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We didn't have the option to see it in 3D, but it made absolutely no difference. Absolutely breathtaking. Typically, when I see a movie, I spend most of it analyzing, speculating, and sorting everything out. When the movie's over, I usually decide it was either of passable quality, or that it was utter crap, and proceed to tear it apart.

I had no inclination to do any of that tonight. I just sat back and went along for the ride without thinking, just soaking in the experience. It was something new for me, honestly.

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Go see it. It's one of those very rare movies I look forward to seeing more than once.

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I'll throw in here. I am a very analytical movie-viewer, and generally quite cynical. I'm hard even on movies I like, most of the time.

Avatar was a movie that I forgot to criticize as I watched it. I won't claim that its story is magnificent and unique, or that the writing and dialogue are seamless and perfect.

What makes Avatar such a surprise to me is that not only did I enjoy it thoroughly as I watched it...but that even now that I've had time to think, and catalogue its flaws, I STILL enjoy it. I plan to see it again, in fact, simply to have my breath taken away again.

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I saw it in 2D and it was a magnificent visual treat. One of those movies that will be considered the start of a new level in filmmaking.

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Just saw it in 3D, I'll second what everyone just said.

The only thing I'll add is that IMHO you get the best 3d effect if you sit in the upper half of the theater. We sat in the lower tear and while it was worth going I thought we should have sat in the upper tear.

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Yeah, saw it in 3D this weekend. Only complaint is the heavy handed eco message. Yeah, I get that we are fucking up our planet, I just don't like being beaten with a club about it while I'm being entertained.

That said the movie freakin rocked. I would not be surprised to see an Avatar MMO at some point; that movie is just begging to be turned into a video game.

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I wasn't that excited about it, but, I saw it cuz some friends were going. And it was pretty fun. It's nothing you haven't seen before in terms of plot or theme, the plot isn't bad, it's just...you pretty much know the whole plot from the trailer. The science is not bad, although the earth-like biology is kinda messed up. Most impressively, it's almost not racist. In particular it has this really cool subversion of the white-dude-saves-all-the-colored-folks pattern in films, which is really subtle and really well done. And of course, it's virtually awesome.

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Quote:
The science is not bad, although the earth-like biology is kinda messed up.
*If* we wanted to make this serious science fiction (which I doubt), the only way to make sense of that planet is if the inhabitants aren't savages, they're degenerates.

I.e. their ancestors developed a technology so advanced that it became as magic, even to them. Many, many generations ago they forgot how to build the tools their ancestors developed, and now they just use them. Thus everything that has a brain jack is the product of serious bio-engineering. Their "god" is actually a computer, etc.

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I don't see it that way. It's not so hard to imagine the possibility of life evolving in such a way. There's a significant random element to evolution, after all. Not everything that could evolve into a species, or ecosystem, does.

Life on Earth didn't go that way, but I don't see that as an argument that it absolutely could not have.

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it could work if early in there evolution something developed that jack. it could also work if the planet 'brain' developed intelligence and caused the critters to develop the interface.

but mainly its just a metaphor for the world being a living thing, thus making any 'harm' to the world to be an evil act. thus by comparison we are evil by exploiting our own world. The Eco message.

Don't get me wrong, I do think we are harming the Earth with some of the things we are doing, but I do not believe it is 'evil' I just think it's very shortsighted, one might even say Stoopid.

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The problem I have with the Brain-Jack is there's no known reason for it to exist other than to allow creatures to be useful to people... and there's even a backup link that lets the world mind take over.

Worse, being useful to people appears to mostly be to the creature's detriment. The link to the trees results in them spending tremendous amounts of energy on our needs and not their own. The link on the dragons prevents them from eating people, lets them die in our wars, and the time/energy they spend flying us around could be much better spent eating or looking for a mate.

MUCH worse, it's extremely hard to give the link some purpose (like sex for example) that couldn't be just as well served by making the link species specific. All the previous arguments would still exist.

Fundamentally evolution is selfish, this hits the radar as a lot more planned (or Plot driven). If you find something an engineer would build then it's probably something that one did.

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Here's how I see it. We'll start out on Pandora...way back...

I think it would start with something analogous to certain trees that exist on Earth. Trees that actually exist. When one tree is threatened, for example, by a beetle infestation it releases chemicals through its roots as a reaction. This chemical stimulates other trees (they grow in proximity to each other and their roots touch) to produce materials toxic to the infesting beetles in their sap. The plants that can "communicate" have a clear survival advantage.

Now we diverge. At some point, the trees develop cells that plants on Earth never did...specialized cells that exist specifically for transmitting information, analogous to neurons. There's no reason this -couldn't- happen in plants, just as it did on Earth, in animals. The specifics of their functioning would likely be different, but the point is that they take an established plus to survival...the ability to communicate information about dangers...and improve it.

Time passes. As the ability of the plants to share and exchange information improves, animals find survival value in being able to 'tap into' that network. Predators can find herds of prey by looking for areas where the plants are being flattened underfoot. Prey animals can try to find plants sensing lurking predators. Animals that develop the necessary adaptation...a sort of biological "USB port"...have an advantage over those who cannot access that information. The plants don't collect that data FOR animals...but it's out there, and it can be used.

Enter the na'vi. They are sentient, and appear to be the only sentient species on the planet. As such, they can use the plant network in unique ways...not only sensing information from it, but sending information TO it, and storing it there. They also learn that they can 'interface' with other animals via these organs...the quick and dirty form of domestication.

Cameron takes it a step farther and postulates that the network, as a whole, achieves a sort of super-sentience...an emergent intelligence of it's own. Or maybe not. It's really hard to tell.

What I thought was fascinating was the idea of taking concepts that on Earth are pure superstition, like spirituality and the notion that life is connected, and creating a framework where they are verifiable fact.

In a lot of ways, that hidden backstory was more interesting to me than the actual plot. smile

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Here is Avatar: The Making of the Bootleg

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Originally Posted By: Chosen
I still haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't comment, but Ain't it cool had an interesting article on the science behind the movie that may be a good read for those of you that have seen it. Here is the article: Copernicus Grades Cameron On The Science of AVATAR.


The author gets a little bit wrong, but it isn't his fault. The Na'Vi don't have traditional DNA like humans. The movie doesn't go into an in-depth explanation of this because the person that tells us that the Avatars are grown from the DNA of the natives is Jake, and he doesn't understand the science behind it.

It's one of those details that was thought of in the development of the world but not included in the film.

The Avatar Program at Pandorapedia - explanation from the official movie wiki.

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I just got back from seeing the movie on the 3D Imax and I really liked it. I didn't think the trailers looked very good, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

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I absolutely loved the movie, but I couldn't help thinking it was just Ferngully with a really, really, REALLY big budget.

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Originally Posted By: Juri 'Salamander' McClendon
Originally Posted By: Chosen
I still haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't comment, but Ain't it cool had an interesting article on the science behind the movie that may be a good read for those of you that have seen it. Here is the article: Copernicus Grades Cameron On The Science of AVATAR.


The author gets a little bit wrong, but it isn't his fault. The Na'Vi don't have traditional DNA like humans. The movie doesn't go into an in-depth explanation of this because the person that tells us that the Avatars are grown from the DNA of the natives is Jake, and he doesn't understand the science behind it.

It's one of those details that was thought of in the development of the world but not included in the film.

The Avatar Program at Pandorapedia - explanation from the official movie wiki.


It does say in the movie I believe that they have a triple helix instead of double helix...all I can remember.

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I've talked to a couple of consveratives at work. They HATED the eco-friendly, white-liberal-guilt storyline.

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I had a friend tell me they hated the politics of it before the movie came out. Since I try to avoid any spoilers I didn't know what he was talking about. My only complaint with it was that I didn't need to have someone in the movie actually say what was going on in order to make sure that people got what was going on. At least it wasn't as bad ad Land of the Dead.

I really liked the pacing of the movie. In comparing it to other big budget movies of the decade (Star Wars, Matrix, Pirates, Transformers, Harry Potter, etc.), it was the only one that I never lost my interest through. It took liberally from a lot of other projects, but at least it do so with some skill.

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