‘Avatar 2’ is officially ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’: James Cameron debuts first footage at CinemaCon
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- Christian Zilko, Samantha Bergeson
- Apr 27 2022
- Word count
- 454 words
It's kind of surreal that this movie is finally coming out. I remember when it was supposed to release in 2014. And then it was delayed to every single year. 2015, 2016, 2017. And then finally looked like it would come out in December 2021 but was delayed another year because of COVID. I remember being 10 when the first one came out. I didn't watch it in theaters, I watched a bootleg DVD copy on a portable DVD player while on a roadtrip (the way it was intended to be watched), but I really liked it. And I've seen it on Disney+ since. So I'm excited for this.
The first Avatar is a beautifully told story in an engaging, magical, alien world. I find its success quite "explicable". The strong negative reaction to it is just an expression of a "high-brow" attitude torwards a high-budget, extremely competent melodrama, not unlike some attitudes towards Titanic.
When Cameron does sublime melodrama it's kinda like a world class chef making the best hot-dog in the world. Some people will say "sure this is the best hotdog in the world, but why is he wasting his time with hotdogs?", while other's will just say "That's a damn good hotdog!". Guess in which group I am? :)
Avatar is awesome.
My own subjective view aligns totally with your interpretation. I thought that the story was very pedestrian, the characters quite flat, and the message heavy handed. There was nothing very interesting in those terms. Not a terrible film as such, but nothing exceptional.
Yet, I loved the experience. I had seen other 3D films* but Avatar was something else**. Not only did it have a sense of visual depth that I hadn't experienced in a film before, but at times it felt like James Cameron had somehow invented totally new colours for the film. It was absolutely mesmerizing to watch.
So, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where Cameron has taken the film series. Perhaps not so much the story, but the technology, the hype, the whole package.
* My first 3D film experience was Michael Jackson's (and Francis Ford Coppola's, and George Lucas's) Captain Eo, which played at the Euro Disneyland sometime in the early 90s. It was amazing and awesome.
** Another contemporary director who I feel did an amazing job with 3D is Ridley Scott with Prometheus. While I felt that the film as a whole was a bit of a mess, Scott's use of 3D there was beautiful. Unlike most directors, who use 3D mainly for spectacle, Scott used it primarily for shot composition, with amazing results. Then again, I do love Scott's painterly eye in any film he's done.
I don't really like 3D, and Avatar is in my view the only movie that did it right.
And it's okay to dislike Avatar, what I found odd was some vicious reactions that treated it like the rise of the Antichrist...
James Cameron knows what audiences want. I wasn't around when Titanic was being released, but people thought that was a bomb waiting to happen. Same with the original Avatar. So I think people are gonna watch this no matter what.
Oh, then I've got the next three then.
Avatar 3: The End of Earth
Avatar 4: The Fate of Fire
Avatar 5: The Acolyte of Air
No clearly it's, "Avatar 5: The Last Air Bender" just to make everything more confusing.
And film 4 has to be "Avatar IV: Quest of the Avatar".
Maybe this is how we get "The Winds of Winter"
I am disappointed that James Cameron walked back his decision to shoot the sequels at 48 frames per second. I would love to see more high framerate cinema. It is a shame that all we have gotten is a disappointing adaptation of The Hobbit and a mediocre Will Smith action flick.
24fps has a dream-like quality that is better conducive to fantasy. I'd expect deviations from it to be more in the real of realism. But I doubt that's why he decided against it. More FPS means more frames to render.
Even more frames considering 48 FPS not an ideal HFR framerate. It is not supported by many consumer displays or home video formats. Realistically he would want to shoot at 120 FPS, which can be evenly divided to 24 for DVD/Blu-Ray/low bandwidth streams and 60 for 4K Blu-Ray/high end streams. I think this limitation is why the 4K Blu-Ray Hobbit release was still only 24 FPS.
One disadvantage of high FPS is that you generally need a lot more light on your set, which can be rather uncomfortable to the performers. And makeup melts. Again, I doubt Cameron would care, he's well known for not caring about the well being of his crew and performers at all :P
I see. Personally I don't see the point. I personally do not find high FPS film visually pleasant.