"Hey, if they can turn the Hobbit into a three three-hour epic, we can make a fortune out of this!"
For what are no doubt very important artistic reasons and nothing whatsoever to do with financial considerations, James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have said they'll now be doing three Avatar sequels instead of two. A shot from Avatar The big blue movie helmers said that they're hoping to shoot all the movies simultaneously …
Since, in my opinion, StarWars episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the only good one of the six made so far, I am in the strange position of agreeing and disagreeing with you at the same time.
However, there is no excuse for further Smurfs in Space films - if they are like the first one, then they will involve piss-poor, plagiarised versions of semi-good stories with less-than-cutting-edge animation.
I will not be watching them at least until they come on TV, and probably not even then.
I am stunned anyone can use the word good in association with the star wars prequels.
Avatar has a dull predictable and cliched plot poorly acted. It was saved by stunning visual effects. This will be harder to pull off with every following film. If the plot and dialogue are as bad as the star wars prequels they will be truely awful films.
Nothing says the sequels have to be poor but the omens are not good.
"...packed with thermonuclear warheads, on fire, heading for the sun, perhaps"
Actually I had in mind 'ol Jar Jar cruising along with what some might describe as a "Cocklewell Carrott" between his lips.
Yes, the plot needs a bit of development but I'm sure with a few million I can think up something for him to do for the next 100+ minutes.
Dances with Smurfs is the name of the South Park episode that takes the piss out of a number of things (mainly American Political rhetoric) including Avatar, the in fact, I would recommend watching that instead of Avatar, it has more humor, intelligence, intrigue, better acting and a more well-rounded content and exploration of human ideals and issues in that half hour of 2D animation then Avatar managed in 3 hours with millions of dollars.
Well, that pretty much says it all. I can't see why they bothered with script writers unless they are betting that there's a chance that one of them might come up with an original plot?
Fat chance really - oh I'd love to be wrong about that but realistically I've had bowel movements with more exciting elements that James Cameron's films.
"We could always campaign to have Avatar considered a metaphor for Catholic Church's historical penchant for traveling to new lands and destroying any culture they find there. Seemed to work pretty well for derailing the Golden Compass movies..."
So Avatar is like "The Mission, " but without Al Pacino being thrown over a waterfall as an act of contrition?
The Golden Compass plays down the religious aspects. It's there if you look for it but the Magisterium is a secular authoritarian state.
As such it's only politics are those of oppression and obedience to The State.
All else is sophistry.
I don't understand why any studio would make even the first film. Did they even read the rest of the trilogy? If you tried to film and release those in the US, even toned down, you'd have a mob with torches and pitchforks turn up at the studio.
They were able to almost entirely remove the religious parts from the first story. It left a few problems, like villains that lacked any apparent motivation for their evil deeds, but overall didn't make the plot impossible to follow. That might be possible for most of book two. But by three? The religious aspect *is* the plot. Take it out, and you've nothing left.
I've long thought the Navi, their biology and their easily interfaced biosphere was so improbable as an evolved system it would have needed to be artificial.
I think a prequel set a thousand years previous would a good idea.
At this point Pandora was at a social/technological similar to modern earth not sci-fi, nor all harmonious. Just bumbling through existence, when all of a sudden a huge meteor smashes into the planet. After reeling from that blast, the joined forces of the planet find the meteor has taken root and an army of bio-technological warriors are starting to fight their way across their planet.
Film ends in a last ditch attack against the invaders HQ/Life tree. The blast is enough to send the invaders into disarray and chaos, but eventually the native populous is wiped out by the rapidly expanding biosphere of the invaders.
Always thought that would be a good wake up call for all those Avatards who think the Navi as something to aspire to.
The Navi are actually castaways from the Smurf B-Ark equivalent!
In times long forgotten, those Smurfs who had abused their higher education system and received degrees which only burdened society were gathered up and sent to a distant planet. There they were able to continue their pursuit of sociology, art appreciation and native handicrafts while contributing nothing useful and without negatively impacting the lives or financial well being of the other hard working Smurfs who were left behind.
After appalling loses from attacks by native wildlife and starvation from a failure to understand why there were no Smurfberry vendors on their new world, the Navi went feral and began a primitive religion based on nature worship and the deification of a tree. The newly emergent priestly class quickly took to interbreeding with their own offspring. Resulting in severe deformities and birth defects including gigantism, heightened visual acuity, severely limited mental capacity and a penchant for killing and necrophilia.
As news of the Navi atrocities spread throughout the galaxy an army of Galaxy Police was assembled by the United States and sent to bring democracy and capitalism through planetary exploitation to the Navi. This is their story.
Here's my idea:
That Unobtainium is good stuff. You think Earth is just going to leave alone? No, they are sending back a new ship, and this time going prepared. Not only does it have a real military force, but after the events of the first movie they know not to discount that 'spiritual' rubbish - there is proof that the planet has an interconnected neural network spanning species, and human technology is rather good at interfacing to neural networks now. After all, they can sync brains between a human and an avatar body.
Sully has been living the life of a native for the last ten years, and now fits in as one of their own - his off-world origins almost forgotten. He is happy in this life, but for one flaw: Children. His body is still half-human, and infertile, a condition that adversely affects his relationship with whats-her-name from the first movie - family lines are very important to na'vi, and is inability to sire a future priestess is an insult to the community.
One day Sully jacks into a tree, an is passed a vision by that transcended scientist woman, taken from the memories of a Na'vi from the area: The sky is falling. Great birds, trailing fire, dropped from the clouds. To the distant tribe this is a worrying and incomprehensable event - but Sully recognises the description of a spacecraft in reentry and landing. He knows that the tribe there knows almost nothing of humans - he is the sole Na'vi expert on them. So he and whats-her-name travel to this costal region to learn what is going on, and to defend Pandora if they must.
On arrival they find that the humans have been more sensible this time. Aided by mapping data from the previous operation they have set up in a less tropical region, where the local wildlife is a little less dangerous. Further, they are mining offshore - a costal base serves as a dock, while giant dredgers scoop unobtainium from a seabed deposit. This is promissing: They won't need to expel anyone from their land. What's-her-name expresses hope that maybe coexistence is possible - but Sully is suspicious, and concerned that the deposit will eventually be depleted. Further, there are already signs of water pollution from the toxic refining process. Sully tells whats-her-name the basic base layout.
Further strange activity is noticed too. The animal life is acting strangely. The locals report that the trees are giving them strange visions. Sully investigates this by jacking in himself, and sees strangely familiar things: Human writing, pictures and symbols. Things that have no place on Pandora. Still spying on the Humans, Sully, What's-her-name and one of the locals are caught and taken into the human base. Sully plays dumb, pretending to be a technologically ignorant native so he can try to observe inside - he sees scientific equipment through the windows, computer banks, screens displaying MRI data and networks and a bank of avatar interface tanks on his way to a holding cell before someone notices his extra fingers. This confuses the humans - they see an avatar body, recognise Sully, but say they have none themselves and ask where his tank is. Sully confesses that he no longer needs his human body, but this sounds impossible - he is dismissed as crazy.
Sully escapes - not using his knowledge, for Avatar isn't that type of franchise, but because the three of them are able to cooperate to break out. As they flee, Sully witnesses something even stranger: A dredger dumps its load into a floating barge, before a whale-analog swims up to the surface and starts pushing it towards the human base. This triggers a crisis of faith for the Na'vi: If the animals are aiding humans, that means Enwya is on their side. How could the Na'vi be abandoned by their goddess?
Whats-her-name cannot accept this, and nor can Sully: He has seen what humans do to a world. In a search for answers he attempts to make contact again with dead scientist - but this time when he jacks in, he is bombarded with noise and scattered imagery. Pictures of earth, chemstry, space travel, and through it all the sense of others - sensing him, reacting, chasing him down. Dead Scientist struggles through this chaos, but can only guide him to a key image stronger than the rest: A map.
Sully, whats-her-name and a few escorts are guided to the ocean and swim down where the map says. There they find roots - a tree of souls, made of coral and concealed below the water. The locals say they knew of this place, but it is a most holy site and approached only on the rarest occasions. The humans have found it already: Technology covers the natural formation, with cables running undersea towards the human base. Now he understands.
Humans learned to control an avatar body. Now they no longer need one. They can be the animals. They can be the planet itsself. This time Enwya isn't going to come to their aid - she is too overwhelmed by the humans now hooked up.
Before the team can consider disconnecting the device, an ambush of very hostile wildlife arrives to claw and catch them. The local human defenders. The team escapes, barely - but as they look back they see the place heavily guarded by pandoran crabs.
Now things escalate. The local tribe are first disbelieving, then outraged at this sacrilidge. A war is declared - but Sully knows they cannot win this time. They defeated a mining operation before, but barely, and only with aid they won't have a second time. Now they are up against a full military force. Worse - flying drones are broadcasting a message: Hand over the human and avatar, or face destruction. No more nice hippy humans now: They are in a state of war.
Whats-her-name asks to trust in Enywa. Sully realises this could work - and Dead Scientist tells them how. Enywa is overwhelmed with alien thoughts - mining plans, ore transport routes, the idle background of the operators as they think of home. But that could go both ways. As war is launched (The locals riding into battle on giant mantas), a daring operation is carried out to capture one of the crabs and link Sully to it before the operator can disconnect. Contact established, Sully is able to use their own tech against them - disrupting the control system long enough for a whale to bite through the undersea cables. Even then the battle goes badly, with human weaponry slicing the incoming Na'vi before they can get close - but whats-her-name sees an opening. Flying overhead on her lizardbirdthing she dive-bombs, making an abrupt landing inside the base in the area Sully earlier told her was the environmental room. She doesn't know tech, but she can break things - pulling pipes, smashing controls, stabbing her spear through panels and tearing tanks apart. With the base now flooded with Pandoran air, the humans have no option but to set the auto-destruct and run to their shuttles.
Say is saved, humans defeated, Sully and whats-her-name once again hailed as heroes. Oh, yeah - they find an orphaned na'vi to raise too. Everyone is happy.
Cameron: If you use that, I'll settle for even a tiny 0.1% royalty - that's still a lot of money to me. And I want that gross, not net - I'm not stupid.
...... of Camerons descent into trite crap (Titanic, ex-wife made me watch it .... and yes it could be the reason the ex is in there) there was no way on earth I was paying to see it at the cinema. Saw it on film 4 eventually. Glad I did, makes Howard the Duck seem like a cinematic masterpiece.
3 more is just unforgivable
although that might lead down the Harlan Ellison route if played wrong.
(ps actually I thought ADF's "Aliens" novelization was quite good - he did the best he could with the script material and regardless of what the 'Cam' said about his disliking of the novelization, that isn't really a good reason to rip off ADF's Midworld novel and then say the Aliens novelization was rubbish - and saying he wouldn't dream of ripping off some writers work).
It also helps keep the narrative consistent with the same actors and overall 'feel'. I like the idea of filming all the movies at once.
The only downside I can see to it is that the huge upfront investment means that the marketing and tie-in products can be overwhelmingly pervasive. Kind of like the product placement satire in Spaceballs, except not satire.
The second will be cheaper, because it's a CG-heavy movie. A great deal of the data is reuseable - character models, rigging, etc. Remember these aren't your little FPS game models we are dealing with - they use muscle modeling to make sure they move realistically, crazy-high resolution, and surface models that include the effects of pores and sub-surface anatomy. Each one represents weeks of work.
Avatar made its bucks on novelty. And on special effects. And above all by charging a whopping premium for 3D. Its story, unfortunately, was pretty hackneyed and in some ways horribly formulaic after the event - I've tried to watch it twice in 2D since I saw it in the cinema, and given up both times, and that's not a good sign, because normally I'll sit through just about anything. Plus it's already nearly four years since it came out - there can't be all that many people, frankly, who remember enough about Pandora or the characters to care greatly one way or the other. Sure, I suspect the first new film will have enough momentum left from the success of the original to do at least tolerably OK, provided it's not downright awful - but a trilogy? That second film better be in a class of its own, or numbers three and four are going to sink without trace. And, personally, I'm not sure I'll be shelling out a 3D premium to see even number two until I've seen enough good reviews to make me think it's worth it.
Colour me, overall, a highly dubious blue.
Hollywood has found it's magic formula, gone are the days of decent films. It's all about the big, shiny 3D these days, lots of colour, explosions and more explosions. Just look at what's made money over the last few years. Would you call any of these true classics?
Avatar - $2.7bn
Titanic - $2.1bn
Transformers 3 - $1.1bn
Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (and 4) - $1bn
Alice in Wonderland - $1bn (how did this POS make this much?)
As said before, Dances with Smurfs, (Sorry Avatar) had an well-trodden dumb story that was made even stupider (Mining for “Unubtainium” anyone?) yet was well covered up (excused) by really good looking special effects, I was impressed, but the idea of making part 2 & 3 reminds me of the time I was more impressed, it was when I went to the cinema to see the Matrix.
When the Matrix was realised back in 1999 it had a much better re-hash of an overused story, but at least they took it to the extreme (as we used to say in the 90s) in terms of the idea, and yes the double gun slow mo was straight out of John Woo films like the Killer and Hard Boiled, but as I said, they took it to the ‘extreme’ (Rad).
What they then failed to do was realise that the same audience that was blown away the first time they saw the camera panning around the person in mid-air just before she kicks the cop in the chest was no longer going to be as blown away as much, and even though the Matrix left it open for a sequel with the ending they thought the way to go was ‘bigger & louder’ which is what the audience expected, so you saw the Matrix 2 & 3 and thought, well it looked pretty good, but then it was supposed to, and now the effects just look cool rather than amazing, and since that was what they focused on, the story was tosh.
So now the Matrix sequels are judged by many to be ‘bad’ films, however if the same films had been viewed the other way (3rd ist -1st last) as prequels, people would say, ‘well the third didn’t look as good or have as much stuff blowing up, but it had more depth to the story and showed how good the scriptwriters are’.
As with the Matrix, I fear FernGully: The Last Blue Rainforest (Sorry Avatar) will go for the dumb audience ‘wow’ factor, and the audience will go, ‘well, yeah, it’s supposed to look good, now give me a story to keep me interested in this for 3 hours’.
Unless of course the producers watched the Hobbit recently, in which case we may get an action packed decent length content driven film
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