Braid your tentacles because we are ready to enter your foreign places. This week we cover the 2009 film, Avatar.

Stats

Directed and Written By: James Cameron
Budget: $237,000,000
Worldwide Box Office: $2,790,439,000

Breakdown and Analysis

  • In 2009, Avatar was the epicentre of what cinema was and what it could be.
  • Motion capture at it’s finest. From that level it did not disappoint one bit. However more work could have been focused on the story.
  • Avatar is essential to the movie going experience. Even if you are not a film student, it is important to understand where this film lands in regards to the cinematic landscape of world history. It was so fascinating that technology was being developed on set. They had to be able to scale with much more complexity than the initial prototype.
  • The first time watching Avatar was an immersive experience. To witness the frontier of emerging technology is very exciting.
  • James Cameron is very passionate about environmentalism which is furthered by his advocacy. As much as KT could feel the heart of James Cameron, it didn’t feel like an environmental film. There is definitely environmental commentary he wanted to hit in this movie but a lot of people would watch without questioning their individual contributions in damaging the world. It was interesting to hear how passionate James is but KT didn’t feel like it came through. It may be because there was more focus on Navi as opposed to the overall fight.
  • Did you feel the fantastical elements made it harder to relate or was it not executed well? We can watch things that aren’t necessarily grounded in reality but can still feel the key messaging in movies with fantastical elements.
  • Did you feel like the messages of environmentalism were a) prominent in this film and b) did it make you reflect in any more? Film and Art, on an unconscious level, can change our behaviour for better or for worse.
  • Oti offers this might be the case to slim the runtime of the film. In the extended cut we have an additional scene which helps to humanise Jake and give us more context. Investing and establishing a protagonist is important to the emotional investment and pay off for a viewer. We start to see the gruffness Jake had. A lot of this film unfolded in his path to care.
  • KT feels like the Navi culture didn’t feel lived in. Even after hours of behind the scenes footage, so much went into the work of it. However, the Navi weren’t anything more than what was on the page. James kept talking about how he would draw influences from all different cultures, sculptures made by Asian people, words from Polynesian people, dance and movement drawn from African people. You can pluck from wherever you want but is it it’s own culture or are you cutting and pasting a ransom letter of Navi together? Cutting out whatever you want and slapping it on a page. This movie was visually beautiful but KT doesn’t feel like there was a lot of depth to culture.
  • As a culture, we didn’t get a lot of what the Navi were about. But Oti feels that is not what this movie was about.
  • It would have been a much more interesting film if we just focused on the Navi people. Why did we need to have a white saviour?
  • If you are not succinct what are you saying? If you have a powerful message, why are you diluting it by ambiguity of culture?
  • Not to say there’s anything wrong with creating your own culture but to not acknowledge where influence was drawn feels disingenuous. Living your best sexy alien world fantasy.
  • One of the worst curses you can have is valuable resources on your land. Especially when you are not built to fight back.
  • Jake Sully as a character wasn’t that interesting. His rise to leadership among the Navi people did not feel earned and this becomes the weakness of this film as it hinges off his journey.
  • Once the enemy learns your personal beliefs, this can certainly be used against you.
  • KT was expecting to have a little more complexity and dimension to the characters with James at the helm. Parker had financial interests in mind while the Colonel has the classic speech of a man’s man.

Unrelated but vital points

  • It’s weird to think there’s a generation out there that thinks Leo Dicaprio is old.
  • Shout out to the CG of Harry Potter on top of the troll. JK who?
  • Oti is the abandoned Coen brother. It is the only explanation as to why he has such anger towards The Big Lebowski.
  • James Cook spread not only his word but also his seed in Tonga.
  • Asking Oti a question and not letting him answer is KT’s love language.
  • You are all welcome to The Pinnacle of Oti.
  • KT loves what Oti does with his weird mouth.
  • We would never mishandle our Patreon funds but we would like to know if the Avatar technology exists. Oti deserves a tail in the front and back, if you’re nasty.
  • Double Sully Sensation, coming to a dark alleyway near you!
  • You Got Served gets a mention.
  • Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems and Paul Giamatti is what happened to the destruction of Earth.

For Your Reference

Oti

Alien (1979) 1h 57min | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 June 1979 (USA) Summary: After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Countries: UK, USALanguages: English

KT

Princess Mononoke (1997) 2h 14min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy | 19 December 1997 (USA) Summary: On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
Countries: JapanLanguages: Japanese