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Poll: 'Avatar' trailer = Awesome or awful?

August 21, 2009 | 10:44 am


"This is great!" says the blue dude with the spooky eyes in the new trailer for "Avatar," the first new big flick from "King of the Oscars" James Cameron ("Titanic"). That's the only dialogue spoken. Otherwise, the "Avatar" trailer is all special effects and dizzy action — good or bad.

Some fan boys cheer, others gripe. Naysayers claim "Avatar" looks more like a video game than a serious film. Others claim it's too derivative. Actually, now that they bring the matter up, it does seem like the blue dude stole his ears from Mr. Spock and those jaundiced peepers from the guy in "District 9."

However, "Avatar" retains many staunch defenders since it triggered mega-buzz at Comic-Con — like our poster who insists, "The trailer looks fantastic and amazing. Your eye sockets will receive a drubbing you won't soon forget."

What do you think?



Photos: 20th Century Fox

The comments to this entry are closed.


I Like Avatar mevie. The good airing

Sorry about the previous post, people. In retrospect it comes off as kind of condescending, which wasn't really what I was trying to do. All I was trying to say is that it's a popular and fairly realistic theme, since it's happened so many times. You have to admit, it's unfair to say the movie is's not even released! I unfortunately didn't get a chance to go to the avatar day previews that were going on, but I can at least tell that something special is brewing.

Waay too much testosterone on this site. Too many guys trying to trump other guys with their intellectual superiority, and their VAST knowledge of film, using big words like derivative, etc. Too many people typing just to hear themselves talk.

The ear issue is a farce. They are no more derivative of Spock's ears than they are Bambi's.

The yellow eye complaints about them being derivative of District 9 is ludicrous. Has Peter been working on District 9 for 14+ years?!?

How about all you super movie critics just going to the blasted movie when it comes out in December and see if you're entertained or not, rather than sitting around in your Mom's basement tearing it to shreds or zealously defending it before you've even seen it! Isn't that the bottom line with movies -- to be entertained?? If this movie doesn't entertain you, check for a pulse.

I may not like Cameron as a person politically or as an overbearing, pompous perfectionist. But as a filmmaker, his visions are uniquely his and he is brilliant at what he does. So, the last thing he needs to do is go around stealing other peoples' ideas. If anything, it is HE who is copied and plagiarized.

"I'm not sure how you'd handle reading up on some ACTUAL recorded history, in which people( historically white) have *news flash*...done this many times?" - Posted by: Wasabi | August 23, 2009

There, you have just been peached at, white males. Feel the awful shame for the sins of your fathers visited upon the natives of a hundred nations as this single white savior shields the lesser-races from your evil with a lilly-white hand of righteousness.

Oh, and now you can save your $10 and skip this racist movie.

Avatar = 1000x JarJarBinks + Psycho smurfs + Crysis

I really don't know how Cameron allowed this enourmous and unexplicable quantity of Cg in the film.

Looks just like an ad for a video game but with real people intermixed.

No thanks.

"This is a rip off of a science fiction book from the 60's"

The book - a novella by Poul Anderson - is titled "Call Me Joe." It's about a crippled man whose consciousness is projected into an alien body so he can function on a planet hostile to human life. I agree that the similarities are obvious. "Call Me Joe" is a well-known book in SF circles; it was voted one of the greatest SF novellas of all time by the SF Writers of America.

See Wikipedia for a plot summary:

I will reserve judgment on the CGI until I see it in 3D. The problem with 3D however is that the brain adjusts and its "wow" factor wears off within a few minutes leaving one watching...a plot and acting. Though I agree with others here about the first impressions of the plot being propagandist, amateurish and lazy, as a writer I can think of a few ways to spruce it up. Then again I did NOT think "Titanic" was a great film--OK, but not GREAT like "The Godfather" or "Blade Runner". Given the schmaltz and cardboard and some BAD editing thrown in to Titanic, my expectations are actually slightly lower for "Avatar" than hype would have.

Is this a thundercat movie with a green wacko message?
And why do CGI characters still "float" when they move?

The trailer doesn't look any better than a well done video game.

I, too, am sick and tired of being preached at by what should be just plain 'entertainment'.


Human are evil. Everything else in the universe is good.

Dude, I do not know what I am talking about, know?

Cameron, best director of our time?

He's just above average. He does entertaining films at best.

If he had to wait 8 years to tell a story because the CGI technology wasn't good enough, then how good is he really? That said, I probably will go see this, it looks every. entertaining

Sorry folks. This film will be a $3 Netflix rental on some rainy Sunday morning. Boooorinnnng.

I'm reserving judgment on the 3D aspect, but if it's a leap forward as claimed, Cameron deserves credit for pushing the envelope. As far as it displays in the preview, I saw nothing particularly spectacular about the CGI effects compared to other recent efforts, but obviously we're not getting the full picture without the 3D effect.

Plotwise, I have to agree with the majority here. From what little we've seen it's yet another technology & power corrupts / imperialism bad flick. Those threads were in Cameron's earlier works to an extent, but he at least had the decency of shadowing it behind a solid plot. These seems about as subtle as a kick in the nuts comparatively. So I'm split. If the new tech helps launch better movies all for the good, but I'm not holding out much hope for a plot that pays respect to one's intelligence.

I see no evidence that this film will be great from the standpoint of the plot/acting/character development. It will probably be revolutionary from the standpoint of the visuals and the ability to create an escapist fantasy. While facilitating escapism isn't the end-all be-all of movie making, it sure is a major component to it. In that sense Avatar will be an historic event for the movie going public.

I hope this "movie" is so "astounding" that it actually draws alien life forms to earth...then we American, republican, conservative, white guys can kick their asses too! I might go see a Cameron "movie" if he would have the guts to call his "oppressed" characters "liberal democrats" and his "blood-thirsty aggressive" characters "American Patriots". What a sissy coward!

This is a rip off of a science fiction book from the 60's unfortunately I cannot recall the author whether it was Clifford Simak, or who else. It was about government project of Earthmen using psychic control of aliens on distant planets to spy on them and influence their culture.

I hope the author if he is living sues the butt off of Cameron. If somebody has a better memory for old school hard science fiction please remind me of the title and author.

Let me start with I have seen the sneak preview of select scenes from it in IMAX. Don't worry I wont spoil it.

The 3D is unlike anything I have ever seen. Im not a fan of 3D, but this was incredible. Whats more, is that in 3D the CGI fakeness is gone in this movie... gone.

It takes about a minute for your brain to figure out how to watch the new 3D. At first you don't know what subject you are supposed to focus on or what is important in the shot, things that we subconsciously learn in 2d film.

The "CGI" characters, IMHO, were very good "actors". Facial movements, body language, everything, is spot on and done as if you were watching a skilled method actor.

As far as the story, I cant say. I only saw 15 minutes of clips from the first half. Your guess is as good as mine.

Even if the story is only decent (I prefer intelligent movies 10:1 over to dumb visually entertaining movies... Transformers 2), I will definitely see this movie at least once when it comes out.


I agree with you on most of your post. However, I disagree with you that colonialism is mostly a white problem. You yourself point out that it is human nature to conquer indigienous populations. It was not white people that moved into tibet. It was not white people that tried to subdue china and korea. It is not white people that are currently actively involved in slave trade (this is an arab practice today). It is something all people groups are guilty of.
It will be interesting to see if the military people in the film are all depicted as white, along with their leaders. It certainly will add fuel to the notion that this is a morality play about white supremacy and european colonialism.


You act like nobody is allowed to criticize this movie because they haven't seen it yet. Yet you feel like you're allowed to praise it... even though you haven't seen it either? Brilliant.

I am a little sick of the whole 'humanity is terrible and destroys everything it touches' plotline (ie - The Day the Earth Stood Still, etc). But I was more bothered by the fact that this looks like The Phantom Menace all over again. I kept waiting for Jar Jar to pop out from behind a tree. I just have a hard time getting emotionally involved with CG characters.

Smurfs on 'Roids....which one is papa smurf?

Ok, so something needs to be said. I trust most of the negative reviewers won't bother reading this whole post. That's fine, it explains their close mindedness about other ideas anyways.
Have we really become so critical that we pan a movie before we even see it? Our society is so "instant gratification" that if it doesn't please immediately, you close your imagination off forever. What gives? You people are better than this.
This film looks like a breath of fresh air. CGI is gaining prevalence; that's understandable given technology in film will only become more integrated as we head into the future. This film is being heralded as full of technical wizardry, but I'll be checking out the story too. You see, anyone now can make CGI aliens, but to make the movie interesting a story this weird probably is necessary. I think the negative comments are a result of complacency and repeated exposure to crap CGI movies. (Oh yeah, and a completely distorted definition of the word "liberal" and of Hollywood's motives. It's a BUSINESS, people. Last time I checked, these multi million dollar budgets and such are capitalism at its finest.)
Do you really think that anyone complained about the dinosaurs not looking real enough in Jurassic Park? Maybe, but they missed a great movie, and Steven Speilberg's entire movie-magic making goal.
Sure...the plot has been done before. Kind of. We've seen Dances With Wolves, right? But not with this technical skill and unique take.
I'm not sure how this film has any relevance to "liberalism", let alone political correctness. If it were to feature contemporary racism in modern day society...maybe. But it's about blue skinned cat people on another planet.
You say films like this one shove nonsense and "bad guy whitey" down your throat. I'm not sure how else the scenario is supposed to play out in this movie. It's not Earth - it's not our planet. It's human nature to exploit resources and drive off indigenous populations...not "hollywood propaganda". I'm not sure how you'd handle reading up on some ACTUAL recorded history, in which people( historically white) have *news flash*...done this many times? Your inability to accept this reality is probably the reason behind your empty criticism. Do yourselves a favor and look up:
- Exploitation Colonialism
-Trail of Tears
-Spanish colonialization of the Americas
-Manifest Destiny
-liberalism, while you're at it.
etc. and ad nauseum.
And it's not like this is gonna be Battlefield Earth or Catwoman or something. It's James Cameron, whose last film is the highest grossing film of all time, also winning 11 Academy awards.
And I have to agree....EVERYONE uses Papyrus font.

In the far future we will have interstellar travel, the transfer of consciousness to new bodies and the ability to communicate with aliens. On the down side, paraplegics will still need to use manually operated wheelchairs. Right.

Wow..white guys come up with a great new technology to benefit mankind again & again, but Hollywood & advertisers keeps making politically-correct multicultural post-modern films & commercials bashing white men, often occult new age related. What's coming is not a new golden age but something really bad. Visualize world peace?--no...visualize whirled peas?--no...visualize armageddon?--Yes

This trailer better be disguising something special about this movie, because if it looks this chessy it will be Cameron's folly.

He pulled off a winner with Ttianic (in spite of a B movie script) based on effects, music and Leo Di. Looks like this one is just too high-minded and heavy-handed to pull in the repeater-teens who made Titanic profitable. Cameron is about Cameron, and I don't need his crowing this time around.




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