1. Due to software and technical issues, search results will be incomplete while we perform further reindexing on the forum search engine. Forum performance will also be affected during reindexing.

AVATAR: The Way Of Water [spoilers!]

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    I started a second Avatar thread because I wanted to get down and criticize some of the plot elements, which would spoil the movie for too many people if I put it in the regular thread.

    So... a few days ago we went back to see Avatar: The Way of Water again over the weekend, this time in IMAX 4K 3D HDR HFR, over at AMC Theater #1 at The Grove in the Beverly Grove area of West LA. Sound and picture quality were exemplary (it's a brand-new installation). Some thoughts:

    • Jake Sully and his kids (and wife) are using wireless throat walkie talkies throughout the movie -- and it's a major plot point, because they can't communicate long distances any other way. How do they charge the batteries? [this is a big problem on movie sets, and there's not exactly any AC power among the primitive villagers]

    • particularly in the last hour of the movie, Jake and the family are shooting a spitload of bullets. Where do they get more ammunition? [don't tell me they're stealing it all from the dead guys they're fighting. Too many clips, too many magazines, lots of automatic weapon fire.]

    • [a bit of a spoiler] Why did they call the human technicians to arrive by helicopter to take care of injured Kiri when they knew they could be tracked? [and of course, this mistake leads to the entire end confrontation]

    • what happened to Edie Falco's character? She's basically the Big Bad of the entire movie, the head commander from Earth in charge of the force trying to crush the Nav'i. <spoiler> The big enemy ship sinks at the end [strong echos of Titanic], but we never see her.

    • there's way, way, way too many incidents of "the kids run off on their own, get caught by the bad guys, get threatened, then manage to escape again... only to get captured again by the bad guys 10 minutes later." I swear, this happens at least 3-4 times. I lost track of the number of "lucky coincidences" in the film, where characters separated by great distances somehow managed to find each other, against impossible odds, and survive various situations. 2 or 3 times, I can forgive; 9 or 10 times, it strains credulity.

    • Didn’t Spider the kid get his throat cut by the mother? Nobody references this injury, and he doesn't seem to take offense at it, which is baffling. Clearly she's willing to sacrifice a little boy who is NOT her actual son, but has nonetheless been a connected part of her family for his entire life. It's a strange story issue... but it leads to what happens with his birth father, Col. Quaritch.

    • speaking of Spider, the kid: they explain that he couldn't return to Earth when he was born 10-12 years ago because they couldn't put babies in cryo for the long space journey. I get that. But he's clearly blended in with the Nav'i culture... why not put him through the process and make him a human/alien hybrid? Why does he remain a human, forced to wear an oxygen mask for pretty much the entire film, constantly in danger of being poisoned by the atmosphere of Pandora? This is a loose end that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    • How much time went on in this story? They have several montages of the kids in Metkayina (the another tribe on the planet) trying desperately to learn to swim and dive and hold their breath and communicate with giant sea creatures, but we don't really know if they were there a week... a month... months? It's a little cloudy.

    As for visual issues: I was *conscious* of the much-criticized 24fps vs. 48fps HFR speed changes, but it didn't kill me. My take is they didn't just do the entire film at 48fps because then (as many have noted) it would basically look like a CGI video game. Since "most" of it is at 24fps, a lot of it "feels like a movie," which is fine. But in the last hour, the number of times they switched frame-rates gave me whiplash. I'm baffled as to why they didn't just give up and leave it at 48fps for the entire battle until the ship sinks.

    BTW, not a lot of people ask *why* they changed to 48fps at all. The problem is: when you combine 3D with HDR (high dynamic range, a much brighter image), it exaggerates the flicker inherent in 24fps (even assuming they showed each frame twice or three times, which is a trick going back to film projectors to minimize flicker). The 48fps does reduce the problem but I think adds to the "unreality" of the experience, which is not good in a movie that's maybe 80% CGI. I understand why they did it, but I'm not entirely sure I agree with it. I wonder whether more motion blur might have helped... and yet I don't doubt they experimented for months (hell, years) trying to crack that formula. We went through that with The Hobbit back in 2012, and I thought it was haaaaarible... but the later Hobbit films were fine for me.

    Last issue: I'm not sure why more people don't call out Avatar 2 as being an animated movie. It's photorealistic animation, and I think they achieve some incredibly-believable looks while avoiding The Uncanny Valley with the characters, but I wonder why all the hoopla, shooting with 4K 3D cameras with actors in live sets, when basically all that was doing was capturing VFX references for the animated aliens that populate the movie. BTW, I looked very carefully at the VFX scenes with the human characters (like Spider the kid) and the "recombinant" aliens (human/Nav'i hybrids), and they were flawless.

    It's a stunning film and despite all my technical criticism, I got caught up again with the story and the characters' emotions. It's a beautiful, beautiful film that takes you to another world and makes you believe it's real, which is all you want in an epic action/SF film. BTW, to me, Sigourney Weaver's character Kiri steals the show, as does Spider the kid -- I would guarantee there's a whole story just with those two. Four stars from me, and this was the second time we saw it. Not a dull moment in the entire 192-minute film.

    Why Does Avatar: The Way of Water Look Like That?

  2. Quadboy

    Quadboy Forum Resident

    Only seen it once so far in 2D.
    Wanted to take in the story without being side tracked by the 3D effects.
    Will hopefully catch it in 3 shortly.
    As I am not too technical/noticing of things such as HFR (and whether the 2D contained any?) I try not to get too upset by such things.

    It/the kids getting themselves into numerous scrapes was taken too far.
    The amount of times Jake told them to just sit tight and keep quiet til they got rescued got a bit much.
    I was expecting pretty much the same as story line as the original as he wants to reintroduce the same characters as before and I understand that this first sequel needs to be this way, but I am hoping to be surprised with story changes that he says nobody will expect in the next few films.

    Possibly those throat transmitters run on a battery type substance that is present on Pandora that may last along time once charged or solar powered?
    The humans are only there to rob the planet of it's precious minerals.
    Radio waves/atmosphere may allow further distance coverage of transmissions compared to earth?

    I try no to criticise going to the movies/films too much even when some films are not what I hoped.
    I'm just glad films such as this get people going back to the theatre's in big numbers after the events of the last few years as visual experiences such as this belong there initially.
  3. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    You know... the 3D was excellent. I didn't mind spending $50 for 2 IMAX tickets, plus parking, plus an overpriced Icee. I think it was well over $65 by the time the adventure ended.

    I don't think a lot of average people will be that bothered by it. It momentarily took me out of the picture, but I was specifically looking for it. So I was like, "hey! It just turned to 48fps!" It's a little bit soap-operaish... and that's unusual for a movie that cost $350,000,000 to make.

    Yeah, that was almost laughably silly. "I thought I told you kids to stay put! You're GROUNDED!" C'mon.

    Ehhhh... it was a dramatic crutch, because without that, they can't warn the other guys, "hey! We're in trouble!" Kind of like being without a cell phone. The radio waves could go further, but I can't even get my iPhone to last more than about a day. The original film was said to take place in the year 2154, so I guess you can argue, "well, more than 100 years from now, we'll have walkie talkie batteries that last for decades." But it still bothered me.

    100% agree -- James Cameron has made an event film that compelled me to see it twice. And that doesn't happen too often. I failed to mention that the theater was PACKED, and this was the expensive Imax showing. And it was on a Thursday night at about 11PM, and it was still more than 2/3 sold-out.
  4. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Senior Member

    DigMyGroove and Vidiot like this.
  5. ca1ore

    ca1ore Forum Resident

    Stamford, CT, USA
    LOL ..... a 'problem' with most action movies. How many arrows could Hawkeye possibly have in that 'magic' quiver ........
  6. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Senior Member

    We know what Neytiri does with her arrows after a kill.
  7. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    Different movie. And he actually ran out of arrows a few times -- they covered this in the Hawkeye TV show, as well as where the arrows were made.

    Exactly. They went out of their way to show her retrieving the spent arrows. And I dunno if it was this film or the last, but they showed her making them as well.

    Although I did chuckle when the arrows would fly through the air from 50 yards away, go through an airplane's glass cockpit, spear the pilot, impale itseld in his seat, and causing the aircraft to crash. And it happens... five, six times? Skill, lucky hits, or just the magic of movies?

    If I had just a single nit-pick for Avatar: The Way of Water, it'd be that most of the characters are way, way too lucky and have a lot of convenient coincidences... OK, except for the older kid that gets shot and dies. But nobody else is wounded, everybody (narrowly) escapes, all of them find each other (several times), and it ends positively. I was impressed that Spider -- who is just an experienced human kid, no alien super-powers, nothing -- not only stays alive, but actually is responsible for several pivotal saves, justifying his part of the story in a believable way. I just figured the other kids would constantly have to keep an eye out for him... but nope, he took care of himself 90% of the time.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2023
  8. Quadboy

    Quadboy Forum Resident

    So i went and caught the 3D today.
    I wouldn't normally bother with 3D but i thought so much effort went into this film to present it this way i may as well experience before it's gone, as i don't or probably never will have a 3D TV.
    As i am no expert or versed by other recent 3D movies it did impress me very much ........ for the first 2 and 1/2 hours.
    At this point a similar situation happened whilst watching the 2D presentation .......... that i started to drift away as the action heated up. Maybe my attention span only lasts 150 mins?
    But unlike the 2D i started to feel a bit nauseous and a headache came on [that continued until the end] just as the final battle started.
    I suspect at this point the HFR started as the 3D became less clear ......... and as i knew what was going to happen i just wanted it over?
    Possibly this HFR has some sort of strobing/flickering effect that doesn't agree with everyone?

    Anyway onto the film.
    I suspect that the fluid [life de-aging] extracted from the large sea serpents may be a focus point of the future films.
    But at $80 million per [can't remember the exact amount.... kilo/pint/litre] measure would be giving it away for nothing [with inflation taken into account] in nearly 150 years from now as the original set in 2154 plus the 15 year on top in this sequel.
    So as earth is dying and the RDA are back on Pandora but IMO these Sci-fi films [Star Trek, Alien etc set in the 23rd Century?] are way off the mark thinking 'we' as human beings will be exploring/settling/conquering/mining Planets in far off galaxies. I cant see things as such until roughly the year 3000.
    Hoping the story takes a big turn of events next time instead of more of the same of being chased across the planet.
    Possibly see Quaritch siding with the Navi as a big U turn?
    Strange how during the final battle all of the sea people seemed to disappear and the fight was left to the Sully's.
  9. Quadboy

    Quadboy Forum Resident

    It just seems to lose some momentum/tension/drama in the final part that he pulled off so well in T1 T2 and Aliens.
    3 1/2 from 5.
    I watched the extended Avatar last night and it kept me engrossed until the end.
  10. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    Saw it in 3D HFR, and agree that it is a visual feast, the story not so much. The main plot holes for me are the same as bothered others, but no one seems to mention that the water people just disappear at one point during the big fight. I think I finally figured it out after: it's that they fight for the whales, not the bad guys, so when the bad guys' ability to hurt the whales is taken away the water people leave because the rest of the fight is Sulley's. But it's not explained at all.

    What really bugged me were the score and the HFR. There were a lot of times where I was listening to the score thinking, this really doesn't go with what's going on in the film. It sounded like filler, as if it was a place holder for something better to come later. It took me out of the picture many times.

    Similarly for the HFR. At least in the theater I saw it there was a clear difference: in HFR the characters were a different, darker color blue, and while it made the action flow a bit smoother, adversely faces and facial expressions looked more fake and closer to the uncanny valley. I see Vidiot's explanation above, but after all it still makes no sense why they did it since it was just distracting.

  11. JohnBeas

    JohnBeas Forum Resident

    Heres a code I got for buying Kelloggs cereal if someone hasn't seen it and wants $13 off a Fandango movie ticket:

    To receive your Fandango Movie Ticket, just follow these simple steps:
    1. Visit www.fandango.com/promo/kfrmovieticket or via the Fandango mobile app.
    2. Select your date, movie, theater, time, and ticket quantity for Avatar: The Way of Water or any other Disney movie.
    3. Sign in or create your free Fandango VIP account (or you can enter your email address for guest checkout).
    4. Click "Promo Code," enter the code below and click "Apply."
    5. Complete your purchase and decide how you want to receive your ticket(s).

Share This Page