Avatar review thread

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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Sarevok »

Coyote wrote:Straying off topic, but thinking of Cameron's movies and Spileberg's, I sure am glad that Cameron knows how/when to end a movie, and do it well. Spielberg doesn't know how to end a damn movie. It just... keeps... going....
Well I remember Jurassic Park as being what Avatar was today in terms of a revolution in visual effects. And Spielberg wrote a smooth and satisfying curtain closer pretty well.

Until the sequels came that is.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by phred »

Very pretty movie. I approve.
Crazedwraith wrote:And when Sully and co make off with the chopper he's so intent on shooting them the fuck up; he fails to remember he can't breather in the hanger... And he just takes the mask from the marine that's trying to help him just so nonchalantly. It's like he gets so fixating on killing things he forgets about little luxuries like air.
Actually he does warn everyone and take a deep breath before opening the door. Still fairly badass though.
Sarevok wrote:Well I remember Jurassic Park as being what Avatar was today in terms of a revolution in visual effects. And Spielberg wrote a smooth and satisfying curtain closer pretty well.

Until the sequels came that is.
Well he did already have an ending written for him.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by SylasGaunt »

PeZook wrote: Well, I haven't seen much supplemental material, and AFAIK the "flux vortex" is never tied to unobtainium in the movie itself.
There's still the fact that the only other floating thing we see is the chunk of unobtanium.
The Dragon is a "softer" target, though: it can be brought down by banshee riders, since it's essentially a larger Scorpion gunship with a cargo hold and more hardpoints.
I'd hardly call the Dragon a softer target. It's not as big as the shuttle but it's a damn sight bigger than anything else on the battlefield, and it's carrying enough ordnance to smash the soul tree even if the shuttle goes down while having a much heavier load of point defense weaponry than the shuttle does.
The shuttle, on the other hand, was just too freakin' large for Banshees, and it carried most of the mission's firepower, too. As an added bonus, loosing a shuttle means the RDA's mining operations are severely impaired, since they only had two and they were necessary both for refuelling the starships and shipping unobtainium to orbit. Hell, killing the shuttle might've brought the entire operation to its knees due to budgetary concerns, seeing as its a ridiculously advanced SSTO/VTOL spacecraft - even if the Na'Vi lost the tree of souls and most of their gathered warriors in the end.
They get two new shuttles with every trip, they're hardly going to be crippled by the loss of one.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by PeZook »

SylasGaunt wrote: There's still the fact that the only other floating thing we see is the chunk of unobtanium.
It only floated when placed over Selfridge's little receptlace, though.
I'd hardly call the Dragon a softer target. It's not as big as the shuttle but it's a damn sight bigger than anything else on the battlefield, and it's carrying enough ordnance to smash the soul tree even if the shuttle goes down while having a much heavier load of point defense weaponry than the shuttle does.
It doesn't have any point defence weaponry at all: all of its weapons face forward. It's a softer target in the sense that it can be brought down by banshees thanks to its exposed and (relatively) delicate rotors. On the other hand, the banshee riders simply have no capability at all to kill the mining shuttle, short of maybe trying to throw rocks into engine intakes.
They get two new shuttles with every trip, they're hardly going to be crippled by the loss of one.
If they can't load up the orbiting ship with unobtainium on schedule, the RDA gets a major disruption to its cash flow. Cash flow problems are very dangerous for a corporation, especially one that has their flow delayed by 12 years from launch to arrival of the loaded starship.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by LadyTevar »

"We've offered them roads, schools, medicine!"
Yeah... WhiteMan's Burden, come in and give the poor primitives our knowledge. Teach them to speak our language, try to teach them mathematics, and 'raise them up' to our level. Never asking if the Na'vi need or want it... this is Our Gift! (as long as you hand over land so we can dig these useless-to-you rocks out of it)

Seriously... what do the Na'vi need roads for, when they have road-sized tree branches/roots that can be easily traversed, as well as the sleipnir-horses and the banshees? As portrayed by the movie, the Na'vi could get around just fine without bulldozing a straight line through the woods.

Medicine? We don't see any medicines used in the movie, but we do see wounded bandaged and being carried away from HomeTree. Considering that most native Earth cultures have passed down medicinal knowledge (willow-bark tea, poultices, ways to stop bleeding quickly), I find it hard to believe the Na'vi do not have their own medicinal herbs and practices that work quite well for them.

Languages. Yeah, I'm sure English was easier to learn than Na'vianess. It doesn't seem to be that hard to learn, as several of the scientists learned it on Earth, and Sully picks it up very quickly from Full Immersion. Most Na'vi who know English may have gone to the school, before it was closed. (Why was it closed? The Na'vi, or RDA?)

I know the story leaned this way on purpose, but the whole tone for RDA is "we want the rock, here's some shinies, get out of our way"
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Samuel »

Why was it closed? The Na'vi, or RDA?)
The Navi closed it down (remember Grace wants Sully to get them to let her back in). Of course it is implied the reason that they closed it down was because RDA started using machine guns against the Navi and relations broke down.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

The reason it closed was that RDA became dead set on kicking the Na'vi off Home Tree and excavating the damn place.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Turin »

Is it just me or was it obvious that there was originally a shot where Jake and Navi-chica connect their little head-tail-ethernet-ports together, but it was cut because someone was afraid it would be seen as obscene? It seemed weird to me that we see all the nominally non-sentient creatures connected with, but none of the Navi connect with each other. You'd think that would be an interesting/important part of their culture.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by SylasGaunt »

PeZook wrote:
It only floated when placed over Selfridge's little receptlace, though.
The implication is pretty clear though and it's outright confirmed elsewhere.
It doesn't have any point defence weaponry at all: all of its weapons face forward. It's a softer target in the sense that it can be brought down by banshees thanks to its exposed and (relatively) delicate rotors. On the other hand, the banshee riders simply have no capability at all to kill the mining shuttle, short of maybe trying to throw rocks into engine intakes.
All those gatlings on it are computer directed PD weapons. The dragon's got turbines but they're damn big ones that didn't seem to even any trouble even with nearby grenade detonations.
If they can't load up the orbiting ship with unobtainium on schedule, the RDA gets a major disruption to its cash flow. Cash flow problems are very dangerous for a corporation, especially one that has their flow delayed by 12 years from launch to arrival of the loaded starship.
It's going to slow it down but they can still make use of the old shuttles that would be getting replaced on this run. It'll delay them a bit but it's hardly going to cripple them. Now maybe if they took out the other shuttle thus leaving them with only the two that are near the end of their service life but ruining one shuttle isn't going to cripple a corsortium with the kind of base the RDA seems to have.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Questor »

SylasGaunt wrote:It's going to slow it down but they can still make use of the old shuttles that would be getting replaced on this run. It'll delay them a bit but it's hardly going to cripple them. Now maybe if they took out the other shuttle thus leaving them with only the two that are near the end of their service life but ruining one shuttle isn't going to cripple a corsortium with the kind of base the RDA seems to have.
Which completely misses the point. RDA is expecting the full shipment of unobtanium on that ship. If they don't get it, the investors will be pissed. Pissed investors do bad things.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by SylasGaunt »

Which is a nice goal to aim for in the future.. but it's not going to affect things right now, and it certainly won't stop Quarritch from leveling the tree of souls with the Dragon (which he can also do from much farther away than the shuttle can bomb it).
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Starglider »

Saw this today. A lot of fun, and the humans did deserve to lose for being greedy (lol open cast mining when tunneling can't be that expensive at that tech level) and stupid (lol lets use our hypersonic bomber for a 50 mph bombing run). However I do agree that the sequel should be 2 hours of asteroids raining down on Pandoran wildlife.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Anguirus »

However I do agree that the sequel should be 2 hours of asteroids raining down on Pandoran wildlife.
I'd rather have an entertaining one, thanks.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Starglider »

Anguirus wrote:
However I do agree that the sequel should be 2 hours of asteroids raining down on Pandoran wildlife.
I'd rather have an entertaining one, thanks.
Frankly the film doesn't need a sequel. The ending works fine as closure (unusual in a contemporary blockbuster). If Cameron insisted on making a sequel, he should flash forward fifty years or so with 'the humans threw a hissy fit and nuked everything' as backstory to some new conflict. Unfortunately the rumors seem to be that the planned sequels are more along the lines of the Ewoks movies.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Starglider wrote:Saw this today. A lot of fun, and the humans did deserve to lose for being greedy (lol open cast mining when tunneling can't be that expensive at that tech level) and stupid (lol lets use our hypersonic bomber for a 50 mph bombing run).
lol how can a jerry rigged transport craft not have complicated inertial guidance systems to drop payloads at ballistic trajectories from high speeds and high altitudes in an electromagnetically sensor-unfriendly environment that screws over non-visual navigation
However I do agree that the sequel should be 2 hours of asteroids raining down on Pandoran wildlife.
I think Schindler's List 2 should be about the Gestapo hunting down those escaped Jewish families and sending them to Doctor Mengele so he can perform experiments on pregnant women and stitch twins together to artificially conjoin them. I think The Road to El Dorado 2 should be about Cortez giving those El Doradans smallpox while running them over with horses and shooting Chieftain Edward James Olmos in the face with a cannonball and set the whole city on fire to melt all the gold.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by PeZook »

Starglider wrote:However I do agree that the sequel should be 2 hours of asteroids raining down on Pandoran wildlife.
Why, does the RDA suddendly become immune to government regulations because of their massive little fuckup?
SylasGaunt wrote:Which is a nice goal to aim for in the future.. but it's not going to affect things right now, and it certainly won't stop Quarritch from leveling the tree of souls with the Dragon (which he can also do from much farther away than the shuttle can bomb it).
Yeah, I guess they went to all the trouble with making jury-rigged daisy cutters because they didn't know what to do with all those mining charges laying around, right?

The Tree Of Souls was an important target, but the objective was to destroy the tree and wipe out the gathering army. Without the bomber, the Na'Vi can just scatter and good luck hunting them down throughout the jungle. Arguably, even if the bomber made it through, the Na'Vi army could've been kept largely intact if not for the stupid-ass horse charge. Sully should've hit the main base when the RDA was occupied trying to blow up the fucking tree, it's probably only local politics that didn't let him do that.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Starglider »

PeZook wrote:Why, does the RDA suddendly become immune to government regulations because of their massive little fuckup?
It depends if you believe the 'earth is a dying planet' and 'magic mineral is the only way to prevent collapse of civilisation' line. If yes, then absolutely the humans will do whatever it takes, just wait a year or two after the shipments stop for things to get really desperate and there will be mobs yelling for conquest. If you think that that was a propaganda lie, and the unobtanium was merely valuable rather than essential, then yes the Naavi may be left alone. Frankly the whole 'earth is dying' thing was a half-assed and ineffective attempt at making the situation less black-and-white, it would have been better just to make the villains EvilCorp 'we slaughter primitives for profit (tm)' and be done with it.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:how can a jerry rigged transport craft not have complicated inertial guidance systems to drop payloads at ballistic trajectories from high speeds
25 tonnes of pointy rock shards travelling at hypersonic velocities will shred soft targets in a huge area, without even needing explosives or precision. Since fuel doesn't seem to be an issue for the humans, at the very least a few runs of area bombardment could have softened up the enemy and cut down their numbers a bit.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

That thing doesn't even have proper bomb bays. So, they chuck shit out the back? How do they know when they're over the target when they're traveling so fast and when the area they're traveling over is in a sensor deadspace? They'd also have to take time to gather up sharp rocks and crap, whereas chucking some explosives together and making a bigass bomb might not be as hard or inconvenient. Geeze, man, nitpickings! :P
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Anguirus »

Why are we assuming that fuel is no issue?
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This is the guy they want to use to win over "young people?" Are they completely daft? I'd rather vote for a pile of shit than a Jesus freak social regressive.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Starglider »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:How do they know when they're over the target when they're traveling so fast and when the area they're traveling over is in a sensor deadspace?
If they have the same movie luck that the protagonists get then it will work perfectly first time. The details aren't critical anyway, there are plenty of tactics the humans could have used other than 'shock and awe delivered by jury-rigged slow-ass Ace Combat boss'.
whereas chucking some explosives together and making a bigass bomb might not be as hard or inconvenient
So they lost due to arrogance and laziness, or in other words, stupidity. Even without the traitor marine throwing C4 into the intakes, persistent kamikaze attacks by the enemy fliers could have brought down every vehicle in that incredibly slow aerial convoy. A better commander would have put together known enemy capabilities and numbers, noted the fact that defeat means leaving the only human base on the planet defenceless, and used a more cautious strategy even if it means the grunts and pilots have to pull some long shifts.

Of course there is nothing wrong with basing the movie on the premise of an incompetent and bloodthirsty mercenary commander. It's a realistic premise; it's not like his corporate masters could recognise tactical genius anyway. I merely said that having made such idiotic mistakes, they deserved to lose.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by adam_grif »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
I think Schindler's List 2 should be about the Gestapo hunting down those escaped Jewish families and sending them to Doctor Mengele so he can perform experiments on pregnant women and stitch twins together to artificially conjoin them. I think The Road to El Dorado 2 should be about Cortez giving those El Doradans smallpox while running them over with horses and shooting Chieftain Edward James Olmos in the face with a cannonball and set the whole city on fire to melt all the gold.

I think Star Destroyer.net 2 should be 2 hours of people not picking up on jokes, sarcasm and deliberate exaggerations.

No wait, that'd be pretty much the same as the first one.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Nyrath »

Starglider wrote:Unfortunately the rumors seem to be that the planned sequels are more along the lines of the Ewoks movies.
Well not only do the great unwashed moviegoers demand it, but Cameron wants to leverage his huge investment in computer modeling of all the flora and fauna of Pandora. The idea is to re-use all your expensive CGI models, not throw them away and make new ones.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by SylasGaunt »

Yeah, I guess they went to all the trouble with making jury-rigged daisy cutters because they didn't know what to do with all those mining charges laying around, right?

The Tree Of Souls was an important target, but the objective was to destroy the tree and wipe out the gathering army. Without the bomber, the Na'Vi can just scatter and good luck hunting them down throughout the jungle. Arguably, even if the bomber made it through, the Na'Vi army could've been kept largely intact if not for the stupid-ass horse charge. Sully should've hit the main base when the RDA was occupied trying to blow up the fucking tree, it's probably only local politics that didn't let him do that.
The tree was the main target not the army. Quarritch had his ground troops and their supporting gunships to deal with the army. He wanted to obliterate the tree because he knew it would cause massive cultural disruption to the Na'vi. It would crush them as a people and gave him a way to pretty much cripple their will to fight in one massive show of power.

Hell I'm sure the only reason it was a daisy cutter was because he didn't have a damn nuke handy.

Hitting the base also isn't an option because for one the base has lots of nice automated defenses that aren't going to have their ability to track and attack limited by the flux vortex of the mountains, plus again there's the point that losing the tree is simply not an option for the Na'vi, something that is made abundantly clear in the movie.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by Cykeisme »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I think Schindler's List 2 should be about the Gestapo hunting down those escaped Jewish families and sending them to Doctor Mengele so he can perform experiments on pregnant women and stitch twins together to artificially conjoin them. I think The Road to El Dorado 2 should be about Cortez giving those El Doradans smallpox while running them over with horses and shooting Chieftain Edward James Olmos in the face with a cannonball and set the whole city on fire to melt all the gold.
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Re: Avatar review thread - NO SPOILERS UNTIL FRIDAY

Post by PeZook »

SylasGaunt wrote: The tree was the main target not the army. Quarritch had his ground troops and their supporting gunships to deal with the army. He wanted to obliterate the tree because he knew it would cause massive cultural disruption to the Na'vi. It would crush them as a people and gave him a way to pretty much cripple their will to fight in one massive show of power.
Sorry, but if he just blew up the tree and went home, all it would do would piss the natives off. They needed to kill as many of their warriors (and civilians, too, but there's probably not much of a distinction) as possible, otherwise the natives would just want revenge.
SylasGaunt wrote:Hell I'm sure the only reason it was a daisy cutter was because he didn't have a damn nuke handy.
You said the Dragon could do it just fine, so why use daisy cutters or nukes? The only explanation is that the gunships and ground troops wouldn't be able to hunt down and kill off the Na'Vi before they all scattered throughout the woods using the sensor-blind area as cover.

Hell, I think that the moment Sully's spy warned him of the attack, the mission became impossible to accomplish, since all the warriors left the camp anyway, so all he'd do was blow up an important religious site and kill lots of defenceless civilians. I don't really think it would break the Na'Vi will to fight. It certainly never worked in history.
SylasGaunt wrote:Hitting the base also isn't an option because for one the base has lots of nice automated defenses that aren't going to have their ability to track and attack limited by the flux vortex of the mountains, plus again there's the point that losing the tree is simply not an option for the Na'vi, something that is made abundantly clear in the movie.
Quaritch was worried that the army would soon be big enough to overrun the perimeter with a high probability of success.
Worried enough he decided on that crazy plan in the first place, rather than sitting behind the defences with his troops, slaughtering the natives and then going to blow up the soul tree.
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