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The Science of Avatar 275

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the god-i-want-to-see-this dept.
Jamie noted a bit on The Science of Avatar running on Ain't it Cool, written by a professor of astrophysics who has worked on searching for planets and SETI. I believe I might be the last person on earth who hasn't seen it; here's hoping I can find 3 free hours over the holidays.
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The Science of Avatar

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  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @10:38AM (#30543732) Homepage Journal
    so in short it should have been called "Jurassic Smurfs"?
  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @10:58AM (#30543912)

    I think it is now "Dances with Jurassic Smurfs" now.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @11:13AM (#30544018)

    written by a professor of astrophysics who has worked on searching for planets and SETI.

    Thought I recognized the name - wasn't he part of this team [theonion.com]?

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@nOsPaM.jwsmythe.com> on Thursday December 24, 2009 @11:27AM (#30544132) Homepage Journal

        Taking a date also gives you something to do before the movie starts, and during the boring parts. :) "Hey this scene sucks, wanna fool around?"

        By yourself, people get offended that you're sitting in a raincoat, jerking off to the blue aliens.

        And no, I haven't seen it. I'm waiting for it to come out on Betamax. :)

  • by twmcneil (942300) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @11:34AM (#30544206)
    My God man, it's got Furries, stay away. Stay far away.
  • by dcherryholmes (1322535) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @11:51AM (#30544356)
    Dances With Thundersmurfs
  • Re:Ava-who? (Score:3, Funny)

    by joss (1346) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @12:18PM (#30544602) Homepage

    Your shit is all retarded and you talk like a fag.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @12:30PM (#30544746)

    Link to torrent?

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @12:50PM (#30544934)

    Dances With Thundersmurfs

    I don't care what it's about; if they make a movie with that title, I'll watch it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @01:21PM (#30545226)

    Unobtanium was silly - the entire theater laughed out loud on that one. I look at it as Cameron respecting the viewer's intelligence. This is a story about people, and the conflict between races, etc. The reason humans are there isn't important - just that they aren't leaving unless forced. I think Unobtanium - that is, something so obviously ridiculous - is Cameron's way of saying "yes, I know it's a silly premise but let's move on". Like "dilithium"

    Would you have preferred some elaborate BS? Because I'm sure they thought of it and chose this instead.

    Cameron used "unobtanium" to make sure that no one missed his point that capitalism is evil and all of his money should be confiscated and given to some third world country so that it's ruling class can live in luxury.

  • by djdevon3 (947872) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @01:29PM (#30545298)
    It's been 3 years since I've gone to a movie theater and I actually went to see Avatar yesterday. It was worth it. Yes, Avatar is actually that amazing. If your loser friends don't want to pay money to see the greatest movie ever made on the big screen that's their f***ing problem.
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @01:51PM (#30545486) Homepage Journal

    I have just had the misfortune / bad judgement to try to sit through Avatar.

    By 40 minutes in I could stand it no more, and starting flicking forwards, within another 10 minutes I'd skipped to the end.

    Spoilers?

    Nope, you can't give spoilers on something that has a plot thinner than Debbie Does Duluth, there is no story there, period, what there is is CGI.

    If you are of an age to remember Roger Dean (Yes album covers amongst other things) then you have basically seen the stuff that the CGI was clearly designed upon, laws of gravity do not apply, laws of physics do not apply, laws of biology and locomotion do not apply.

    I'm not talking fanciful creatures and landscapes, I'm talking totally impossible, acid trip inspired creatures and landscapes.

    The only spoiler I can think of is, and I kid you not, the basic plot-line centres around a mining operation on an alien planet, mining an ore called "unobtanium"... yeah... the only thing rarer than unobtanium is a decent script.

    One might think that multimillion dollar budgets + CGI + Roger Dean would create something of great aesthetic beauty at least, even if it were great beauty utterly devoid of a plot, but sadly, that isn't the case.

    If they had rendered still scenes, yes, you'd have some great poster art or album covers, but the instant they went for motion it just ruined the whole thing, Roger Dean was never meant to be in motion.

    Frankly the whole film smacks of a bunch of CGI geeks being given an unlimited budget and no rules, the desktop publishing equivalent of producing a parish magazine that uses 11,000 different fonts and every single piece of clip art on disk.

    The semi-cameo role of Sig Weaver and the whole space mining theme (all of which is revealed in the first 10 minutes) means that you simply can't watch Avatar and not be strongly reminded of Alien (1) and this is yet another fatal wound for what is an already dead and decomposing corpse of a movie.

    Alien had real (huge) sets, and the visual effect was stunning, not just because of Giger, but because of depth of focus, Avatar was done with green background and motion cap in someone's garden shed, plus a moonshot's worth of computers running CGI, and it looks utterly fake and feeble.

    I have no idea what cinemas charge nowadays, it is irrelevant when films are as truly, horrendously awful, and this film was. It did not cost me a penny, and of course no popcorn, travelling time, shitty adverts or previews, and I managed to skip through the whole thing in 50 minutes, and I want those 50 minutes of my life back.

    The new (a couple of years old at least) series of Captain Scarlet (also done in CGI) is quite honestly nothing less than three or four orders of magnitude better than Avatar on every single level imaginable.

    As for the Avatar lead species, the hominids themselves, think the illegitimate love child of Jar Jar Binks and Pikachu, yes, really, that implausible, ridiculous, and vile. Kill it, kill it now, with (digital) fire.

    I have a revelation for you.

    Hollywood is dead.

    Really, for less money than it would cost to take two kids to see this steaming pile of crap, you could go out and buy Crysis, which will provide about 40 hours of gameplay (sans god mode), a far better plot, a far more immersive and entertaining experience, and better and more realistic physics.

    Seriously, whatever you do this Christmas, do not get talked into sitting through Avatar, do not get talked into paying for anyone else (kids) to see it, and, if you value your kids minds more than marshmallow, do not let your kids anywhere near it.

    I am NOT joking.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:10PM (#30545668)

    Naww, none of those really work well. I see it as a redoing of Dune. Both have an outsider who comes from afar to help the natives. Both have a wanted substance that ties into their religion. Both end with the outsider fighting his own people to protect the natives and taking a woman from the natives. Both end with asserting control over the substance and getting rid of the invaders. Eywa = Shai-Hulud, Spice = Unobtonium.

    Although, I must admit this right-wing movie review [movieguide.org] is hilarious! The reviewer is upset at alien nudity, drug references, lack of Christianity amongst the aliens, "reverse racism", and the anti-human "marxist" agenda of the movie.

  • Re:Enh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @04:39PM (#30546764) Journal

    I saw the film in 3D, which incidentally is the only way to see it -- accept no substitutes -- and while I was amazed overall at the technology, I was somewhat chagrined at the shockingly pedestrian plot

    Honestly, this movie didn't need a plot. I'd be just as happy to sit for 3 hours watching that 3D CG with no setting at all. I'm thinking something like this [xkcd.com], in IMAX 3d of course. Special effects on a big screen is the ONLY reason to actually go to a theater anymore, if I want a movie with a plot, I'll get a DVD and pause it when I need to, rewind and rewatch important scenes etc. Why doesn't Hollywood accept it and stop slapping crappy plots onto what could otherwise be really awesome pieces of abstract art?

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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