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The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'

Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 10:40 by Helen O'Hara in Empire States
The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'

So the Avatar trailer debuted yesterday to lots of anticipatory excitement and then quite a few people going, "Huh". Much of the reaction online appears to have been befuddlement, mild disappointment or reserved-judgment-until-we-see-more. Some people have been complaining that the visuals are too computer game-y, cartoony or less than the photorealism promised. Ferngully's been mentioned; Halo too. Much of the negativity seems focused on the fact that we were promised a game-changing, film-history-changing event, and people are not convinced that Avatar will deliver on that.

The thing is, of course, that it already has. The principal revolution in Avatar is a technological one, and the 3D cameras and tech that Cameron used to make it have already been toured around the great and the good of Hollywood and seized on gladly. Del Toro's reportedly a convert; Cuaron apparently wants to use the technology to make a small, quiet drama rather than the action movies and family adventures that usually go 3D. Spielberg and Jackson are using the camera system and motion-capture tech that Cameron developed already on The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn. As far as Avatar's a revolution, it's already happened. To quote another Cameron film, game over, man, game over.

Now the question that's left is whether Avatar the film can deliver another revolution. And I still hope it will. It looks to me like Cameron's tried something very different. He's trying to make a  proper science fiction romp, build an alien world from the ground up and populate it with truly alien beasties rather than just sticking Cornish pasties on some people's heads and then replaying the Cold War. There have been unflattering comparisons to the Star Wars prequels, but in one small way that may not be a bad thing. Remember during the Order 66 montage in Revenge of the Sith, where you glimpsed all these really cool, really weird alien worlds? I'm kinda psyched about seeing a whole film set on one.

If Cameron can deliver a truly, convincingly alien world, this is a step towards a Dune that nails it, towards a Forever War worth watching or towards seeing one of the weirder Iain M. Banks onscreen - The Algebraist, say. If it succeeds financially, it potentially opens up a whole universe of sci-fi worlds that have previously been ignored*. 

Maybe Cameron (or those around him) has invited some of this negativity with some of the high-flung claims to photorealism and a whole new world for film. For me, what we've seen so far delivers. I don't know if the nine-foot-tall bright blue long-tailed aliens are photorealistic or not, not having a real photo of a nine-foot-tall blue long-tailed alien to compare them to, but they work for me. The big questions about Avatar are, or should be, whether the story and the characters grip up, and that very much remains to be seen. In the meantime, then, I'm chomping at the bit to see more, whether it's the new Jazz Singer or not. 

*I say potentially because of those who note that Titanic didn't exactly start a trend for sinking ship movies (except maybe Catwoman, boom boom). But I'd argue that it did start a trend for more emotional action blockbusters (cf. The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean) which has lasted rather well - and which Avatar, with its central love story, looks set to continue.

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Comments

1 exandakane
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 13:41
Must say, it looked firmly in the Star Wars mould of science fiction to me, and that's a disappointment from Cameron. I thought he was a grown up.

2 waltham1979
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 13:48
Nope. Sorry Helen. As much as I love you Empire guys I just don't understand the love. For years we have had Cameron waxing lyrical about how this was going to look like nothing we have seen before and I am sorry that CGI advert on SkyTV for thier HD is better. This looks ok. At best.

If its the case that the 3D is the big thing here then does that mean we are just going to be watching a shite film that has a gimmick (so a bit like Titanic...lets be honest we all watched for the boat sinking!!).

Additionally not every cinema is going to be able to show this film and we will all be watching it on are own televisions when it comes out on DVD so it HAS to work just as well in 2D than 3D.

Not the biggest lover of Cameron but I thought this was going to be more like Aliens, not Ferngully.

3 The Todge
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 13:57
Have to agree with the general consensus here and I'm relieved as I thought I was the only one.

It's got that horrible digital sheen to it. Horribly reminiscant of that section with Grevious in Revnege of the Sith and Obi Wan on that CGI critter. Or the bit in the arena in Attack of the Clones. Urgh.

Watching that trailer I just couldn;t help but think back to Aliens. How palpable the atmospehrre was, how engrossing and intense. There wasn;t a moment in that film that I couldn't believe in. But this.

No just no.

And this 3D bandwagon? Again aI concurr, it's a fucking gimmick. Sure for soemthing like My Bloody Valentine, which is cheap and nasty anyway, it works a treat. But the home theatre 3D effect hasn't caught up with the now rather good 3D they have in cinemas. So MBV becomes rather pointless on the small screen, as it's nothing but 3D gags. It's becomign un-nerving how film-makers are increasingly trying to lure us in with "oooh but it's in 3D.

It has to work the other way too.

I realise it's early days and everything for Avatar but we're only a few months away from release, and this isnt blowing my skirt up at all.

4 england_cmr
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 13:59
why do aliens always look just like humans, but a tiny bit different!? they are just blue, and tall! i wanna see clawas and tentacles and something that doesnt look remotoly human

5 Ethanial
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 13:59
Was disappointed at Movie-Con that the ultimate finale was like a game in barely passable 3D, not that it was the Con's fault by any means, Just Cameron has obsessed too much, had a chat on twitter with an aintitcool guy who sees to think it still might have a chance to be perfect, clearly the studio is footing their bills.

6 freakinabsuit
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:05
Well I'm a convert..... NOT. Come on Helen, it looks terrible. You can see what they've tried to do but somewhere along the way they have missed the mark. And for all its revolutionising of Hollywood technologically, you can put it to one side because basically at the end of the day if its not a good/great film that delivers.... who cares?

7 talltom
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:09
Agree with the sentiments with regard to 'wait and see', and what we have seen so far looks promising, but claiming Titanic as an influence on screen greats such as the LotR triology and Dark Knight is going too far...

8 Noelg25
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:10
Helen, I appreciate you are trying to defend Cameron here but the trailer just didn't justify the brilliance that this film is going to bring...what JC should have done was have the trailer debuted in cinemas and make us wear 3D glasses and then maybe (just maybe) we will be convinced. But this does not look like the revolution changing movie we have been promised.

9 Ethanial
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:16
Lets be honest, if a film is promoted as a gamechanger it won't change anything, it's those shocks, the sleeping films that suddenly affect everything, they are the gamechangers.

10 wriggy
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:25
Re: 'And you don't need to have seen a nine foot blue alien to decide if it's photorealistic - or rather 'realistic' - if it moves like a computer sprite, it looks like a computer sprite, and that's not what Cameron's been promising.'

Completely agree with this. For me, it's all about creating a believably sentient being, which CGI's hitherto been utterly incapable of producing. Chewbacca looks more 'real' and he's over 30 years old.

11 coolasice2001uk
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:29
Lets take a step back for a min and look at the big picture here, we've seen a 2min Teaser Trailer on a computer screen. Yes I agree i was a little dissapointed when i first saw the footage too but i reminded myself that the film is still in development and isnt out for another 4 months so alot will change. I remember when the King Kong trailer first debuted and i remember think "Oh No what have they done" Kong to me looked unconvincing and computer gamey, however then the film came out and wow, the best CGI i have seen to date, so come on give it a chance here. tweaks and polishing will go on to the last hour of release as is the case for alot movies.

Al

P.S im off to see the 15min preview later today on a big screen so i guess that will give a better indecation of what to expect. I'll report back

12 ceejay3001
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:38
Sorry Empire but I think you have bought into the hype.
I love Jim Cameron (Aliens is my fave film) but (and correct me if i'm wrong) he promised photo realisic Na'vi. These are'nt. I hope the film is good but if this all hinges on the 3D effect, then that's bugger all good to me at home when I watch it on HD.
If you compare the actual CGI here to any of the StarWars prequels, then i'm sorry but there is'nt any real improvement.
If Jim Cameron had said this will be the best CGI 3D film you'll ever see, then i'd be happy but it seems to me he's promised more than he can deliver.

13 bronco3114
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:39
I'm very much with the consenus on this one in that I think it (so far) looks little better visually than many films including the likes of Matrix Revolutions. Whatever improvements there are look realtivley minor as opposed to the ground breaking we have been promissed and had previously seen from Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. I do think it looks like a good Sci-Fi romp and will most definately watch it to judge for myself... I just don't quite understand the long running and mostly foundation less hype and given said hype am probably a little underwhelmed (as opposed to over or simply whelmed)

14 dctuck
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:43
Pirates of the Caribbean an "emotional blockbuster"?!

15 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:50
I've been avoiding the plot details with regard to this film, although given the trailer it's now clear.

Anyway, I'm sure Cameron can spin a good yarn, and in relation to that aspect of the film, I shall be waiting with baited breath.

HOWEVER, the alien characters look appalling. They look like they are straight from a computer game and it would seem as though CGI has taken a step backwards. Those characters would be more adept at appearing in Monsters v Aliens or Toy Story 3.

Helen you said " I don't know if the nine-foot-tall bright blue long-tailed aliens are photorealistic or not". While although you're one of my favourite Empire journalists, that I think all you have to do is look at the picture of the character on your blog to be able to tell. We may not have a frame of reference for 9 foot tall blue things, but unless those nftbt's inhabit a world inside the minds of animators, they are not photorealistic, and to say otherwise, Cameron is being disingenuous.

16 Andybee76
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:51
Well I think this may just be a springboard to something else. Cameron trying out the new tech before going on to better films he's done it before The Abyss (not a crap film but not a great one) followed by T2 (amazing film!)

Personally I will hold judgement until I see it on the screen!!!

17 thekman
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:56
I'm fairly underwhelmed with this like most other people here, but the technology is exciting regardless. As for the trailer, if I didn't know better I would have thought it was a trailer for a game, not a film. It reminds me a lot of Halo with the scope of World of Warcraft or something like that. An impressive trailer for a game admittedly, but not for a film!

"I don't know if the nine-foot-tall bright blue long-tailed aliens are photorealistic or not, not having a real photo of a nine-foot-tall blue long-tailed alien to compare them to..."

That argument doesn't hold up. For me something is photorealistic if I look at it and believe that it is a realistic/photographic representation of what is being portrayed. I think immediately, upon seeing it: "That's computer graphics and in no way real" - therefore it is definitely not convincing for me.

18 Iago 1979
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 14:59
I liked it... And that's all that matters to me! (",)

19 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:01
Of course we all have to wait and see as a movie cannot be judged on a 2 minute teaser trailer, but I seriously doubt that Cameron will be able to deliver a movie full of strong dialogue or characters that we even remotely care about. In fact, he has not done so in any of his movies yet, he appears to be completely incapable. His movies are all gung-ho, hardware, techo-babble with not a hint of heart anywhere to be seen.

The blog was going so well until you mention the fact that Titanic started a trend for emotional blockbusters!! My Christ, I almost choked on my lunch. Your argument would have held true if you then went on to list a host of emotional blockbusters instead of the 3 pitiful movies mentioned above. Never mind, I expect nothing less from these Empire blogs.

20 glm1977
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:02
I've just got back after seeing the footage in 3D of Avatar day and.... well the 3D works really well, as much as I hate to say it. Overall the way it works with real people and the way in some of the actions scenes the camera ducks behind parts of the jungle etc.. was very good. Much much better than I would have thought. So I am converted on the that front.

Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrr.... the story looks a bit... well... ok-ish, nothing revolutionary there, and the actual footage of the alien world is still far to computer generated looking. So without the novelty of 3D, I think this film will have to work very hard to come out as a true winner.

But if its the technology behind it is a trumph, a more cinema's adopt the tech (without seeing it as a chance to increase ticket prices even more - although that is another argument) then we shoudl all be better for it... its prob the only thing at the moment that will get people back to the big screen, cos its not going to be all the re-makes/re-imaging.


21 Swiv
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:02
I'm still in the wait-and-see brigade. Shiny new tech is all well and good - as long as the filmmaker uses it to deliver a decent film.

Oh and I really really really hope there is never a film of The Algebraist.

22 Lemure
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:02
Cameron has yet to make a bad film (even Phiranas 2 was watchable), but this does look too much like an FMV section of a computer game. The Na'vi themselves look great but the ships and everything else look like FF Spirits Within. Hell, the T1000 looked better. Cameron has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to effects, but during his time away it looks like he's missed out and this should look far better than Halo. I do still have faith in Cameron and am really hoping he hasn't finished the effects yet.

And Empire, I love you, I do, but after giving Terminator Salvation 4 stars too many, it's getting progressively harder to take you seriously.

23 The Reviewist
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:03
I'd have to say that I'm not holding a lot of hope for this as any sort of messianic movie-extravaganza. You can argue all you like that this will change things technologically in the process of film-making, however that isn't what Cameron has been harping on about for the last 5 years.
Considering the amount of time, effort and praise going into this I had expected a film that didn't look like a knock off of 3 well known properties, (Ferngully, HALO and Starship Troopers). Helen even mentions Revenge of the Sith, now that's not exactly a shining endorsement. For all the effort they could probably have saved time and money simply filming the entire movie CGI or simply making a few aspects CG and the rest live action. (there are plenty of jungles in the world Camreron)
Additionally blowing the horn of Gond.. ahem I mean 3D cinema, it would do well to point out that out of all the recent 3D movies to come out, the only one where it didn't become a distraction or was completely underutilised was the retro-fit of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
I'll no doubt see Avatar and it may well turn out to be a fantastic film, but considering the CGI already looks average at best, I doubt that it'll end up being more than a blip on the consciousness of the general cinemagoing public.


24 inkedbeatnik
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:04
I actually agree with Helen here. But I would say that the revolution occurs on two fronts. Given that many cinemas are installing 3D projectors specifically for this film, it should eventually drive the cost down and make in roads into a world populated with 3D films.

What I don't understand about the hate is this: we complain about Bay and McG. We complain about every remake and every sequel on the basis that there are no original ideas any more. Then, lo an original film, that I imagine will be standalone, is created by someone who many people respect and it gets a mauling.

Its hard to tell how a film is going to pan out based on two minutes in 2d on (relatively) tiny screen. I'm not normally a fan of Cameron, but even as a cynic this film looks special.

25 The_Hat
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:10
Preach it Helen! I honestly don't know what people were expecting from this trailer. People have been too focussed on the CGI, saying it's not as 'groundbreaking' as expected. However, it's been the 3D technology that Cameron has been banging on about as being groundbreaking. It's 3D that he's been playing with for the past 10 yrs on his underwater docs, not CGI.

Anyway, i think the CGI in the trailer is great, much more seamless that the Star Wars prequels. The integration with the live action during the air battle affair and the mo-cap when the avatar chap is running away from the beast thing is incredible. And they don't look like they're from a computer game. Come on.

I think this trailer is a victim of it's own hype (or lack of it). If footage hadn't been kept away from the public and released via a normal marketing campaign i reckon everyone would be saying it was incredible.

26 mungo mungo
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:11
I think when a lot of us heard 'photo realistic', we thought the design would also be realistic. This is photo realistic Disney. The exciting choreography displayed in the aerial battle may be even more extreme than the LOTR films, but it'll be at the expense of realism.

I'm sure Cameron has made exactly the movie he wanted to, and there's a good chance it will be a classic, its just not what some of us were expecting. If this had been billed as a fantasy film rather than a Sci-fi, I don't think there would be a backlash.

Someone just need to take this technology and give it to someone like Wayne Barlowe.

27 waltham1979
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:12
"What I don't understand about the hate is this: we complain about Bay and McG. We complain about every remake and every sequel on the basis that there are no original ideas any more. Then, lo an original film, that I imagine will be standalone, is created by someone who many people respect and it gets a mauling."

Inkedbeatnik; but that is the irony. We criticise everyday the likes of Bay and McG for just having style over content. They just make special effect films (Transformers, Terminator 4 etc), but when Cameron looks like he has done more or less the same thing we are meant to praise and worship.

Sorry doesn't work for me. This film has got to be just as effective in 2D than 3D, the 3D being the iceing on an already awesome cake. My worry is that this isn't the case.

I will still go and see it and I hope I am wrong, but if Giant Shark Vs Massive Squid or whatever it was called was made using the same 3D technology would we be all sat here going 'well the trailer looks shit, but its in 3D so its bound to be awesome'?!?!

28 James Dyer
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:13
I must admit, all the hating for Avatar has kind of taken me rather by surprise. I saw the footage being screened today a few months back with about another 15 minutes thrown in and I thought (and still do think) it looked amazing.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I completely respect the point of view of everyone who has been left a little cold. All I can say is I'm not one of you. In terms of the CG I think it's pretty much as close to photoreal as I've seen (as much as a blue catperson can be, anyway). It's not easy to see from stills but the nuances and subtlety of the characters' facial expressions is an almost flawless reproduction of the actors' idiosyncracies. The photographic capture on this is incredibly detailed and unwaveringly accurate.

I also think Cameron's use of 3D in Avatar is hands-down the best I've ever seen. Rather than throw things at the audience's heads, his use of 3D displays a far more subtle touch. It's telling that when Jake swings his spear at the screen in a clip I saw, at no point does it protrude outside the frame because such things, while generating 'oooohs' and 'aaahs' from people who have never seen a 3D film, just distract from the film. 3D as rollercoaster ride has its place but far better, to my mind, is 3D that simply serves to make a good movie that much more believeable, breaking down the fourth wall and putting us in the picture through the simple addition of depth perception. One of the most effective 3D shots is simply Sam Worthington in close-up talking directly into the camera while recording a journal.

Perhaps I'm just biased. I was on on set in 2007, I read the first drafts of the script and I've been following all this for the beginning. But I can honestly say there's nothing about this that has disappointed me. Perhaps expectations were unrealistic, perhaps we wanted the second coming. What we've got is a great sci-fi film from a genre master who's been away far too long. I for one can't wait to see it.

29 pussy_galore
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:14
Looks to me that I was the only one who liked the trailer. I am very much looking forward to seeing this film, if it leaves me in the same state of wonder as when saw Coraline I will be one happy (and lucky) bunny. I love the concept of downloading your being into an alien, as it throws up so many different possibilities for the story can go in.

And to be honest all of you people getting annoyed about a trailer not living up to the hype of a movie, need to realise the difference between (as already mentioned) a trailer on a computer screen and a movie in a 3D cinema, and maybe stop listening to the hype.

30 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:16
inkedbeatnik makes a very good point about how we bash the lack or originality or bad directors in modern cinema. I really hope that Cameron makes his first good movie with Avatar (Ok, a bit harsh, I am a fan of The Abyss and T2) and kudos to him for dreaming the whole affair up on his lonesome.

I personally cant stand remakes or TV show inspired movies, but I crave for movies about characters you care about and not about special effects. If Avatar contains even one character who is as well scripted as Jaws then we might be on for a winner, but I dont think he has it in him.

I cant stand the "silly season" for movies, the summer is unquestionable the worst period for movies and it is movies like Mesrine (both) and Rachel Getting Married that get me through these dark days.

31 beebs_
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:18
I'm going to see the 15 minutes of footage later on...

But I did see abpout 5 mins at Movie-Con. I was surprised (but not really) when most of the audience seemed to be wetting themselves over what we'd seen. The 3-D looked really good... but I found it a bit jarring to be thrown into a big action scene on Pandora with all the monsters and blue people. I did look like a Pixar film or some computer game. Am I supposed to get excited about that?

I admit that I would probably be more accepting of "Pandora" if I'd been eased into the world of blue people and massive creatures. After seeing the trailer yesterday I thought the clips with the blue people interacting with the humans/real surroundings looked great. But when they were running around in the forest? Well... back to Pixar world.

I'm gonna go see it. But it's been so over hyped. I wanted to love it... All the talk of photo-realism.... Not so much. Yeah, I've never seen a 10 foot blue feline/humanoid thing. But I'd never seen a 8 foot bug in South Africa before and they looked more believable! (Probably because the whole environment wasn't fake...).

32 discodave101
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:19
Sorry - I'm with the general consensus on this one Helen, I found the trailer severely underwhelming. I remember when I saw the trailer for the Matrix, that made me think 'WOW!'

Cameron really looks to have over-egged this one with the 'photo realism'.

Still, effects aside, as long as the story, characters and film work, I don't care too much about the look. Like I say, if people are disappointed its only cos the effects have been oversold to us.

33 mighty mick
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:19
What is wrong with all of you?? It´s just a two minute preview with no 3D on a computer screen, OF COURSE it looks tacky and such! "Tacky" is a strong word, ´cause I agree with Helen, this looks exceptionally special even on my laptop. I think most of you are being cynical, which is understandable, I remember how wary I was in all those months of dialled-up hype preceding the release of The Dark Knight. And then look how that went. Give it time, go see the thing in cinemas, then we´ll talk about it.

34 ethanhunt
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:21
Well said James. I totally agree. The uses of 3D helps to create a level of depth that takes you into the screen rather than relying on throwing things at you. It looks nothing like a computer game, and although the photorealism isn't 100% perfect, it's the best i've ever seen.

I saw the screening this morning too, and was thoroughly blown away by it. I'll be queuing up for a midnight screening come December 18th.

35 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:22
'Sorry Empire but I think you have bought into the hype.'

Surely Ceejay, those who are unhappy with the footage are the ones that bought into the hype? Those who are unhappy. are for the most part unhappy because they expected this to be Citizen Kane fpr the effects world. If there hadn't been an insane amount of hype about this, and you'd seen the trailer, you'd probably be quite content. It looks better than LOTR, Sith, and King Kong, and yet because you expected the world, you decide to label the visuals as 'video game-esque'. How odd.

36 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:26
James, you have already made up your mind lad.

"What we've got is a great sci-fi film from a genre master who's been away far too long. I for one can't wait to see it."

Have you seen it or not? You have already decided it is great. This has a shitty 5-star Empire review written all over it. Might have something to do with the fact that you have been allowed so much access to the set. Cameron craves an Empire 5 star review, they add a few million onto box-office receipts. He allows you so much access on set for a huge report as long as you give a 5 star review.

37 glm1977
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:31
One thing to bear in mind is that its probably not unusual to expect this negative response off some people because Cameron is asking people to believe in a world that is completely foreign with creatures that are, afterall, alien.
To believe in them, in any format, would be hard at first and the 3D way it has been presented probably will aid people to believe in it a bit more than normal.

Ultimately, as mentioned, it will be whether the story is emotionally engaging will determined if the film is a proper 5* success, or rather a very good technical debut of 3D.

38 granny
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:32
Just because the tech is innovative and has caught on doesn't make the first fruits of Cameron's labour decent by default. And that includes being in 3D which some people seem to think automatically adds +2 to any film score (talk about believing the hype).
What I've seen and heard so far - in terms of story and visual impact - looks altogether less impressive than Beowulf to me which already managed to tell a decent story amid all the whizz bang tech.
My first thoughts were - now which button do I press to start game? And why is Cameron recycling himself with those marines?

39 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:33
McQueen, surely, many people have made up their mind that it's going to be terrible, so what's the harm in several people thinking it'll be fantastic?

Also, do you even read Empire? Often they hype up a movie, which in most cases does look awesome based on what we see, and then they give it a 3 star review. Iron Man, Revenfe of the Fallen and many many more films have had this.

And finally, as awesome is Empire is, and whether it's the biggest movie magaizine or not, I think it would be pushing it to say that their review would boost at film by several million.

40 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:35
People people people!

What the general consensus actually is based on is not a view of the end result, but rather impressions of the trailer. Very few people are saying that the end result on a cinema screen with 3D glasses will be bad.

What people are saying here, and myself included, is that the CGI in the trailer (Independent of plot, dialogue, or 3D effects) looks dreadful... Absolutely dreadful.

It's more appropriate to compare it with the Clone Wars animated film than Revenge of the Sith.

Clearly it's a matter of opinion on what constitutes photorealism. I think it has been achieved in District 9, and it was done very well in Jurassic Park and Terminator 2. The general consensus is that far from being photorealistic... The CGI actually looks cartoonish and primative, and I think that's the issue people have. It's not even good. It's just plain woeful.

As I said what looks real is apparently subjective, based on a reading of the comments, but in a democratic society, the consensus is that it's crap.

I'll still go and see the film though, it should be an excellent romp. And cameron is a total legend.

41 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:39
And all this stuff about people's refusal to suspend disbelief enough to be properly immersed in Cameron's artificial world is rubbish.

In Lord of the Rings, people were crying out for a best supporting actor nod to andy serkis for his portrayal of Gollum, so believable was the effect.

It was much much better than what we have seen in this trailer.

Those blue things are more akin to the cave troll in the first LoTR than the later portrayals of Gollum.

42 Rawbeard
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:40
I have mixed feelings about this film after seeing the Trailer. I like some of the beats and the action shots as they indicate an epic battle and to see that in 3D I reckon will be either cool or head ache inducing.

But I will say I am getting the feeling this film is not going to have that "Jurassic Park" moment or the game changing feeling that has been promised, it feels like I was watching an intro to an Xbox 360 game.

And for the Photorealisim argument, to me, for something to be photo-real it should make you think, is that real? it looks real no matter what color or how tall the creature is. I didn't have a dinosaur to compare with when I saw Jurassic Park but they looked real to me. For an example check out the District 9 trailer, that looks like a real Alien, that spaceship looks like it is really there floating above the city.

43 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:42
crazymoviesdude, I have been subscribed to Empire for almost 15 years now and as a magazine I used to love it. However, I get very annoyed with how much they promote garbage blockbuster movies and have become increasingly frustrated at how the (once) best movie magazine out there has simply turned into a monthly glossy edition of The Sun for movies.

I am not going to start pulling stories out of a hat about "a friend of mine" but I know that the amount of coverage allocated to Empire on set is down to the overall review that Empire gives a movie. A recent example of this was the movie 300 which I understand caused a stir because of Empire's 3 star review.

And, yeah, I do believe that Empire has become so powerful that a great 5 star review will add a lot of cash to a movie. A recent example would be The Hurt Locker. It struggled to even get a UK release. Empire slapped it with 5 red ones and now it is doing OK business. Not amazing business, but it doesn't hurt to have those coverted red stars on the poster.

44 shinysavage
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:43
I've just watched the trailer, and that was really my first exposure to the whole thing. I'd heard of Avatar, sure, but it hadn't really sounded that amazing. This made me want to see the trailer, just to see what all the fuss was about.
So I say this independent of all the hype about this being a revolution for cinema. I think it looks pretty good. I don't think the plot will be Shakespearean, or even necessarily that original. I do think that the CGI looks pretty good on a fairly old laptop, so on the big screen, it should look amazing, whether in 3D or otherwise. I don't particularly care how the film is made - if Cameron has revolutionised 3D technology, then good for him. As a film viewer, I'm interested in the end result. And based on the trailer, the end result looks like a fun SF action film. Was it ever supposed to be anything more than that?

45 DorianAsh
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:46
Man, I was over at these other websites; you know the kind where they're only too aware that big budget movies, with moderately respectable people involved in their making (and therefore people we're likely to see more of and therefore people who you may not want to piss off with bad reviews etc.), are their bread and butter and that if people don't go see them that the sales of their magazine or the hits on their website might go down. And on these websites they were like saying Avatar was going to be THE SHIT because they like know who sucks their dicks at the weekend.

Good thing Empire isn't like that and instead reflects the opinion of their readership, I mean that is the people who they're actually supposed to be like-minded with and not just their invisible pay masters (Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron etc.).


Oh and in case you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. I used to buy Empire and then stopped 'cause it is just 45% ads and 55% bullshit. Now I'm thinking I may stop coming to the website as it's like cartoons in the 80s, just one very long advertisement.

Try avclub.com if you want genuinely interesting writing about pop culture

46 wriggy
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:49
I don't think I'm assuming much when I say everyone writing on this blog will be a movie fan, and the negative reactions are born from people like myself who are just sick to death of unsuccessful CGI characters when there doesn't seem to be any need for them to be CGI. Let's face it, Jar Jar was TONS worse than Chewy, CGI Yoda TONS worse than latex Yoda, and why the hell didn't they just make Beowolf a live action film?!
I want this film to be amazing like everyone here, but it seems to me a bunch of blue people could quite easily have been done with a splash of dulux and some false teeth (I'm exaggerating but you get the point).
And James Dyer's clearly too close to the whole thing to be objective. You spend too much time around anything that's over hyped and eventually you'll start believing it

47 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:51
Yea Germany had a particular problem with that kinda thing in the 30's...

48 Helen OHara
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:57
McQueen, post 45 is complete nonsense. You know nothing of the sort because that is not in fact the case. I know this for sure because I was the person on set of 300 and because I was privy to all discussions of the star rating on the review of that film - we all felt it was a 3 so that's what it got. There is NO link between coverage and star rating.

Similarly, The Hurt Locker got a good review because we all went nuts for it - and that's hardly a big studio film, nor one we were on set of (that I am aware of). I hope that our good review DID help that film - that's what good reviews are supposed to do for good movies, after all - but to suggest some kind of conspiracy is nonsensical and makes you sound like the kind of person wearing a tinfoil hat.

49 The Reviewist
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:57
No-one is knocking the concept of the movie. Where the surprise and down-feeling comes from is the constant harping on from Empire, Total Film, AICN and others who have had any form of background sneak-peeks at anything for the last few years harping on about being "really excited by what they've seen".
Now maybe I'm a cynic but nothing I've seen in those two minutes of teaser, or the productions still, or even the concept art has made me feel anything other than a vague sense of ambivalence.
It's a typical movie-critic flaw to gush about their certain favourite directors regardless of their output. It's an industry-wide problem, just look at Kermode's mauling of say, Pirates of the Caribbean as opposed to his flagrant masturbation over all things Del Toro. I mean the man was embarrasing when it came to his Hellboy 2 praise. Especially considering the film had many many flaws which he chose to both overlook or outright ignore.
Empire has always been a magazine with a huge love of Cameron. It's not something I share, I've seen most of his films many times but I have massive problems with his dodgy allegorical politicking and emotional steamrollering over sensible plotting in everything apart from The Terminator and The Abyss. (Yes folks that includes Aliens and T2).
Frankly as I said before I'm concerned that this will get a sweeping love storm from Empire simply because it's a Cameron film and because of the background of the filming rather than for what is onscreen for all to see. If it's a thrilling entertaining funride, that's all well and good, but I can't see how this genuine Ferngully/Dances with Wolves/Starship Troopers medeley will possibly live up to the hype being thrust upon it.

50 DorianAsh
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 15:58
Yeah but when that really long war movie finally came out (1939-1945!) all that hype Hitler kept putting out for the effects he was going to have and the deep storytelling and the revolutionising of the medium totally paid off!

Barry, you're a funny guy

51 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:08
Thanks for clearing that up Helen. I for one believe my source and see no reason to think otherwise despite your defence. It would be nice, just for once to have on the cover of your magazine an actor or a movie that was not a huge Hollywood blockbuster just to mix it up a bit. No question for me that the best movie of the last few months has been Mesrine, would have been nice to have seen Vincent Cassel on the cover (although I do appreciate your interview with him inside the magazine), instead of Downey Jnr's grinning mug for a movie that is not out until Boxing Day.

But then you have been a very average movie magazine for many years now.

52 Nicky C
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:11
I think Avatar in 3D on an IMAX screen is going to be f*cking awesome. Did you see that aerial footage? When I saw Dark Knight at IMAX (my first time) I really got a sense of flying over the city. Add to that a rawkous aerial battle with beasts and military stuff and I think a lot of people are going to eat their words. Mind you, those people geeky internet trolls with nothing better to do so who cares?

53 MonkeysDad
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:15
I don't have a 3D projector in my living room. Does that make this film pointless outside cinemas? Show me an interesting story, not how much money you spent on visuals.

54 Helen OHara
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:16
McQueen, magazine covers are there to SELL a magazine, which small, independent movies do not do. The contents are where we can reflect our wider interests - which as even you acknowledge, we do. By putting stars and/or blockbusters on the cover, we get more people in to read about Mesrine and the rest inside. We've explained this a hundred times or more on our forums.

And you can believe your source all you want. I know for a FACT that your source is entirely, 100% wrong. Believe whatever nonsense you like, but please be aware that if you continue to post libel I will start deleting it.

But then you are a below average comments writer on our website.

55 Chris Hewitt
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:18
McQueen, your 'source' is talking out of his arse. Plain and simple. If he's happy to repeat those allegations to us, then we'll be more than happy to sue that very same arse off him. Thanks.

56 John76
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:20
I usually come on these forums and complain about Empire's championing of remakes and sequels so I will say one thing for Cameron - as ropey as his film looks (coming from a committed hater of everything CGI) - at least he's trying something original (or at least his methods are fairly original. His pinnacle is Aliens and I doubt he'll ever top that. Of course if he made it now it would be CGI and all the worse for it I'm sure.
Helen, I appreciate your argument regarding star rating to coverage ratio as that's someting I've suspected from the mainstream media as a whole for a while. It'll be interesting if you guys at Empire stick to your guns Tin Tin is released and it's shit or whether your too close for comfort relationship with Spielberg has a bearing...

57 doncobaino
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:23
cross between star wars prequels and halo

so in my best obi wan confronting grievious voice.... "Halo there......."

58 Grizzlers
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:24
I'm confused McQueen I thought the Robert Downey Jr issue was a preview issue - i.e. previewing upcoming films, rather than ones already out, so although there is a part 2 in the offing for Mesrine it would still be a touch odd putting it on the cover, donchathink?



59 dodgyempire
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:29
Well I liked how it looked.. considering it was just a trailer. I am still very interested to see the effect on the big screen. My only disappointment would be with the story line. Having not know anything about it before, I now feel like I know what is going to happen as it seems to be so familiar. Perhaps it works better for a younger generation who have seen less movies. Hopefully I am wrong and there will be twists and changes that will keep me entertained. But if not then it will be a short lived interest.

60 waltham1979
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:31
As much fun as it is reading about Empire's impending law suit against McQueen; can we not get this blog back on track and continue discussing the cartoon...I mean film?!

61 claire_demner
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:32
I agreed that after watching the trailer for the first time that the 'photorealism' wasn't completely there. But once you really start to look at the Na'vi it is unbelievable how realistic they look. To be honest, I think the only thing that may be putting people off is that they are blue, and because we don't have any blue humans, or blue creatures it's hard to imagine a photorealistic view of a blue person. I think this kind of tricks our mind to think that anything not beige is not real and can't be real. I think this movie may be amazing, or may not, but i'm always open to new things.

62 The Reviewist
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:36
Unless there's a decent adult storyline then I'll be depressed, I also don't see how it can work unless the Na'vi all speak english. or Worthington-cat learns to speak Nav'i which will be less convincing than Antonio Banderas learning Norse round the campfire in a month-of-montages a'la 13th Warrior.
Otherwise it's going to be a very bad idea. Unless the concept is Crippled ex-soldier goes on undercover mission then decides he'll to ANYTHING to bed the Alien lass including war agianst his own people. Still even if he dies it's not like he'll 'really' die and it's unlikely the US military ahem 'Future Marines' can tell the difference between one Blue person and another....

Too soon?

63 wriggy
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:37
As unlikely a scenario as this may be, but if I ever do meet a blue cat-like alien in real life I doubt my first words to it will be 'Hey you DO look just like crappy CGI after all'.

64 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:41
Claire.... WHAT?!?!?!

" I think this kind of tricks our mind to think that anything not beige is not real and can't be real."

That's such a U.S. Republican sentiment... The birth certificate issue has been resolved. He's real, ok?!

65 doncobaino
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:42
just read mcqueens comments!

obviously knows nothing about selling magazines.
a mag with johnny depp on the front is obviously going to sell more than one with an unknown actor.
however chances are inside the magazine the unknown actor will receive any deserved coverage.
the cover attracts the reader, the content keeps them
now back to halo, i mean avatar..... its the biggest movie story at the minute so if empire didnt cover it then it would be doing a disservice to readers. still think it looks like a cross between halo and the star wars prequels....
and regarding the order 66 montage it was the closest thing the 3 films ever got to the wonder of the originals, (i mean in terms of the locations shown)

66 deathbat6661
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:50
Y'know what? The film looks good. I don't care about the CGI being perfect or how realistic everything looks. I simply care about the story and the idea behind it. I for one was impressed with the trailer and will be seeing the film regardless. And when I come out, I won't spend all the time bitching about how the Na'vi don't look realistic or what the hell ever. I will simply judge the movie on whether I enjoyed it.

With all this crazy technology existing, people seem to forget films aren't there to just be a showcase for technology, they're there to be enjoyed for the story they tell.

Quit your whining, stop acting like this was supposed to be something like the second coming and start treating it like the form of entertainment it's supposed to be.

67 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 16:54
Helen I'm in a devilish mood today and as such I'm quite keen on playing Devil's Advocate (which I only discovered this year is a 'how to' guide, too late unfortunately).

I digress.

I notice the picture you used for your blog has been changed? Is that because it looked like it was created in MS Paint and completely undermined your argument?!

Please appreciate that I'm only winding you up.

But still.

One thing I would say about McQueen's comments is that I felt dirty when I bought the Empire with Meghan Foxx on the front. It was like I was buying Nuts or the Daily Mail or something, and on the train sitting opposite a nice old Kerry-woman, I felt obliged to save her blushes and obscure the front cover. Maybe England is just a little less virtuous in that regard than us prurient innocently repressed Irish.

68 wriggy
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:00
Deathbat6661's pretty much right, films aren't there to be just be a showcase for technology, they're there to be enjoyed for the story they tell. But when all we've heard so far about this film is how amazing it's going to look all we can do at this point is remark on whether the first impressions live up to that hype, and for me they really don't - all they remind me of is the last time a visionary director got his manhood stuck in a PC's hard drive (yes Mr Lucus I mean you).
I can't wait to be proved wrong, but for now there's more life in an organic yoghurt than in these aliens.

69 Helen OHara
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:00
Barry, it was changed because Amar thought there were too many similar pics on the site today, and felt that this one worked well for the whole backlash thing. And I'll be sure and warn Mark about how shy and retiring we Irish are next time he tries to put nuddies on the cover.

70 smoothiedudie
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:14
McQueen, you are a prat. "The Hurt Locker" has 98% rating on rottentomatoes.com and it therefore comes as no suprise that Empire gave the film five stars. Empire gave "Let the Right One In" five stars, I can assure you, this is a top notch movie and it deserves to have the extra business. Plus "you have been an avarage movie magazine" is rubbish. Er, hello? This is the magazine that has Steven Spielberg as an editor. STEVEN FRIGGING SPIELBERG, THE GUY WHO GAVE US SCHINDLER'S LIST EDITING A MAGAZINE. What's avarage about that? And of course Empire has to put big movies on the cover, coz big movies sell magazines, and this popularity enables Empire to attract the attention of a wider audience to smaller, more arty films like "Pan's Labyrinth" and "United 93" both small, brilliant films that deserve good business. Your accusations make you an idiot. Also, just because YOU wanna see Mesrine on the cover, what makes you think everyone else does? Stop being so damn selfish!

Anyway I have that outta my system now. I would just like to saw that I'm still excited about Avatar. I've seen alot of movies where CGI is the selling point and that are awful (Transformers 2 anyone?), so I'm going to put my faith in Cameron's ability as a storyteller (the man who gave us The Terminator, Aliens and Titanic). And let's not forget that Camerson still has a bit of time to polish some of the special effects, so we should wait and see. After all, people said this kinda stuff about Titanic, which has nearly $2 billion worldwide and 11 oscars to its name.

71 Barry
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:15
Ah Helen!

Disturbingly sexually repressed I'll give you, but shy and retiring?! Never!

Speaking of selling Mags... I really think your next Valentines/Spril Fool's edition should review the 50 Greatest pornos... They'd FLY off the (top) shelves a d I'm sure much hilarity would ensue.

I've never actually encountered an O' Hara in real life by the way. O' Gara, sure. But not an O' Hara. It's great alliteration though.

72 Bluehawk
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:15
Hahaha, McQueen you obviously have no idea how a magazine is made. Maybe to settle the argument, how about Empire invites you over for coffee for a day?

Anyway, I was one of the people who complained about the CGI of the movie. And it was a very specific remark that I would really like to hear an answer for from the effects studio. I've looked at the trailer in full HD and compared too numerous other movie, it was pretty clear the special effects were not up to standard. Just stop one of the frames and compare the faces/skin of Avatar with those in say...Pirates of the Caribbean (Davy Jones) or Lord of the Rings (Gollum). The reason people think it doesn't look real enough, has got to do something with the skin translucency. Everybody in Avatar looks plastic.

It's possible that the CGI guys haven't had the time jet to apply subsurface scattering to the effects in time for the teaser trailer. But it should be obvious to anyone expecting ''state of the art or near-photoreal graphics'' that something like this is missing. James Cameron hasn't made a movie since this was invented, so maybe he wasn't aware of it. But that is what made movies and games so much more realistic in the past 6 years (well, that and some other subtle effects like better HDR lighting). Seriously Empire, Gollum beats Avatar by miles because of this.

Secondly (I'll make this shorter): this teaser trailer hasn't really convinced me that Avatar will be something special and unique. 3D is cool beans, but Cameron has been talking for ages about a creating a new world and how alien everything will be. But it doesn't matter how open-minded I'm looking at the trailer: it still wáy less original that a great number of sci-fi games and books. It's a planet with human vegitation, the aliens look way too humanoid, the story looks pretty predictable...
Just to prove a point: when Cameron announced the Ubisoft Avatar game last E3, he was actually surprised by how much more original the game designers were..

73 The Todge
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:18
What I don't understand about the hate is this: we complain about Bay and McG. We complain about every remake and every sequel on the basis that there are no original ideas any more. Then, lo an original film, that I imagine will be standalone, is created by someone who many people respect and it gets a mauling.

Jesus Christ this argument gets more and more annoying each time I read it. Basicaly amounting what right have we to complain about about a poor original film, we should be happy we're getting one at all.

I've not seen Avatar, it may turn out to be great, but that trailer isn't promising at all, my personal opinion is of the trailer, not the film.

Just because Cameron's done something original, if it turns out shit, are we not supposed to complain about it on the basis that we should be grateful somebodys doing something original???

Bizarre, absoloutely bizarre.

The truth is, the general state of mainstream cinema these days is appalling. Be it remake,sequel or original.

74 ceejay3001
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:36
As a reply to crazymoviesdude. I did'nt buy into the hype. Mr Cameron created the hype, when he anounced to the world that this would be photo realistic. It is'nt. My expectations of the film rest on whether it's a good story well told. I never said it would be anything (i've not seen the full film yet!) and I certainly did'nt compare it to a video game.
I still think a lot of the visuals are good but not any more exciting than anything i've seen in Sith or King Kong although they will be enhanced a lot by the 3D.
I stand with my final comment (which you obviously did'nt read) I think Jim Cameron has promised more than he can deliver. Which does'nt mean I won't enjoy it.

75 ceejay3001
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:50
Oh yeh, while i'm here. I think it's a bit of a shoddy dig at Empire to question their integrity. I believe they give an honest review based on their feelings at the time. Keep up the good work guys. Love the mag.

Also I don't mind if James Cameron reaches too far and does'nt quite get there. At least he's trying to push the envelope. It's just, his mouth goes before his brain sometimes!

76 patchington
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 17:54
I'm sorry to all those negative people out there that have only seen the trailer which does absolutly no justification to how amazing the 3D footage looks. I attended the IMAX showing this morning and it totally blew my mind, I've been walking around with a huge smile on my face and I can't remember the last time a film has had that sort of effect on me. This film was and has been made to watch in 3D so of course it's not going to look as "good" in a 2D format. Wait till it comes out - I promise you won't be dissapointed!! Someone please back me up!!!

77 momeara9
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:01
reminds me of the phantom menace: crap looks like a bad video game

78 ethanhunt
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:03
I'll back you up patchington.

The Na'Vi are amazingly realistic. You could actually believe they were speaking the words, the level of detail in the mouth structure and muscle level is incredible. They actually look like they're forming the words and speaking them, if that makes sense.

79 tomseymour
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:14
My first impression was "star wars prequel", but i do think Cameron is up against a problem in marketing the technology that is supposedly going to make this film more than just a CGI slobberknocker.

It's never going to come across the way it's intended when you watch a 2D trailer, so difficult to judge properly.

I'm still going to see it and I've been drawn in by the 3D gimmickry, but the "revolutionary" visuals have been so hyped out of proportion that it was never going to live up to that unreachable standard.

Anyone on here going to the free screenings? I'd like to see if people still have the same opinion.

80 McQueen
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:15
Bluehawk....

As much as I would like to have a coffee with the Empire staff I would turn them down. Check out that tubby monkey Hewitt getting all heavy and threatening to sue my "source". The source's name is Deepthroat by the way and currently works in your Empire office. That is why I dont believe you.

Can't wait for your future Richard Jenkins cover, an actor truly deserving of some limelight. Sellouts.

Oh yeah, plus one cancelled subscription as well. 15 years and it had to come to this, we could have made it work, at least for the kids......

81 danbo1138
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:18
Camerons overconfidence killed this film for me before i saw the trailer,after seeing it i was suprised it looked as shoddy in places as it did.The Navi's movement is weofully bad,the look of Pandora reminds me of the cover to a bad YES album and the premise of the story lacks(from what i've read/heard) and originailty whatsoever.
Not impressed.
please don't sue.

82 kev smarty
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:27
two words came into my head when i saw the navi...............follow me!!

83 patchington
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:31
Oh, and just to follow on from the comment I made earlier...........not only were we the first IMAX showing in the world at Waterloo this morning, but sitting at the back of the cinema was Guy Ritchie and Joel Silver, how frigging cool is that??

84 cindar
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:37
this film is nothing like what was promised. weve got the same old story seen before, but stretched over 3 bloody hours, same spaceships and mech suits weve seen before, and blue long limbed creatures that also look familiar. people say, wait till you see it in 3d on imax. couple of points. 1) i dont have an imax anywhere near me 2) i dont have 3d at home. so what happens when you watch it on dvd, plain old film without the gimicks to back it up.

85 Laster
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:38
I don't understand how people can say they aren't impressed. Look at it, just take a moment, and actually look at it, most of what you see is CGI, look at that jungle, look at the floating rock islands, the mechs, the flying machines, the aliens, it's a stunning world completely made from the ground up. It looks shockingly good. What were you all expecting?! For it to be better than real life? It's an alien world populated by aliens, of course it won't look real, jupiter barely looks real when you look at pictures of it!

Look at the amount of detail put into it. Visually i haven't seen anything better, ever! And don't even begin to judge story or characters, one single line was said, you don't know anything all we can talk about at the moment is how the film looks, and i do not see how anyone can complain about it. It looks simply fantastic. Thankyou James Cameron i look forward to seeing your film in the IMAX in london on December 18th, i guarantee you i will be there!

86 minorityreport
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:41
To be honest, I'm neutral on the whole Avatar thing. But since McQueen just has to keep slagging off Empire I thought I'd weigh in with a few comments of my own. Mainly I'd just like to thank the staff of Empire for putting me onto so many great films over the years, stuff like City of God, Donnie Darko, In The Loop, Belleville Rendez-Vous, Spirited Away, Waltz With Bashir and many more. Not to mention the genre specials you did in 2000/2001 which introduced me to fab films like Near Dark, The Keep and Prince Of The City. Now I don't always agree with Empire (or any of the other magazine/websites I read) but I've never doubted your love of film. Keep up the good work.

87 minorityreport
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:54
And another thing, putting the stars of independent films on their front covers didn't help Neon or Hotdog survive.

88 cindar
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 18:56
just figured out where ive seen these blue long limbed cat creatures before. THUNDERCATS the 80's tv cartoon.

89 deredder
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 19:27
I think one particular breakthrough with the technology that Cameron has developed, and one of the main reasons Spielberg, Jackson et al have been converted, is the ability to monitor and direct close-to complete CG footage in real time action. Whereas previously the director would be working more-or-less "blind" during shooting and relying on possibly months of post-production to create his vision (perhaps with varying degrees of success in accomplishing that vision), all of a sudden so much more is within his grasp and we can see how Cameron has enabled the characters to come alive, realising in CGI every nuance of an actor's performance. It is awesome seeing Sam Worthington's avatar displaying the genuine wide-eyed wonder and excitment the charactor would be feeling in that moment. That for me was believable.

Personally, from a design point of view, I'm not completely enamoured by the Navi world and creatures but I don't have a problem with the CG rendering and witnessing the full film in 3D will, I feel, make all the difference.

90 jakeyboy1000
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 19:53
i have to say, the trailer did not make me make me want to rush out and start queuing, but perhaps thats the fault of the ad campaign rather than the film - im willing to see how empire reviews it before i decide whether to go and see it. having said that, as soon as people start banging on about technology instead of the story thats a red flag for me. im happy for directors to try different things, and pushing the envelope can only be a good thing, but firstly a film should start with a STORY not technology. otherwise leave the invention in the laboratory. im as pessimistic as everyone else seems to be but lets hold fire guys!

also, the reason why the aliens all look human is known as the anthropomorphical problem apparently!

91 durelius
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:06
I for one will be keeping an open mind about this film until I've actually seen the dam thing, you can't write off a film based on a couple of minutes of footage that just highlights some key scenes to give you an indication about what the films direction is. Watched trailer in normal resolution first then watched again in HD only 480p as it's all my system can handle at mo but that made more of an impression on me and to imagine seeing it in full resolution and in 3D I can only imagine how good this will look.
Personally for me Empire gets it right about 95% of the time which is good going.

92 matiwan
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:20
I just saw it at the Wimbledon IMAX and can confirm that it is obviously a great improvement over the trailer which I was slightly underwhelmed by from a CGI point of view. In 3D on a big screen at times it is outstanding and the general consistency of the 3d is the best I have ever seen on a movie... however yes, it's still obviously 3d and your mind keeps relating back to this (mine did anyway as I produce 3d Architectural CGI's for a living). The only negative for me is that the 3d through the glasses is also a little distracting at times as some of the picture seems a little blurry occasionally and strained my eyes a little... Maybe it’s me but I don’t have a need for glasses so doubt it. Anyway... I saw enough to ensure that I'm there with bells on opening day.

93 matiwan
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:22
Sorry my mistake.. architecural cgi's not 3d architecural cgi's... that would be cool though,
I've obviously got 3d on the brain now!

94 matt23
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:24
Just came back from exclusive footage and i am very impressed, thos people who have doubts from watching this trailer and are not impressed need to see it in 3D looks 10 times better than the trailer. Some clips they had shown just blew me away, i havent seen anything like this before.

95 kanada83
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:35
It's just good to have James Cameron back.... what an ungrateful bunch you are.
Saw the 15mins today and was over the moon. Alright totally understand why there might be disappointment because you expect A. Something totally new that hasn't been seen before and B. You expect it in the time given by a trailer or 15 min snippet to win you over like his past classics [T:2, Aliens etc.]. and yes [sigh] it does look like a computer game or cartoonish but the story is there everytime the scene ended and moved onto the next you were left wanting more. You'd be kinda unwise to judge an entire film on whatever you've seen so far anyway.
The photo realism is definately cool. Seeing old and new stars thrown into the hugh Avatar landscape is promising too. I can't wait.

96 DiamondDog
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 20:57
I had a nice big rant about this all ready to write, then realised it was a bit pointless. All I'll say is, it looks like one great big toy advert. This isn't great science fiction. At the risk of sounding obnoxious, some of you need to read more books.

PS. Helen, I don't mean to be rude but, calling Pirates of the Caribbean an 'emotional' blockbuster? Some sort of narcotic had to be involved when you wrote that.

97 Monkeyshaver
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 21:24
The issue here is if people think that 3D is the holy grail of cinema? Personally it seems to me as little more than a gimmick to combat piracy & the growing technical advancements in home cinema viewing. Avatar looks painfully derivative & the designs of the creatures, the world etc is totally lacking in imagination. What can be gleaned regards the plot seems to indicate Dances With Wolves In Space. The problem with CG is that those using it have no imagination, & this is particularly frustrating with regards to Avatar seeing as James Cameron is responsible for it. If I didn't know who was directing this I would have guessed at George Lucas or any number of run of the mill Hollywood directors. Having seen the trailer for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus it has far more originality than this. Its a shame that directors like Terry Gilliam, who have a real unique imagination, are denied access to the big budgets that sadly result in the formulaic sci-fi movies we are subjected to. But maybe seeing this at the IMAX in 3D will be an improvement? Well, it will be a distraction from what appears to be little more than a collection of video game cutscenes made into a movie. Its a worrying thought that 3D is on the rise as movie characters in blockbusters become even more two-dimensional! 3D will not save cinema, the answer is not to make the same tired old movies in an extra dimension but to just make better movies!

98 sunnygirly2k4
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 21:35
Monkeyshaver - I completely agree. Couldn't have said it any better.

I saw the trailer earlier today and laughed my head off at these cartoonish blue aliens.

Needless to say, it looks generic and cliched, so while I won't take it seriously, I will get a good laugh out of it.

Where The Wild Things Are looks like a much, MUCH better film (I pray it will be).

99 Gabriel
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 21:58
To be honest Cameron never had a chance and a backlash was inevitable. But it could have been lessened. See, since he hasn't directed a movie since Titanic even if you weren't a Cameron fan you'd be anxious to see just what he'd been so busy working on. Then we see skinny blue people and we think 'what?'.
But to make it worse he starts strutting around and preaching to all about some kind of messiac second-coming of cinema which would forever change our world. Then we see skinny blue people and it becomes 'WTF?'
And isn't it typical they're humanoid so that a love story can be wedged in there?

100 DiamondDog
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 22:05
Thank you, monkeyshaver. You pretty much said everything I was thinking, but was too lazy to write.

Your last line sums it up for me. The technology used to create these films has never been the problem. It's the lack of ideas, stories and characters behind all the CGI that cripples most of these films.

101 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 22:20
The trouble is, it's like the Weather Reporting.

Recently, the Weather Reports have been wrong. They have wrongly predicted the weather. People moan and say 'you were wrong. my business doing badly is your fault'. Trouble is, weather prediction is not an exact science. It can be done to a degree of accuracy, but you can't charm nature. The Weather Reports have are responsible for the backlash against them because they never tell people this. They present their reports as fact (and of course if they didn't no one would watch, so they have to present it that way).

So basically (I know it was a very lengthy comparison) this is like that.

Cameron and co have gone on and on about how fantastic and amazing and game-changing this film WILL be. The fact of the matter is that at this stage in the game, it can't be changed by one film. It just can't. It can be slightly tweaked sure, but not changed by a great amount. If we had seen these visuals after ROTS, or after King Kong, or whenever ie before all this hype, everyone (not just me and some others), would be going nuts for it. To say it looks like a cartoon or a video game is childish and way too far. Whilst some may feel that it looks bad (in comparison to their expectations), that is fine, but any person slaps a shot from that trailer next to a shot from the best cartoon tv show and they will find there is a mahuusive difference. They have shot themselves in the ass because the hyped it up too much.

I think it looks awesome, and whilst I concede that most people are not saying the film will suck, just the trailer, I will not believe that anyone genuinely thinks it looks like a cartoon. Unless of course they have been watching pokemon whilst baked half-way to next thursday and think it is in someway godly, which then maybe they may look similar.

102 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 22:42
Also, why can't some people (I'm looking at you McQueen) work out that if you don't like a magazine or don't like a website, you don't have to 'waste' your money on that magazine, or 'waste' your time trawling that site's message boards.

It is illogical to keep something in your life if you does not enjoy it.

103 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 22:59
As it just seems to be me here for the moment, I'll just post again.

I'm a true believer in the fact that there are aliens out there, and they most certainly do not look like us. Their medium of existence might not even be fathomable by us.

Despite this, because we have to be able to perceive characters in a film (a film with apparently no characters would be odd, obviously), we also have to be able to understand the characters, feel for them and therefore feel yourself. If the na'vi were even, as someone said, covered in tentacles and very very ugly, it would make them unappealing and whilst those who think about these things might be able to buy them as aliens far more easily, the vast majority of people will just think it's looks stupid, impossible, and nobody at all will be able to understand or feel for them.

So, basically, movie aliens will never not be atleast vaguely humanoid, despite the fact that real aliens will never be vaguely humanoid. Probably.

104 movie
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 23:33
I saw the 15 mintues and I thought it was really cool.
However my only problem my friends and I thought was that it looked too clean. some dust or dirt marks on the characters etc. may have made it more belivable.
I think everyone went in to the screenings deliberately looking for the problems with the computer work. The 3D effects made the cgi look real.



105 Scruffybobby
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 23:38
Right well, having now seen proper footage (HD 3D and all that) on a cinema screen I have to say - is that it? It was good sure and I'll be seeing it when it comes out but I - and at least a cuple of others - remained resolutely unstunned. The live action stuff looked good but it didn't really mix too well with the animated stuff. Which in itself looks lovely but wasn't really any more impressive in terms of 3D than Ice Age 3. This could yet prove to be the best 3D effort so far but it won't live up to the impossible expectations that Cameron has been fostering. Shame really.

106 Scruff
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 23:54
I saw the preview earlier today and I think it looks fantastic.
I've no doubt the new technology is entirely capable of producing photo-realistic humans and is only betrayed by the fact that the avatars are nine foot tall felines.

Particularly with reference to the scene in the jungle with Sigourney, it's quite obviously not her and yet completely believeable and engaging.

I think anyone that has not yet seen the footage in 3d needs to reserve judgement.

107 hughjass
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 23:57
Well, based on the trailer, unlike some of you miserable bar stewards, I can't wait to see it!


108 robbiescarfe
Posted on Friday August 21, 2009, 23:59
Did somebody say po-faced oddworld? It's not even as interestingly designed as abe's oddysee, which was made almost 15 years ago now.

Also Helen, in your post you say that there are no humans with cornish pasty faces masquerading as aliens, and yet the Navi are essentially blu, tall people. Why must aliens always so similar to earth animals and humans?

On the other hand, the trailer didn't really turn me off that much. I think what convinced me about your article was the claim it might lead to an iain m banks movie - I'd love to see the culture on the big screen.

109 breakism
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 00:03
What gets on my nerves about this story, is that its set in the 22nd century and they have this incredible technology, yet the human race haven't spent any time/research into helping disabled people try to walk again?????? Just created space ships, guns and this avatar technology thingumy! Trailer looks ok though. WAY more excited about District 9 and the new Tron: Legacy film next year (which is 3D I hear). Horses for courses and all that eh?!...

110 freddie205
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 00:13
What the bloody hell is going on? The trailer looked awesome! And I mean that in the dictionary Awe inspiring sense not just the mere quite cool sense. It looked absolutely incredable.

111 Wraggsterino
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 01:13
Saw the 16 mins this morning at IMAX in 3D and was blown away. (I agree with Scruff by the way: lock your judgement away unless you've seen it in 3D yet...). Immersion is the key factor here (not out and out believability) and after two scenes set in the Pandora jungle the effect was realised in a way I couldn't have expected. It felt like the next level of involvement and realism JC promised. As for the integral part - the story: who knows until we see the full release? These previews do two things for Fox and Cameron - provide them with a test of people's reactions to the technology and spread word of mouth about it. Job done. Look how much time and digital text all you film-lovers have given to it already...

112 matt23
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 01:16
Totally agree with scruff...

'I think anyone that has not yet seen the footage in 3d needs to reserve judgement.'

Some of the scenes were fantastic, imagine wot the full length film will be like cant wait!!!!!

113 teigaga
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 01:24
I was skeptical about this film and the art direction on the avatars and the world itself.
But i have now seen the 16 minute preview and i was really impressed. before i thought the avatars looked cartoony but you have to see them interact with each other and humans to realise how life like and stunning they are. the 3D was effective but it hurt my eyes and i don't think i would be able to cope sitting through 2-3 hours of imax 3D. The trailer was poorly made and makes the film appear average and i think thats why most people are dissapointed. From what i saw, the chemistry between the characters was great and although it wont be the best film ever made, it will amazing.

114 Dr Manhattan
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 01:37
I agree with everything said by Helen. I think people are being waaay too judgemental and comparing it one of the shitty Star Wars prequels is just rubbish. People are only mostly saying that because it's the only film that springs to mind as it has otherworldly planets and its inhabitants. Now i'm a big Star Wars fan and i didnt think Cameron had it ripped it off at all. Plus who here has seen a Tall-blue alien? Nobody! So whats the point in moaning that it's not completely photo-realistic, but it's damn near close. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but people don't talk shit.

115 bigdave3000
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 01:52
ferngully did pop into my head straight away.

i think it's fair to say this film won't be average, it will be either awesome or awful. it's too early to tell

116 theJackal
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 02:40
Not being a lover or hater of James Cameron's films, and certainly not being overly tuned into the Avatar, "photoreal" hype machine, I watched the trailer yesterday with a fairly open mind. The immediate feeling was simple disappointment. Seeing that this blog exists tonight confirms to me that the same general feeling exists among the cinema-literate. Yes, it's great CGI, but... it still looks like CGI! This just doesn't work in films for me, unless they are billed as animation. A simple test is to ask yourself which you would prefer to be sitting in: a CGI diner on Coruscant or a costumed cantina on Tatooine? Perhaps an even better test is to ask yourself which teaser trailer gets you fired up more: Avatar or Tron: Legacy?!

117 thepluginbaby
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 02:55
I can't wait for this movie! Cameron has always been known as being a perfectionist, and this film looks to be a feat of unsurpassed ambition. He has built his own science fiction world from the ground up.

118 joemcgnr
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 03:06
I still can't tell but what I will say is that I was very disappointed by the graphics. Not just the Na'vi but the spaceships all looked not much better than computer game graphics. I have been watching some of the older svi-fi films recently, having been inspired by Moon (fantastic), and a lot of model ships in movies like Blade Runner and Alien look more realistic than the CGI ones nowadays. This trailer certainly did not enthrall me. But I still want to remain optimistic, none the less.

119 Zimbo
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 06:05
After having read the whole blog, and it's really late as well. I agree with a few people esspecially Monkeyshaver post 100,
I think theres more of a design flaw then anything. I think it was Paul Greengrass or someone that mentioned a while back that special effects should be used to enchance the realism, not making it look like some fairy tale.

When I think James Cameron I think gritty Aliens or The Abyss style, something techy industrial and realistic. This is a different direction he went in and I think it's a wrong one if your trying to make something look ''photo-real'' or ''realistic'' and make no mistake he did mention photorealism on multiple ocassions. and everyones knows its not smart to write checks ur ass cant cash ;) thats why i think people are dissapointed with Cameron.

I like subtle effects, i think young/old Brad Pitt looks as realistic as anything.

Theres also the fact that there are many great designs/worlds out there to be made and its a shame that someone like Cameron gets $200 mil to do whatever he wants even if he lacks a great world, even if he spent 14 years on it. Bring on another Tim Burtons sci fi ( just not Planet of the Apes II pls!)

120 scar
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 08:36
Agree with the consensus, especially post 100 and the last one. Looks like it is already doomed, unless they drastically change it before its release.

Apart from the Navi design, I probably would have thought this looked amazing had I not heard all the previous hype from Cameron.

And on a side note, why do they only credit him as the director of Titanic in the trailer? Granted it's the biggest film of all time and Avatar also contains a love story, but for this film's audience, I would have definately included Aliens and The Terminator, if not The Abyss as well - all three are science-fiction (Titanic is not).

121 SolarDave
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:14
It isn't the "photo-realism" failure which makes me not like this, it is the story and other aesthetics. It just looks bad. The alien designs are sorry to say, god awful. 7ft smurfs with big noses isn't exactly a wonderful design of an alien species. The concept sounds mediocre at best, the execution, well it just looks like bad fantasy.

As for the 3D. Is it still the 80's. I know the tech has moved on but once again I think people are getting hyped for a concept which is gimmicky and unnecessary.

Cameron is selling this on 3D, and unlike 3D, it's gonna fall flat.

(P.S ZING!)

122 jcallan
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:16
Hmmm, disregarding how much this will make in cinema's, the DVD revenue has been shot in the foot seeing as how hardly anyone has a 3D capable TV.

Oh and the trailer was embarrassing.

123 jcallan
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:17
And why make the aliens so human like ?

Surely the point of "photorealistic" (Quotations necessary) CGI was to make unbelievable things come to life ?

124 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:20
How many people here know anything about computer animation? I'm willing to bet a few here do.

I'm an animation student, and when I look at any big effects film, I often think 'wow, that's pretty cool. I can see how they did that, but it would take a long time.'

When I saw this, I thought 'Holy shit, some of the stuff in there, I have no idea how they did that, and how ever they did it, it must've taken fucking ages.'

If you know nothing of the process of CGI, and by all means you are entitled to your opinion, maybe stop and think, and wonder what went into this film before you slander the hell out of it based on 2 minutes.

125 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:23
Once again, why can't people understand: IN FILMS, you can't have characters that are too unbelievable. Photorealism would make a 6 foot tall walking penis with tentacles look real, but no one would care about it. There would be no way for this to emote in a way we'd understand.

MOVIE ALIENS MUST BE ATLEAST VAGUELY HUMANOID, regardless of the fact that real aliens aren't.

126 SolarDave
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:46
@crazymoviesdude

Personally I'm not askin for giant tentacle monsters. Have you seen the aliens from District 9, humanoid, distinguishing non-human characteristics = decent alien design.

Avatar = long legged, 7ft, blue people with a big blue nose. I don't see how anyone can look at that design and go AMAZING. It looks like an ugly design that you would see as a random background character in a Star Wars prequel film. Most probably getting shot.

127 SolarDave
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 09:52
I'm postin alot but there is a lot of people to talk to (should have done it in one post)

@crazymoviesdude (again)

I don't know anyone personally who likes certain films because "it probably took alot of hard work"

I get it that you do animation, but I do media so I could be amazed by fanciful camera angles and lighting but I'm not going to, because if the story blows, well it is a bad film

Also frankly the CGI isn't that bad, looks like a major improvement from Beowulf, everyone doesn't look like action figures with grease poured on them.

128 Gmania
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 10:14
I'm a Cameron fan so naturally i'm really looking forward to this but i can't shake the words 'Battlefield Earth' from my mind when i see the aliens.Must be the height and hair.Thought it looked great until the section with all the aliens when it looked exactly like a computer game but i will be there when it opens with my fingers crossed..

129 billkiller
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 10:28
Hi Helen,
I agree with everything you said.
I want to add one thing though. Minitures or bigatures? would it still have been possible to shoot more things in-camera and still use this ground breaking 3D technology? at least on DVD it'll not look like a video game. The CGI-sheen is horribly unpopular with the public, but it seems we tolerate it. Jackson had it right in LoTR by shooting as much in-cam as possible. If they decide to go down the Avatar route for the Hobbit, man will I be pissed.

130 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 10:42
SolarDave, I agree, the District 9 aliens do look great, especially on a tight budget, but I think the na'vi look far more interesting.

If that is what people mean when they say 'less human' ie they mean something which is still very very like us in that they have 2 legs, 2 arms, a torso and a head, then I misunderstood. The District 9 aliens still look alot like humans.

I'm not saying that just because the Avatar effects are hard to do, it will be awesome, but packaged together with the fact that they look amazing (and some things can be hard, but still look shit), what I think sounds like a good story, and probably a good script, I think it should be ace.

131 Soiled Mole
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 11:34
I agree that the alien creatures in this movie do seem to have a digital look to them but this perception could be simply because that we know these creatures not to be real. CGI has reached an exceptional level but you can never get over the fact that you cant fool the eye if you cant fool the mind. Which is probably why this movie looks geared more towards kids?!

132 BondVsPredator
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 11:35
Good thoughts Helen and I hope you're right, I really do. But I fear you aren't. It's all about the eyes. You can go to all the pains you want to create a photoreal jungle planet. But if you give the principal aliens manga eyes, then we're only ever going to be watching a cartoon in our minds.

133 BondVsPredator
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 11:35
PS... I will, of course, still see it. Sigh.

134 GreatScott!!!
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 11:48
I think the problem is the story - and for Avatar to really change the game it has to make a long lasting impact on the audience. Otherwise it's no dfferent from the stuff you see about moon landings and such like in IMAX. Sadly the story strikes me as very tried and tested.

Loads of people rushed out and bought Sinclair C5s in the 1980s, but they used them for five minutes on the sea front, and then they ended up on the scrap heap - there was no reason to go back to them after an hour or two of fun. That could be a sad analogy for the new 3D cinema screens being installed right now. A five minute money wasting fad.

And if you haven't heard of a C5 take a look in a museum.

My worry is that cinema, which has remained fairly strong in difficult times, could flush a lot of cash away and end up in dire straits; just because of the hype generated around - let's be honest - this one film.

135 Wozza31
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 12:19
Someone else may have pointed this out earlier, but I got tired of reading the same thing after 20 replies.

Unless I'm remembering wrong didn't Cameron actually state that the Na'vi looked photo real in 3D?

Now, while I was unconvinced by them in this trailer, it is 2D. It is surely very possible that the effects will be more impressive in 3D. And even if they aren't, as long as I give a shat about the characters, the story is engrossing and I get involved in the world it actually doesn't matter a jot.

136 benj 01
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 12:21
This is the first time I have left a comment on this excellent website for this truly excellent magazine. I have to say that to an extent I agree with what some of the other people are saying that the effects do not look that ground breaking but the film still looks entertaining and lest we forget this is James Cameron.

He might of nearly killed Kate and Leo on the set of Titanic and yes he did direct Titanic (Two strikes !! ) but he has givien us the 2 best Terminators, The Abyss, Aliens and True Lies so the the man knows how to give a cinema audience a good time.

And to all those people who were bad mouthing the trailer lets face your gonna be first in line with me to see the film when it comes out, don't deny it.

137 Mr_Black
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 12:32
I hope it turns out okay, I just don't think films should hype or market themselves so much. Sometimes it works out great, like with Cloverfield, but a lot of the time it's a hit and miss.

138 wriggy
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 12:33
Totally agree with post 135. As I said waaaay back in post 11, CGI (thus far) seems unable to fool our brains into believing in a sentient character, and nothing I've seen in this trailer suggests Cameron's cracked it. Which means that whilst I'm still looking forward to seeing it, I'm disappointed that no-one seems to be learning from the mistakes of Jar Jar etc.
The annoying thing is, I can get emotionally attached to animated characters provided they're not trying to look 'real'.

139 SpidersArentScared
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 12:57
Okay, so what I think people here need to do is to comment not on the film itself, but on the trailer.

Because the trailer is all you have seen. By all means say that the trailer looks lame, or like a video game, or that the CGI isn't all that. But these are all judgements on THE TRAILER, not the film.

Having seen the 15mins in IMAX 3D and watching the trailer just now, I can tell you it does look a hundred times better when seen the way Cameron intends. In particular the scene teased in the trailer, with Worthington waking up in his Na'vi body in the hospital is jaw dropping. It's hard to gauge how real the Na'vi look during the scenes set on Pandora as everything on screen is CGI. But in that hospital scene, seeing Worthington interact with the real doctors around him is simply incredible, and really makes you believe that this blue, 8ft tall thing is actually there. The scenes on Pandora DO look too much like a Halo game, I'll admit, but at the same time they still look freakin' awesome! It's a brilliantly detailed world, and one that I will relish seeing on the big screen even if it's not quite the photo-realism people want, it's still probably the best rendered world ever seen on film. It looks beautiful.

As for the 3D, I've never seen a 3D film so I have no basis for comparison, but the effect seemed to be brilliantly realised. That big beast chasing Worthington through the jungle? Astonishing. We see the chase as if he's running towards us in the audience, and the beast crashing trees and sending wood flying towards us as it snarls and gnashes it's way forwards is pure, unadulterated excitement.

The plot...? Well, to be honest, this is where I think the movie will fail. I'm not convinced there will be a deep enough plot, or deep enough characters.

What there will be is probably one of the best looking, most purely entertaining sci-fi/fantasy movies ever seen.

But please, don't judge it on that 2 min trailer.

140 cindar
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 13:10
cough, cough.....THUNDERCATS, cough, cough.

141 Gmania
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 13:16
spidersarntscared-Your asking everyone not to judge the film on a 2 min trailer then right at the end you say the reason you think it will fail is with the plot!?Make your mind up mate..

142 FoxDhoj
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 13:26
Weird, I made the same Fern Gully/Halo comparison yesterday on another forum!

I saw the 3D footage and I've gotta say, I'd watched the trailer the morning before and was a bit unsure, but the 3D makes up for it all in a way. I'm still not sure about Jim Cameron's all-3D crusade though, as I'm more excited about District 9 than this.

143 bradthunder
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 13:33
I have to admit to being seriously underwhelmed by this, but then, what were we expecting to see...? The CGI doesn't really look any better than the best that's come before it with the Ampsuits looking not any more realistic than a good game graphic - ie still false. As the trailer flits from real ''live' action to CGI, the differences are immediate and it's here I was disappointed, hoping that there would be no discernible trace.

Perhaps it would have been better if the aliens, so to speak were more human - after all, how do we know what a Na-vi really looks like so we have no frame of reference to go on, but a CGI human would have been a better feat to master.

No doubt the film will be spectacular and a fun romp, but, like The Phantom Menace before it, and as you guys once said - it will ultimately be...just a film
Just sayin', is all!

144 John_Connor
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 14:40
...it's about the promise, Cameron made to us all: original environments and characters!! Not completely true, Jim!

It's not the design, characters or universe that's cutting edge, here. It's the rendering of the CG environments, characters, etc.

It's a technical revolution. Not a creative one.

This all reminds me of 'The Back To The Future Ride' at Universal Studios. It is amazing. But it's also a gimmick! This is my view and we're all entitled to our own views.

To conclude, the teaser is the let-down here. Not good enough. Expected something far better from Cameron. Hopefully, the next trailer will be much better. As far as the 3D footage and movie's concerned; it's gonna be a thrill ride. Yes it is. Though, it's also gonna be a gimmick. Not the future of filmmaking. Atleast, I hope it's not.

145 Bigjim1985
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 14:40
I'm not entirely sure why so many people are criticizing both the trailer itself and more specifically the CGI in this movie.

I think as a teaser trailer it perhaps wasn't as heart-stopping as I was expecting; this is in no small part due to the soundtrack that was used and the almost complete lack of dialogue. While I was pleased to see so much footage from the movie in the teaser - I think you can have too much of a good thing. The teaser was 2.5 minutes long which is roughly the length of a theatrical trailer for most big films. When viewing a teaser trailer - I have certain expectations as to the flow. This trailer (as a teaser and not theatrical trailer) would have perhaps been better if they had shown all the opening shots of Sam Worthington coming to the planet and getting hooked up to the machines etc... but then they should has used a finalised extended shot of Sam's avatar waking up and perhaps a dozen money shots from the film in quick succession building to the title. The rest of the footage should have been saved for the theatrical trailer.

With regard to the CGI - has anybody actually seen a 10 foot blue alien with the face of Sam Worthington? Granted, some of the larger scale shots with giant creatures in the forest are a bit CG-rific, and yes, do have a Star Wars-esque quality to them, but Cameron has tried to create an entire world. The larger shots will always look less impressive as they tend to lack texture. The real money shots in the trailer are the smaller one. Look at the base of Sam Worthington's feet as he wakes up as his avatar, look at the texture of the hair and look at the skin on Zoe Saldana while she is hiding behind the leaves after spotting Sam in the forest. These are the real money shots that the CGI should ultimately be judged on.

I think its too early to judge the film on either a CGI level or a narrative level based on a 2.5 minute, narrativeless teaser trailer viewed infinitely smaller than was intended.

146 DaveTheStampede
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 15:09
From everything I've so far read, it all seems to boil down to the same thing:
"The 3D looks amazing!"

Yay. So what? That, more than anything, has convinced me to never see this film, as least not in 3D, and definitely not at the cinema. If, four months from release, that is the most you can say, then, for me at least, that's enough proof that 3D is a gimmick that will be used to turn the mediocre into the great.

As for the trailer? Yes, totally underwhelmed. Again, it's no good saying that "a 2-minute on-line trailer doesn't do justice to a 3D film experience", because that just enforces my view o the gimmicky nature of 3D.

And I'm also very, very disappointed that so many directors seem chomping at the bit to 'go 3D'. I guess my days of visiting the cinema are well and truly numbered.

Ah well. Best of luck to those that are looking forward to this. I genuinely hope it's everything you want or expect it to be.

147 RBShorty
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 15:47
I have to say. My first thought on seeing the trailer was.

"Dances with Bink's."

10 year's in the making. 300 million dolars.(Allegedly.) Down the Sh*ter. And a sh*t load of hype. Jim. I love you to bits. But you are going to have to pull one hell of a rabbit. Out of your butt hole. To pull this one off.

I wish you luck buddy.

148 cindar
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 16:15
when star wars came out, nobody had seen anything like it.
when jurassic park came out, nobody had seen anything like it.
when the matrix came out, nobody had seen anything like it.
avatar does'nt fit into this catagory!

"its the 3D that makes it work". until people have 3D televisions at home this kind of technology is pointless, unless you can watch the film whenever you like how it was supposed to be viewed in the cinema.

ive never seen an alien world or 8ft tall blue alien myself either but i still know when something doesnt look or move right, and they dont!

149 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 17:21
Why must the same 5 things be said over and over again? By the end of the weekend, there will be 300 posts saying the same things repeated 60ish times.

Everybody is entitles to their own opinion, but surely if it's already been voiced, then a simple yeh or neh would surfice rather than another post saying the same thing again.

150 gefo
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 17:45
After seeing T2 and Aliens, I believed when Cameron claimed that Avatar is worth waiting for and will change the game etc., but I'm afraid this is not the case.

I was honestly expecting to see the trailer and try to figure out which were the live actors and which the CG ones.

Apart from the stereoscopic aspect of the film, JC has been emphatically mentioning the photorealism of the environments and the characters.

He said in an interview 'people should not be thinking that was live action and that was CG'. Not only this is not the case with the trailer, but the live actors are completely, ahem, 'alien' in the CG environments, next to the CG thespians. Even the metallic robot that is standing next to Worthington in the wheelchair, when he comes out of the plane, looks painfully CG. A counter example are the robots in Matrix Revolutions which were photorealistic.

Think of Gollum, or almost everything CG in the lord of the rings trilogy for that matter, and even the t-rex of 1993's Jurassic Park. These are great examples of photorealism. You forget about the technical elements and the CG and completely believe in the characters. They still make the experience immersive, without being stereoscopic.

The avatars in the trailer, as well as the other CG elements, are not photorealistic as promised, that's for sure.

In another interview JC said 'The film should not be marketed first and foremost as a 3-D experience', but everyone that has seen the stereoscopic footage said that the movie is better in 3-D compared to the underwhelming 2D teaser trailer. So I am afraid that it could be first and foremost a 3-D experience.
JC have been saying how he wanted his film to be and be accepted, but I think it's far from what we've been promised it to be. He's been completely misleading.

We shouldn't say anything about the story though, since we haven't seen the film yet.

I'll still see it, but my expectations and excitement have all disappeared.

151 warren7355
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 17:57
Screw the cartoon, i'm having more fun reading this thread!

152 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 18:04
I tell you something else, (and this won't be directly replied to either). There are less than 20 posts out of 156 in this thread which actually refer specifically to a previous post (other than Helen's original), so really, there's no point in writing anything, because no body will read it, and certainly nobody will respond to it.

I could have taken my own advice, but this needed to be said.

153 Jasper_29
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:07
Judged by what's shown in the trailer, the film looks like shit. Taken into consideration that it's a James Cameron movie and still months from release, I'm confident the end pruduct will be sharper looking, spectacular and maybe even entertaining shit.

I'm definitely there December 14th.

154 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:14
Or even December 18th.

155 Calsterman
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:16
For me it is easy to bag what I have seen from the teaser, but the real ammo of this gripe comes from the fact that Cameron really has over sold the merchandise. The footage is pretty, I agree with that fully but revolutionary not so much more of an evolution, an improvement of what we have all seen.

For this is a film I will still see, because it still gives me enough to make me think that as a film it will be quality. But ultimately I think I would have been more excited had Cameron kept his mouth shut and just let the footage do the talking when it was released. Cameron has a bit of a Peter Molynieux (creator of Fable) complex when he tries so hard to make you think his work will make you orgasm but when it comes down to it is simply quality wrapped in broken promises.

Titanic was exactly the same, quality yes, but looking back on it did it really deserve 11 Oscars or were we all just swept up in that epicness and Hype that was a sinking ship?

156 Jasper_29
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:41
Well if we're going to be pedantic then December 17th in The Netherlands...

;)

157 Jasper_29
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:44
Actually the hype around Titanic was a negative one and everyone was taken by surprise by the sheer quality of Cameron's film in pretty much every department.

158 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 19:54
Well how was I to know you were not from the UK?

159 bulbousmaximus
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 20:37
i've seen the 15 minute preview and it's nothing short then mindblowing, i sat in the cinema covered in goosebumps for most of it. the trailer does not do it justice at all, BE EXCITED , BE.....VERY EXCITED.

160 dracodin
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 20:50
Saw the 15 minute preview last night at IMAX in Manchester. Read the script about 7 years ago, loved it and could not wait until they made it into a film. Initial thoughts - took me a second to get used to how Jakes Avatar looked, I'll agree that it did look a bit too cartoony for my liking. Every scene after that one though totally blew me away. I agree with the comments about people having goosebumps, etc, it really was incredible. I'll say that the story is great and if they stick to the script it should go down as a great epic. People expecting Aliens....well, it's a 12A so it was never going to have the suspense or tension of that film. People who are commenting after only seeing the 2D trailer on a small screen, I'm sorry, I know you are posting your thoughts but you have no idea how good this is on the intended format, I know in the end it still has to work on DVD at home and stuff but I reckon in Blu Ray (pref 1080p) and on a good size TV (37" up) and with a decent surround system then it will still work brilliantly. Seeing this in anything but IMAX 3D will be to miss how it's meant to be seen, kinda like playing an xbox 360 game on a 17" portable TV, you just aren't experiencing it the way it was meant to be. Count me in for the 18th at London IMAX for at least one showing, cos this film is going to be breath taking!!!!!!!

161 Harrence
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 20:54
Here's an interesting note: I brought three friends to the 15 minute showing on "Avatar Day" and not one of them had really any idea what they were about to see - I had seen the trailer, and was of the "wait-and-see" party; I had also been long following the movie, and hyping myself up about it.
The 15 minutes I saw yesterday were impressive, but my three friends were blown away - they are "converts", as the fella says.
Could it be that for the millions who really know nothing about this movie will go in and have that same experience? Will this anti-hype following the release of the teaser* set up the same negativity we saw going into Titanic?
Do not judge this on the footage available on the teaser - e.g. the Thanator attack on the IMAX screen as compared to on the internet video is a heart-racing, pulse-pounding, solid set-piece.

Remember, you've been hearing all the hype from Comic-conners and the like; no offense, but they get excited about anything they see there! And don't blame Cameron for what he's been saying - he's promoting a movie, it's part of his job. What's he supposed to say? I have found no comment made by him to prove misleading - he had achieved a set of digital characters that truly react, move, and emote in a life-like manner.

What is most interesting is this is Cameron's first film that's really entirely from his imagination, not rooted in any sort of realism or previously-established world. It's a movie that's all him, and you can't blame him for geeking-out about something that is so very personal to him.

I'm holding out for this movie. I hope that all this negative energy after the hype** just sets people up for a huge surprise in December. I'm going to see Avatar. And I'm going to judge it, much like Empire will, based on its story, not its effects.

*Don't trust trailers. Especially teasers. Thought District 9 was going to be great based off that trailer - WRONG.
**Which there has been far too much of for this movie.

162 Barry
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 21:20
@crazymoviesdude...

"crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 18:04
I tell you something else, (and this won't be directly replied to either). There are less than 20 posts out of 156 in this thread which actually refer specifically to a previous post (other than Helen's original), so really, there's no point in writing anything, because no body will read it, and certainly nobody will respond to it.

I could have taken my own advice, but this needed to be said."

heh heh heh. The ironing is delicious.

Calm down, relax, give this whole free speech and free exchange of ideas even if they don't conform to your narrow-minded view of how to comment on a blog thing a whirl, and go out tonight with your friends, have a pint, and complain over the fact that you messed up by not having any Arsenal players on your fantasy premier league team. Like I will.

163 kithboy
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 21:29
The biggest dissapointment about Avatar is the Na'Vi, they look to cartoony. Cameron should have made a sequel to True Lies it would have been a lot better, but will avatar be better when you see more of the film?.

164 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 21:31
I'm perfectly relaxed, I just found it humourous, if people wish to act that way, fine by me.

Free speech is wonderful, I'm just saying things that occur to me, and see if that gets a response, and then I realised that I should just say something about responses (and also it all adds to my post count).

Yeah baby, my Saturday night is really exciting.

165 dracodin
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 21:51
I thought the Na'Vi looked better in every scene they were in than the initial Avatar waking in the lab scene, and all the creatures in the 15 minutes looked incredible, just hope the others look as good. And as for eveyone saying it just looks like Halo, what connsole on what size TV are you people playing it on? Cos I play it 720p on an LCD TV on the xbox 360 and it doesn't look anywhere near as good!!!
I'll say this, after reading the script and seeing films like Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, maybe they could have acheived what they wanted with maybe less CGI, but we'll never know, and this version looks to satisfy all my wishes so I'm happy as Larry

166 Moronifighter
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 21:57
Some people are saying it looks like a videogame as if it's a bad thing! For me some of the greatest cinematic moments in my life I've experienced while playing a game! I think cameron is very clever and has made this film for a new generation! And to people who say the effects seem crap I say, don't forget there's still 4 months till the films release so things can improve massively plus seeing it on a small screen is a whole world away from experiencing it on a massive screen in 3D.
Also some people are missing the point by saying home cinema technology will not be as good as the cinema well thats the whole point Cameron and the other directors using the technology are trying to get people back to the cinema to experience something you can't anywhere else and to also combat piracy.
I think mr cameron will silence all his critics come december and I'll be there first in the queue!

167 Monkeyshaver
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 22:44
"Moronifighter
Some people are saying it looks like a videogame as if it's a bad thing! For me some of the greatest cinematic moments in my life I've experienced while playing a game! "

Really?!? You definitely need to see more movies!!

168 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Saturday August 22, 2009, 22:54
I think he may mean in the sense that a game is far more immersive because you are the central character and the rest are your comrades.You care more, so it seems far more cinematic. I can certainly agree with that.

169 bradzilllla
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 00:32
i have just watched the trailer on my 34 inch hd plasma screen

FUCK YOU NAY-SAYERS

170 Garth_Marenghi
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 01:28
I guess I'm in the minority here, but when I first watched the trailer on my laptop, I got goosebumps. I got all tingly, in fact. So you can safely say I'm looking forward to it.

As to the technical deficiencies of the footage, it's impossible for me to judge accurately with only a couple of minutes on a computer screen to go on. But I didn't have a big problem with the alien creature effects, which seem to be the pinnacle of motion-capture character work to date - although I feel actors in costumes with CG augmentation might have done much of the job just as well. It's the hardware that looks a bit too 'computery' to me. The physical presence, the visceral impact of the handmade power loaders in Aliens seems far more timeless than any amount of 21st century animation, and it's a shame Cameron didn't at least try to build more of his world for real. That won't stop me from seeing this as soon as it's released, though...

171 Zimbo
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 01:35
haha big ups to post 152, first 4 lines will shut anyone up who still thinks this film is groundbreaking.

Theres a difference between '' Looks good I'll still go see it in the cinema'' and '' OMFG did you see Sam Neil looking up at that dinosaur for the 1st time!''

Cameron made everyone believe it was gonna be second one ;)

PS. Who says no one reads other posts :P

172 Harrence
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 04:36
*Comment Breakdown*
[I think I'm bringing something new to the table here, and I am attempting to create an eye-catching opening sentence that draws readers and therefore listeners to my opinions which are just a retread over everything that was brought up in the last 175 posts]
Choose between: a) Blah blah blah it's sooo CGI! b) Blah blah Cameron you lied to me! c) Blah 2 minutes blah blah BIG SCREEN blah d) Blah Blah Story'll be crap, just wait e) Blah blah videogame blah f) Blah, humbug! (aka I'm just posting because you've pushed my buttons)
["Support" for my argument based on nothing but what my own interpretations have led me to believe]
Blah blah blah I 1) saw the trailer and 1A) know it will be bad because 1Aa) it's not photorealistic 1Ab) there is no story 1B) think it'll be good because 1Ba) the effects are mind-blowing 1Bb) I don't care how it looks, just that the story and characters are strong 2) watched the IMAX 15-minute screening and 2A) my mind exploded 2B) that makes me better than you because I'm the only one who can say 2Ba) see 2A]
[Closing statement, which half-heartedly attempts to wrap up the entire comment, which was so patched and uneven that all that can end up being said is...]
I have already determined this movie to be {blank}. Word Bank {Awesome, Unsatisfactory}

173 vdjfrancis
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 09:59
Could it be that the alien design is melding two of our planets most superior creatures, that of the powerfull, gracefull, fearfull and agile, big cat family with the bipedal intelligence, emotion and faith of the human species?

People keep calm and tell your self: its only a movie..its only a movie..

174 general_potatoface
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 12:08
Harrence, you forgot:

g) blah blah blah George Lucas blah blah

175 santiiago 13
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 12:17
just a thought. you should never judge a movie solely on hype/trailer.Remember the matrix sequels? 20 minute car chase on purpose built motorway! neglecting to mention appalling convoluted plot and a cast under the impression they were the Godfather.A crime against cinema resulted and i will never get back the hours of my life that it stole,it was like watching a motorway pileup, it just kept getting worse!Cameron is a master of his field and if anyone can pull it off its him.T2,ALIENS,and my personal fave the Abyss(both versions) he pushes the envelope of whats possible and never settles for less.Also, effects are simply one element of the movie process if the story works thats what matters most.Remember, studios often make the mistake of throwing cgi at a movie to compensate for weaknesses elsewhere e.g transformers 2 like its a fireworks display not a movie, sound and fury signifying nothing!How many times have we been fooled by trailers into seeing movies that are a complete waste of time ?


176 Razorus
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 13:06
There are parts of the trailer that look very obviously CG but you have to admit, it is probably the best CGI ever made so far. The bit where Sam Worthington rolls out of the ship on his wheelchair and looks around at the jungle while a mech is behind him looked like a very high-end FMV cutscene from a game; not necessarily a bad thing but it did look very unrealistic compared to what I expected.
However, the Na'vi look incredible. The scene where Sam sits up in the hospital bed and looks at his feet is unbelievable and does look photorealistic to me. I think it's just that our eyes and brains tell us "this is not real" and so we can't accept that it looks photo-real. But if you think about it, the way he moves and his facial expression and especially his feet, look like a real human who has been painted blue.
Plus the environments look great and the action exciting.

177 Mulholland Empire
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 14:32
Afraid I'm going to have to agree with the majority here (something I am not normally inclined to do), underwhelming and souless were the emotions I felt after seeing the trailer. I really want Cameron to prove me wrong as he has directed several of my favourite films.
But (and thats the key word from watching the trailer) but the aliens look like Star Wars prequel rejects, the enviroments while beautiful are as boring as a hundred Halo clones and I am far from convinced that Sam Worthington has anywhere near enough charisma to hold down the leading role. When Arnold played a cyborg you remembered him for it as he gave an icy detached performance but Worthington's turn in Salvation was beyond bland. I don't see how Hollywood has become convinced he is going to be the next big thing.
And to say it is probably the best CGI yet is wide of the mark, for me the pinnacle is still Gollum from LOTR as he was a character I was interested in where here nothing engaged me.
Please James Cameron prove me wrong but my personal jury is most definately out...

178 Mulholland Empire
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 14:35
Oh and I'm not knocking computer games as I've been gamig for 25 years!

179 Mulholland Empire
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 15:00
Sorry for the frequent comments but I keep thinking of new things to write, this film has definately stirred some emotion up! All these images of the military force bombing/attacking a natural landscape, another tired metaphor for America's involvment in certain parts of the world? C'mon Cameron you did the Vietnam metaphor in Aliens and if this is your comment on Iraq then subtle is not the word for it!
Anyone else think District 9 is a lot more of an exciting prospect?

180 davidagillespie
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 15:12
I thought the 3D looked great but scenes involving both aliens and humans looked as realistic as seeing Bob Hoskins and Jessica Rabbit together. I'm sure the final film will be entertaining though

181 lebowski_24
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 15:44
Definitly a dissapointing trailer.Just looked like a george lucas wet dream

182 skewiff
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 15:45
@ Post 173- bradzilllla: "i have just watched the trailer on my 34 inch hd plasma screen"

Yes, but you also have a very tiny cock.

183 conradthebarbarian2
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 16:54
Not every movie you see needs to be Citizen Kane or Rachel Getting Married,
Sometimes you need to stop thinking and be entertained by a film.
King Kong, Iron Man, Transformers, just enjoy well put together action films with some killer sequences. Maybe it isn't the most meaningful experience but FUN! have we all forgotten what its like to have fun at a movie theatre! and if you try and tell me that Rachel Getting Married was fun times had by all... i'll be upset.

184 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 18:09
Skewiff, that was a very low brow comment, you have no idea whether that is true, do you?


Having said that, I and every one else here probably thought there same.

185 TheHazman
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 18:24
Before we even start, James cameron is legend. Aliens is probably my favourite film of all time, just because it has great charcaters and a fantasic concept.

As far as teh trailer goes, yes it was underwelming to a certain extent, becuase there has been so much hype around it. But i think it's just a bit of a crappy trailer. The first trailer for inglourius Basterds was completly crap and then that film turned out to be amazing.

Cameron has never not deliverd the good before, so i'm going to put my faith in him.

186 DaveTheStampede
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 18:39
"187 - conradthebarbarian2: Not every movie needs to be Citizen Kane of Rachel Getting Married. Sometimes you need to stop thinking and be entertained by a film."

I agree, certainly. But the problem I have with Avatar is that everything seems to be geared towards "Ooooh! 3D!" Not the film itself, not the story, or the acting, or the themes, but the "Ooooh! 3D!" As in, the gimmick. That is, effectively, what this film is being sold on. Or at least, that's how it appears to me. Similarly with King Kong, to my mind there was so much about how good it all looked, they seemed to not notice that it was an overlong sack of tedium.

I don't think anyone, not even the studios, were kidding themselves with either Transformers movie that it was going to be anything other than two hours or so of giant robots blowing shit up. And Iron Man was what it was: a fun comic book movie.

It just concerns me that Cameron et al seem to have no other way of selling this movie other than by bigging up how it looks. If you can watch this film in 2D, and it grips you, pulls you in, makes you care about the characters, immerses you in the world and the story, then it will be a good film. But if it only manages to do that with the 3D, then the 3D is a gimmick, and the movie is not worth watching.

But that's just me.

187 Jasper_29
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 18:45
What are we discussing here, really? Does anyone really believe this is going to bomb? Even if the trailer consisted of shots where James Cameron flushes his morning dumps, his fans would still go see it. Sci-Fi fans will see it. Everyone who enjoyed Lord of the Rings will probably see it. Then there's the people drawn to the words "from the director of Titanic" who will see it. In my estimation, that's a lot of people.

Still, blue was a bad choice. People who don't like the color blue will probably skip this one.


188 Mopictures
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 19:16
I'm going to say this as plainly as I can:

1) A trailer does not reflect what the film will be like. Remember Ang Lee's "Hulk" teaser trailer?

2) Photorealism? Are you watching it on a tiny quicktime box in the middle of your laptop screen! Imagine it in IMAX 3D, with every skin pour and sweat bead all present and correct? Come one, guys.

3) People line up to hate things. They scramble and fight their way to the front of the queue so they can stand tall and proud and say "I just saw the Avatar trailer, it was shit." They also, I feel, have no idea what they're talking about.

Avatar looks like it will be a great science fiction film, a visual feast. Not to mention (And I'm stunned that people don't seem to mention this at all - maybe it's a political thing) an intriguing take on the Pocahontas story. If you don't like it, then there are many more films out there to spend two hours watching.

189 hatebox
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 19:51
I'll wait to view the film on its own terms, but those blue... things do look bad.

In fact the real problem is it looks like nothing new.

If, as suggested, the only way this film suddenly becomes 'good' is in 3D then I can only assume the film itself is bad.

190 artilleryman
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 20:29
I too am rather underwhelmed by the trailer but am also happy to wait and see. But what I'm finding interesting is how touchy Empire is getting when their impartiality is questioned - to the point that they're threatening posters with the lawyers now. But surely there's been enough fawning reviews of films that were quite clearly not worthy of the scycophancy heaped upon them to at least raise questions of the magazine's current credibility?

191 The Reviewist
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 20:30
TheHazman

You're wanted in connection for the murder of the English language.

192 amcdev
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 20:44
I'm glad Razorus brought up the 'hospital bed' moment, the look on Sam's face is what sets this apart from other CG characters. The Na'vi really look they're 'there' in alot of scenes, we usually don't get that in CG environments (even if the female Na'vi reminds me of the Dark Crystal in some scenes!) and I don't buy that this looks like a cartoon or computer game.

I seriously wish Cameron had kept his mouth shut about this whole thing as it's inevitably a let down based on what he built it up to be. But I definitely can't wait for this.

193 lebowski_24
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 22:21
All that hype from cameron for that trailer.Looked a lot like a final fantasy sequel.300 million not very well spent.All this crap about 3d,if it looks that cartoony who cares how many d``s there are,just make a good movie.

194 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 23:11
Artilleryman @ Post 194 'But what I'm finding interesting is how touchy Empire is getting when their impartiality is questioned - to the point that they're threatening posters with the lawyers now'

Know body has accused Empire of sycophancy. If they had I'm sure no one would have batted an eye, and quite frankly, most magazine do that.

What peopl (McQueen in particular) have been saying is that Empire have engaged in some kind of access for stars bribery. That, as Helen and James said, is utter arse gravy and therefore libelous and certainly a suable offence.

195 pablohoolio
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 23:15
Everyone has pretty much said it all, so the one thing I will say is that people saying that these do look photorealistic, or 'real', or using the fact that we have no 10 foot blue-cat creatures to go off so it's not a valid criticism to say they look fake (James) I'll say Davey Jones.

As far as I know, there are no squid faced men roaming our planet, and yet HE looks 100% photo-real in a hell of a lot of scenes he's in in the Pirates films.

In fact, there are clear daylight shots where it's hard to tell he even IS CGI. So to use the suggestion that because there are no frames of 'real' reference to blue skinned cat people to go off, therefore we can't really say the CGI isn't real, is bollocks really surely?

Davey Jones is a fictional creation, another wordly creature, and he has all the nuances and ticks and acting performance of Bill Nighty, and looks so much better than the Na'vi.

196 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 23:21
I agree, the arguement that there are no real na'vi to compare them to is crap. Davey Jones wa a very good example.

Though I think some people need to concede that there are some of us who believe that the na'vi do look photo-real, regardless of reasoning or any stupid flimsy arguement. We just do think that. There is no arguement behind it. Most people see all colours. 7% of men, and 0.05%(ish) of women are colour blind. They don't have to argue to the rest of us that they can't fathom certain colours. Just as we don't have to argue that we can differenitate.

I'm not saying the photo-realists are colour blind and the others not, or vice-versa, I'm simply saying that everyone sees what they see and it cannot be argued or explained.

197 CatSchrodinger
Posted on Sunday August 23, 2009, 23:44
That underwhelming trailer really dashed my hopes. It gave me an actual *sinking* feeling of disappointment. {I should've known better than to expect the truth out of this lot.} If I'd been there, at the Con, I would've had to shout 'Is that IT?!'
I was genuinely disheartened, given how much fuss has been made. It feels like we've all been taken in. First Cameron was a stingy SOB, annoyingly tight-lipped {for a, just, stupid length of time}, stringing us along, and then he reveals all and expects us to... what? Be impressed by the emperor's clothes?
Well. There are still 200 people commenting on it, so I have a horrible feeling we're all going to end up seeing this anyway. {Should've painted those Na'vi black and white, like the cash-cows they are. Sequels and video-games and action-figures, oh my!}

198 conradthebarbarian2
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 03:50
If I had never heard about avatar at all but then accidentally stumbled upon the trailer whilst roaming the interweb i would've been way impressed and intruiged but because I've heard so much shit about this movie, even before he started making it.

I just think that needs to be said.

199 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 09:02
conradthebarbarian2, this film has been in production for 4 years. Cameron wasn't spouting about Avatar in 2005.

200 mullerweb
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 09:16
Hi.
I was lucky enough to be surfing Empire Online when I saw the offer and promptly secured admittance to 2 at the Brighton Marina Cinema. I was late getting there - and became increasingly agitated with the rush hour traffic jams that were preventing me getting there. There was a massive queue of people waiting to see this 17 minute preview. We were given very satisfactory 3D glasses for this - (hard plastic resin - not the usual cardboard rubbish - suggesting 3D movies could catch on again if they develope a cool design for them) - and the segment was introduced by an unfeasibly hot chick from 20th Century Fox marketing dept. (did anyone esle get this treatment??...As Al Pacino would say.."Hooowaaarrr"!

I appreciated very much the clip from Cameron himself introducing the piece. At first the 3D effect took a while to get used to but when you adjust(2 minutes??) it really is like you are actually in the briefing room with the Marine NCO giving the prep.The first major segment involving apparently the hunting of a ferocious jungle creature was beautiful and set the tone for what followed. It seems that the plot involving Sam Worthington sees him being sent in the Avatar blue skinned Alien body to be some kind of spy amongst the Na'vi - only to fall in love both with the place itself and with the female warrior who rescues him from capture in another of the segments. After a coming of age moment where he tames a feral flying beast, there follows a montage of the other events to come that we have not seen - involving the innevitable invasion by humanity's forces sparking a war (this is something we would do I might add! You know what we're like! Invading the Gulf to pilfer oil a case in point. If we ever conquered interstellar travel and found a place like Pandora we would gutt the planet for everything its worth - so I applaud Cameron if thats the direction the film takes. After the preview I wanted to applaud. I remained in that world for days afterward.

201 pgmark
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 10:20
I have watched the trailer a few times now and the story is starting to excite me. I still think there is a lot to be done with the CG but I guess the amount of effects shots in the one trailer is probably more than most full films. I do disagree with the Jar Jar comparisons as he was just annoying as opposed to be a terrible CG creation. I still worry that as soon as we reach Pandora it will be just another digital animation rather than a revolution. OK, the technology used is a breakthrough but Gollum was more exciting and with the release of Toy Story in 3D I already know there will be 1 3D experience with characters I can invest emotion and belief into and that is going to be the benchmark. After all, it is what you get from the characters and the story that you judge the film on.

202 guitardave
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 10:21
I saw the Avatar trailer last week, and my first thoughts were "Am I watching a cut-scene from a PS3 game?"... A huge disappointment, as although I knew nothing about the film prior to seeing the trailer, I had heard lots of hype about the big new Cameron flick. Ho hum...

This just doesn't do it for me. Will probably watch it when it comes on Sky in a year or two, but I certainly won't be spending money at the cinema.

As for 3D, who cares? As someone else said, no-one has 3D at home, so it HAS to work as a normal 2D film or what's the point? A 2-hour gimmick-fest? No thanks!

Dave

203 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 11:23
Guitardave, you don't use the word 'despite', and yet you said you knew nothing about the film AND you had heard lots of hype. A contradiction?

204 JungleDave
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 11:49
I think the colourblindness comparison is good and fair. I'm generally pretty good at suspending disbelief and getting sucked into the world of a film. (Davey Jones looked perferctly photoreal to me) I've tried REALLY hard to be taken in by the CG shots in the trailer but every time, my brain screams "THAT'S NOT REAL!". I think there are some pretty complex things going on in my brain that lead to that conclusion. I think it's more than the way the characters move and the amount of processing power behind the rendering. And judging by the fervour of arguments from the "It looks fine" camp, I'm willing to believe that not everyone's brain is reacting in the same way. All of which makes me wonder whether Cameron & co need to get some psychologists to look at the process and figure out what's going on because if they don't fix it, it's going to ruin the experience for a significant proportion of the audience.

205 nclowe
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 12:25
I think someone hit it on the nose earlier...its not that the characters are like 7ft tall and blue...its that they're too clean looking!

I was one of the lucky Movie-Con II attendies and the footage I saw there looked pretty cool - the motion capture was very affective....but the Navi did look awefully plastic....(especially after seeing the ultra-realstic 'prawns' the day before in District 9).

I'm still looking forwards to it though as it looks fun! I just hope its not overly reliant on the whole 3D thing as I'm more of a fan of 2D (hate trying to balance the glasses on top of my specs!)

206 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 12:28
My Empire has just rolled through the letter box, and FUCK ME, I thought the trailer looked good, but the images of the na'vi in it are amazing.

People as recently as ncloew @ 210, said that they look plastic, well you'll soon see, they are anything but. The texturing and imperfections all over them scream photo-real.

I was firmly in the believers camp, and now there is 100% no chance that I'm leaving.

207 coljohnmatrix
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 12:36
As soon as I realised that there was some sort of backlash to the Avatar trailer, I had the mental image of thousands of Comic-Book Guys typing onto message boards "Worst. Trailer. Ever."

Surely we'll have to see the film on a proper big 3D screen before we can really pass judgement on how good it looks?

I wonder if people are just eager to pounce on Cameron - people like taking successful people down a peg or two - e.g. George Lucas. Cameron's put himself in the firing line for having the cheek to make a film that's trying to push the boundarys, and for having directed the most financially successful film of all time.

208 dogstarman
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 12:49
Man, there are so many pessimists around nowadays, aren't there?

I mean, can you really judge a movie by a fucking teaser trailer? Can anyone?

Take the 'Phantom Menace' as a point in case. One of the best teaser trailers I've ever seen, but the movie was a bloated train-wreck of a toy commercial. And that's coming from a die-hard 'Star Wars' fan! Conversely, the recent 'Iron Man' teaser was dull and predictable, but look what a great action movie that turned out to be?

I've seen the fifteen minutes of awesome 3D footage. Combine that with Cameron's legendary story-telling prowess...

...I really don't need to finish that sentence, do I?

What I'm trying to say is, why not reserve judgement? If you diss this movie based on a teaser trailer, you might end up kicking yourself for missing out on something truly spectacular. And you'd only have yourself to blame.

209 DelEmpireo
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:01
In fact the first thing that jumped into my head was 'Reboot' and how impressive that was in the late 90's but if I had known it would have come to this I may have been less enthusiastic on the progress of Computer Generated Images.

The only thing, I think, is left to hope for is an amazing story that will leave you forgetting all about the horrible visuals that will without doubt saturate the movie.

CGI is a support not the bases for a film.


210 DelEmpireo
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:02
I with many others on here watched the 15min teaser. And I have to say the initial reaction was good. The Blue dude mixed with real people did seem less obviously computer generated but I cant see how this will save a films credibility? Just because Toro likes it and is going to use it for all his CGI films doesn't make it a revolution in film making! CGI isnt a revolution in film making its a revolution in Special Effects which until modern days was only a supporting role in film narrative or plot! Todays obsession with it really is cutting the circulation off in film entertainment and brilliant story telling! Its annoying and pathetic to watch 90 mins of CGI and 10mins of actually human interaction! If you look at Alien for example the only thing that is dated in that film is the computer screens and monitors that are aboard the ship and the explosion at the end! Everything else including the countdown to the explosion is bloody marvelous and does not need any kind of CGI effect to make it a better film... ever!

So what went wrong? Why not build a set rather than have it floating in the bowels of a computer hard drive?? Ok money maybe saved but to the exclusion of reality and aesthetically pleasing cinema? Come on wake the **** up hollywood!

Passed the blue dude on the operating table the film took a rather huge dump over any credibility that it might have had if it had used location and the talents of set design and cinematography of natural light! Not CGI sunsets, trees and moving flesh and blood. As soon as I saw the CGI blue female thingy swing a CGI something through a CGI forest being attacked by CGI animals with CGI light and CGI movement I understood exactly what this film was going to deliver. The trailer annoyed me even further with the fake earthy elements that would not look out of place on a CBBC modern day cartoon.

211 DelEmpireo
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:05
In fact the first thing that jumped into my head was 'Reboot' and how impressive that was in the late 90's but if I had known it would have come to this I may have been less enthusiastic on the progress of Computer Generated Images.

The only thing, I think, is left to hope for is an amazing story that will leave you forgetting all about the horrible visuals that will without doubt saturate the movie.

CGI is a support not the bases for a film.

212 Jasper_29
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:22
Dogstarman,

I don't think anyone is going to miss out on something spectacular. If the full trailer is even worse, if the reviews are terrible and if James Cameron would give a press conference on the day of release apologizing for the total disaster he's about to unleash --

-- everyone here will still go check it out.



213 RBShorty
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:30
Coljohnmatrix 12:36.
The reason Lucas was taken down a peg or two. Was because he made a set of films that was miles inferior to what had gone before. While, trying to tell us. That they were much better than the originals.Still the 2.5 BILLON he picked up in the process of making the prequels. must have cushion the blow to his ego.

I got a feeling Jimmy going to have the same problem, come New year.

214 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:38
After having read the whole on the October Issue, I conclude that due to the Avatar cover and feature together with the Pixar feature make this the best issue in ages.

215 tejo
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:45
I don't care about technological revolution in 3D cameras. I care about the way it looks in de end. And this stil looks like Star Wars, the polar express and Beowolf. And personaly I'm not a fan of these CGI-animated films. I just can't get used to the looks.

216 gayrath
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 13:58
Yeh it is pretty. But it does look set to be a 3 hours game FMV sequence.

The main problem I have is that its nothing that original. We have seens films like this time and time again. There is no original plot or story. Man wants, man takes, war ensues *yawns*

I think in terms or originlity for a plot, interesting themes and issues being explored and a way of using CGI that is a hell of a lot more effective then it won't come close to matching District 9.

Oh and 3D? It's old hat now. Every man and his dog is using it. If Cameron wanted this to be truely revolutionary he would of released it when he originally wrote it. 14 years ago!

217 lebowski_24
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 14:01
Lets hope a certain magazine is honest about the quality of this trailer.Altough to be honest i cant see them being anything but in denial about it,as with anything concerning the likes of speilberg,cameron or lucas[Attack of the clones five whopping stars].Fair enough ,it is only a teaser trailer,and could still be fantastic,but we have to judge it so far by what we have seen.By the way,am i the only one who thinks epic filmmaking is not done in a computer.Why not hire some extras,go outside,build some sets and shoot the f#####g movie.

218 dogstarman
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 14:11
I can't wait for 'sweded' versions of the trailer to start hitting Youtube, with tubby people daubed in blue body paint running around in the woods intercut with iffy scenes of plastic dinosaurs and green Lego drop-ships.

LMAO!

Should put some perspective on this whole debate, don't you think? ;-)

219 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:01
Lebowski 24, I know it's difficult, but you need to realise that just because people are disagreeing with you, doesn not mean they are being dishonest.

I doubt even Hitler had the thought 'If Britian were honest, I'm sure they'd concede that everyone who isn't Arian should die.' because it's absolute lunacy. People disagree. That's life.

220 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:05
....though of course Hitler was a lunatic, so actually he may well have thought that.

221 spamandham
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:18
sorry, i think i'm lost. i tried to go to empire.com but i've somehow managed to end up on aint it cool.com

222 lebowski_24
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:22
Fair enough crazymovies dude ,dishonest may be a bit harsh,as long as they keep the hyperbole to a minimum and stop saying that it will change the history of cinema.

223 Greg Andrew
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:33
My god there are alot of jamless doughnuts kicking about with this one.

I was just going to leave a small comment about how i wasn't really impressed with the teaser trailer but thats all it was. just because you can do everthing in a computer doesn't mean you have to.

Also i was watching the zapruder film and i think i saw Helen and Chris on the grassy knowl and then i also heard that a certain Mr Wise has the Holy Grail in his attic. CONSPIRACY THEORIES I CAN GET BEHIND.

224 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:37
But Dude, maybe they believe it will change cinema? I certainly hope it will.

225 jonny.m89
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:44
I dont think its fair to get so wound up about a teaser, if its not your cup of tea, fair enough, dont go see the film, just dont complain about 30 seconds, then go and see the film anyway, wait till youve seen the film, the if you feel the need to complain about it, at least then its justified.

226 conradthebarbarian2
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 15:56
crazymoviesdude, "this film has been in production for 4 years. Cameron wasn't spouting about Avatar in 2005."

Cameron wrote the script in 1994 and tried to get it made first in 1997 but needed a huge budget and got shut down. I read about this at the time. Cameron then claimed that his film would be shot unlike anything before it and change film-making.

227 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 16:12
I'm aware that he wrote the script in 94, I'm also aware he tried to get it made in 97.

If he said that in 97, then ok. Though you cannot try and tell me that there has been a sustained ripple of hype about this film since then, because there hasn't. He may have come up with it 15 years ago, but the hype which i was originally refering to has not been around fro more than a couple of years.

228 SpaceLion
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 16:30
With regards to the quality of the visuals (CGI realism, designs, etc.) it looks pretty good. Don't forget that there are another several months of post-production, so the finished product will most likely look even better. I will be interested to get a better look at how the CGI blends with the live-action.

In terms of originality though, well, there doesn't seem to be much. As I said, the designs look pretty good, but not too original. Same for the storyline (what I know of it). That said, a clichéd storyline can still be great if executed right. I'll reserve my judgement until I see it.

I'm still not buying into this whole 3D crap though. Gimmick!

229 kramaring
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 16:45
Underestimate James Cameron at your peril. Remember all the rumours before Titantic was released ? I am confident that Avatar will live up to the hype.

230 shool
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 16:56
i dont get the backlash, I really dont. I think the trailer looks amazing. I think the concept seems brilliant.

Cameron is a first class film maker and this is a true alien world sci fi flick.

People relax and enjoy the story and the ride rather than analysing every pixel.

I believe Helen and James are spot on.

231 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 17:10
I dont get it either Shool. Yet, we are being treated by many like we are wrong.

'Democracies' (as someone mentioned earlier), are a funny thing.

232 jcallan
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 17:40
CGI, the death of cinema !

233 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 17:52
Unless you're 87, or your name is Brian Sewell, there is no way you believe that.

I dearly hope you're being sarcastic.

234 Hobocode
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 20:11
All the haters are a joke. I'll never get why they have such a hard on for Cameron. One of the best sci-fi directors ever ad they can't get excited for his new 300 million dollar film about 9 feet tall blue aliens battling it out with the Earth military?? Yeah....you guys are dead inside. This movie does indeed look revolutionary. Just look at the detail on some of the Na'vi faces!! Anyone who says it doesn't s lying to themselves. Welcome back King James!!

235 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 20:34
I agree with the sentiement, Hobocode, completely, but surely it is us, who have a hard-on for Cameron? The haters surely have a hard-off, if that were a term.

They certainly get stiff over spewing hate against people.


236 jamiezechner
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 22:57
Whats with all the Avatar bashing, this is making me furious, this movie looks amazing!

no way at all its a Lucas-y big fake CGI; its a good combination live action and realistic CGI that greatly enhances the visuals of the film.

I think this movie is going to be great, and i think that people should stop making all these assumptions about it after just one teaser trailer. give it a chance and make criticisms after you actually SEE the movie.

237 GreenJam
Posted on Monday August 24, 2009, 23:37
well any advert with cgi looks rubbish on a computer screen ... but im not one of the lucky few who saw it on the big screen itself so ...
im worried about the whole 3d thing. surely it will just end up looking like a relief rather something you are actually in?

238 Hobocode
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 01:50
Crazymoviesdude.......HAHA.....right you are, Sir. Well after all is said and done EVERYONE will have a hard on for Avatar anyway. So I was right techically speaking.

Jamie, exactly. All these people bashing the movie based on a simple Teaser trailer?? It makes me sick to be associated with them to be honest. All this baseless negativity. If this was a trailer for a Bay, Boll, or Stephen Sommers(theres a guy everyones negativity should be lobbed at) crapfest or something that I could understand but this is James Cameron!! Even if the special effects were crap(which again I must stress that they are not...they are every bit as photo-real as the JC promised) we'd still have JC's dynamite script. When has he ever let us down in that department? I mean this is the guy who gave us Aliens and T2, at least give him the benefit of the doubt you losers. The guys a master craftsmen and he deserves our repsect.


239 mattdavies86
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 08:29
I'm going to sit on the fence and say wait until we see the film in the format in which it was intended, i.e. 3D. One thing that does concern me though is how well this will transfer to the home market.

It's interesting to see all the debate on this one. The exchanges between Empire staff and McQueen have probably been the most entertaining thing to have come out of the trailer! For some reason it kind of reminds me of that exchange between Clarence and the drug dealer in Robocop. "Guns, guns, guns"!!!

240 DaveTheStampede
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 09:28
Hobocode @ 243: All these people bashing the movie based on a simple Teaser trailer?? It makes me sick to be associated with them to be honest. All this baseless negativity.

How is that any worse that your baseless optimism based on the same teaser?

If you accept that you cannot have any hate or dislike for a film based on a two minute teaser, then conversely you cannot have any love or like for the same film based on the same trailer.

However, if you can say 'it looks revolutionary!' based on that trailer, then I can say 'christ, was that it?' about the same trailer.

For the most part, it seems to me that the 'haters' are merely approaching this film with the cautious cynicism it deserves, especially given the lackluster trailer, and the CONTINUAL hype about the "Oooh! 3D!". But many of the 'haters' have said they will see it, just to see. So, they are willing to be convinced otherwise. That is not an option for me, as I can't watch 3D (I've tried, and realised it wasn't worth the pain).

And yes, this is the guy who gave us 'Aliens' and 'T2'. Neither of which needed 3D to become classics, nor to be great films. Why does 'Avatar'?

241 Wraggsterino
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 10:17
Hobocode (243) got it right. This is Cameron and even though his work includes Titanic (not everyone's favourite movie or crticially acclaimed, it is the most successful film in the world to date), it also includes classics such as Aliens, Terminator 1&2, True Lies, Abyss - all amazing sweeping epics of heart and mind HELPED along by cutting edge technology and effects. Yes, the 3D+IMAX effect is truly better than a crap on-laptop teaser and also any 3D digital screen performance, but that's not really going to be necessary to deliver the full effect of a Cameron movie if he's on form. Would you moan that T2 on DVD isn't going to entertain as much as seeing it on Blu-ray? No, you're going to enjoy the fucking STORY aren't you? Cynical twats.

Reserve judgement until 18th December muppets.

242 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 10:19
Ah, but Dave, that sounds like a good arguement, but I have something to counter it.

Hobocode, you, me, and everybody else was pretty psyched for this film before the trailer. It didn't change the way we (me and hobo (and others)) think. We think the same as we did last wednesday. We all agreed with Cameron that it would be ace before the trailer, and now less than half of people have the same opinion.

You on the other hand, have had your mind changed by 2 minutes.

Why must you approach it with 'cautious cynicism'?

As far as I can see, these days it's good to have something to be excited about, and to look forward to. If we build it up in our heads, and then you turn out to be prooved right, well yeah, we'll be dissappointed, but I'd rather it be that way round, than be cynical and bitter for 4 months, and then it turn out to be brilliant. Though obviously I'm thinking that it's gonna be awesome.

243 gambit21
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 10:30
Apologies if this repeats old ground but I havent read through all the comments and I'm at work dammit. Anyways I went to Avatar Day- I thought the footage there was brilliant, way better than the 2d teaser. I absolutely loved it. Plus if we are to go judging films based on trailers then 300 was the best film ever- best trailer ever. Clearly that is bollocks. Its not out till December and considering the feedback we had to give after the footage was shown I'd say they will fix any niggles with the fx etc ebfore it comes out. I trust cameron and I'm not going to allow that trust to errode simply based on a 2d trailer of a 3d film.
PS possible good next blog- whats the best trailer of all time.

244 pgmark
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 10:47
I love reading these posts. It is like my own little 'heat' magazine. I am a real sit on the fence kinda guy so remain optomistic but want more from the CG. Seems a safe stance. I still am though very disappointed that this is for all intents and purposes a CGI film. The big revolution that I expected from Cameron was that live action would be the bulk of the movie and CGI at a limit so the 3D experience would be based around seeing real objects on screen. Every other 3D film has been digitally animated. I want a well told movie that is based within a real world setting in 3D that is not a crap horror film.

The main argument seems to be that the film 'looks' less than perfect. I think the story, though the usual boy meets girl whilst consciously and vicariously living as a 9ft blue alien, may seem a path well trodden but it will be something to relate to. I guess I just want the love interest to be someone I can fancy too.

245 DaveTheStampede
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 10:57
crazymoviesdude @ 247: Why must you approach it with 'cautious cynicism'?

Fair question.

For me, it's because I've been so unbelievably disappointed SO many times by things that were touted as 'revolutionary' or 'stunning' or whatever other superlative you care to mention.

A few cases in point:

'BioShock'. The guys that gave us System Shock 2? But with up-to-date everything? FUCKING HEY! Got excited, bought it on release, got about half way through, realised how crap it actually was, uninstalled it. It will now siton my shelf for eternity as a warning.

Peter Jackson's 'King Kong'. 5-star Empire review, again a whole host of superlatives. Plus, it was Peter Jackson! The excitement I had... I can't remember the last time I had been less gripped by a film.

'Kill Bill vol 1'. Similar round of 'this is Tarrantino at his best' hyperbole. Not really been a fan of Tarrantino, it has to be said, but I gave this a whirl. CHRIST did it suck.

The re-gigged 'Battlestar Galactica'. I watched the mini-series, having gotten all excited about it, only to roll my eyes at the end, and not bother with it ever again

I suppose I'm just tired of getting excited about ANYTHING only to be presented with an over hyped shit burger.

As I've said, I can't watch 3D. So right from the off, that this is being whored as the definitive 3D experience counts against it. Then there's the teaser trailer that did nothing for me. It didn't tease very well. And then we have the comments like "you can't judge a 3D film from a 2D trailer". Yes, actually, I can. If it doesn't work in 2D, then I have no interest.

I may watch this film at some point. As long as it's in 2D. If it turns out to be a good film that blatently doesn't need 3D, then I will happily say so. But if it nothing without the gimmick...

Nevertheless, I genuinely hope it's everything you want it to be. I'll remain bitter and twisted ;-). It saves being disappointed.

246 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 11:21
Ok well, you give a few examples of dissapointment, though the only one I can agree with is Kill Bill, which I didn't like, though I didn't get at all excited about that in the first place, so even that doesn't work for me as an example.

If you can't watch 3D, then that makes sense why it doesn't add.

I've avoided 3D up till now. I waited an extra week to go see Bolt so it was in 2d. My first foray into it will be Toy Story, because I don't have to worry about it ruining the experience, having viewed it in 2d already, I know it's brilliant. Though the tech behind this does sound amazingly better than even things we've seen this year.

Also, you mention that it doesn't tease very well. Whilst I loved the visuals, as a teaser trailer, which it supposedly was, it wasn't good, because it was as long as a standard trailer and we saw an awful lot of footage. As a standard trailer it was fantastic, but as a teaser, not so much.

247 DaveTheStampede
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 12:03
crazymoviesdude @ 251: My first foray into it will be Toy Story, because I don't have to worry about it ruining the experience, having viewed it in 2d already, I know it's brilliant

Probably the best way, to be fair. I just... I just have this fear, or feeling, that we'll end up getting a whole spate of 'utterly amazing' reviews, because people were wholly taken in by the 3D, but once you see it in 2D, it loses so much as to be crap.

But that's just my cynicism again :-)

Whatever else, I think we can all at least agree that it will be... interesting to see the reaction to the finished product, if only because of the distinctly mixed opinions the trailer and so forth has generated.

Ah, the wonderful world of entertainment...

248 tadeyoola
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 12:11
The trailer and the CGI is without doubt astoundingly bad. Bluehawk earlier put the nail on the head in pointing out that the characters just don't have that skin depth which makes them believable. Instead they look like plastic thundercats. It looks like an incredibly self-indulgent piece of film-making, but then anyone who has made a $2BN will have a situation where the studio tell him he can do whatever he likes. I'll reserve judgement on the final film, but it all just looks ridiculous and I think Cameron has taken an almighty risk and misjudged his potential audience, whilst racking up what might go down as the biggest movie PR spend in history.

With Christopher Nolan having quietly spent $200M on his own little movie Inception that hit the net with a teaser today, I know what I am most excited about.

However, I do have to say that I am less than impressed with how much Empire does suck up to the big star name directors and actors. We rely on you not to be star struck and give us a objective critical view, but it is happening less and less and the tone and content of your posts to this thread prove it. If you did an analysis of movie star ratings in Empire if there has been a feature you will find that about 90% of the time that film gets an extra star than it deserves. This is human nature to give a little extra to people you like and who have done you a favour, but I think you've become so entrenched in this behaviour that you don't even realise anymore that you do it. It is like doctors who prescribe the branded drug, rather than the generic which costs a tenth of the price, because of all the selling they get from the drug companies. This is what has happened to Empire. You should be man enough to acknowledge this. I expect Fox News for example to swing republican, but I can no longer bear the amount that you pander and swing to blockbusters. Where is the investigative and critical journalism? Bye Empire, it was fun while it lasted.

249 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 12:43
Tadeyoola, I'm confused, you are saying that you can be impressed with the 'big name' that is Christopher Nolan, but when Empire voices their admiration and excitement about James Cameron's movie, that is classed as sucking up?

I what way do they pander to blockbusters? Blockbusters make the cover, always, because they sell magazines. Blockbusters get features because people are interested, but '90% of the time (as you insisted also)' there will be another feature on a lesser known, artsy indie film.

Overal, I think give the same critical reception to blockbusters and indies.

It all depends on the moment.

Everyone was incredibly pissed off when Iron Man only got 3 stars and when numerous other blockbusters are underated, but when those little annoyances don't fit in with your argument about them blowing big directors, you leave ithem out.

You also cannot really assume that, say for instance Transformers 2, got an extra star because they got coverage of the shooting. Not only would that be libel, as Helen and James pointed out earlier, but it would be a huge assumption that because they had a differeing opinion to your's that they must have an alterior motive.

If you feel their opinions don't match your own on the whole, maybe read a different magazine?

I find that the guys at Empire tend to have a similar taste to me, and so on the whole, if they don't like it, neither will I, and vice versa.

250 Matthew Field
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 13:42
When I saw the trailer, immediately i thought the CGI work looked pretty shoddy. However I'm still looking forward to the 3-D effect. But then, I'm not a huge fan of the 'gimmick' nature of 3-D. Coraline would have looked better (colour wise) without 3-D glasses. Photo realism is perhaps something that computer's can never achieve. Be interesting to read the reviews. I do agree slightly with the fact that Empire are a bit too clicky with the big names. Terminator salvation sucked Empire!

251 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 14:24
Again, Mr Field, that is your OPINION (and mine) of Terminator, but just because Empire disagrees, doesn't mean they are too 'clicky' with McG.

252 vibeangus
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 14:46
What the fuck is all this moaning about the CG being 'dreadful'? Are you lot fucking blind? Photo-realism debate aside, this is clearly the most technically stunning CG ever produced, and a benchmark. Jesus christ, bunch of ungrateful bastards

253 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 14:53
Simmer down vibeangus. I can't understand it either, but they are entitled to their opinions, and us to ours.

254 chrishaydon_63
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 16:09
I think one of the main important things in this debate is director style.
Sure, Cameron's made some bad films but ultimately, he's far better than some other directors out there. I mean, if I was Cameron, I think I would of sent a hit-man after McG.

CGI is all well and good if it's necessary to the narrative, in the likes of 'Avatar', you need it. Peter 'Wanker' Jackson is a prime example of how you shouldn't use CGI, all his films show that the computer is more important than the character or plot development which is just plain ridiculous.
Narrative is first.

I think Cameron might be selling out a bit on the 3D aspect, the trailer looked okay to me in 2D to be honest. You only should use 3D for animation.
'Coraline' and 'Up' looked perfect in 3D but I really don't need to see Sam Worthington in a wheelchair in the third dimension.

It's nice to have a proper director back in this genre who has a real knowledge of this field, I just hope it doesn't fall flat and become another over-hyped Hollywood money-making ploy.

255 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 16:41
Fuck off, you have no proof the Peter Jackson is bad person, I think you're gonna get molten shit rained down on your head for that comment.

256 chrishaydon_63
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 17:09
I never said Jackson was a bad person, he's just a bad filmmaker.

The 'Wanker' bit was about his filmography, not his personality.

Dude, 'King Kong', it's possibly the worst remake apart from Gus Van Sant's 'Psycho'.

You need to chill man, people have different opinions. You like CGI, some people don't, deal with it.

257 Matthew Field
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 17:24
Crazymoviedude, I wasn't relating Terminator Salvation to Empire being too clicky with big directors, i'm fully aware that Mcg (name out!) is not a big name director. It was just a tag on comment, albeit a little out of context. Chill man! Maybe you should take whatever those blue Na'vi things are on. :)

258 El-Branden Brazil
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 17:43
I understand budget restrictions, but what I would love to see is a major science-fiction film epic done the old way, with no CGI whatsoever. Get back to the real, with REAL on-set craftsmanship. The technology is absolutely there for realistic animatronics. I know, like so many do, that the new Wolfman transformation should have been done the old-fashioned way, and the way Rick Baker had planned and engineered, but has been droppedfor a cheaper (CHEAPER) CGI effect.

CGI has a place, but it is so overused and abused. Die Hard 4, Indiana Jones 4... ruined by it! Wake-up Hollywood!

259 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 18:07
So you're opinion is that PJ is a wanker because you feel his films suck? You're entitled to that.

I could go with you believing that his films suck, but not that you think he's a wanker based on no evidence whatsoever.

Unsurprisingly I loved King Kong, and LOTR.

If you don't like CGI, what are you doing on a board discussing a film which has CGI up the ying yang?

And Field, gotcha man, I see now that it was a tag on comment, but still, if they thought Salvation was good, that's fine.

I can't chill. I drink too much tea.

260 chrishaydon_63
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 18:17
Okay man fair point. You are entitled to like whatever you want.

I do like CGI as I said, as long as it's secondary to narrative. I hope 'Avatar' is as I like James Cameron.


261 Youngdog
Posted on Tuesday August 25, 2009, 18:34
The problem with people claiming that Avatar is going to change everything is that, in hindsight, the films that did such as Star Wars and The Matrix came totally out of leftfield.
The distinguishing feature of something that creates a whole new paradigm is that, until then, no-one could have guessed the impact it would have. Now if JC is talking about HOW to make films then sure, maybe Avatar is the start of a new way of doing things. But IF he is referring to a well told love story/dances with natives tale set on an alien world with nearly-but-not-quite photo-real CGI then I fear he has missed the boat and the expectation created around this film will turn around and kick him in the balls.
This thing won't be the World Wide Web of movie entertainment - It'll be the Segway PT.

262 jamie_speak
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 17:43
I agree with Chaskins that this film should be given a chance to do well. Condeming a film after 2 minutes of trailer footage is a bit like condeming aston villa to the championship after losing to wigan...who then go on to beat liverpool at home 3-1

however whoever put the trailer together has seriously hampered it's chances. like people have said, it doesn't share the gritiness of aliens, the spectacle of terminator 2 or the atmosphere of abyss.
i hate titanic. the only reason it's even remotely memorable is the massive amount of special effects - and in actual fact peter jackson was working on lord of the rings before titanic was released! please don't compare it as an influence!

i for one will keep t2 and aliens at the front of my mind before i jump on the condemning band wagon though

263 Mopictures
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 17:49
I've just clicked on this blog to gauge where people are at with the debates concerning the topic of the Avatar backlash. So I scrolled down and just read the last 3-4 posts.

Now I'm starting to think Cameron may have worked out a way to bring the whole of civilization down in less that 100 blog posts.

PS. Avatar will be a science fiction fantasy film and look accordingly.

264 Mopictures
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 17:52
Not talking about you guys above me! It was when the post was still under 100 posts! People were kind of joining forces and rising against each other in some kind of American political campaign.

265 tadeyoola
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 18:30
Crazymoviesdude

Funny you should say that. As my last post, someone has put me onto the new film magazine "filmstar", whose editorial says that they intend "to blur the lines between arthouse and mainstream moviegoing; to cover film honestly, using our gut instinct to decide where each month's focus should lie."

So I am going to try that one. If it gets big it will probably go the way of Empire and lose its roots, but anyway...

Already heard from a movie friend that Empire have been telling people that they won't run a good piece on them if they start giving access to this new competition, wanting exclusive access rights to set....so could be a fun dogfight coming up.

266 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 18:48
Well I have heard of filmstar though I think I'll stick with Empire.

I think the way you put that last bit is just asking for a lawsuit. I could understand if Empire did say that. I don't think they would have, but there we go. If they did, you gotta remember that Empire is a business too. If they have to play hardball in these 'challenging times' then that's just what they have to do, as do many others.

267 platform327
Posted on Wednesday August 26, 2009, 23:37
Nice trailer.


Looks like Jar Jar Binks: The Movie in my opinion.


At least the kids'll love it.

268 gambit21
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 09:22
Ok sitting eating breakfast. Thought I would read some of the comments I didnt manage to read yesterday because there were like 700- have some been deleted for innappropriatness- cant spell sorry. Also there is tonnes of hate here for Avatar and for Empire. Wow didnt really see that coming. - I refer to posts 45 etc and onwards. Gotta say I have been reading empire for a number of years and although I dont always agree with most reviews I do generally think they are fair when it comes to coverage. I personally dont want tonnes of coverage on tiny films with minimal releases as I probably won't see them. I would rather get more coverage on films that I probably will see. And there is nothing wrong with getting excited about any film- blockbuster or no- this is a magazine after all for people who want to read about film- I was excited by the avatar footage and I imagine the same excitement went through the empire office- if you saw the footage in 2d please wait and if you saw it in 3d and didnt like it then this film probably isnt for you. If you hate it fine no problem with that but taking that out on the empire staff is uncalled for. poor show.

269 gayrath
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 09:31
I wasn't that excited about it before. I was more intrigued at how a film that was touted to be "revolutionary" 14 years ago was still going to live up to that.

I am just a bit dissapointed. There is certainly noting particuarly revolutionary about the plot. Its been done time and time again. CGI is not revolutionary, and Star Wars 2 and 3 showed how wrong it can go if CGI replaces too much in the way of real sets. The only thing it does have going for it, which could fit the "revolutionary" angle is the 3D aspect. But even that isn't really new. There have been 3D films knocking about for years. For example, the way Coraline used 3D was stunning.

I am sure he will create a good action flick for us all to enjoy and then instantly forget, and I do intend to see it puely out of curiosity. But I just find it frustrating that it keeps being referred to as this massive shift and how it will completely change cinema forever. It reaks of over-exageration to me.

270 lsdbaby
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 09:34
One of the most interesting threads I've seen on these boards. From what I can see it's pretty much:

35% - Trailer looks ok, film could be good!
65% - WTF?!! Empire are total sellouts! Why do they keep harping on about this tripe?

It's a big film in the movie-making world but film fans generally can't see the big appeal (aside from the 3D integration, which is secondary in most people's minds. Maybe Empire should do more coverage on the technology being put in cinemas rather than the film?). Empire really do have to devote a lot of cover to this because it COULD be a major revolution in cinema. However it would seem that most movie fans aren't really that bothered about the film itself, so I wonder how this will affect Empire's future coverage. I did find it quite distasteful to find SO much coverage of Avatar in the new issue (my mother-in-law assumed I'd bought a fetish magazine about blue felines!).

One thing a lot of people are picking up on is the loss of impartiality because Empire have certain BFFs like Jackson, Tarantino, Pegg, Kevin Smith (though not so much Smith anymore. Perhaps it was the review of Zack and Miri or maybe it's just me?). I love these guys too but a lot of people can now see that certain films/people get a disproportionate amount of coverage. You can argue specific examples all day, and it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's a trend that's growing in the pages of Empire and more and more people are noticing.

I'm not having a jab at Empire, we all know how business works. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. But perhaps a bit more critical distance is needed in some cases that's all. Empire does a fine job and generally the (DVD) star ratings are spot on in my mind.

Skip to the end: Less cat-people in the coming months please.

271 discodave101
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 09:47
Hahaha - This thread is HILARIOUS to read.

Shame its been dominated by a lot of idiots. I was hoping the Empire Crew and us Empirites would be able to hold a little discussion a about our thoughts on the visuals of the trailer. Instead, the Empire staff quite rightly got side-tracked by the libellous comments being inserted.

Anyway - one thing that has amazed me about this whole thing is the way this trailer has been released. Its been hyped that much, and in development for so long, that the release of the teaser trailer has been akin to the release of a major movie at the cinema. I'm surprised we've not had the actors appearing on chat shows to accompany the release of the trailer :-) I do like that though, can't beat a bit of big budget marketing on a long awaited film. Even my Sky+ Anytime had the trailer to watch from day 1.

Although I'm still firmly in the camp to be 'let down' by the visuals and feel its been oversold, of course I'm still reserving judgement for the release.

272 warren7355
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 10:32
Good to see this thread has had a bit of pruning!

discodave101 - "Empire staff quite rightly got side-tracked"? Personally i think they did themselves no favours at all in getting wound up over a few comments. Ignoring chumps does far more to discredit them than getting angry over it.

Back on topic, alot of people who've seen this on a 'big' screen seem to be converts. On the face of the trailer it looks craptastic so lets hope these converts are right. Makes you wonder why Cameron took the decision to release such a comparitively inferior bit of footage to the final cut.


273 Jack'sSmirkinRevenge
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 12:50
With you there Warren7355, and thanks Empire. There was a lot of guff in this thread, clearly posted by people who have minds even smaller than their tiny penises.

Anyway, I am completely bemused by the backlash. I thought it looked pretty impressive and will undoubtedly look a million times better on a massive screen instead of my crappy 15" monitor. I'm nearly beside myself with anticipation of the full release. I've tried to avoid a lot of the plot details so I can go watch this when it eventually comes out, without too many preconceptions. But the stuff I have seen has gotten me all in a tizzy.

And as a side note, I'd like to give Empire a big pat on the back. Forget those douche bags from earlier, as I'm sure you already have, and keep up the good work. By no means do we agree on everything (don't even get me started on Transformers 2) but you're always my first port of call when looking into films. I love you guys.

Wow, that sounded gayer than I intended.

274 waltham1979
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 13:09
get a room!

275 kinge247
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 13:53
Looks like a cut scene from a game as mentioned already and as for the 3d, gimmick gimmick gimmick. I resent having to pay extra for a movie that my wife cannot see due to her minor eye problem, which means I have to see it twice if she wishes to go see the 2d version so she does not get a headache. This has effectively ruined our movie going experience and for that I hope this flops and Cameron retires never to darken cinemas door again

276 Kev@CTU
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 14:25
woah, i've never read a blog which has caused such a stir before!
Personally, I was disappointed with the trailer - but on the other hand I have no idea what I was expecting before I viewed it - the second coming maybe?
It just seems to Phantom Menace to me - but I'll go see the movie all the same because it's James Cameron damnit! I have faith in the guy, he's trying something different and surely that's a good thing isn't it?

Oh, and Helen, deep breaths... That guy who was being an ass... isn't worth arguing with ;-)

Kv

277 Monkey_of_steel
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 17:03
I love Ms O'Hara's blogs because they always hit the nail on the head. Aliens look humanoid because this form (two arms, two legs, kick ass ways to make weapons out of bones and that) works. It's just works, hence why we haven't started evolving more eyes (though that would be cool). Even District 9 aliens have eyes, arms and stand on two legs, because otherwise they wouldn't last a second in terms of evolution.

I sound like a massive nerd, but that's because I am, and I find arguments against a film for having too human-like aliens, tedious.

278 skewiff
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 17:03
it mostly looks shite, mostly.

279 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 19:48
Monkey of Steel, you sound a little nerdy, but I reckon you are incorrect.

It clear that a four limbed design with eyes and all etc, like so many of the creatures on this planet have, works very well, but that's for this plannet.

Pandora is a different planet with different atmostpheric conditions and enviroment.
The aliens from District 9 don't come from Earth either. Their planet likely has different atmospheric conditions etc.

I couldn't say that our form is the ideal evolutionary way, in fact I'd say that in reality, most aliens will look nothing like us, and we probably wouldn't consider them alive.

The reason aliens in films have to look vaguely like us (and like you said, the 'prawns' still are humanoid-ish), is so that we can recognise them as characters, and emotive characters at that.

Even sharks, which we are very familiar with, are very difficult to imbue with emotion.

This is my thinking as to why movie aliens are always humanoid.

280 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 20:25
....so I am agreeing with the fact that movie aliens should be human-like, but just not with your reasoning.

281 bobthegrinch
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 22:05
I was excited, it's Cameron doing sci-fi. After the trailer and realising Michelle Rodriguez is in it, I'm not. It looks like the Aliens marines on the weird psychadellic forest planet from Star Wars and I just imagine

'uh-oh the Avatars want to live free or are out of control or some shit'
'Kill them!'
'Fight back!'
'Can't we all just get along, don't we have the right to live?'

I'm willing to give it a chance cos I've basically just imagined a story from the trailer which might not be at all what it is. I don't like the look though. I read an Empire writer say 'I don't have a photo of a N'avi to compare it to' or something. Well I don't have a photo of a Naz Ghul or a man with a squid for a head and lobster arm. I still found them more believable in their world than I have the N'avi in this trailer. I think it's that photo realism was promised so people are looking for it and when it didn't deliver they noticed and found it distracting because of all the grandstanding. Although personally I could look past that if I found the visuals, concept or trailer interesting/exciting but I just don't feel like this film is going to offer me anything I haven't seen, except perhaps the 3D that I won't be able to experience until I'm shelling out my ticket money (assuming a cinema in Manchester bothers with the expensive refurb) .

But the 3D aspect itself just isn't that exciting to me. I've seen and enjoyed hundreds of films and it never bothered me that it was a flat image on a flat screen. I want a good story told and performed well. If it is, I don't care if the special effects are a man with a painted blue cat mask showing on a cathode ray telly in black and white. The backlash from me, is that it's an underwhelming trailer for a film that so far seems to have underwhelmed with everything I've heard/read and now seen since the initial 'Cameron returns to sci-fi' joy. If it wasn't Cameron, I'd give this a wide berth.

282 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Thursday August 27, 2009, 22:20
Do you hate Michelle Rodriguez? Or are you just concerned because she's playing a strong women much like Jenette Goldstein of Aliens?

I hardly think that 1 character and the inclusion of marines makes this anything like Aliens, and if it did, that'd be pretty ok with me, and many other people.

283 lsdbaby
Posted on Friday August 28, 2009, 14:13
I didn't realise there were people who didn't hate Michelle Rodriguez.

284 ChesterCopperpot
Posted on Friday August 28, 2009, 14:26
@vibeangus

I just want to say that I agree with you 100%. This looks stunning and is a benchmark that all other films will be measured against. And I have to ask that question again...are you lot fucking blind?

285 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Friday August 28, 2009, 16:47
Why would people hate her?

286 SpiralStatic
Posted on Friday August 28, 2009, 22:13
I'm a huge Cameron fan, and I've been excited about Avatar for a long time.

I've long thought that it was going to come almost from nowhere and blow everyone away, but the past couple of weeks, the hype machine has gone into overdrive, and it's in serious danger of being ruined before it's even released.

As for the people complaining that the CGI in the trailer isn't photo realistic or looks cartoony, I agree with what others have said, it's not out until December, and although Hulk wasn't the best film ever, the Hulk himself looked miles better in the movie than the Stay Puft version in the trailer.

True, Cameron would unlikely release footage unless he was fully happy with it, but the studio will have wanted some kind of preview to get the marketing machine going, and I'm sure he expects people will accept the teaser for what it is - a 'teaser' and judge the film based on the finished product. Some people are obviously just too cynical.

I saw the footage at Movie-Con, and it is a whole different experience on the big screen in 3D. The environments and especially the characters already look completely real.

I understand some people will argue that the movie should work equally on the small screen in 2D for home viewing too, but by the same argument, films like the Dark Knight, which had 6 scenes shot in IMAX, worked best on the big screen, but still didn't lose much of it's impact on the small screen because the story held up so well.

I just hope that the same goes for Avatar, and that everyone who has been so negative recently based on a teaser trailer watched on a computer and some, admittedly over exposed coverage, will have to eat their words

.



287 crazymoviesdude
Posted on Sunday August 30, 2009, 14:29
I thought the MJ version of the Downfall clip was much better.

288 boristhespie
Posted on Sunday August 30, 2009, 16:23
Look at the photos on this website. You have the human one which looks real and then the one with the fallen Naavi which looks like a completely different film an animated one. I know they are animated but Continuity and believeability it brings is paramount to any "realistic" film mixing two mediums otherwise their are the waterbabies or Jerry in American in Paris and for a drama that aint good.

This has problems all over it. I hope these shots were first passes through the computer because if I am taken out of the film everytime some blue muppet comes on the screen I aint going to buy it. if you aim for reality, then it has to be real blue or not.

289 eddieryan
Posted on Monday August 31, 2009, 22:34
As a one-eyed film fan (literally - I have limited vision in one of my eyes), 3D doesn't work for me, so I hope this isn't the future of films, as it will ruin things for me...

I have checked out the trailer and it looks rubbish, I have to say - the Avatars look really bady animated considering all the hype.

Can't see how 3D can be the future as the films will at some point be shown on telly - and is everyone supposed to have their own permanent 3D specs at home to watch? Seems a bit of a faff if you ask me - but then I'm not really in a position to comment objectively am I?

290 nclowe
Posted on Thursday September 3, 2009, 21:50
Just saw the trailer in 3D in the cinema and I think I have isolated the problem.

Its a shit trailer.

Seriously. If I hadn't read all about Avatar in Empire I'd have no idea what was going on except there was apparently blue people and spaceships.

Having seen the footage at movie-con I know there is much more to it than that and it look rather good, but try to convince my mates of that after seeing this trailer was hard going. They need to release a proper trailer asap as the current one does it no favours.

291 afahey
Posted on Saturday September 5, 2009, 02:52
My god i love the fact that we have all the experts on this page giving us there opinion. Id be lost if I didn't have you lot explainin to me about this trailer. Ive watched it and ok it didnt look the best but come on. are you people really gonna judge the film on a minute and a half of fottage that by the way isnt even using the 3D capabilities that this film was supposed to revolutionize the genre. i think that im gonna hold of reservation until i see either more footage or till i actually see the film.

292 Hodge007
Posted on Saturday September 5, 2009, 18:22
I think some people here are forgetting than when It comes to action films not many people do it better than Cameron. Ok when I first saw the Avatar trailer I wasn`t blown away, but I have total faith that Cameron will deliver on the final product.

Saw the trailer in 3-D the other day and you can clearly see what Cameron is trying to do when seeing this in 3D. You felt like you was immersed in the film rather than observing it (and that was from a 2 min trailer) Plus the CG blended alot better when in 3D I thought.

So what If people are moaning about viewing it in 2D? The guy is a Pioneer after all and is always looking to the future. Within the next 3/4 years I`m sure alot of people will have 3DTV`s in there homes by then, and this film will be awaiting them as the benchmark in 3D films.

Terminator/Aliens and T2 were all big leaps for action films and I think Avatar will be another addition to those titles.


293 Bizz90
Posted on Sunday September 6, 2009, 05:19
Let us face the cold hard facts, the people who submit the primary online feedback for trailers are, for lack of a better word, nerds; and as we all know, nerds HATE EVERYTHING. They hate everything done to the minute-est detail. ALL CGI sucks according to nerds. Terminator Salvation sucked according to nerds WHEN IT OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T. Most of the criticism given by nerds isn't actually done because they don't like it, it's just because criticism makes them feel like they have some sort of....I don't know....advanced expertise. We all know it's too early to tell, the trailer shows you bugger all. I really doubt that Cameron would choose this project to suddenly decide to go senile and make a Disney movie with aliens. I think the studio would have noticed.

294 Maneroch
Posted on Friday September 11, 2009, 20:49
Read the review in this months Empire and was quite interested in the film , which up to that point i hadn't been. But i saw the trailer yesterday whilst waiting for District 9 and was really disappointed. unless the story is fantastic i can't really see what the fuss is, the film just looked like a mediocre video game. don't think i'll be holding my breathe - and as for Titanic - the boat sinks at the end (which i think most people knew) so didn't see what all the fuss was about there either - perhaps "everyone" just really loves Mr Cameron a little too much???

295 The Running Man
Posted on Friday September 11, 2009, 20:55
Avatar may have promised a massive break through in technology and so far it appears to have succeeded in that aim at least. However, perhaps because much of the technology used to bring avatar to the big screen is still in its infancy the effects are undoubtedly cartoonish and well below the anticipated standard. And although Cameron is no doubt a very able director I believe his reputation owes much to the success of Titanic. But it should not be forgotten Titanic prior to its release was being hailed as a unmitigated disaster, due to Cameron going massively over budget. In fact and Titanic may well have ended Cameron's days as an A-List director had it not been for the casting of a yound Leonardo DiCaprio who drew throngs of teenage girls to the cinema again and again and again...Furthermore for all the critical kudos Titanic received the film is never listed as an all time great. So in essence what I guess I'm trying to say is Avatar may well not be the giant success everyone is anticipating and far from revolutionising cinema may merely open new technological avenues for cinema to explore, and judging by the avatar footage, improve.

296 TheByblisMan
Posted on Monday September 14, 2009, 01:56
Like so many other films Hollywood gives us it is what it is --

"Expensive Bubblegum".




297 dewstarpath
Posted on Saturday October 31, 2009, 18:34
- One of the sci-fi novels that should be read before
you see "Avatar" (if you can find it) should be "Man-Kzin"
"Wars" by Larry Niven. Except for blue skin, and no fur
or bat-ears, the Nav'i are dead ringers for the Kzinti.

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