Avatar Adjustments

James Cameron‘s Avatar will not enter the annals of box-office legend when it opens on 12.18, a seasoned analyst predicted this morning. “It’s looking like it will open in the upper range of all-time December wide releases,” he said, which translates into an opening in the high 60s to low 70s. This obviously means it won’t reach or top $100 million, he said, and it sure as shit “won’t come within ten miles” of The Dark Knight‘s $158 million opening weekend.

“If people are expecting Avatar to open to $100 million, their expectations are wildly unrealistic,” he said. “It doesn’t need to open to anywhere near that, and Fox isn’t expecting it to. Will it open to $30 million and be a disaster? Not a chance. At this point, it’s looking like it’ll open in the upper range of all-time December wide releases.”

That means, to repeat, an opening somewhere in the high $60 million to low $70 million range — possibly a tad higher. That’s going by the two biggest all-time December openings — I Am Legend‘s $77,211,321 opening in December 2007 followed by the $72,629,713 first-weekend haul by Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when it opened in mid-December 2003.

I had expressed concern that Avatar‘s most recent first-choice tracking seemed to have stalled out at 16, and had asserted that a 30 first choice just prior to opening day seemed necessary for Avatar‘s box-office to match expectations. Not so, this guy replied.

“It doesn’t need a first choice in the 30s even as it reaches release in order to open big,” he asserted. “New Moon‘s overall first choice wasn’t 30 on the day it opened. You can’t just look at a blunt number like overall first choice and make projections. Look at the change in Avatar‘s first choice among males over the last two to three weeks. Look at the change in unaided awareness in Avatar over time — both among males and overall. Those data points are much more instructive than just looking at overall first choice.”

Okay, I said, and thanks. But I’m left with a feeling that Avatar has heat but not serious heat. Not yet anyway. It’s not a monster waiting to happen and it’s not looking like a tank in relation to expectations, but Fox analysts aren’t likely to be all hyperventilating and giggly when they talk to trade reporters over the 11.18 weekend.

I’m detecting geek and teenage interest and not a whole lot more at this stage. A lot of people seem to be saying, “Yeah, I guess I’ll see it but I don’t know about those blue cat-goats with the Pinocchio horse ears.” Mainstream Eloi tend to avoid anything that looks even slightly challenging –the movie with the brightest and most colorful wrapper with the plainest design tends to win — and Avatar looks like something you might have to get used to on some level. It seems rich and dense, like a realm you might need to explore and maybe study a little bit to fully enjoy. That’s not an Eloi magnet factor. They like fast-food movies that they can wolf down right out of the wrapper– no thought, no nothing, just ketchup. They can see that Avatar is no easy-lay Roland Emmerich film. They can tell it’s a sit-down meal.

And it does look like a male geek thing — let’s face it. New Moon girls are not going to be breaking down doors to see this at first. (Maybe when their friends tell them this or that, but not now.) This may sound complacent or trite but the first wave of viewers is most likely going to be led by animation nerds.

84 thoughts on “Avatar Adjustments

  1. When expectations are far too high…..failure is but one option….we are a busy nation…with lots of shit going on….I will see this when I can….no special efforts….just one of many entertainment options…..the Eloi live their lives as they see fit.

  2. I think “Matt S” said that 2 ticket number specifically regarding the Thursday midnight showing. He didn’t mention anything about advanced sales for the rest of the times.

    Midnight showings always seemed like more of a spur of the moment thing to me, and moreso during the summer. I don’t see how many people would intentionally plan to go to a movie on Thursday at midnight a week before Christmas, especially for a 3 hour+ movie including previews.

  3. Word of mouth is either going to make or break this. People may seem indifferent to it, but if they start hearing good things from family/friends/co-workers, they’ll probably show up for the 3-D experience, and vice-versa if they start hearing bad things.

    Regardless, I don’t think opening weekend alone is going to make or break it. Part of Cameron’s strategy for opening it in December is to make it Oscar-eligible in addition to being the best (and only 3-D) viewing option if it has legs throughout the January and February doldrums.

    Pretty shrewd stuff, I guess, but FOX is just basically just following the blueprint that made Titanic such a massive worldwide blockbuster.

    Looking forward to checking it out. Pretty confident I’ll be pretty blown away from a technical standpoint, at the very least. I literally have never not been by his movies (that’s apparently DZ’s cue to inquire about Piranha 2).

  4. And what was the staggering number that TITANIC made its opening weekend? Anyone? $28 million.

    Let’s just see how AVATAR plays through Christmas and New Year’s before you render a verdict.

    I think most people who follow the business know better than to count Cameron out prematurely.

  5. seriously, this is the best tracking commentary you’ve ever had on this site. Congrats.

    The movie doesn’t have to open at $100mil in December. It can open at $60-$70 and the winter legs can carry it to $250-$300, although my gut completely agrees with yours that this isn’t going to set the world on fire.

  6. Who exactly is predicting a $100m weekend?

    Historically speaking, films opening on Avatar’s release date have a 4x multiplier through their third weekend (or 1/3/10)

    Meaning whatever it opens with, should quadruple by weekend 3.

    so 50m = 200m by 1/3/10

    60m = 240m by 1/3/10

    70m = 280m by 1/3/10

    80m = 320m by 1/3/10

    300m in the tank by New Year’s Day would be incredible and that only requires a 75m opening. That would leave all of Jan and Feb, and through the Oscar broadcast in March for the movie to make money.

    With inflated 3D and 3D Imax ticket prices, an exclusive 3D Imax run, and a possible Best Picture nomination, we’re looking at a very successful domestic run.

    Talk of a $100m opening is both unnecessarily antagonistic and foolish.

  7. I think CitizenKaned is right. The word-of-mouth is it. I polled 8 of my closest friends yesterday just out of curiosity. This a group of people in the upper pop-culture-savvy/internet-aware section of the American public; a couple are in the film business, a couple are in technology, etc. And the result is…..I’m literally the only one with serious interest in seeing it. One of them said was going because her boyfriend wants to see it, but the rest are in the “if I hear good things from multiple reliable sources, then sure, I guess” bracket.

    It’s unfathomable to me that so many people nationwide are so quick to shrug off the new film from the director of T1/T2 and Aliens – let alone Titanic. But then again, I put myself on an “Avatar” promo strike six weeks ago because the ad materials were getting progressively shittier, so I guess all the mezzo-mezzo’s have a point.

  8. The first official screening is happening if not right now, then either soon or has already. First reactions should start filtering through shortly.

    Keep em peeled.

  9. it comes down to how many people will only want to see this in 3-D and won’t settle for a flat screen.

    Don’t compare this to Titanic. You know who packed the Titanic theaters for all those months? Lonely women who were too lazy to read a romance novel. They dreamt that Leo would be their eternal love.

    But so far, there’s been no romance hyped in this film as a core element. It’s a military film with space aliens. It appeals to geek boys and they’d rather save up for the 3-D Blu-ray

  10. “Lonely women who were too lazy to read a romance novel.”

    And you don’t think there are a lot of lonely men who like juvenile sci-fi / fantasy?

    [I use the term "juvenile" affectionately, along the lines of Burroughs or early Heinlein.]

  11. BTW, I was thinking the upper range for opening weekend US for this movie would be $60 mil. $70 seems high, let alone $100. But if it doesn’t do $100, there will certainly be people screaming that it’s a failure. (And then posting random links to stories nobody cares about.)

  12. “First wave of viewers is most likely going to be led by animation nerds.”

    AKA, the Japanese. I think their top grossing films are two animated cartoons, Titanic, and Phantom Menace. Put them all together and looks good for Avatar.

    The notion that the film lacks some heat in this country though may be accurate. (I think Universal City is the only Imax sellout to date.) Fox would probably be thrilled if they opened in the 70′s.

  13. Avatar’s core problem, as I see it, is that the more you know about it, the less excited you are to see it.

    On paper, it’s dynamite. A James Cameron film? Aliens? 3-D? Those words sold itself to most film fans. Cameron’s films may never be transcendent literature, but as *movies*, they’ve always been great, often classic. People know him, people get him, whether they’re the average Joes or the elitist snobs. Uniquely exciting thrill rides that at least *try* to have something going on underneath the surface.

    Alas… then the Avatar promo stuff got out. And a lot of folks saw cartoonish blue people. “Meh, looks kinda… gay.” The average Joes don’t like stupid looking movies.

    The problem is, the folks who appreciate Cameron for his craft, for delivering on the thrills without making you feel painfully stupid for enjoying yourself, watch the same promos and think, “Well, I can *maybe* excuse the blue people, I’ll have to see what he does with them… BUT… *THAT’S* the plot? Dances with Wolves? Clumsy warmed-over 1970s anti-war / anti-corporate metaphors? Yawn.”

    With Avatar, you get the worst of all worlds: a special effects movie that doesn’t look special, and a thrill ride that doesn’t sound particularly thrilling.

    I’ll see it, of course, but a lot– a LOT– of people are going to be waiting on the word of mouth for this one. If you hear “spectacle, you HAVE to see this thing on the big screen to experience it!”, it’ll do well. If you hear, “shiny but stupid,” watch out.

  14. If Avatar get s GG nomination next week, that should be WOM enough to get people into the theatre opening weekend who were otherwise on the fence. Certainly good WOM from London/LA will help matters.

    And there’s the massive press tour beginning Monday

    LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, CBS – Zoe Saldana – Monday 12/14/09

    THE TODAY SHOW, NBC – James Cameron – Monday 12/14/09

    THE VIEW, ABC – Sigourney Weaver – Monday 12/15/09

    THE VIEW, ABC – Sam Worthington – Tuesday 12/15/09

    LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, CBS – Leona Lewis – Tuesday 12/15/09

    LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY, SYNDICATED – Leona Lewis – Wednesday 12/16/09

    LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY, NBC – Joel David Moore – Wednesday 12/16/09

    TAVIS SMILEY,PBS – James Cameron – Thursday 12/17/09

    LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON, CBS – Sigourney Weaver – Thursday 12/17/09

    LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON, CBS – Michelle Rodriguez – Friday 12/18/09

    JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, ABC – James Cameron – Friday 12/18/09

  15. The problem with AVATAR is what I’ve been saying since November:

    http://sammyray.com/729/why-avatar-will-fail/

    When Cameron invented this script 15 years ago, I’m sure it was exciting to imagine being able to realize a realistic CGI world … but the bloom is off that particular rose. There’s simply nothing here that seems so much better or revolutionary than what we saw in THE PHANTOM MENACE ten years ago. In fact, it looks like it could be the next STAR WARS film … and that’s a bad thing at this point.

    Besides, there has never been any real evolutionary step in human history that announced itself as such beforehand. It simply happened, and changed the game. AVATAR has been trumpeting itself as the next step in entertainment, which makes me believe more than anything that it ultimately is not.

  16. Even though tracking has often been dismal this year and I remain highly skeptical, I still crave it, so thanks for bringing us this tracking info and analysis. Haven’t been able to find any other box office reporting of this caliber. If tracking is correct then Avatar should do fine, according to Dave Poland’s analysis of what Avatar needs to make:

    The real wild card is how this performs overseas. Could be anywhere from 50-75% of the WW gross. Fantasy exports a lot better than sci-fi. Cameron has been emphasizing that Avatar is a fantasy adventure, and that the aliens aren’t really meant to be alien in the traditional sci-fi sense:

    “I wasn’t going for the alien.” I wasn’t going for the ugly and strange. I was going for something that’s an expression of beautiful human movement in the film. They symbolize the best of us in the way the film works subconsciously, which I feel is aspirational. What they really are is a heightened sense of ourselves and what we could and should be.”

    It “is not true science fiction in the sense of saying, ‘This is what contact with an alien species would be like.’ It’s not about that at all. It’s about how we’ve lost contact with ourselves in a natural state.

  17. I still think some are greatly underestimating Cameron with this film. I realize the natural reaction whenever someone trumpets “the great thing” is skepticism, but when has Cameron really failed to generate an interesting action film? And when have we seen a really good action movie in 3D? If Cameron has created a film with even half of the energy and audience-pleasing beats of Terminator II or The Abyss – in state of the art 3D – then the sky is the limit for this thing.

  18. Sometimes I get really annoyed about the fixation on BO

    First, I am NOT saying this thing will be Titanic by a longshot but is worth bearing in mind that:

    a) That film didn’t open huge

    b) Cameron has never made anything remotely resembling a bomb. If the consensus on me was that True Lies was the worst thing I ever did, I’d be perfectly happy (even without the bathtubs of money and the Oscars).

    Also worth bearing in mind is that one of the big selling points for Avatar is the 3-D and/or IMAX aspects. That limits the number of screenings and surely the opening weekend BO – people will wait a couple of days to see it in 3D instead of squeezing in to the late night screening at the crappy, local multiplex.

    And I agree with Ghost072 – that’s just if it’s MEDIOCRE. That’s just if it’s Cameron’s worst movie ever. If it’s actually GOOD, if it’s supposed to be a great spectacle (don’t forget those initial Phantom Menace reviews) if not outright groundbreaking? It will be huge.

    Given Cameron’s history and the way people will flock to shit like GI Joe and Revenge of the Fallen I think anyone guessing $200 mil or less is most certainly on crack.

  19. Besides, there has never been any real evolutionary step in human history that announced itself as such beforehand.

    You’ve obviously never been to a MacWorld Keynote. Or you don’t consider the personal computer, the Ipod, or the Iphone to be technological game changers. A lot of history’s pioneers were also showmen that trumpeted up their endeavors. I don’t see how in this case, its proof that Avatar will fail.

  20. it looks like it could be the next STAR WARS film … and that’s a bad thing at this point.

    Well, being the next Star Wars wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. However, being the next Phantom Menace (with a little battle of Endor thrown in) would be.

    One fundamental problem is that the Avatar itself (as well as the Na’vi it befriends) just isn’t very cool or interesting. When you have people making fun of the concept before the film even comes out, that’s not good. It’s also something a lot of fancy cgi is unlikely to fix.

    Another problem facing Avatar is that Titanic actually was a game changer. It was able to chug along for months partly because the playing field was so barren and weak. (When Lost In Space is the next big thing, you know you’re dealing with lightweight competition.)

    Studios quickly learned from their mistake and began to make smarter use of that winter “off-season”. It slowly moved away from being a dumping ground, to being fertile territory for big name stars and event films. (Within the next two years, Mel Gibson’s Payback and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal were two such films to benefit from the strategy.)

    But perhaps the biggest obstacle for Avatar is that it can’t afford to just be a “good” film. The amount of time and money involved- not to mention Cameron’s reputation- means it will have to be nothing short of a masterpiece. Otherwise, it could easily end up being another harsh reminder to fanboys that you can’t go home again.

  21. Cameron has never made anything remotely resembling a bomb

    Cameron was in a similar position 20 years ago, when The Abyss went over-budget and had execs worried.

    It ended up underperforming at the box office, and being considered a disappointment by fans expecting the next Terminator or Aliens. It wasn’t until the reworked Special Edition that people began to reevaluate the movie.

    I’m not suggesting the film was a bomb, but it did “remotely resemble” one at the time. Avatar will likely be judged far more harshly if it doesn’t deliver big, simply because it’s the studio’s most expensive film ever.

    I also mention it to show that- even in his prime- Cameron was not infallible. So the idea that he could actually make an expensive sci-fi movie- without a major star or name brand- and have it underperform at the box office is not without precedent.

  22. Y’know, its not the unconvincing cgi, or the simplistic “Dances with Smurfs” plots, or the hackneyed delivery of dialogue, or even the lame dialogue itself that has me turned-off to this film. It’s the ‘original’ techie-terms themselves that give me hives:

    “Na’vi” – wow, they’re ‘natives’, and we humans presume them to be ‘naive’. How best to signpost that? Hmmmm….

    “Pandora” – geez, I wonder if this planet, which humans presume to be a ‘gift’ of resources, will have unforeseen dangers once we ‘open’ that ‘box’? Irony!!!!

    “Unobtainium” – Think about that one. “Unobtanium”. Need I elaborate?

    This project has been even longer in development than we imagined. Cameron fished from the bay of the long-haul truck he drove in his twenties a self-made ‘adventure comic’ he wrote in grade-school.

    These are not “names” – they are Final Draft “placeholder” terms which James never bothered to replace, and no one had the stones to remind him that he really should.

  23. Or shouldn’t. Cameron has always dealt with kind of cheesy/kind of clever metaphors. Mixed in with his pumped-up style though, it’s part of what I expect from his filmmaking and I wouldn’t want him to change or remove those aspects of his work. I get all the things that you’re referring to but my reaction is the opposite of yours.

  24. Really, he “always” has? So cheesy/clever metaphorical ‘Proper Names’ are sort of a trademark touch of his? Please give me any instances at all of this.

    Because, while I don’t claim to be any sort of Cameron expert, I’ll go through a few examples ottomh:

    Character names: Sure, ‘John Connor’ as ‘JC’ is a gimme, and pretty cliched. But there weren’t any examples in the Aliens Marines or the multiple invented Titanic characters. (Possibly Lt. Traxler as a ‘tracker’, but that was hardly his character’s signature characteristic.)

    Companies/businesses: TechNoir? CyberDyne? Skynet? Benthic Petroleum? Deepcore? The Omega Sector? These are all actually good, thought-out and realistic names, not at all in the vein of cheese as Avatar’s.

    The sole fake-planet ‘name’ I can come up with is “LV-426″. Exactly. “The Sulaco” was a great name for a ship, in the same sense of Scott’s deeming his ship the “Nostromo”.

    The “Avatar” examples are far, far inferior to what I’ve come to expect from this filmmaker and come at great surprise, especially seeing how integral they are to the film; they are core elements, not background detail. I’d be happy to be disproven.

    {BTW Anthony, I did read your earlier mea culpas, belatedly. No sweat here – you’re a class act.)

  25. I don’t know which way I lean in this conversation, but I will say that “Harry Tasker’ as the secret identity of a super-spy seems to fit under the “stupid name” thing, and ‘Newt’ and ‘Bishop’ (with all the metaphorical implications) would probably fit too. Mind you, I also think “The Omega Sector” sounds pretty cheesy outside the context of the movie, as does “Pandora”.

  26. The “Avatar” examples are far, far inferior to what I’ve come to expect from this filmmaker and come at great surprise, especially seeing how integral they are to the film; they are core elements, not background detail.

    It’s not something I’d given much thought to, but you’re absolutely right. They’re some of the hokiest, big-budget sci-fi names since Riddick gave us Crematoria, Furya, and Necromongers.

  27. Yes, but “True Lies” was always intentionally a tongue-in-cheek film – the name of the lead in the French original translates as “Frank Neighbor”. “Harry Tasker” is a decent transliteration, albeit *less* ‘cheesy’, because Harry is the agent, rather than the supervisor who actually “tasks” other agents. “The Omega Sector”, the last-chance secret agency – is both appropriate for such an agency AND of appropriate cheesiness for the tone of the film itself.

    “Newt”, however, was the girl’s NICKname in the film, so it was entirely appropriate as a cutesy “dirty” name for a child in a mining colony. “Bishop” evokes a general ‘religious’ connotation, but it doesn’t tie in at all to the role of an actual bishop in a church-official sense, even metaphorically.

    Hell, even granting you “Bishop” – one example doesn’t make it a “Cameron standard”.

    “Unobtainium”.

  28. “It’s looking like it will open in the upper range of all-time December wide releases,” he said, which translates into an opening in the high 60s to low 70s.”

    Bullshit. That’s still too high. It’s not that kind of a pic.

    “Will it open to $30 million and be a disaster? Not a chance.”

    And why not? Who the fuck does it appeal to, in order to justify a higher weekend? Spielberg wasn’t on hiatus as long as Cameron, and he still couldn’t open A.I. to higher than $29 million; and that one at least had the Sixth Sense kid, when he was still popular.

    “New Moon’s overall first choice wasn’t 30 on the day it opened. ”

    But New Moon was going to make money, regardless of how it tracked.

    “Look at the change in Avatar’s first choice among males over the last two to three weeks. Look at the change in unaided awareness in Avatar over time — both among males and overall. ”

    The question is which group of males?

    “I’m detecting geek and teenage interest and not a whole lot more at this stage. A lot of people seem to be saying, “Yeah, I guess I’ll see it but I don’t know about those blue cat-goats with the Pinocchio horse ears.” Mainstream Eloi tend to avoid anything that looks even slightly challenging –the movie with the brightest and most colorful wrapper with the plainest design tends to win — and Avatar looks like something you might have to get used to on some level.”

    But will they see it opening weekend or just Netflix it?

    bents: “I don’t see how many people would intentionally plan to go to a movie on Thursday at midnight a week before Christmas, especially for a 3 hour+ movie including previews.”

    They might for LOTR or Harry Potter, but then those didn’t look like an over-priced video game. .

    Kane: Spirits Within was eligible for an Oscar, too.

    And stop pretending Dark Angel never happened.

    nouvelle: It can’t last that long, because it has Wolfman and Holmes to contend with for the next two months.

    Gabriel: “It’s unfathomable to me that so many people nationwide are so quick to shrug off the new film from the director of T1/T2 and Aliens – let alone Titanic.”

    I’m guessing it’s because of Titanic that they’re willing to shrug it off so easily.

    Mark: Actually, their top-grossing films tend to be from Miyazaki. They did save A.I., though, but that’s about it.

    David: “Cameron has never made anything remotely resembling a bomb.”

    Um, yes he did. The Abyss. And if you want Cameron by association, Strange Days.

  29. DeeZee: The Abyss wasn’t a bomb. It made $20 mil less than Aliens, short of expectations (Fox expected a $100 mil grosser) but hardly a bomb. And it was a great film so who cares what it made? The word at the time was that the Eloi didnt understand what an abyss was. Plus it had no stars in it.

    Stupid Eloi.

  30. “It’s not something I’d given much thought to, but you’re absolutely right. They’re some of the hokiest, big-budget sci-fi names since Riddick gave us Crematoria, Furya, and Necromongers.”

    So now Avatar — sight unseen — is the fucking Chronicles of Riddick? Like someone said above, I understand the tendency to be skeptical of the “fanboy”/geek-oriented film, believe me, I’m with ya. But I really think you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Where were you bastards when Transformers 2 was coming out? All I heard around here was how “kickass” it was going to be. So Bay gets the benefit of the doubt, but not Cameron….wha????

    Some of you guys are getting waay too hung up on silly shit like his stupid techno-jargon (To Baron: off the top of my head, Lisa “One Night” Standing in The Abyss, and what about the T-800 and T-1000, which sound like vacuum cleaner models?) forget that a vast majority of his movies succeed largely in spite of subpar dialogue. Titanic has to be about the least quotable blockbuster ever.

    Finally, to Idlewild — a lot of people were making fun of Titanic before it was released. Actually, they were making fun of it after it was released, too. A lot of those same people saw the movie, though, and a lot of people seemed to enjoy it (even some of the same ones that enjoyed mocking it). This notion that pre-release snark is some sort of bad omen is ludicrous, it just goes with the territory (ppl will always shake their head and wonder “where the money went” on the highest-budgeted films of any given era).

  31. DeeZee, what the fuck does Spirits Within have to do with anything I posted? Even by your batshit crazy standards, I can’t see ANY connection whatsoever.

    You’re also the only one still referencing that movie 8 years after the fact. In a lot of ways, it seems like one of the only movies you’ve seen this decade, along with the cinematic masterpiece that is Boondock Saints 2.

    Do you ever see anything that has even a remote chance of not being one of the worst movies ever made? You know, like Inglourious Basterds

  32. “”Bishop” evokes a general ‘religious’ connotation, but it doesn’t tie in at all to the role of an actual bishop in a church-official sense, even metaphorically.”

    I was thinking of chess, actually; the bishop is a powerful tool, can do a lot of damage, but ultimately is pretty much always sacrificed; if you’re lucky, you get to trade the bishop for a Queen.

    “Unobtainium”.

    Are you still hung up on that? This might interest you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium

    Long story short, Cameron didn’t create that name; “Engineers have long (since at least the 1950s[2]) used the term unobtainium when referring to unusual or costly materials, or when theoretically considering a material perfect for their needs in all respects save that it doesn’t exist. By the 1990s, the term was widely used, including in formal engineering papers such as Towards unobtainium [new composite materials for space applications].”

    Pandora; well, I think it could be argued that there’s more to the name than just the box, but I don’t think it’d be fair to assume Cameron had more in mind than that.

    I’ll buy your ‘True Lies’ counter-argument; like I said, I’m not exactly sure where I stand on this, although I don’t think I mind it as much as you.

  33. Kaned – I said this a few days ago; DZ feigns having this great taste, yet he consistently dips into the shallowest pool of movies. ‘Final Fantasy’ is a go-to movie for him; even at the time that movie came out, I don’t remember a single person ever comparing anything to it. But this, this I love:

    “And stop pretending Dark Angel never happened.”

    I don’t think there’s been a talkback for ‘Avatar’ yet where DZ didn’t bring up ‘Dark Angel’, something that he apparently watched enough to develop a passionate, seething hatred for, but which nobody else, ever, has watched, including James Cameron.

  34. Of course, chess. Definitely a blind spot of mine. But that description fits more pieces than solely the Bishop, no?

    And with that explanation, the name actually becomes more appropriate and clever, and less “cheesy”. YMMV, obviously, but that’s, as I said, one single example – hardly a trend or signature.

    Its sort of silly to characterize a second mention of any issue – within a single thread – amounts to being “still hung up on” anything at all. I’m far from a DZ on this matter, and have never previously posted anything at all re Avatar – but that was no revelation. “Unobtainium” as a theoretical construct utilized as a placeholder in theories in engineering circles is a very different use than “Unobtainium” as an actual known substance being sought in a film adventure. It’s quite like this dialogue: “Hang in there, team – we have only x minutes to fly y units past the widget factory!!”

  35. Yeah — he’ll try to wedge that Dark Angel fucker into any Cameron discussion he can (nevermind the fact that we’re usually discussing cinema here). It’s usually Piranha 2, also, but I guess I stole his “ammo” for the latter by calling him out on it in advance.

    He was probably pretty damn proud of himself for (awkwardly) throwing Strange Days into the mix in this discussion. I’m actually amazed that guy can even use imdb.

  36. BTW, I’m sure there are many that aren’t bothered by these proper-names as much as I am; I stated so up front, and had noticed that no one had ever brought them up here before.

    I also made it clear – as if the past months of multiple threads on the topic hadn’t been evidence enough – that they are only one of many indicators that perhaps this film will not be the game-changer that some imagine. No harm, no foul. It’ll open soon enough.

  37. ” ‘Unobtainium’ as a theoretical construct utilized as a placeholder in theories in engineering circles is a very different use than “Unobtainium” as an actual known substance being sought in a film adventure.”

    Is it, though? I just might argue that he’s putting a little science into the science fiction, which is very such a bad thing, IMHO.

    As for Pandora and Na’vi, but Cameron has always dealt with archetypes, and this is not shaping up to look like any exception — perhaps Avatar‘s roots are even more mythic. The terms are a little on-the-nose, sure, but I’m not sure why it seems to bother you so much, either. I figure it would be much more of an issue while reading the actual screenplay (which I’d assume Cameron doesn’t sell a lot of) as opposed to watching the film, where those terms will likely only be spoken a couple times, max.

  38. “Unobtainium” isn’t merely a scientific theoretical construct, it’s also a slang term for really-hard-to-get stuff. Supposedly in the Avatar treatment (which I haven’t read), the regular working joes use the term instead of its technical name — which actually sounds very much how the crew of oil rig in THE ABYSS would talk, actually.

    Are people really bitching about names? The “RDA Venture Star” is a highly believable name for a commercial mining vessel — just look up some examples. “Pandora”? Sure, it’s not original — but neither are other moons that we’ve actually named… and it’s certainly no sillier than countless other naming scheme in science-fiction films (even very good ones) — the ship in SUNSHINE was named the Icarus, for Chrissakes. (And given that the planet Pandora orbits is called Polyphemos, its name isn’t that much of a stretch either).

  39. mark: Waterworld made money in the end, too. Still doesn’t keep it from being a bomb, though. And the real problem wasn’t the Eloi, but the fact that FOX decided to bet tens of millions on a Jack Costeau-based sci-fi.

    Kane: There’s no doubt that TF 2 will get its comeuppance with the threequel. But when you lower the bar for Bay in the first place, it’s hard to be as disappointed as it is for Cameron. As for Titanic, the stars for it were what held it together, just like Arnie is what made the Terminators work. Cameron seems to have forgotten that good casting goes hand-in-hand with good FX.

    “DeeZee, what the fuck does Spirits Within have to do with anything I posted? Even by your batshit crazy standards, I can’t see ANY connection whatsoever.”

    The studio was also hyping that technology as the wave of the future…And Basterds is an example of a stupid movie for people who like to believe they’re above the masses which flock to the likes of Twilight and Transformers, even though it wallows in the same self-serving bullshit and half-assed direction as those other franchises. And it’ll probably be forgotten soon like Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction before it.

    Gordon: “‘Final Fantasy’ is a go-to movie for him; even at the time that movie came out, I don’t remember a single person ever comparing anything to it.”

    Actually, they compared it to Starship Troopers.

    “I don’t think there’s been a talkback for ‘Avatar’ yet where DZ didn’t bring up ‘Dark Angel’, something that he apparently watched enough to develop a passionate, seething hatred for, but which nobody else, ever, has watched, including James Cameron.”

    Cameron apparently didn’t watch Avatar, either.

  40. “Of course, chess. Definitely a blind spot of mine. But that description fits more pieces than solely the Bishop, no?”

    Well, even James Cameron isn’t gonna call the guy Knight ;)

    it could describe a few, but a Bishop is like the pawn of powerful pieces; it’s really useful up to a point (in early parts of the game, it’s arguably the most valuable piece), but rarely the main piece that wins the game. It loses it’s power. But this is something that chess people can probably debate forever; I’ve always figured Bishop was named after chess, that’s all.

    “Its sort of silly to characterize a second mention of any issue – within a single thread – amounts to being “still hung up on” anything at all.”

    Sure, I didn’t mean that in any serious way. Probably one of those things lost in translation from hearing to reading.

    “”Unobtainium” as a theoretical construct utilized as a placeholder in theories in engineering circles is a very different use than “Unobtainium” as an actual known substance being sought in a film adventure.”

    You should check out the article; “unobtanium” can be real, and, looking through that article at the evolution of the term over only the last 50 years, I don’t think it’s hard to believe they’d use it in the future for something which they found which fit the bill of a term they’d already been using for however long (I’m not sure how far in the future ‘Avatar’ is set, but I figure at least 100 years).

    I mean, if we landed on a planet and they had horselike creatures with horns on their head, I genuinely believe (and feel confident I will never be proven wrong) that humans would call them unicorns.

  41. “And it’ll probably be forgotten soon like Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction before it. ”

    It’s funny how often you bring up this imagined idea that ‘Pulp Fiction’ is forgotten. If it’s so “forgotten”, maybe you should shut the fuck up about it for at least a week or two. You certainly seem incapable of forgetting it.

  42. DeeZee, what the fuck are you talking about?

    You cannot be serious in saying that Basterds has the ‘same half-assed direction’ as Twilight and Transformers. Have you even seen any of those films?

    Also,In what universe have Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction been forgotten? They’re still referenced all the time. There are people hanging out for the rumoured Kill Bill Part 3, and Pulp Fiction has maintained its cultural currency more than any other film from 1994.

    Cameron apparently didn’t watch Avatar, either.

    What does this even mean?

  43. I just want to thank Amit (and its programmers) for having the decency to just boldly enter non-sequiturs that relate to no damn thing at all, without being self-congratulatory or making pretense to insight, perspective or wit.

    Some people could learn a lot from that guy.

  44. “Have you even seen any of those films? ”

    He has definitely repeatedly confirmed that he didn’t see ‘Basterds’, but he has also said that he likes ‘Twilight’ and finds the actors very appealing.

  45. Cde: “You cannot be serious in saying that Basterds has the ‘same half-assed direction’ as Twilight and Transformers.”

    Is Basterds longer than it needs to be? Yes. Does it have pointless and execessive dialogue at the expense of money-shot action scenes? Yes. Does it fuck up iconography for the sake of pandering to the lowest common denominator? Yes.

    ” Also,In what universe have Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction been forgotten?”

    The universe in which no one gave a fuck about QT’s broadway debut, Grindhouse, or even The Protector?

    “What does this even mean?”

    That he thinks Avatar’s good, just because he’s bought his own hype?

    Gordon: I saw Basterds, not Twilight, unless you count that “summary” online. j

  46. cde – Now he’s lying and pretending to have seen ‘Basterds’ to save face, but bear in mind, he said for three months before it was released that it was terrible. The guy hates Tarantino, so it would actually be really stupid of him to pay money to see ‘Basterds’.

    And he’s also backing off of ‘Twilight’, but scroll down a few threads to wear he talks about how appealing he finds the cast to be, especially compared to Sam Worthington.

    Man, I love watching new people discover DZ. Oh, here’s a good one — DZ, tell him about how ‘Jerry Maguire’ was more influential than ‘Pulp Fiction’.

  47. DeeZee: The Abyss wasn’t a bomb. It made $20 mil less than Aliens, short of expectations (Fox expected a $100 mil grosser) but hardly a bomb. And it was a great film so who cares what it made? The word at the time was that the Eloi didnt understand what an abyss was. Plus it had no stars in it.

    Stupid Eloi.

  48. Finally, to Idlewild — a lot of people were making fun of Titanic before it was released. This notion that pre-release snark is some sort of bad omen is ludicrous.

    Yes, but the majority of the criticism/laughter was generated by the fact that so much money- and such a troubled production- had been spent on a sinking ship. The jokes pretty much wrote themselves. There’s a big difference between that and “The heroes look silly.”

    Regardless, much has changed since Titanic had the last laugh. Even with great word-of-mouth, a film’s theatrical lifespan is much, much shorter: Studios schedule more high-profile films during the off-season; blockbusters are judged by how front-loaded they are; and audiences are much more likely to just wait for the dvd, since they know it won’t be very far off.

    Avatar could very well end up being a huge commercial success at the box office. But until that happens, the studio probably won’t be viewing the Na’vi ridicule as a fortunate development.

  49. DZ, Even if all your complaints about Basterds are valid, its direction is still leagues ahead of what you see in Transformers or Twilight.

    The universe in which no one gave a fuck about QT’s broadway debut, Grindhouse, or even The Protector?

    1. What does people not caring about QT’s acting in a Broadway show have to do with how well people remember his films?

    What select people think of him as a stage actor has nothing to do with what the world thinks about him as a film director. Also, this happened a decade ago. A decade.

    2. The only reason he was given that role was because people remember his films, and his most well-remembered film is Pulp Fiction.

    3. Grindhouse was a flop, I’ll give you that, but Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction aren’t really comparable since they succeeded in theatres and still sell pretty well on video. Again, what’s your point?

    4. So the poor performance of a Thai film that Tarantino had next to nothing to do with is an indicator people don’t care about his films. Right. Never-mind the fact that his latest film just grossed $300 million worldwide.

  50. Gordon: “The guy hates Tarantino, so it would actually be really stupid of him to pay money to see ‘Basterds’.”

    I saw the matinee @ the Fairfax Regency. And paying to see his movies makes it easier to take a knock at him, since his fans tend to bullshit about how he’s doing something “different” with each movie, when it ends up being like that fake Onion news report a while back.

    “And he’s also backing off of ‘Twilight’, but scroll down a few threads to wear he talks about how appealing he finds the cast to be, especially compared to Sam Worthington.”

    The cast has done enough photo-ops that you pretty much know the movie by now through those alone.

    Cde: “What select people think of him as a stage actor has nothing to do with what the world thinks about him as a film director.”

    Actually, it has a lot to do with it, since he’s clearly stuck in the same narrow mind-set in both cases.

    “Also, this happened a decade ago. A decade.”

    And he hasn’t been able to branch out since then.

    “The only reason he was given that role was because people remember his films, and his most well-remembered film is Pulp Fiction.”

    He was given that role, because he was

    “Grindhouse was a flop, I’ll give you that, but Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction aren’t really comparable since they succeeded in theatres and still sell pretty well on video.”

    Kill Bill only made money, because it was split in two. PF only made money, because the movies he ripped off weren’t on home video in most places at the time. When QT makes money without any of those gimmicks, then he’ll be a real success.

    ” So the poor performance of a Thai film that Tarantino had next to nothing to do with is an indicator people don’t care about his films. Right. Never-mind the fact that his latest film just grossed $300 million worldwide.”

    His latest film grossed $300 million due to Pitt. And the money still is not enough to save Weinco, because the profits are split between two studios; and the P+A and budget probably ate up a chunk of that change.

  51. “His latest film grossed $300 million due to Pitt.”

    Pitt who you swore wasn’t a box office draw, and you still dodge the fact that you said the movie would never make its budget back.

    “And the money still is not enough to save Weinco, because the profits are split between two studios; and the P+A and budget probably ate up a chunk of that change. ”

    note to cde: when DZ says “probably” or “I’m assuming” or “I think”, he’s making stuff up. And, in this case, it has been repeatedly pointed out to him that the two studios splitting the profits split the costs as well, so they don’t both actually need to recoup the entire budget. On top of which, the fact is that even if both companies did need to recoup the entire budget, the movie *still* made a profit theatrically, even by those made-up standards.

    Now, cde, watch what he does here. It’s guaranteed to be hilarious.

  52. “When QT makes money without any of those gimmicks, then he’ll be a real success.”

    ‘Inglorious Basterds’ made money even though it wasn’t split in two and the movies its ripping off are available on home video. So you’ve finally acknowledged that Tarantino is a success. Congratulations, you’ve come one small step closer to reality. Welcome aboard.

  53. Gordon: “Pitt who you swore wasn’t a box office draw,”

    I said he’s not as much of a box office draw as he’s hyped up to be.

    “And, in this case, it has been repeatedly pointed out to him that the two studios splitting the profits split the costs as well, so they don’t both actually need to recoup the entire budget.”

    If that were the case, one of ‘em wouldn’t be going under and the other wouldn’t be heading on over to the Comcast camp.

    “On top of which, the fact is that even if both companies did need to recoup the entire budget, the movie *still* made a profit theatrically, even by those made-up standards.”

    But not a major profit, compared to his other stuff.

    “‘Inglorious Basterds’ made money even though it wasn’t split in two and the movies its ripping off are available on home video.”

    But it still had Pitt. If it didn’t, it would be another Grindhouse, as I pointed out earlier.

    “So you’ve finally acknowledged that Tarantino is a success.”

    Actually, he’s still a failure, because he will never be able to make a successful film which does not rely on references to obscure films.

  54. Actually, he’s still a failure, because he will never be able to make a successful film which does not rely on references to obscure films.

    This is the weirdest criteria for success I’ve ever seen.

  55. “If that were the case, one of [the studios] wouldn’t be going under and the other wouldn’t be heading on over to the Comcast camp.”

    Yes, clearly these larger developments were the direct, lone result of IB and its highly “disappointing” B.O. take. In a very weird way, it’s almost like he vacillates between giving Tarantino not nearly enough credit for his own accomplishments, and entirely too much blame for things that seem entirely inconsequential.

    Example: he constantly maintains how Pulp Fiction was not influential (of course, by constantly & defensively bringing it up, he’s actually proving quite the opposite) by attempting to blow it off with quick dismissals. Yet in almost every Tarantino post, he seems desperate to linger on My Best Friend’s Birthday as this absolute catastrophic cinematic event in QT’s life (in that respect, it’s kinda like how he treats Piranha 2 in Cameron posts) , when the reality of the situation is that’s not even a movie that he cared enough to finish, let alone properly release.

    But just based on the sheer number of times he’s mentioned it, I’m forced to conclude that MBFB is a very, very important movie in his life. He is literally the only person I’ve ever seen on any movie message board who attaches to it any real significance whatsoever.

    DeeZee, it’s time you just admit you’re a former QT fanboy gone AWOL — all the symptoms are present. You’ll feel better about yourself, and who knows — you might even start making a little more sense.

    Nahhhh…

  56. “Well, even James Cameron isn’t gonna call the guy Knight ;)

    Yes, but that’s my point. That’s why these half-assed names on his NEW project are cause for concern – OLD James Cameron would have come up with better ‘labels’.

    Now, I’m definitely stepping into “assumption” territory here, because by necessity I’m turning to wide Internet speculation without having actually *seen* the film, but – on second look – even the character names are particularly hokey:

    Jake Sully – the biblical Jacob was the unexpected father of the chosen people, ushering in a ‘new age’ belonging to his descendants; his paralysis has left him both ‘sullied’ and presumably ‘sullen’.

    Grace Augustine – St. Augustine is famed for his teachings that grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom and he promoted the concepts of original sin and ‘just war’ in a Manichean struggle. These seem to line up with Sigourney’s character’s role.

    Colonel Miles Quaritch – the man itching for war in order to capture land masses on the planet (presumably as measured in some sort of unit).

    Trudy Chacon – ‘Chacon’ is a type of lizard. What I’ve read seems to point to Rodriguez ‘betraying’ the mission in some way, making her truly reptillian.

    Parker Selfridge – Ribisi, as techie running the landing of Earth ships – some might say he’s ‘parking’ them – all that we know is that he has odd secrets he is keeping. Almost ‘selfish’ly.

    Mo’at – The Na’vi Queen, ‘protecting’ her realm

    Norm Spellman – the character who will explain – or ‘spell out’, rather, the expected, normal conditions for the viewers

    Corporal Lyle Wainfleet – A ‘wain’ is a drawn cart that’s used for (peaceful) agricultural purposes, while a ‘fleet’ is a group of war-purposed vehicles. Anyone wanna bet that this secondary ‘villain’ tells ‘untruths’ during the film?

    This is very hack-Cameron. He knows better because he’s provided better, before.

    “I mean, if we landed on a planet and they had horselike creatures with horns on their head, I genuinely believe (and feel confident I will never be proven wrong) that humans would call them unicorns.”

    No doubt. In fact, we already know that, in that world, this is what they in fact do: there are creatures called – by the explorer-warriors – Banshees, Viperwolves, and dire-horses.

    And that is very much in keeping with ‘Earthlings encounter life on a new world and refer to things on this world by analogy’, and those ‘labels’ are absolutely fine and believable.

    But, especially on a scientific mission for a specific substance which they’ve already identified, they would not use a scientific term which already *has* an understood defined ‘theoretical’ meaning in the research world to indicate a concrete specific substance and the focal point of the mission itself.

    Sure – some of these mission/substance/definition may be explained or accounted-for in the film itself. My gripes may indeed be mooted when the actual film is unfurled.

    But all other indicators point to “ham-handed” and “hokey”. Cameron appears to have lost the trees for seeing the forest.

  57. Kane: “Yes, clearly these larger developments were the direct, lone result of IB and its highly “disappointing” B.O. take.”

    Well, it should be higher, considering Pitt’s name-power, and QT’s alleged “comeback”.

    “Example: he constantly maintains how Pulp Fiction was not influential (of course, by constantly & defensively bringing it up, he’s actually proving quite the opposite)”

    Actually, I’m proving that it’s being used for just about fucking anything, regardless of whether it had any actual impact.

    “when the reality of the situation is that’s not even a movie that he cared enough to finish, let alone properly release.”

    He just cared enough to use it as a calling card.

    “DeeZee, it’s time you just admit you’re a former QT fanboy gone AWOL — all the symptoms are present. ”

    Never been a fan.

  58. “Well, it should be higher, considering Pitt’s name-power, and QT’s alleged “comeback”.”

    Yes, it should’ve done better than every Pitt movie ever ($300 mil is about what successful Pitt movies do, based on the last ten years), and it should’ve done better than being the highest grossing movie Tarantino ever made (that’s what it is) if it was going to count as a “comeback”? Seems like you hold him to pretty high standards.

    “Actually, I’m proving that it’s being used for just about fucking anything, regardless of whether it had any actual impact.”

    I agree with this; DZ using any reference generally proves that DZ will reference any movie for “just about fucking anything”, regardless of whether the reference makes sense.

    “He just cared enough to use it as a calling card.”

    You mean that after he spent all of his money on a film that wasn’t very good, he tried to use that film to get an agent and get work out of it? That is a surprise. Pointing this out certainly doesn’t make it sound as if you have no idea how the film industry works.

    “Never been a fan. ”

    This I believe; one thing the Internet has proven to me is that the only thing more obsessive than fan-boys is haters. However, most haters don’t allow their hatred to blind them to facts the way you do. For instance, you can certainly argue that the movie isn’t good; that’s your opinion, and even though we all know your opinion was formed before the movie was released, and that you never actually saw it because even you aren’t *that* stupid, you’re still entitled to believe what you want about the quality of the movie. But you can’t argue against the facts, and the fact is, the movie is incredibly acclaimed and financially successful. The fact is, most “Eloi” like it, regardless of your feeling that it relies too much on obscure references that the Eloi won’t get. You can keep going in circles if you like, but the more you deny the basic facts of the situation, the stupider you look. At least arguing that movie won’t get an Oscar nomination, at least that is arguing against something that hasn’t actually happened yet (though, when it does, I’m sure you’ll get back to your contra-factual argument style).

  59. So how many more posts on this subject ’til we can officially declare you “hung up on” these names? ;)

    I’d argue that you just actually described why Jake Sully and Grace Augustine are good character names, not bad ones. They’re not overly exotic names, but yet they have a certain mythic quality (which seems appropriate, given the subject matter).

    I’d say you’re making more than a couple assumptions on some of the other characters (i.e. Norm Spellman). Besides, like I said before, sometimes these names for minor characters literally ARE placeholders; oftentimes, they’re not even spoken or even visually referenced.

    I think we can both agree that the success or failure of Avatar hinges on factors a lot more central to the story’s narrative pull.

  60. Well, CK, the enthusiasm for *any* thread grows inversely with the amount of DZ excrement that festers in it, so I’ll drop the topic. As I’ve repeated, and you agree, most of my gripes – as with everyone else’s – over particulars will either be bolstered or mooted once we actually see the damn thing. Your assessment of ‘Jake’ and ‘Grace’ may be borne out if the movie is in more of a ‘fantasy/fable’ tone, but mine is more on-point if its shooting for more of a ‘hard-science/military’ tone. (Two poles within science fiction films – you know what I mean.)

    After all, I *said* that most of the character-names were based on my own present “assumptions” (a caveat I note that the majority of Cameron fanboys and bashers in the *multiple* threads re Avatar don’t bother to make, even though NO posters have seen the film).

    Look at the cast list, CK – the speaking parts have full names. There *are* numerous ‘placeholder’ characters who don’t have names, but are described by their jobs. There’s a reason for this, which doesn’t really support your next to last paragraph.

    Your last sentence, though, of course I agree with. I’ve said that earlier. The names are, again, one of a number of ‘hang-ups’. The other hang-ups have been debated to death already on multiple threads, and certainly don’t require anyone’s further $0.02.

  61. Baron – I appreciate the work you put into that list; now I’m going to pretend I’ve never seen ‘Aliens’.

    * Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jorden – “Rebecca” is Hebrew meaning she will represent a “bond” of some kind, and “Newt” means that she’s young and dirty and slimy

    * Cpl. Dwayne Hicks – Hicks suggests he’s a dumb military guy from the backwoods, gung-ho with his guns, and “Dwayne” is based on a Gaelic name, specifically meaning dark, but associated with a specific monk.

    * Bishop – could be religiously oriented, either genuinely or ironically, especially when coupled with “Dwayne”, but there’s the possibility of the chess metaphor I went into above as well.

    * Carter Burke – this name could have a lot of meanings — “Burke” rhymes with “irk”, suggesting annoying, and “Carter” *could* be a reference to Jimmy Carter — but it’s such a straight up ’80′s yuppie name that I’d assume this guy is the yuppie scum of the movie.

    * Pvt. Hudson – obviously young (“son”), the name tends to be associated with America (even though it’s British) because there are so many “Hudson” places in the US. So he’s American, probably agressively so.

    * Lt. Gorman – this is the guy I’d expect to kill a lot of aliens, since his name is “Gore man”.

    * Pvt. Vasquez – obviously a Hispanic character; a few possible associates but, given the subject matter and the “Gore man” above it, I’m going to say “vascular” as in, (s)he spills a lot of blood.

    * Sgt. Apone – “Apone” as in “corn-pone”; another hick. Since he’s a sergeant, he’s going to be the idiot that leads them into a disaster involving the aliens.

    * Pvt. Drake – he’s a duck (as in a sitting duck), or bait used in fly fishing; either way, this name is a red shirt.

    * Pvt. Frost – cold hearted killer

    * Cpl. Ferro – iron willed soldier

    * Pvt. Spunkmeyer – stupid over-anxious kid in the military

    * Cpl. Dietrich – germanic in personality; could be either “die” as in dies early or “the trick” as in a traitor in the group

    * Pvt. Crowe – this is tough; could be black, could be loud, could be over-confident (as in “eating crowe”), or it could freckles. But I’m going to say “ominous” or “portending doom”.

    * Pvt. Wierzbowski – wacky foreign guy [this one's tough]

    * Van Leuwen – somebody upper-class, either a colonist or an exec at Weygand

    * Lydecker – don’t trust this guy!

  62. Thank you. I was just looking at the cast/credits of Aliens earlier today, and thinking a lot of the same things. I didn’t really have the motivation to go through character-by-character analysis, but I’m glad someone did.

    Baron, can we just agree that Cameron has often dealt in archetypes (and archetypal character names), and that this rarely has any bearing whatsoever on the finished film’s overall quality?

    When I’m watching Aliens for the first time (or even second and maybe third), I could honestly give two fucks that it’s a lazy-ass, obvious name for a Hispanic character, I’m too busy being entertained by the actual movie. Which is as it should be, really.

  63. “I didn’t really have the motivation to go through character-by-character analysis”

    I’ve been procrastinating because of the daunting prospects of spending the next week or so hip deep in After Effects. And it was fun; I dig where Baron’s coming from, though, and am enjoying the conversation, so I hope that list is taken in the spirit it’s offered, and not just written off as a long rant on the Internet.

    My main feeling is that, like the character in ‘Aliens’, we’re not come out of the movie knowing most of these character’s names. I really don’t remember any of the soldier’s names except Bishop (if he counts). (Being fair, though, I’m kind of bad with names, so maybe that’s just me.) I’m not expecting ‘Rumble Fish’ here, usage-of-character-name-in-dialogue-wise.

  64. Everybody in our call center office with 150 employees like the movie AVATAR. I find the movie not as good as they said. It has nice graphics art but it is poor in climatic story rendering

  65. I think that no matter that Terminator, Titanic and Avatar do not have a too twisted idea or something those films are beautiful!! and T1000 does not sound like a vacuum cleaner!!!

  66. while natal seems cool and evden eve nakliyat all , why rename xbox 360 to xbox natal ? seems pretty dumb to me. they should just call the package natal like the elite package you can get.evden eve nakliyat if they are making a new evden eve nakliyat console it should play blu-rays. and if natal is as big as a console release does that mean it will get a console price? so i’m guessing we can expect natal to be any where from 150-300$

  67. Avatar is one of the biggest success so far as animation field is concerned.The movie depicts several relevant facts regarding human and their evolution.Also it had an interesting concept of aliens which bring more curiosity among viewers.

    e- marketing

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