The James Cameron film. Just wondering what everyone's take on the hype around it is thus far?
Personally, I find Cameron to be vastly overrated as a director; with Terminator and Aliens being the only REALLY good films he's ever done and while T2 was entertaining, it was a massive cheese-fest and dumbed-down to appeal to the lowest-common denominator compared to the original Terminator film.
I think I'm going to go see it, simply because I (willingly) gone to the movies in a while and I think that this movie was made SPECIFICALLY for a theater-viewing.
That said, I'm not super-excited about it. It kind of looks like the world's longest video-game cut-scene and while everyone keeps talking about visuals that will blow your mind, I don't feel like the previews have shown me any of that. There might be more subtlety than in a movie like Star Trek (which I thought was the most visually stunning film I've ever seen) but subtle facial expressions on CGI models don't exactly blow my mind...
I'm hopeful that it exceeds my expectations but I'm anticipating it to be a bit of a bore (like Transformers)
Well I can understand where you're coming from on this. However, if you honestly broke down EVERY film Cameron has ever made, they all appeal to the lowest common denominator, as you can't really expect Shakespeare out of the man. That's not where his strengths lie as a director.
As far as being over rated goes, I think not. sure his story lines are fairly simplistic, to say the least. However, he makes up for it in character development and tone of a movie. Creating just the right atmosphere to create tension and suspense, to keep the viewer entertained. And his attention to detail to the special effects, pushes the envelope every time.
Although if you really want to know what directors are over rated, i'll gladly list five that are the MOST over rated if you want my opinion; i'll even say why too.
1. Wachowski brothers-They make one good film, and everyone says they're freaking geniuses. What about Shamalan? He made 3 good movies, yet everyone thinks he's a hack now since his last few movies bombed. Just like Wachowski's last two matrix films and speed racer. Yet, they're geniuses for just ONE good film out of all the other crap they produced.
2. Michael Bay-Sure, like cameron, his stories tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator, but that's where the similarities end. Bay doesn't make up for it with character development and tone like Cameron does, he makes up for it by having a crap load of CGI and hot girls doing various poses. I.E. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Heck, his best film was Bad Boys, and that was only good because of Will Smith.
3. McG-What films is he known for? Oh yeah, he directed Charlie's Angels, a film that sold based of hot girls in skimpy outfits and explosions. With storyline and character development be damned. Then you get Terminator Salvation, where instead of focusing the film on John Connor, he shifts it on a character that does little to push the mythology of the Terminator franchise.
4. Roland Emmerich-This guy makes all his films with so many last minute escapes in movies, that it completely takes the suspense out of any movie. Plus, all his characters are stereotyped idiots, and you can see where all his stories are going to go from a mile away. None of the main characters are going to die, and you know everything will be alright despite insurmountable odds, with logic and reality be damned.
5. Ron Howard-Yes, the golden boy that people seem to praise for his work on the "Da Vinci Code" and a "Beautiful Mind." However, he's not a great director. In fact, most his films tend to usually suck to say the least. And anytime he does take on a film like "A Beautiful Mind" or "Da Vinci Code" that forms any kind of promise, he screws it up by playing it safe with the story lines. Never taking the genius chances like the great ones like Akira Kurasawa, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and many others do all the time. Instead, Ron plays it safe by creating typical Hollywood cliche ridden films, that sure make his films intriguing enough to watch, but never enough to be memorable like those other great directors, I mentioned.
In "Beautiful Mind" did you know that the main character was bisexual in real life? Yet in the movie, he was straight, and they made no reference to him liking other guys? Kind of funny considering how the film was supposed to be based off a true story, yet Ron finds a way to play it safe again.
Then you get to the "Da Vinci Code", did you guys know that Sophie the alleged ancestor to Jesus Christ, in the book, had an affair with dr. robert langdon in the book. hence making it very controversial. Yet, in the film, they're just friends, and the connection is made so vague that one could easily dismiss the connection between her and her bloodline to Jesus. Ron Howard found another way to play it safe, so he could reap the benefits of being called a good director. Sadly, doing very little to make himself stand out as a great director that people boast about.
Let's not forget Frank Capra, Elia Kazaan, Robert Zemeckis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppolla, and Hayao Miyazaki
actually frank capra, francis ford coppolla, and hayoa miyazaki are who i would consider some of the legendary directors of our time. in fact, frank cappra practically invented the romantic comedy genre of films, and produced classic films like "It's a wonderful life", "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", "It Happened One Night", and many others. In fact, even to this day his films are still praised by film critics.
Francis Ford Coppola, ever hear of the "Godfather?" Or how about "Godfather 2?" Those are two of the greatest films of all time. In fact, many t.v. shows, and a few comedy movies like "The Freshman" and "Robin Hood: Men In Tights" make references to it. As the Godfather series has become such a huge part of pop culture.
Then you want to say that Hayoa Miyazaki is over rated? Are you mad? That man is a creative genius. In fact, all his films offer some of most amazing visuals you'll ever find in a animated story. plus, there's never any clear cut villain in most of his films, and whenever there are he makes them real enough for the audience to understand them. Not just merely see them like Hades, in "Hercules", and be like oh that's the bad guy. No, Miyazaki makes you think, and he creates wonderful stories that can capture the imagination of many who watch his work. The only way you won't like his work is if you flat out don't like japanese anime. sorry if that comes out as an insult, but its the truth. that's the only way you won't like his films, is if you don't like anime. because hayoa is one of the masters of animation, and is certainly not over rated. in fact, "Ponyo" is far better than a lot of animated films that came out this year.
Miyazaki has made great films, but many of them are far from extraordinary (especially Ponyo, which suffers from a very Disney-esque inoffensiveness; You can't honestly say that that film exceeded Pixar's Up or Henry Selick's Coraline in terms of technical execution or dramatic storytelling).
To be fair, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke are awe-inspiring. But Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro? Cute children's stories, but not much more.
Now as far as Avatar --
Back in the summer when I saw brief glimpses of District 9, its special effects (namely the Prawns) had taken my breath away. But with Avatar, which takes merit in its visual innovations, I don't see anything terribly arresting. The hype (especially from critics) has undoubtedly intrigued me, but I am still skeptical.
I can't disagree with you that Ponyo, wasn't miyazaki's best work. however, it was still a lot better than a lot of the animated films that came out this year. don't get me wrong, im not saying its the best one, but im just saying it's just one of the best animated films of the year.
I can't comment on coraline, since i haven't seen it yet. as far as Pixar's Up goes, I'm going to have to disagree with you there; both films were as equally as great in their own ways. Although Up was a very entertaining story, I thought the visuals in Ponyo exceeded it; despite being a 2-D animated film. Pixar has been known the push the envelope in terms of visual effects as well as story arc with all their films, but compared to its other films like "Toy Story", "Ratatouille", "Incredibles", and "Wall-E"; "Up" doesn't measure up to the amazing animated visuals those other Pixar films presented. Where as Ponyo, created visuals that could easily capture the imagination, as it's like nothing you've seen before in animated film. That's why I felt both "UP" and "Ponyo" were both equally as good. However, if you want my honest opinion, the best animated film I've seen this year was "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Now, that exceeded both Up and Ponyo, hands down if you ask me as it had a right mix of amazing visuals and story content.
Fantastic Mr. Fox - the best animated film of the year? I am right with you, brother. The script was one of 2009's best, in both live action and animated cinema. Not to mention there is no other recent film that comes close to its visual aesthetic.
But as far as Up Vs. Ponyo: There is no contest. Up is superior in just about every imaginable way. Its more entertaining, more poignant, and features a more involved script and far better visuals. Up set a new standard for detailed computer generated animation - look at the fabrics, the subtle stubble on Carl's face, the vividness of color. I appreciate Ponyo for its minimal beauty, but Up did something great for modern animation, and it did so without sacrificing an emotionally involving narrative.
I am not nearly as excited as the movie preview tries to make me. I am not going to go out of my way to see it, and I go to the movies several times a week (most of the time). Even my friends who do want to see it, only want to because they want to see what the hype is all about. The budget is insane and it's James Cameron's dramatic return to cinema (yawn). I actually have liked a lot of his movies, but this one looks borderline ridiculous.
Maybe I'll end up seeing it and be completely wrong!
hey trust me, i'm the FIRST one to throw emmerich and bay under the bus...each of them probably only has ONE good movie to his name (Stargate for emmerich and The Rock for bay).
as far as the Wahcowski Brothers, i wouldnt call them geniuses by any means, though i thought v for vendetta was good
McG is a fool.
Ron Howard - yes overrated but still good.
Im not saying Cameron is BAD, just overrated...
also, my interest in this movie has been revived a bit...it has a 100% on rotten tomatoes and extremely positive early reviews and they all tend to say the same thing, "The CGI is nice, but it's not the draw of the movie"
perhaps the trailers are just a case of poor marketing?
well you bring up some valid points also. however, i should tell you that the wachowski brothers didn't direct "v for vendetta." James McTeague did, but they did write the script though. therefore, you can take that however, you like.
as far as what critics are saying about avatar, I haven't seen it yet myself. however, i do plan to and review it on this site. I do know that Cameron said he's been working on this film for like 10 years, so it better be good.
Wired magazine has an interesting write up on the development of this movie. One interesting fact, according to the article, is that Cameron wasn't going to make the movie unless it could be done in 3D with the proper technology to render the CGI in perfect photo-realism. He and a partner went to Sony to basically invent a new kind of 3D camera to shoot the movie. Of course insisting on 3D also limits the distribution, so Cameron went on sort of a crusade for 3D theater upgrades.
The article definitely makes it sound like this is Cameron's life work...an attempt to best George Lucas and Star Wars. Plenty of hype,yes, but it's working for me...I can't wait to see it!
wow, i didn't know that. i just thought most theaters were upgrading to 3d, due the high success of many 3d movies that came out this year. However, i didn't know cameron was behind it though. thanks for the tip.
the new camera that cameron mentioned (i forget where i read about it, but it might have been on yahoo...) sounds really interesting...
basically, it lets him view the scene he's shooting as he's shooting it so he can see how the finished product looks as a live-action character and CGI character interact...
a movie like Avatar, i just can't really make a judgment call on it until after I've seen it, so I do hope to go see it in theaters
i've just seen avatar tonite and all i'll say is best film of the year.
Well for NOW, but just wait until Ironman 2 gets here!
yeah, but that comes out next year though.
I saw this movie a few nights ago, I thought it was awesome
i still can't get over how much money they spent on this, but it was certainly worth every penny.
I wouldn't be surprised if this movie ends up making more money than Titanic.
Titanic had appeal to a MASSIVE audience (though I'll admit I was not in that audience).
history fans (due to the detail that went into replicating the ship)
love-story fans and thus all the guys who needed to take those love story fans out there...
Avatar is a sci-fi movie, you've already elminated like half of your female audience, and i'm dead serious when i say that...my wife REFUSES to go see it because she doesn't like scifi...
plus, if seeing it on IMAX in 3D is the 'only' way to do it, i feel like repeat business won't be as high as it was for Titanic...you could have seen Titanic in an old-timey cinema and (assuming you would have liked the movie) still enjoyed it...so there was much more potential for repeat customers. I know I won't be paying $20 per ticket more than once to go see a movie
the word of mouth also isn't generating a TON of buzz like was done for Titanic...the only people who are interested in this today are the same people that were interested in it 6 months ago...
i'll admit even i was INTRIGUED to see Titanic and before it came out i thought no way in the world i would EVER want to see it but i rented it day one it came to video...i dont think anybody who said "pass" on avatar before it came out wants to see it now that it's out because they said PASS for the same reason it's getting praise...stunning visuals. the people who passed on avatar dont care about stunning visuals and awesome cgi, they care about story and even some of the POSITIVE reviews of the movie claim it's light on story and a bit predictable
This story has been told before, it's basically "Dances with Wolves" in a different time and place, but it's well worth seeing never the less. This movie will be seen for a long time as a breakthrough in terms of realistic special effects. It is shown in 2D in some theaters, but should really be seen in 3D.
I went with my film producer friend, who walked out after the first 10 minutes got his money back. He hated the predictable script/dialog/storyline, and even predicted complete lines before they were said. I stayed for most of it thinking it would get better as things progressed, but came away mostly disappointed. My friend kept calling me from a restaurant during the movie, asking it if was over yet. (Annoying, isn't it....) and I finally left about 20 minutes before the end, right after the "inspirational" talk was given to the alien race by the marine. I'd had enough by then.
I admit my perspective was somewhat tainted by my friend, but overall, I kept laughing at the same things he did. I usually enjoy good special effects and I did like that part. But not much else.
I liked the movie and even wrote a hub about it. but what do I know?
I thought it suck beezy.
Just saw Avatar a few hours ago. Verdict?
Well, I wanted a fun, visually advanced and superficially entertaining adventure/fantasy film in which lanky blue aliens were thinly disguised as Africans and/or Native Americans - and that's what i got.
In brief, its kind of like a much more Hollywood version of District 9 (the plot lines are actually pretty similar in a lot of ways).
Oh, and anyone looking for a logical storyline need not apply.
yeah, I was going to go see it, then I read what the plot is and now I'll wait til its on tv.
I don't need the political correct crap preaching at me at the movies. I go there for entertainment not indoctrination or thinly disquised guilt trip.
I absolutely loved it. It had a nice story but what made it absolutely incredible were the visuals. The imaginativeness and attention to detail were the best I've ever seen, and the sky scenes really felt like you were in the air.
We went to see it today. I found it to be an overall fun movie. It was sort of "Pocahontus" and "Alien" meets "Rambo" in a game of World of Warcraft. It was visually breathtaking at times. The 3d seemed underused.
Finally saw it...
the only way to see this is on Imax 3D...but having said that, it should say all that needs to be said about the story...ie, it's generally full of cliches and not all that interesting on its own
it was decent, and it's cleaning up at the box office due to a lack of any real competition, but it's not the best movie ever
This movie was really awesome, but I do not feel like this is such a 'new, fresh' story like a lot are believing. Once I watched this movie and was talking to my friends, we were comparing it to other movies and stories and then it hit me, this story was just a modern, futuristic version of the well-known and loved Pocahontas. I grew up with Pocahontas on VHS and watched it over and over just like most of the other little girls I knew. This Avatar movie was so much like Pocahontas, it's uncanny that Pocahontas must have AT LEAST inspired the creation of this movie's storyline.
I haven't seen it in 3D yet, but from what I saw in the 'normal' version, the cinematography was incredible...breath-taking. I found it more visually stimulating than either of the Lord of the Rings movies and the Star Wars trilogy (and that's saying a lot because I love both.)
I thought is was, overall, a very good movie. It held my attention & I enjoyed the story line as well as the special effects. The only part that dragged for me was the relentless 'training' of the Avator marine, the rituals, etc. Just a replay of a hundred other films.
Avatar is undeniably a fun film, but one with a variety of politically problematic themes, including privileging whiteness. I discuss specifics in the two pieces below:
The Racial Politics of Avatar
The movie hates on white people. Specifically white corporate people.
A non-white Sully would just make THAT fact even more obvious as the movie only depicts ethnic minorities as being good and you can pretty much bank on just about everybody that's white committing one atrocity or another... Even Grace and that other nerdy dude (the actor who was in Dodgeball) aren't totally innocent and Jake isn't totally good until he firmly accept the fact that he is Na'vi and not white...
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