14 thoughts on “Avatar or…Avatar?

  1. I don’t know anything about this franchise, but the Shymalan trailer looks better to me. It looks pretty good, in fact.

  2. The Airbender movie is one we are REALLY looking forward to- I have no idea what’s up with the other one. Kind of a rip that they took the name though…

  3. I had heard that Shyamalan was going to do Avatar so I thought it was weird that Cameron was doing it instead. I didn’t know until now that there are two. I don’t know anything about The Last Airbender, but I’ve been wanting Shyamalan to do somebody else’s material for a long time. I still think he’s a good filmmaker, but his writing and ideas have gotten lame. So I’m excited to see what he does with this.

    From the trailer it looks like it’s going to be hard to watch the CGI characters in Cameron’s Avatar. It looks an Uncanny Valley problem. They’re too humanoid so the unnaturalness of their body and facial movement is creepy. To this day the only good CGI character in a live action film has been Gollum. He worked because he didn’t look human.

  4. I’ve been wanting Shyamalan to do somebody else’s material for a long time.

    I’m guessing MTV/Nick has had some input and have Shymalan on a tight leash creatively, but Night did write the script. I think this is the last chance he gets at a major release though. And considering this movie is being given a July 2nd release only compounds the pressure.

  5. Umm neither trailer looks inspiring. Cameron’s looks like CGI out of control with that “fake” look that besets CGI especially in lighted situations.

    Shyamalan’s trailer looks unimpressive as well. The casting kind of underwhelmed me. Although it’s so fragmentary I’ll give it the benefit of doubt.

  6. I was impressed by both trailers and plan on seeing both films.

    As fir the uncanny valley issue, I really didn’t notice it here, though I did thing the effects were odd near the start of the Cameron trailer. That said I am surprised that more directors have gone for more stylized approaches to effects films (such as seen in Sin City) in order to mask the uncanny valley issue and to make mind blowing films on the cheap.

  7. Clark,

    I watched it in 720p the day it came out. I wasn’t bothered by the Navi but I thought some of the early military sequences didn’t look great. But it doesn’t bug me in the way that Polar Express bugs me. Of course Polar Express had more about it that was creepy than the animation.

  8. The casting kind of underwhelmed me.

    I was going to make this same statement until I looked at the imdb page and noticed a few people that I had thought were cast were actually not (Jesse McCartney). While the lead is in his first film, there is Dev Patel from Slumdog, Aasif Mandvi from the Daily Show who actually has wuite a few acting credits, and several others I was pleased with.

  9. George Lucas said that special effects without a story is a pretty boring thing. at least that is what he said on the VHS copy of the special edition of Empire Strikes Back.

    Both of these stories seem to be emphasizing the special effects rather than the story. We care about Star Wars, not because of the cool special effects. That’s just icing on the cake. The cake is the story. James Cameron has made good stories in the past where the special effects did not overwhelm the story. Here, I get the feeling the story will be overwhelmed by the special effects.

  10. George Lucas said that special effects without a story is a pretty boring thing.

    Well, he would know.

    There doesn’t have to be some sort of cosmic balance between story and special effects. I think that the two aspects of a movie are able to each stand on their own, without having to worry about if your special effects overwhelm your story.

  11. George Lucas’ problem is that he took Joseph Campbell’s books on myth, which Campbell placed Star Wars into, far too seriously. Lucas wanted mythic stories but missed out that he needed not just good stories but good writing and good direction.

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