Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

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Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:06 am

Just heard the very first F This Movie!'podcast, which frankly doesn't sound much different from the latest one ("Juno") so at least you guys are consistent. ;-) Interesting how Patrick came around to liking "Avatar" after initially disliking it. Has anybody in 'the gang' seen the 'Collector's Edition' with the added 16 min. footage? In the podcast Doug wonders about Earth as talked about in the original version, and the new Earth-set prologue and handful of extra scenes might be worth discussing (don't know myself, never seen the new version and only saw "Avatar" twice). Any thought/chance that, for the upcoming 100th anniversary podcast, you guys could do a James Cameron retrospective in which you 'F' all of Cameron's movies? Skip on the junk (early Corman stuff) and then dive into his post-"Terminator" work. The extended version of "Avatar" could be included here, since I doubt you guys would do a whole new "Avatar" podcast just to talk about the added 16 minutes.

Keep up the good work 'F This Movie!' crew. Your "Sleepaway Commentary" was like a wake-up call that you guys are freaking awesome. After listening to about 40+ podcasts (who has time to count? :D) on my commute to and from work I can now actually tell Doug apart from Mike now (Alex and JB have their own distinctive voice) and have a new hobby/weekly ad daily appointment to check out. I just hope the suggestions I e-mailed a few days ago aren't completely ignored because that would break my tiny newfangled heart (a fan's heart Patrick, you hear?). ;-)
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Patrick Bromley » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:00 pm

Hey, J.M.!
I have seen the 'longer cut' of Avatar, and it's interesting mostly as a curiosity. Some of the scenes are good and should have been left in; some are terrible and were rightfully cut. I'm glad the "Earth" opening is in there, but I don't really think it works, if for no other reason than because it messes up the bookends that are in the theatrical cut. When I go back and watch the movie, the theatrical version is the one I typically stick with.

We may do something with Cameron in the future, though it may just be an entry in the our ongoing F Directors! series on the site. Not sure we can do an update on Avatar, mostly because I don't think I can convince anyone to watch it again.

So glad you're enjoying the podcast! We did get your suggestions and are adding them to our expanding roster of possibilities for future shows. I'm especially interested in Robocop 2, because the first one is great and the third one is a mess, but the second one has some of both.

Thanks again for all the feedback! Keep on listening!
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Attrage » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:05 pm

I didnt like the Earth opening much the first time I saw the collector's edition cut, but having watched it again twice I can now say it's definitely grown on me. I didnt like it initially because I found it jarring and at-odds with the rest of the film, but now I think it works nicely. I dunno...that bit where he pummels that guy in the bar, and the accompanying voiceover where he says that all he wanted in his messed up life was "a single thing worth fighting for"...just speaks to me, and fits with the film because it helps explain why he switches sides later. As far as the other additions throughout, I find them neither here nor there, in that the film is pretty much unchanged with or without them.
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:57 am

Attrage wrote:I didnt like the Earth opening much the first time I saw the collector's edition cut, but having watched it again twice I can now say it's definitely grown on me. I didnt like it initially because I found it jarring and at-odds with the rest of the film, but now I think it works nicely. I dunno...that bit where he pummels that guy in the bar, and the accompanying voiceover where he says that all he wanted in his messed up life was "a single thing worth fighting for"...just speaks to me, and fits with the film because it helps explain why he switches sides later. As far as the other additions throughout, I find them neither here nor there, in that the film is pretty much unchanged with or without them.


I kinda like the Neytiri and Augustine additions, I felt it added some extra dimension to em. Mind, I've never had any issues with Avatar anyway. Cameron was never much of a writer, and I don't really know why people suddenly expected him to turn into some brilliant and gifted storyteller. Mech suits! Giant space panthers! All out war! Why else would you sign up?
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:20 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Attrage wrote:I didnt like the Earth opening much the first time I saw the collector's edition cut, but having watched it again twice I can now say it's definitely grown on me. I didnt like it initially because I found it jarring and at-odds with the rest of the film, but now I think it works nicely. I dunno...that bit where he pummels that guy in the bar, and the accompanying voiceover where he says that all he wanted in his messed up life was "a single thing worth fighting for"...just speaks to me, and fits with the film because it helps explain why he switches sides later. As far as the other additions throughout, I find them neither here nor there, in that the film is pretty much unchanged with or without them.


I kinda like the Neytiri and Augustine additions, I felt it added some extra dimension to em. Mind, I've never had any issues with Avatar anyway. Cameron was never much of a writer, and I don't really know why people suddenly expected him to turn into some brilliant and gifted storyteller. Mech suits! Giant space panthers! All out war! Why else would you sign up?

Excruciatingly long shots of flora and fauna? A story that takes an hour too long to get going? That's always been my beef with Avatar -- not Cameron's politics or his rickety dialogue (all of his movies have that) or his ripped off plotting (again, see everything else he's made). It's that everything I used to think was fun about his movies is buried under all the self-indulgent crap that I hated in Titanic.

I can be apathetic about Titanic because, well, I'm not exactly the target demographic. But Avatar is infuriating because there's so much I would love if it was a 100-minute flick, but just can't connect with at its glacially paced 14 hours (it is 14 hours long, right?).
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:13 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Attrage wrote:I didnt like the Earth opening much the first time I saw the collector's edition cut, but having watched it again twice I can now say it's definitely grown on me. I didnt like it initially because I found it jarring and at-odds with the rest of the film, but now I think it works nicely. I dunno...that bit where he pummels that guy in the bar, and the accompanying voiceover where he says that all he wanted in his messed up life was "a single thing worth fighting for"...just speaks to me, and fits with the film because it helps explain why he switches sides later. As far as the other additions throughout, I find them neither here nor there, in that the film is pretty much unchanged with or without them.


I kinda like the Neytiri and Augustine additions, I felt it added some extra dimension to em. Mind, I've never had any issues with Avatar anyway. Cameron was never much of a writer, and I don't really know why people suddenly expected him to turn into some brilliant and gifted storyteller. Mech suits! Giant space panthers! All out war! Why else would you sign up?

Excruciatingly long shots of flora and fauna? A story that takes an hour too long to get going? That's always been my beef with Avatar -- not Cameron's politics or his rickety dialogue (all of his movies have that) or his ripped off plotting (again, see everything else he's made). It's that everything I used to think was fun about his movies is buried under all the self-indulgent crap that I hated in Titanic.

I can be apathetic about Titanic because, well, I'm not exactly the target demographic. But Avatar is infuriating because there's so much I would love if it was a 100-minute flick, but just can't connect with at its glacially paced 14 hours (it is 14 hours long, right?).


I can dig what you're saying, but I've never really had a problem with the pacing, as every frame of the film was just so filled with cool stuff to look at. Cameron's imaginative attention to design carries the whole thing for me. It's like Blade runner to an extent, I'll never understand how people could call Blade Runner boring, as there's just so much to take in, visually speaking.
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:26 pm

Steve T Power wrote:I can dig what you're saying, but I've never really had a problem with the pacing, as every frame of the film was just so filled with cool stuff to look at. Cameron's imaginative attention to design carries the whole thing for me. It's like Blade runner to an extent, I'll never understand how people could call Blade Runner boring, as there's just so much to take in, visually speaking.

The difference for me is that Sir Rid just includes a brain-exploding amount of detail without fetishizing it to the point that it slows down the story. If Blade Runner had endless shots of buildings and vehicles for no other purpose than for us to gaze at them in awe, it would piss me off, too. But the visuals in BR are there for the sole purpose of serving the story. I never feel like Scott is just being self-indulgent--partly because he had a significantly smaller budget than Cameron, and partly because he has better taste.
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:19 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:I can dig what you're saying, but I've never really had a problem with the pacing, as every frame of the film was just so filled with cool stuff to look at. Cameron's imaginative attention to design carries the whole thing for me. It's like Blade runner to an extent, I'll never understand how people could call Blade Runner boring, as there's just so much to take in, visually speaking.

The difference for me is that Sir Rid just includes a brain-exploding amount of detail without fetishizing it to the point that it slows down the story. If Blade Runner had endless shots of buildings and vehicles for no other purpose than for us to gaze at them in awe, it would piss me off, too. But the visuals in BR are there for the sole purpose of serving the story. I never feel like Scott is just being self-indulgent--partly because he had a significantly smaller budget than Cameron, and partly because he has better taste.


True enough. Ridley's thing exists to immerse, and he's been doing it on everything from Blade Runner to Body of Lies, Cameron's is awe.
I was awed.
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Mach6 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:53 pm

I haven’t seen the re-cut of Avatar but I did watch the original version on one of the premium channels a few weeks ago & the main problem I had was the very unlikable bunch of heroes Jake Sully & Co. were.

Like Mr. Power, I don’t expect great writing in a James Cameron screenplay, I do expect protagonists that are badass or are easy to root for their victory. In Terminator, I wanted Sarah Connor & Kyle Reese to find a way to destroy the T-800. In Aliens, who wasn’t rooting for Ripley to overcome her fears, help the marines find Newt, & destroy the aliens once & for all. Even the Abyss has Ed Harris’ Bud, a take charge boss. In T2, there was the T-800, Sarah, & John Connor (uh wait a second, John was a whiny teenage brat, make that just the T-800 & Sarah) trying to survive the T-1000.

Avatar’s Jake Sully is such a wishy-washy, lackluster hero. Jake wants to have his cake & eat it by being a friend to the Navi & the military yet he only joins the Navi side when Captain Quartich shuts down his mission. Not exactly take charge or proactive. Where as I found Sam Worthington’s performance to be one the few bright spots in Terminator Salvation, here he just comes off bland & one-note. Michelle Rodriguez’s Trudy changes sides way too late to save the Navi’s roided up tree of whatever. Wouldn’t Trudy have refused to be part of the strike force in the first place if she already knew what the mission was? The Navi war paint on her chopper just screams “Shoot Me!” to the military. Weaver’s Grace just comes off so preachy & boring due to Cameron’s lousy dialog. Their whole strategy of winning the final battle basically calls for a miracle on an entity that isn’t suppose to take sides. Not an exactly brilliant or clever battle plan for victory. Avatar could be 90 minutes or 4 hours, it still can’t change my opinion that I wanted these good guys to get slaughtered. 8)

I’m with J.M. Vargas for an F This Movie for Robocop 2. I hope Bromley & Co. talk about & explain the ridiculous ideas of a kid being one of the leaders of the crime syndicate/drug cartel & making Robocop “nicer”. Since the 1st Robocop was a satire on the Reagan 80’s of excess & privatization, were those ideas a satire on George H.W. Bush’s “Kinder, Gentler America” or “Family Values”?
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Re: Avatar (Collector's Edition?)

Postby Attrage » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:41 pm

Mach6 wrote:I haven’t seen the re-cut of Avatar but I did watch the original version on one of the premium channels a few weeks ago & the main problem I had was the very unlikable bunch of heroes Jake Sully & Co. were.

Like Mr. Power, I don’t expect great writing in a James Cameron screenplay, I do expect protagonists that are badass or are easy to root for their victory. In Terminator, I wanted Sarah Connor & Kyle Reese to find a way to destroy the T-800. In Aliens, who wasn’t rooting for Ripley to overcome her fears, help the marines find Newt, & destroy the aliens once & for all. Even the Abyss has Ed Harris’ Bud, a take charge boss. In T2, there was the T-800, Sarah, & John Connor (uh wait a second, John was a whiny teenage brat, make that just the T-800 & Sarah) trying to survive the T-1000.

Avatar’s Jake Sully is such a wishy-washy, lackluster hero. Jake wants to have his cake & eat it by being a friend to the Navi & the military yet he only joins the Navi side when Captain Quartich shuts down his mission. Not exactly take charge or proactive. Where as I found Sam Worthington’s performance to be one the few bright spots in Terminator Salvation, here he just comes off bland & one-note. Michelle Rodriguez’s Trudy changes sides way too late to save the Navi’s roided up tree of whatever. Wouldn’t Trudy have refused to be part of the strike force in the first place if she already knew what the mission was? The Navi war paint on her chopper just screams “Shoot Me!” to the military. Weaver’s Grace just comes off so preachy & boring due to Cameron’s lousy dialog. Their whole strategy of winning the final battle basically calls for a miracle on an entity that isn’t suppose to take sides. Not an exactly brilliant or clever battle plan for victory. Avatar could be 90 minutes or 4 hours, it still can’t change my opinion that I wanted these good guys to get slaughtered. 8)

I’m with J.M. Vargas for an F This Movie for Robocop 2. I hope Bromley & Co. talk about & explain the ridiculous ideas of a kid being one of the leaders of the crime syndicate/drug cartel & making Robocop “nicer”. Since the 1st Robocop was a satire on the Reagan 80’s of excess & privatization, were those ideas a satire on George H.W. Bush’s “Kinder, Gentler America” or “Family Values”?


You're not alone there. I enjoy the flick a lot, but make no apologies for the fact that I dig the gung ho military characters a lot more than the hippy Naavi. Zoe Saldana's constant crying elicits laughs from me, rather than empathy. I'd much rather hang out with the guys that just want to blow sh*t up.
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