Dec 29 2009

3 Important Reasons Why Avatar Is Not a Good Movie

Published by at 10:00 am under Reviews

AvatarFraser

Did anyone else see Brendan Fraser in Sully?  I sure as hell did

Alright kids.  Let’s have at it.  I saw it.  I saw Avatar.   I felt the hype.  I felt the amazement.  Hell I was even nauseous before I saw the damned thing.  I was ready to be shocked beyond all belief.  I was ready for the experience of a lifetime.   I was ready to feel “this is the next Star Wars.”  When I left the movie all I kept thinking was, “Yeah? And?”  And yes people, I saw it on IMAX 3D.

Don’t get me wrong folks, I want to talk about why the movie was great as well (though you can just read Tassi’s review for about as much shining on a movie as I’ve seen in a long time) but I gotta get some stuff off my chest….

Sully

OK, let’s talk about why I like movies.  I like movies for the acting, the directing, the story, the cinematography, and most importantly I want to like the characters, like the story, and “feel” the movie.  If I’m not sympathetic to anything in the movie, I’m not going to like it.  So put it this way.  You can have the greatest technical cinematic achievement known to man (which is exactly what Avatar is) but if you don’t actually care about the movie?  Well then it’s just another Jerry Bruckheimer film with a bunch of visual effects that leaves me thinking “ok it was cool to look at but I didn’t like the actual movie.”  On the other hand you can have a piece of shit movie but if you like everything in it aside from the special effects then it can be amazing (or at least likeable).    Case in point?  Um, any low budget movie with a great story and great acting.  There are 1000’s out there that I’d rather watch than Avatar.

Now, let me at least acknowledge what an amazing achievement this film is.  I don’t want to dog James Cameron and put him anywhere near Bruckheimer status with ridiculousness in movies.   I was simply making a comparison in terms of big budget movies that don’t exactly deliver on storyline and great acting (not to mention cheesy screenplays).  I can’t possibly fathom the amount of work gone into this film.  I respect the precision.  I respect the detail.   I respect that an entire world was created from nothing.  I’m impressed that the future of cinema lies in the technology used in this movie.  I know that movies shall only improve upon the foundation that was laid here (they friggin’ better).   I was dazzled yes.  I was visually “stunned.” I’m in full agreement that this movie blew me away technologically more than any movie I’ve ever seen.  The difference between me and my counterpart Mr. Tassi is that where he was so impressed with this visual display, I was overrun with anger at how bad an actual movie this was.  You see,  from what I’ve heard, everyone has mostly agreed that the acting was subpar (even comical), and that the story isn’t all that great but that you’ll just be so blown away by the visuals in this film that it won’t matter.  Well you know what?  It mattered.  It mattered a lot.  Because those are the elements I find most dear in a movie.  So 20 minutes in when I’m done saying “wow!” I’m left thinking “is this going to be a good movie?”  And that’s where I think the film failed.  The amazing computer enhanced canvas of a film didn’t overthrow me.  It didn’t wow me enough to say “ah screw the other stuff.”  I’m sorry, I just can’t let it slide.

Oh and let me just say something about Star Wars before I even start.  Star Wars my friends, had an amazing plot.  It had the coolest friggin’ characters known to man, and it actually had likeable robots.  I mean what the hell movie in the 70s had likeable robots for Christ’s sake?  I’m sorry but please don’t ever compare Avatar to Star Wars with the exception of ground breaking technology.  That is the only comparison we should use.

Now that my intro is out of the way.  Let’s get into why this movie was not good.

Ribisi

Screenplay

Really James Cameron?  Come on buddy!  Hell this is the same guy that wrote True Lies which I thought was pretty clever and funny.  Could he have not come up with better lines here?  If anyone didn’t nearly puke when they heard the word “Unobtanium” then I really don’t know what to say.   Sadly this is a real word used by real scientists but I still can’t accept it.  Me and my buddy literally looked at each other and said “are they serious?”  “The trees that network them to their ancestors?”  I mean what the hell kinds of lines were these? There was comedy in this movie right?  Um, how ridiculously bad placed was it?  There were times when Sully would say “shit” and I’m thinking “OK that’s like a normal thing to say.”  But it wasn’t normal because I had no clue why he said it.  Yes he said it because he was having a hard time flying on a dinosaur but it’s like he’ll say it one time and then be serious the next.  Honestly it just didn’t make sense.  I’m sorry but the dialogue never even allowed me to take this movie seriously.  BY FAR the best lines were given to Giovanni Ribisi and it’s not even close.  Unless you count the lines given to Sully’s commanding officer which if you think those were good lines then go see Conair and have at it with the most stupid one liners ever.   Come on people.  You have to agree with me on this.  Please, for the love of God tell me this movie did not have a good screenplay.

Neytiri

Acting

Paul hit it right on the head with Zoe Saldana.  The ONLY character in the entire film that I empathized with and felt had redeeming qualities was Neytiri.  Other than that?  Like I said Giovanni Ribisi was hilarious.  Tell me you guys didn’t notice this.  Um, Sam Worthington’s accent?  He started off as American.  Pretty sure by the end of the movie he was either Australian, English, or a blend of the two.  This was way worse than Kevin Costner in Robinhood and that’s saying something.   Part of a movie’s effectiveness is to create a reason for us to care for the characters.  As an audience member I want to give a shit.  I want to care about who I’m seeing.  I want to feel for a character.  I felt nothing for anyone but Neytiri (and maybe her people) and that’s a problem.  Sully just seemed dull and listless.  His emotions were lame.  Yeah I kind of get that he falls for Neytiri but it’s like it’s not enough.  I just feel like things fell short.   I don’t know man.    And come on Sigourney Weaver.  Did she even need to be in this movie?  OK, we get it.  You like to collect samples.  But I mean, who cares?  The acting was subpar and maybe it’s not even the actors’ fault.  Because how the hell are you supposed to act well when the whole movie is filled with major plot holes?

Plot/Story

OK, I get the plot.  I understand that Unobtanium (I’m still laughing at this word even though it’s real) is needed, or do I?  Um, what the hell is it for exactly?  Yeah I know it’s like $20 Mil a kilo but did the movie ever go into this?  Do we ever know what it’s actually for?  Nope.  I guess I understand why Earth needed this land (or so I thought, Unobtanium?  oh wait we don’t know what that is) but come on folks.  I really can’t go on here.

Shall we dive into the obscene amount of plot holes here?  OK humans, you guys are able to blow up a tree the size of a skyscraper but then flying animals and spears take you out?  Really?  And wouldn’t human beings have better weapons past the year 2100 than retarded looking Robocops?  What the hell is this?  I mean I felt like I was watching Robot Jox.   Come on guys.  You’re better than that.  Michelle Rodriguez wearing Pandora paint?  Painting her helicopter?

And let’s talk about Sully’s commanding officer saying “you get yourself a little tail and now you’re ready to abort?”  You know something?  You’re damned right.  He was right.  Sure the guy was a douche and a murderer without care, and you get why Sully becomes one of them and respects them, but he’s still a soldier on a mission.   Do your job soldier.  Don’t just fall for some hussy and then try to save an entire planet from your homeland.

And wait a second.  Sully and Neytiri have sex right?  They’re partners now and Tsu’tey doesn’t give a shit?  I’m not even gonna go there.   There are just too many holes in this film.

OK now I’m just being a dick but still.  Here’s the bottom line.  Is there a potentially good story in here?  You bet there is.  Are there underlying plot lines like Nature vs. Technology?  Yes, sure, I get that.  Are there more “grand” undertones and world issues at stake in the film?  Sure.   I’m not a complete moron.  I see some of the messages and I get them.  But let me say this.  You cannot complete this story and have a beginning to end in 2 hours and 30 minutes.  You just can’t.  I felt like I needed at least 8 more hours of explanation in this film.  Bottom line is that I see the story but it’s just not fully there.  And I don’t think Cameron ever really intended for this to happen because he knew his audience would be in awe the whole time from the CGI.  Well not me.  Story matters.  Filling in gaping plot holes matter.  I was pissed during the film and still am now.

Avatar

Summation

Honestly folks this review would take me 6 more days if I really gave a shit.  This is all what’s fresh in my head and I had to get it off my chest.  I know it’s not all that clear.  I think I could write an entire book on this but it’s not worth my time.

Like I said, I think this technology will be something we can build on and I think that it’s a great start.   However,  if we don’t combine it with a solid story and great acting then I fear people will eventually get very tired of this kind of blockbuster film.   Think about it.  What if Avatar had a sequel and the acting was this bad again and the story had this many holes again?  I don’t know.  I’d be pretty bummed and I think eventually the fans of Avatar might as well.  Like I said, a good first step in this new age of movie, but not a good movie itself, if that makes sense.





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54 responses so far

  • joe

    Unobtanium isn’t a word Cameron made up. It’s been used by scientists and engineers since the 60’s as a term for a “perfect” material that is usually, unobtainable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium

  • Sylky

    Just a quick comment…this is the third or fourth time ive read a complaint about the use of the word Unobtainium….sadly it shows how little people know because Unobtainium is a real word that describes a scientific element ( natural or mechanical) that scientist believe exists and has not been discovered or the technology currently available is not sufficient to produce it. So in actuality, Cameron did his HW and used the term correctly. My only problem with the use of the term is that I have no Idea why the Unobtainium was so sought after besides it was very profitable, but I guess when dealing with a corporation profits are all that really matter.

  • Nattyb

    Even though it’s a real word, admit that it’s ridiculous.

  • Sylky

    Its a scientific word….half the words used by scientists are ridiculous. I would know being one myself I mean go look at the last few elements on the periodic table, but still it doesn’t matter if you think the word is ridiculous it was used correctly. I guess it would have been better if he made up a name and instead called the ore FAKEtonium or betterthangasine. I mean you gotta give it to Cameron tho, although the script for this movie were far more simpler and unimaginative then say Star Trek, Iron Man, or the Dark Knight. At least he didnt pander to the masses and make a GI Joe or Transformers 2.

  • Nattyb

    Well thank God he didn’t go that far. That would have been embarrassing but Avatar doesn’t hold a candle to those other movies screenplay wise.

  • Gill

    Just to interject here, Star Wars’ entire plot was stolen from Kurosawa movies and spaghetti westerns. It was ripped off, guys, just watch the making-of documentaries and you’ll hear George Lucas admit to it. So really, the fact that Avatar’s plot resembled a mix of Ferngully and Dances With Wolves shouldn’t mean much, since the movies it is being compared to either stank (episodes 1-3) or were rip-offs of better films (episodes 4-6).

  • Nattyb

    No I understand that about Star Wars and I agree. But at least Star Wars was good :)

  • IcemanD

    I just saw Avatar two nights ago and while I agree it didn’t have a great screenplay (some of the acting/lines were downright laughable) I thought the film was awesome.

    If your a person that absolutely needs a solid, deep, thoughtful storyline line than I think Avatar just wasn’t made for you. I thought the story was passable enough to not bother me (unlike Transformers II).

    Also, I do agree that other than FX wise this movie should not be compared to Star Wars. Well, except maybe the acting. If you disagree, I have two words for ya… Mark & Hamill.

  • Jaromir

    I would have to agree in saying that Avatar is comparable to a nice Blonde (w/ a solid body) that you take home with just for that one night. Every now and then you do it again and again (summer movies)…….but never does the thought cross your mind that you want to start a family with her, nor introduce to any friends or family as a legitimate girlfriend. It just makes for good stories/memories and or you can show her off in some manner.

    She is purely just visually pleasing but with no depth in personality or intelligence. But this is usually a symbiotic relationship, they get theirs (money) while you get yours (entertainment).

    And yes ladies I know you’re guilty of these feelings/actions as well. Us men just aren’t as discreet as the XX genome, it is a quality we fail at……….that damn Y!!!

    ; )

  • http://littlejunkies.wordpress.com Junkie1

    I am with you, brother! If Cameron was that jazzed up on the tech, why not bring in someone to co-write the script at the very least. This could have been the best movie ever. Instead it was cut/pastes of dialogue behind a curtain of “shock and awe” effects. That’s why you get plot holes.

    Cameron was just being lazy–leaning on serviceable rather than doing his own film justice by making it a complete package. Also, I don’t care if Unobtanium is a real word, because Pandora isn’t a real place. Give me something interesting. Be creative.

    Last bit of rant: Sigourney was wasted and her avatar was creepy. “I See You” will live in infamy.

    I did the whole Ferngully thing on my blog, and let me tell you, just read the synopsis. They are nearly the same damn things! http://littlejunkies.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/avatar/

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    My lingering question is why did Sigourney Weaver’s avatar have a regular human face?

  • Vrildox

    Sure you would say that the first 3 Star Wars were taken from other movie ideas and that is OK as long as you make the story watchable, but what happens when Avatar comes out on DVD. The story is as unwatchable as Transformers II and nobody has IMAX or 3-d screens at home and that’s when the story does comes in.

  • http://nerdaverse.com theButterFly

    I like your article Natty, and I think your comments regarding the story are pretty on the mark. It was admittedly a let down, that the story did not keep pace with the technology on display in this movie. There was a great article on Boing Boing that addresses some of your complaints that you might find interesting. (http://bit.ly/6awGED)

    I was right there with you on the Unobtaium thing. It made me go “Huh? Seriously?” as well. (Yes, I understand that it’s a real science word, but even still I think it’s use here is jarring in the context of the film. Just a point to you science folks. I think the word here is miss used, since it typically serves as a place holder for some material that doesn’t actually exist.)

    As far as addressing the comments about Star Wars being derivative no one can argue that fact. Just as the claims that Avatar is Ferngully + Dances with Wolves. The difference in this instance, is that while the plot of Star Wars is based on familiar story telling tropes from other places in our literary history it builds upon those arch-typical stories far more effectively then Avatar does. The Star Wars tale’s strength is that it is at the same point recognizable, but takes those familiar stories and makes them fresh. I think Avatar failed at this. The plot holes that you point out Natty illustrate how the movie plot was unable to transcend the blue print layed out for it by the works that certainly seamed to inspire it. It’s often been said, that there really are only 6 or 7 stories to be told. It is all in how you go about telling that story. It is disappointing that Cameron’s writing fell flat in this respect, because I think in the past he has been able to take a very familiar story and transcend it. If you’re being honest Titanic was really just Romeo & Juliet on a boat with an iceberg.

  • Sean

    I totally agree with you. I thought the movie was okay. Too much about becoming a navi, not enough about the resource they need for earth. Plus the 3D was a gimmick. It was interesting but it means they just designed the movie so there is always a bunch of shit flying in front of your face such leaves or ashes.

  • Madison

    Look, the story is certainly derivative, but it’s derivative of an already pretty good story. To compare it to Transformers 2 is a joke.

    And the 3-D was a gimmick? Wow.

  • PatM

    Avatar is intended to be a trilogy and if you look at this one as an introductory film I think he did a great job. Personally I had absolutely no complaints about this film, I recognized that it’s by no means a complex plot but I enjoyed every bit of it. I sympathized with the people and the planet and felt involved with what was going on. If he manages to turn the franchise into a successful trilogy with a good plot line (and honestly, there’s no reason to doubt that he can, look at the James Cameron’s record, this is a guy who knows how to make a sequel) then I think any complaints about plot in this first one will become moot points.

  • Ashik

    Dead on with the review! I just couldn’t understand how this movie got made since…i dunno…how difficult would it have been to improve the script?!

  • IcemanD

    @ Sean: I have to agree with Madison here. I didn’t feel the 3D was a gimmick at all. In fact, I even said to my buddy it was good to finally see a film where the 3D wasn’t used as a gimmick.

    Except, of course, the grenade scene which was quite gimmicky.

    Also, anyone else notice the Avatars had 4 fingers where the Navi only had three?

  • sandrina

    I completely agree with your post! Finally some common sense to hear

  • jovannie

    i dont know about you guys, but i hate when a reviewer reviews a movie and calls it shit basically, like it hurt him physically to watch it. Relax. The movie was entertaining and thats what matters most. Yes, the only really good actor was neytiri or however you spell that, but the movie was good.

    BTW, the reason the attack on the hometree worked and others didn’t was that the attack was coordinated, and the fight was not as well coordinated. they didn’t expect to have such resistance. If you notice, the humans are kicking ass most of the way, until the hammerhead rhino things come and surprise them. Basically, not everything you mentioned is exactly a plothole.

    One stupid thing about the movie though, was the fact that the mech had a mech sized knife! What the hell was that!!lol

  • zero

    THANK YOU for exposing this film for what it is. I’ve been saying the same thing for the past week.

    bottom line, it’s like a video game with great graphics and shitty game mechanics. (Yeah, I’m looking at you assassin’s creed)

  • Harb

    I watched this last night, and I just have one question: Does Grace die twice? Maybe I missed something, but I’m pretty sure she died twice. The first time was in front of the tree of souls when the Na’vi attempted to transfer her spirit into the body of her avatar. The second time was during the final battle, she was firing her machine-gun and running towards a few marines then she was shot several times in the chest. This happened a split-second after Rodriguez’s helicopter blew up. I’m pretty sure it was her the second time, because she was wearing that tan vest. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • chelsea

    i watched Avatar in IMAX 3D last night. i was reluctant going in as i had heard so many people bitch and moan about the story being weak. i’m a hard-ass and expect a lot from movies. i also like to tear them down when everyone seems to love them and i don’t get it.

    this was not the case with Avatar. i didn’t think the story was that bad or cheesy. the acting was not great, but good enough for me when i would usually complain. the stunning effects did not make me forget about the story, so i wasn’t “blinded” by it. the 3D was great, too… not at all a gimmick. best 3D i’ve ever seen and i’m excited for where movies will go after this.

    the only one of the “plot holes” that you pointed out that is valid is the use of unobtainium was never explained. then again, it could just be because it’s rare that it is so valuable. people kill over diamonds for the same reason and you don’t need to know the “use” of them although an explanation was obviously needed for some and they should have thought of that. i’m not a scientist, i took chemistry in high school and even i know about unobtainium. i don’t understand how anyone thinks this is ridiculous. read a fucking book sometime so you don’t get confused by words you’ve never heard. it’s so frustrating. even if they called it silly-face-rock, it doesn’t make a difference, it’s sci-fi… think of all the nonsense star wars terms… midi-chlorians, etc. and you eat that shit up no question. i’m not saying this is as good story-wise as star wars, but it is ground-breaking technology like star wars was.

    there were people in the 70’s that thought star wars was ridiculous and cheesy, too. and some of the acting in the original trilogy was horrendous but it blew audiences away because they’d never seen anything like it before.

    your plot holes are ridiculous…. 50 years ago everyone thought we would live on the moon and have flying cars and yet you are expecting people in a little over 100 years to have super-advanced weapon technology beyond what they showed in the movie… why is that?

    i think you went into this movie with unrealistic expectations and looking to tear it apart. i didn’t expect this movie to make me spontaneously combust because of it’s awesomeness, but it did what it promised which was entertain and introduce the world to the new digital advancements.

  • annabel

    If I were Cameron, I would’ve made Neytiri, Jake or someone else that was important die.
    Something that would have made more of an impact on the audience… Something to Make them brawl their eyes out..
    But hey, I liked it :)

  • harkin

    Brendan Fraser? Find a pic of Tim Tebow if you want to see a real match.

  • Bryan

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I cannot comment on it, but some of the comments here stood out.

    @jovannie- A critic is one who gives their opinion on something. You don’t see food critics or other movie critics saying the food was “edible” or the movie was “entertaining”. The whole idea is for them to give their insight and feelings about the movie. That’s their entire job- to tell you if they think it is good (not just entertaining. my nephew playing with Matchbox cars is entertaining, but does not a good movie make) or worth shitting on.

    As for unobtanium. Yes, it is a word. But nothing real would be called unobtainium. Carbon nanotubes once were the ‘unobtainium’. Now that we have them, we call them carbon nanotubes or somesuch. Monofilament is an unobtainium right now (would be good for orbital elevators). If we make it, they’ll call it something else. So yes, please make up some new word. Call is Pandorium.

  • Lyndsi

    There is one particular plot hole mentioned that I would like to address:

    Jake and Neytiri ending up mated should have pissed off Tsutey

    Why? The entire movie revolved around the fact that the Na’vi were so very different from us in every where, from their regard for nature to the culture. It was evident from the beginning that Neytiri and Tsutey weren’t emotionally involved at all. It certainly wasn’t a case of Jake coming along and jacking someones girlfriend.

    And on that note, the line “you get yourself a little tail and now you’re ready to abort?” is a gross over simplification that completely ignores the explanation expressly given by Jake to the Omiticaya. He actually states during his 1 hr deadline that he “fell in love with the forest, with (Neytiri) you” etc. His defection was a combination of his feelings for her and his realization of the injustice the Na’vi were suffering. Is it such a large plot hole for a soldier to “go native” when there is obvious exploitation taking place? They even set precedent with Trudy refusing to fire on HomeTree’s support columns.

    What do you want the tech to look like? For a critic, you seem surprisingly unaware that expecting a movie to conform to your expectations, rather than accepting what is presented to you as true is the best way to ruin a movie for yourself. There is a story being told here, and if you don’t like it you might want to remember that if it were so easy you’d have done it instead of picking the easier road and tearing on people doing the job you lacked creativity and drive for.

    For the record, anyone familiar with linguistics will tell you that when learning a new language completely separate from your mother tongue, these new mannerisms bleed into your overall speech patterns. IE, your “accent” will change. If anything, rake on Worthington about not being good enough to keep the Na’vi sounds out of his english when they shot takes requiring one then the other right after each other.

    And while I’m here, as a person that has spent a majority of her life reading every possible sci-fi/fantasy novel she can get her hands on, I’d hazard the statement I’ve seen just about every premise and plot, more than a few going above and beyond stretching the realm of possibility and plausibility. And some of them really did suck and make me wonder how it got past the editor, much less to the publishing phase.

    The idea of a bioelectrical planet wide network that supports an also planet wide symbiotic relationship involving almost every sentient race on the food chain? Not only that, but the network is also apparently somewhat sapient itself? Blew me away, completely and absolutely. I left that movie completely in love, my only regret being there wasn’t a book for me to read. I make it a point to stay calm and polite on the internet, but if you and this friend of yours can’t see the possibilities inherent…. then you are either too jaded or are in need of an imagination transplant.

  • Me

    Best movie I have ever seen the special effects looked real, loved the story and everything about the movie. Made me feel I want to be one of those aliens absoulutly stuning, with the endless universe out there I hope there is a Pandora. Just renforces just how sad and destructive humans are as we have almost destroyed our own planet. Definatly going to see it again this time in Imax 3D, James Camron is the best!!!!

  • Anon

    You summed up my feelings well. I was also pissed. Cameron used to be way better than this; he used to have stories that kept you intrigued and characters that actually had personalities.

    What the hell happened? Did Cameron wuss out and dumb down his script so that Avatar would be a guaranteed financial success?

  • Danzibar.Island

    theButterFly hit the nail on the head. Yes, Unobtainium is a real word. No, Cameron did not use it correctly. It is a placeholder in thought experiments. A discovered material, especially one that has a known use (even if it is not given in the movie), would be named.

    Cameron was lazy here. This is coming from a scientist and engineer who does materials design work. The term was not used correctly. Unless, of course, Cameron was doing this whole crazy meta-thing with his goals, what is/isn’t fiction, language, etc, but I highly doubt that.

  • Johnny Five

    Effects = Awesome.
    Story = Garbage.

    The only time I’ll ever watch this movie again is when the guys from MST3K make it hilarious with a Rifftrax. A mech robot pulls out a knife? I almost pissed myself when that happened.

    And to all the people who actually clapped at the end of the movie? May you be blinded by syphilis. That is all.

  • http://twitter.com/cobrabr Cobra

    Lyndsi said it all. I could not have put it any better or clearer. Kudos to you. :)

    To sum it up, it was an archetypical story with amazing and quite innovative overtones. There’s nothing inherently bad about taking an existing idea and reworking it to showcase another aspect or point of view, which is exactly what Cameron did. Most people didn’t get that, because they’re used to taking plots at face value. Granted, some movies are bad enough that face value is the only value there is, but Avatar is not one such movie.

    For those willing to take what’s shown and digest it, both the story and the cinematic technology were amazing. I can’t wait for the sequels, and my only fear is that they may not live up to the first movie.

    Cheers,
    Cobra.

  • RJR8222

    You guys are missing the point. The use of “unobtainium” was hilarious and so much better a choice than some dopey attempt to sound scientific and then miss the mark completely.

    Anybody remember the first Alien film? When they cut into the first bug, juice came out of its leg, dripped on the floor, and melted through, whereupon somebody says, “I haven’t seen anything like that except, uh, molecular acid. ”

    Uh, that would as opposed to, say, non-molecular acid?”

    Sorry to disagree, but I thought the use of the word unobtainium was one of the best parts of the entire movie.

  • Bob

    My friends and I almost fell asleep in the theater watching this. The last hour was good and same with the 3d effects but I would not pay to see this again. Doubt i’d even watch again for free. Best movie of the decade? Maybe if the people can’t remember the last 9 years.

  • http://heylady-blog.blogspot.com/ Hey Lady!

    Thanks for reviewing this movie honestly, as you said the special effects get old really quick and then you’re looking for acting and story, they really sucked in this movie. I almost felt bad that the movie took up that much time and money and was such a disappointment. Though everyone is still paying TONS of money to go and see it fifty times, so i shouldn’t feel that bad I suppose.

  • Millertime44

    I agree with you almost 100% though I have to say…I wasn’t even visually impressed with this film. Nothing and I mean NOTHING seemed groundbreaking or new. The CGI characters have been done before and better (Gollum, Kong, Davey Jones, hell even the Jurassic Park dinos) because they were inserted into REAL WORLD locations. 99% of Pandora was made up so it was just CGI on top of CGI.

    For me this was 2 hours and 40 minutes of my life I will NEVER get back and I’m severely pissed at that because it should have been one of the most entertaining theatrical experiences of my life. There was nothing worth watching in this movie. I was even willing to give Sam Worthington a chance to redeem himself after the God-awful Terminator Salvation but he was even worse in this movie, so much so that I have even given up hope on Clash of the Titans.

    I have even begun to dislike Cameron because of this movie. I mean this is the man that gave us Terminator and T2, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies. I overlooked Titanic as a simple change of pace and a chick flick. It was okay…not deserving of the accolades or the success it achieved but at least you gave a shit about the characters and it kept you entertained. With Avatar I was expecting a return to his ass kicking roots and instead got “treated” to a Wiccan recruiting film about worshipping mother nature and protecting the trees.

    I HATE THIS MOST OVERRATED MOVIE!!!!!

  • TimT

    Sometimes, a person can get so ‘into’ something that they lose sight of the big picture. I think James Cameron is one of the greatest directions of all time, but in Avatar, I sense he got far too focused on the special effects and loss sight that the essence of a good movie is a good story.

    The characters just didn’t move me and the story was predictable and very unoriginal.

    James Cameron once stated that he was King of the World after the success of Titanic… indeed he was/is, but I liked him more when he was an up-and-coming director, still trying to prove himself.

    As a King, I think he is getting a bit soft and instead of using his talent, he is relying more on big money.

  • TimT

    Sometimes a person can get so ‘into’ something that they lose sight of the big picture. I think James Cameron is one of the greatest directors of all time, but in Avatar, I sense he got far so focused on the special effects that he lost sight that the essence of a good movie is a good story.

    In Avatar, the characters just didn’t move me and the story was predictable and very unoriginal. No amount of special effects could compensate for a good story IMO.

    James Cameron once stated that he was King of the World after the success of Titanic… indeed he was/is, but I liked him more when he was an up-and-coming director, still trying to prove himself. As a King, I think he is getting a bit soft and instead of using his talent, he is relying more on big money.

  • Meek

    I would like to state that I’m not saying whether or not I like the film.
    That being said, does this even count as a review or worthy criticism? All I’m reading is just a bunch of words bashing the film. I don’t think you do enough justice at explaining why the movie is good as you do on why it’s bad. A film critic doesn’t only take one side, he/she fully gives their insight in a balanced manner.

    Furthermore, just out of curiosity, and this is a genuine question that I would like to see you guys answer, what is the point in having film critics? I find myself reading all these reviews especially for the hyped films. Yes, there are some bad ones I read for a movie I really want to see but that in no way is going to stop me from watching the film. I’ve seen movies that have gotten bad reviews but I end up liking them and say to myself “what the hell was that critic talking about.” Everyone knows there are different tastes out there, so what’s the purpose of a film critic I ask? Thanks guys.

  • Henry

    batman i feel still beat this.
    This was a good movie no doubt but not mindblowing. Lol i still find district 9, darknight, lord of the rings to be still bettter than this.
    In 3d there wasnt even anything eye poping, my eyes hurt from it. The storie line was very well planneed but still had some holes in it.

    And the only reason why its gettting so much money is because people are hyping over nothing then other people want to find out what that hypes about then you’ve got a chain reaction. :P 4/5

  • Madison

    @ Meek

    Well, for me, I like to read reviews AFTER I see a film to see if the critic picked up on something I may have missed.

    When I find myself agreeing with a critic frequently, then I’ll read his or her reviews (or “score”), knowing that his or her opinion will likely be similar to mine, and that will help influence whether or not I see a movie. Not for all critics , just for a select few.

    In the end, though, everyone has different tastes, and you should see what you want to see. I use critics more as a guide than as someone to dictate what I will and won’t see, that’s all.

  • Kyle

    My friend saw the movie about 3 times before me. He said that I have to see it, I have to see it…. I have always been -NO, i will wait… But he forced me in to seeing it… And My God One Of The Best Films I Have Seen In A Long Time!!!!!! Sure there were holes in the plot and maybe some of the characters could have been better. But hell it was pretty dumb good for the slight plot issues. I my self have seen this movie twice- IMAX and just regular old theater 3d. Both were a perfect use of my time! Oh yea. There is a major difference between 3d and no 3d trust me…

  • PEPE

    What The F bom avatar is a great movie!!!!!!!!!

  • zomgmouse

    Natty, spot-on review. I watched the film today in IMAX 3D, and felt exactly the same. Visually and technically brilliant, horrible in everything else.
    I think it could have almost saved itself if it stopped about halfway, just before the people are rescued and the human-stomping, ridiculous, cringeworthy, facepalming, lame wankery begins.
    Also maybe the inclusion of Hugo Weaving. Anybody see him as that clan-leader-successor-warrior person?

  • Mo

    dudeee (whoever wrote this)
    AREEE YOUUUU SERIOUUUS?????TELL ME THIS WHOLE STORY U WROTE WAS A JOKE…im still waiting for somebody to say; im kidddin!!!:D

    first of all..lets all just apologize for using the word unobtanium…we’re sorry for that…we shouldve used another word that would’ve passed all ur criteria stuff (i didnt make the movie but still i feel like sayin sorry)…ooh and u know they shouldve made a whole documentary about unobtainium…so u would become some kind of expert and know everything about it, and hopefully the movie wouldve been a lot better.. and would take 5 hours in stead of 2 and a half…

    you’re not happy with the machines in the movie? what u wanntt?? people try to make a nice movie…put years into it…and ur talkin bout one word…and the machines dont look like they from year 2100? come on man give me a break…i was amazed by everything man…

    actors??? screenplay??? it was bad? look i seen a lot of movies…some had good actors some not…and im satisfied wth these…of course it couldve been better…and im with you on some points…but theres a point u gotta tell urself…ok this is ok man, its not everything but im cool with these actors…

    its hard puttin emotions on the face of those creatures…they done a crazy job…i was hyped up…goosebumps everything…what else u want??? come on man

  • michael

    Why are there so few of us who think that Avatar is not that great of a movie? Maybe the majority of the people who watched it just liked the CGI, but this doesn’t explain why Avatar was nominated for a Oscar (Film of the year).

    The visual effects were second to none, but the most important thing is the story. And that, Avatar really lacked.

    P.S: District 9 got a nomination for best film, and it only cost $30m to make! Compared to Avatar’s $300m.

  • Anna

    I completely agree 100% with everything this article has said. I thought this movie was mediocre at best. I actually found myself wanting to leave three quarters of the way in. While the special effects were obviously amazing, if you have an awful, predictable story line, then the movie is pretty much pointless. At times It was hard not to laugh at the bad acting as well. In no way does this movie even come close to comparing to Star Wars or the Dark Knight. I really dont get all the hype and am still in serious shock that this film won the Best Picture at the Golden Globes, as it was far far far from that.

  • John

    Unobtanium is NOT used correctly in Avatar, so please stop saying it was. Unobtanium is a real word, but it is used to represent UNFOUND THEORETICAL material. Once you discover it, its not Unobtanium any more. Duh.

  • Amber

    I thought the movie was decent, but mostly because the fact that Giovanni Ribisi is a babe and i spent 80% of the movie waiting for him to get back on the screen :)

  • http://www.facebook.com lauraloo2

    I’m so happy to see others who did not care for this movie like me. Again, visually wonderful. I thought the exact same things, the story has been done, acting poor and dialogue cliched. I actually got bored until the big fight seen. God I hope it doesn’t win.

  • http://www.facebook.com lauraloo2

    Also I forgot. I didn’t care about any one in this film. I really liked District 9. I cared about the alien dad and his son.

  • Zadock

    Just a fun little note:
    I have yet to see Avatar, and am in no hurry to see it. As I see it, I’ll wait until it’s out on cable, and if it holds up then, I’ll judge it. Until then, don’t really care.

    Alright, that all said, a friend of mine and I were discussing the movie (He’s pretending that he didn’t love the ever-loving shit out of that movie) and I formulated a fun theory that I pray is what Cameron is going for. The Unobtanium is, in fact, used as a radioactive isotope for medical purposes. Pandora was only targeted because it was the last known location of the element, and it was in highly diminishing supply on Earth. After Avatar, cancer becomes all the more untreatable (No more Chemo), Hyperthyroidism becomes rampant (Diseases like Graves’ Disease can require radioactive treatments), and PET scans become an impossibility. On Earth, Jake Sully is viewed like a brutal, genocidal maniac, slaughtering millions for sex, abandoning humanity and dooming much of the human population to save a bunch of rabid tree-rats, and any sequels are dedicated to hunting the traitor down and saving Earth.

    Wishful thinking, I know.

    But still…

  • 123456

    you are absolutley right! I watched avatar too and didn’t really understand why people say it’s so awesome. the script is terrible and the effects are not so amazing either.

    I have no idea how it became the best movie ever.

  • Nyghtmaer13

    Just watched. Not that great. Honestly, the whole thing seemed rushed and too many plotholes. I also don’t get why a peaceful culture suddenly goes “kill them all” and if they (na’vi) respect life in such a way that they apologize to everything they kill…then why just ignore the deaths of the RDA? Eh…maks no sense to me. Oh well. A lot of the lines were overused, too. “We’re not in Kansas anymore”, really? As for everything else…you guys said it already.

    I’m just going to watch District 9, now. That one should be better from what I’ve heard.

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