow, eh? I thought they looked vaguely familiar.
    One day we'll throw aside our human chauvinism and accept non-humanoid romantic leads, but perhaps it is a little early in the day to expect that.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    So the alien fauna has been designed by Wayne Barlow, eh? I thought they looked vaguely familiar.
    One day we'll throw aside our human chauvinism and accept non-humanoid romantic leads, but perhaps it is a little early in the day to expect that.
    The alien fauna is extremely well designed . I loved this part , except may be the red dragon , a little to much to my taste , but really flashy ! The bio luminescent plants are very nice too. this movie is even a little too much , you are flabbergasted with all these marvels.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    One day we'll throw aside our human chauvinism and accept non-humanoid romantic leads, but perhaps it is a little early in the day to expect that.
    Bambi. 1942.

    [added:]

    Also, one of the most memorable and heavily spoofed romantic scenes was between two non-humanoid romantic leads, in Lady and the Tramp (1955).
    Last edited by IsaacKuo; 2009-Dec-17 at 06:52 PM.

  12. #42
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    Still not interested, 3D or no 3D. Apparently I'm supposed to sympathise with these Navvy smurfoid things but for some reason I just want to bop them on the nose. Actually, someone should set an Alien facehugger on one of them, the offspring might be interesting...

    Now if someone was to adapt The Mote in God's Eye...
    Last edited by Cruithne3753; 2009-Dec-17 at 07:24 PM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    One day we'll throw aside our human chauvinism and accept non-humanoid romantic leads, but perhaps it is a little early in the day to expect that.
    actually the trailer gave me an idea on how this might be checked out: i noticed the facial differences between the heroine alien and the voice-actress whose facial expressions got captured for her, and it got me wondering...

    if it can compensate for subtle differences like jaw shape, can't the software link any muscular tension on the character to any facial one on the actor?
    if so, we could use test groups to experiment and see how far we can push the envelope...

    see, i have a hypothesis that we might be able to pull off emotional connections through the general pattern of emotional expression, this is based on the "face on mars" phenomena, innately no different then the ability to see a face in the wrinkles of an old olive tree, or in the clouds or in the reflection of sunlight in the water...

    thus if we are so built to to subconsciously patch objects with human faces, then we might do it automatically to any body expressing the relative muscular tensions of an emotional facial expression.

    (note: i still think that aliens with an emotional structure similar to ours which we could emphasize with directly is about as unlikely as humanoid aliens, but i recognize that such alienation to a movies audience would drastically limit the scope of acceptance for the aliens role).

  14. #44
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    You don't need a face to express emotions. Consider the Pixar lamp.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    You don't need a face to express emotions. Consider the Pixar lamp.
    you can also express emotions via a landscape (i.e. starry night). doesn't exactly make it approachable to a wide audience does it?

    ok, let me put it this way: i want to see how far (from humans) and how deep (emotional understanding wise) we can go before loosing the masses.

    (i also have a practical fascination with how cheep we can make the technology, but that's a little off topic)

  16. #46
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    I saw it last night and loved it. Two comments:

    Marine in a wheelchair: part of the reason that he went to Pandora in the first place was because the pay was good and he wanted to get his legs fixed. He wasn't there to run around as a marine but simply because he had the required DNA to use the avatar, so repairing his legs/giving him a mech would have been a waste.

    As for the science behind the movie, luckily what we think doesn't matter. What's important is that thanks to Avatar now tens or hundreds of millions of people will be thinking about Alpha Centauri and extrasolar Earth-like planets right around the time we're on the verge of discovering them. Any movie that gets that many people thinking about extrasolar planets is 100% in my book. Plus the Na'vi language was specifically constructed for the movie which is a plus for IALs as well. Apparently quite a few people already want to learn the language.

  17. #47
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    Oh, and one more thing. One big thing that separates those that are interested in space and those that aren't is that the latter usually look at space as a big empty void. Lots of darkness, then more darkness, and that's about it. The former though look at space and see not just the void, but also the possibility of worlds something like Pandora, places that we could explore if we could just get there. Nobody goes to space just to stay there; it's either to go to a different destination, or to create an Earth-like environment (space station) which also serves as a new place to live. If this movie helps bridge the gap between these two then we have another success there.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    Apparently quite a few people already want to learn the language.
    Too bad they won't be doing anything useful with their time, like writing letters to their political officials to get them to invest more money in the space program so that we could discover inhabitable exosolar planets sooner or expand the human presence in space to something more than an orbiting tin can.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    Too bad they won't be doing anything useful with their time, like writing letters to their political officials
    How do you know?

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    Too bad they won't be doing anything useful with their time, like writing letters to their political officials to get them to invest more money in the space program so that we could discover inhabitable exosolar planets sooner or expand the human presence in space to something more than an orbiting tin can.
    That's rather harsh.

    I can think of much less worthy tasks than learning a new language. I take it you're unfamiliar with the constructed language subculture*. There're people who invent their own languages from the ground up for fun/intellectual stimulation.


    *I think there's a subculture for just about anything one can think of.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    How do you know?
    Every hour they spend learning the fictional language is an hour not being spent writing their elected officials. Do you really want to bet that they'll be spending an equal number of hours writing their elected officials for every hour they spend learning the fictional language? 'Cause you'll lose that bet.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    Every hour they spend learning the fictional language is an hour not being spent writing their elected officials. Do you really want to bet that they'll be spending an equal number of hours writing their elected officials for every hour they spend learning the fictional language? 'Cause you'll lose that bet.
    It has nothing to do with bets. Just join an Avatar fan group and tell them to write their elected officials if they want to see something like that become a reality sooner, and then some will. Better than just grumping about it here.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's rather harsh.
    Reality often is.

    I can think of much less worthy tasks than learning a new language.
    If you're talking about a language which is real, then we would all be better off doing so.

    I take it you're unfamiliar with the constructed language subculture*.There're people who invent their own languages from the ground up for fun/intellectual stimulation.
    I'm well aware of it. There are people who speak fluent Klingon, Dwarvish, Elvish, and any number of other fictional languages. I think its a bit absurd to connect the concept of learning a fake language (which as the father who tried to teach his infant son Klingon discovered, can be a bit impractical for daily life) to actually putting effort into getting us off this rock.

  24. #54
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    Humph. People aren't spending their free time just as I want them to. How dare they?

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    It has nothing to do with bets. Just join an Avatar fan group and tell them to write their elected officials if they want to see something like that become a reality sooner, and then some will. Better than just grumping about it here.
    If they were honestly interested in such a thing, then they would already doing it, and not chatting to one another in their gibberish. I can assure you that my making a suggestion to an Avatar fan group about them writing their officials would be met with tepid support, no matter how politely I might phrase it. If we were to pick up something that was a strong indicator of alien life, they'd be all excited and no doubt be eager to send off a flurry of missives to their elected officials about supporting the space program were the suggestion put to them. Of course, they won't see such a thing until they actually do put forth the effort.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    Humph. People aren't spending their free time just as I want them to. How dare they?
    They're free to do as they want, just as I am free to complain about it.

  27. #57
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    Indeed.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    If you're talking about a language which is real, then we would all be better off doing so.
    They are real languages. Just as real as English, French, Mandarin Chinese...

    Esperanto, as one example, was a language invented back in the late 19th Century, and has hundreds of thousands of speakers.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    If they were honestly interested in such a thing, then they would already doing it, and not chatting to one another in their gibberish. I can assure you that my making a suggestion to an Avatar fan group about them writing their officials would be met with tepid support, no matter how politely I might phrase it.
    Sounds like a bet. Try it out, and show us the tepid support that your suggestion brings. Start here:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...d=207837475672

  30. #60
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    If he were honestly interested in getting them to do such a thing, he'd already be posting there.

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