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    Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Omphalos » 08 Jan 2010 17:09

    The video game stuff in District 9 is almost required in modern SF films, especially those that involve alien or advanced technology artifacts, and that film turned on a spaceship, and a downtrodden alien race's ability to access their own technology. IOW, it was integral to the film. More, above and beyond the eye-candy aspect, it was also necessary to explain human/corporate motivations.

    But what makes District 9 so great is the way it made use of the themes it was exploring: Race, racism, prejudice, revenge, personal identity, identification with "the other," and transformation. Not once did the film-makers get heavy handed; they just told a great story and let the audience make come to its own moral conclusions. That it did it with a really well crafted main character only makes the film that much better. Honestly, I cannot think of another character in literature or film that has so successfully depticted the passive-type racism of Wikus, and better shown his transformation into the opposite of what he was at the beginning of the film. The visual metaphor in this movie actually was a visual allegory, which is another reason to heap praises upon the film-makers.

    As far as its being a masterpiece, well, IMHO films and books only get that distinction once they have passed the test of time. I have no trouble seeing that this one will do just that, but its still a bit premature.

    As for Avatar: Look, you just cannot go out and put raw-SF themes or use the unique SF idiom in books or films and expect to get the draw that you need to make a film like Avatar popular. We just are not there yet. Films like District 9 and books like The Road are getting us to that place, but we ain't there yet. If Cameron had remained true to what I see is his deep love for the genre, the film probably would not have had the immense success that it's enjoyed so far. Can I fault him for that? Hell no. He's more than doing his part to bolster SF. Personally, I thank him for his efforts.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Jan 2010 17:13

    Omphalos wrote:As far as its being a masterpiece, well, IMHO films and books only get that distinction once they have passed the test of time. I have no trouble seeing that this one will do just that, but its still a bit premature.


    Fair enough, I was being heavy handed because it just stands out so starkly against almost all other filmed SF. I'm not sure that a masterpeice is dependant on the test of time though, a forgotten masterpeice is still a masterpeice.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Omphalos » 08 Jan 2010 17:17

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Omphalos wrote:As far as its being a masterpiece, well, IMHO films and books only get that distinction once they have passed the test of time. I have no trouble seeing that this one will do just that, but its still a bit premature.


    Fair enough, I was being heavy handed because it just stands out so starkly against almost all other filmed SF. I'm not sure that a masterpeice is dependant on the test of time though, a forgotten masterpeice is still a masterpeice.


    True, but a forgotten masterpiece would at least have enjoyed a long period of time in the sun before fading (like Jack Vance's work), or would have been a tiny release that nobody noticed.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby 13athroom » 08 Jan 2010 17:23

    Omphalos wrote: Honestly, I cannot think of another character in literature or film that has so successfully depticted the passive-type racism of Wikus, and better shown his transformation into the opposite of what he was at the beginning of the film.



    you've obviously never seen BLACK KNIGHT.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Jan 2010 17:31

    13athroom wrote:
    Omphalos wrote: Honestly, I cannot think of another character in literature or film that has so successfully depticted the passive-type racism of Wikus, and better shown his transformation into the opposite of what he was at the beginning of the film.



    you've obviously never seen BLACK KNIGHT.


    Ok, I've now decoded your secret language! I understand completely. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Omphalos » 08 Jan 2010 17:35

    13athroom wrote:
    Omphalos wrote: Honestly, I cannot think of another character in literature or film that has so successfully depticted the passive-type racism of Wikus, and better shown his transformation into the opposite of what he was at the beginning of the film.



    you've obviously never seen BLACK KNIGHT.


    :D

    Or Blazing Saddles
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Harq al Ada » 08 Jan 2010 17:51

    Ampoliros wrote:Well I am a bit of a Puritan...

    Sure it has Sci-fi elements but they are not the primary effect of the film. the film is a delivery for his film tech and to make another spectacle that will generate "Largest Grossing Film Evar" Status for Cameron. Sure Cameron is a great filmaker, and I love Aliens (action film with sci-fi elements) and Terminator (Action film with sci-fi elements).


    what makes a sci-fi movie then? slow pace? Abyss was a scuba diving drama with elements of sci-fi. sitting around gawking at aliens is more sci-fi than running away from them is? And how about Strange Days? or Xenogenesis, Dark Angel, and Piranha 2?
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Jan 2010 18:39

    Exploration of the new or retelling of the old through alien or new elements.

    Wait that sounds a bit like District 9 AND Avatar!?!?!?. I'd argue that the difference was that District 9 was Sci-fi because it retold Apartheid through an alien culture whereas Avatar simply uses colonialism *in space as a setting and doesn't really bother to tell much of a story for what it cost.

    My main complaint still has to be that Cameron was given a blank check and made Dances with Smurfs with fucking awesome 3D CGI and it will be heralded by Hollywood and movie critics as an amazing film simply because its Cameron and it will make a shit ton of money.

    I'm constantly reminded of a Venture Bros reference (because I'm a mad fanatical fan of that show). The reference is to Dr. Impossible's I-suits, which are impossibly comfortable, snug fitting and maintain a comfortable body temperature. Dr. Venture responds with "Whoop-tee-freaking-do, you invented thermal underwear."

    How many of you would put Avatar in your top 10 Sci-fi films ever made? How many of you would have it at number 1? Number 2? Top 5?

    But I could just be a troll and a hater in which case I apologize for wasting that time on Avatar instead of KJA.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Jan 2010 18:48

    Nuthin wrong with hating something, but I would have recommended seeing it and forming your own opinion first hand rather than just waiting for the results to roll in and forming an opinion based on other people's opinions (even if your opinion ended up being contrary to the pop one). It's at least worth a first hand criticism. :D

    I agree with you though, Cameron could/should have done MUCH more with the theme, because it is a great theme, and people do need to be reminded of it, but it would be nice to have it expanded on rather than just repeated, I agree. It does go deeper than what a lot of people on the net are saying it does though, it's not as shallow as made out to be, and look at how much it's pissing off the rediculous rightwingers! That's gotta be worth something! :wink:
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby trang » 08 Jan 2010 18:57

    Below link has half a dozen or so references on "what is Science Fiction" , food for thought. Cameron's works seem to fit in there fairly well.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/science-fiction

    As for district 9... I can appreciate all the positive stroke's others are giving it. The flavor of the movie was wrong, a documentary style straining its neck to be drama. The gore was over used. It heavily borrowed from to many movies, providing the three strikes that killed it for me.

    I enjoyed MOON.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Jan 2010 19:01

    And the irony remains that Fox, AKA News Corps is the one profiting from it.

    Sigh, I know I should go see it since I have such a strong opinion of it. Yet every time I think about it I realize I really don't care to spend the time and money. That ends up setting me off again because it drives home the fact that the only fair way to see Avatar would be in 3D and that that is really its primary merit.

    I'd be going to see Episode IV in 3D as often as I could and that makes the difference that much broader. Sure Episode IV falls into some of the same pitfalls, retelling a classic story but it did it in a way that really made the story its own and I just don't see that in Avatar at all.

    Star Wars has branched out and created a phenomenon that has influenced pop culture as well as film making. Avatar? I really don't see it doing that.

    Also, CGI made Star Wars worse. Can we please get more sci-fi with models? They still look better because they are actually real.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Jan 2010 19:07

    Ampoliros wrote:Also, CGI made Star Wars worse. Can we please get more sci-fi with models? They still look better because they are actually real.


    Now THIS we agree on 100%, fucking ruined star wars, I have to go out and find the old versions on VHS now if I don't want a whole bunch of low quality crap CGI and BS from the new 3 injected into them.

    Models +100000000000000, I would KILL to see movies where at least the starships were model based.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Jan 2010 19:27

    I would add maybe that Star Wars is a perfect comparison to Avatar, not that much depth, but it pulled the heart strings well. I consider it absolutely amazing entertainment, mediocre "art". The Force in Star Wars does the exact same thing as the connections between beings in Avatar.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Jan 2010 19:34

    Oh no you di'int!
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Harq al Ada » 08 Jan 2010 20:26

    Ampoliros wrote:Exploration of the new or retelling of the old through alien or new elements.

    Wait that sounds a bit like District 9 AND Avatar!?!?!?. I'd argue that the difference was that District 9 was Sci-fi because it retold Apartheid through an alien culture whereas Avatar simply uses colonialism *in space as a setting and doesn't really bother to tell much of a story for what it cost.

    My main complaint still has to be that Cameron was given a blank check and made Dances with Smurfs with fucking awesome 3D CGI and it will be heralded by Hollywood and movie critics as an amazing film simply because its Cameron and it will make a shit ton of money.

    How many of you would put Avatar in your top 10 Sci-fi films ever made? How many of you would have it at number 1? Number 2? Top 5?

    But I could just be a troll and a hater in which case I apologize for wasting that time on Avatar instead of KJA.


    still not seeing the how any of those movies I listed don't fit the definition you gave. I'm not a huge Cameron fan but he makes sci-fi movies and a couple of them are good. and no, Avatar probably wouldn't be even in my top 25. And the 3d is definitely a gimmick that made it so big.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Jan 2010 21:39

    basically just attribute it to my puritan attitude and the fact that I'm not always right about what i'm passionate about.

    I don't consider Aliens to be as 'Sci-fi' as Alien was mainly because Aliens centered more on action rather than deposition. I still love the film, even though the weaselly corporate stooge shares my name.

    so sure Aliens is considered to be a sci-fi film by the movie going public, but in discussion of the topic I will challenge that wheras in casual conversation I'd classify it as Sci-fi. Same for Terminator.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Jan 2010 21:42

    As for Xenogenesis, never saw it. Strange Days was great and if Cameron did write it then fair play to him.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Harq al Ada » 08 Jan 2010 23:00

    Ampoliros wrote:basically just attribute it to my puritan attitude and the fact that I'm not always right about what i'm passionate about.

    I don't consider Aliens to be as 'Sci-fi' as Alien was mainly because Aliens centered more on action rather than deposition. I still love the film, even though the weaselly corporate stooge shares my name.

    so sure Aliens is considered to be a sci-fi film by the movie going public, but in discussion of the topic I will challenge that wheras in casual conversation I'd classify it as Sci-fi. Same for Terminator.


    I see you... I mean I understand where you're coming from. Often times there is too much action and not enough time on the really cool stuff. Like if in Aliens they spent more time with Bishop dissecting the face huggers or analyzing their blood or did a sort post-game highlights from the video of their first encounter. that definitely would have been cooler.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby SandChigger » 09 Jan 2010 01:28

    (If that was supposed to be an Avatar reference you're supposed to capitalize "See". :lol: )
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 09 Jan 2010 01:47

    I should also point out that to me, "Sci-Fi" is Star Trek, Star Wars, and whatever other pulp gimicky SF is out there, whereas "SF" is more of a respectful term to refer to serious works.














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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby SandChigger » 09 Jan 2010 02:02

    Or sway by it, maybe, depending on how much ya been drinking? :P

    Just saw my first trailer over here for Surrogates. Obvious parallel between the surrogate units and the avatars.

    Reminds me, someone—The Preacher, IIRC—posted above about a person's "essence" being transferred into the avatars; that's not my understanding of how it works. I think the "Link" is supposed to be more of a sophisticate VR-feedback that allows the human operator to experience everything the avatar does, as if really there.

    If the human consciousness were actually transferred, wouldn't it remain (trapped) in the avatar if the Link were suddenly severed, as actually happens in the movie?
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby trang » 09 Jan 2010 04:58

    If your talking about the new one with bruce willis, Surrogates are controlled by the human sitting in their chair at their home, there is no consciousness transfer, terrible movie. Its like a bad combo of brainstorm meets westworld...eeeeegggggaahhhh
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby inhuien » 09 Jan 2010 06:27

    trang wrote:I enjoyed MOON.

    Absolutely, I purposely avoided reading anything about this Gem of a film before seeing it and was rewarded for it. I'd encourage everyone to see this wonderful movie.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Ampoliros » 09 Jan 2010 09:58

    I have it pre-ordered and can't wait.
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    Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

    Postby Harq al Ada » 09 Jan 2010 14:48

    SandChigger wrote:(If that was supposed to be an Avatar reference you're supposed to capitalize "See". :lol: )


    maybe :shifty: (damn that capital S).

    SandChigger wrote:Or sway by it, maybe, depending on how much ya been drinking? :P

    Just saw my first trailer over here for Surrogates. Obvious parallel between the surrogate units and the avatars.

    Reminds me, someone—The Preacher, IIRC—posted above about a person's "essence" being transferred into the avatars; that's not my understanding of how it works. I think the "Link" is supposed to be more of a sophisticate VR-feedback that allows the human operator to experience everything the avatar does, as if really there.

    If the human consciousness were actually transferred, wouldn't it remain (trapped) in the avatar if the Link were suddenly severed, as actually happens in the movie?


    yah, both Surrogate (which got trapped into being an sci-fi action movie and poop) and Avatar seem to be thought controlled robots. Although in Avatard the planet is able to suck the essence out of one body and transfer it into another sometimes? I think it probably can all the time but doesn't want anyone to know.
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