Avatar Trailer and More Thoughts on Avatar Day

Let me first premise this by saying that we are not boycotting or protesting Avatar on this site. John has said his random thoughts on the topic and I have some other thoughts.

First, let me share the Trailer, as we haven’t posted it here (busy, not intentionally ignoring it)

Via ThinkHero

Unlike John I think this looks utterly fantastic. One thing to keep in mind is that aside from some people, very little of this exists. Its reportedly 60% CGI and there were no real sets. I didn’t see a single moment that wasn’t convincingly real to me. (aside from the obvious fantasy/scifi elements)

Here are my random thoughts on it all.

This Avatar Day thing doesn’t bug me that much. Yeah they are going to offer the clip that thousands suffered in line to see, but its just publicity. We post clips all the time on this site that give you a sneak peek into a film, so why not Avatar. Calling it Avatar Day is just the PR people playing off the diety like status Cameron has earned. The anticipation is huge, so why not play on it.

But all that aside, I think the imagery looks amazing. John doesn’t see eye to eye with me on this, but I am flat out amazed how real these CG parts look, and I am thrilled with how the “blue alien” things look. From the posters I was expecting them to be a little more cartoony real, but they look real-real.

Makes me wonder how long before we just don’t need actors anymore.

So while John might be less than impressed with it, I am thrilled and can’t wait to see it.

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72 thoughts on “Avatar Trailer and More Thoughts on Avatar Day

  1. I completely agree with you Rodney, i actually thought the movie looked good, i was thinking about how the movie will look in 3D and i simply can’t wait to see it. For some reason everytime i watch the trailer i always get the feeling that the story is going to be amazing. And people don’t notice how well the facial expressions look on the avatars, when they get angry, scared, sad it just looks so realistic the rest is noticable CGI.

  2. you have to watch it on HD and play it on full screen. makes a huge difference. btw, its stupid that people think that it doesn’t look real. i mean, have they even seen a real blue alien? i was just wondering…

    1. Never saw a real T-Rex before but it looked better in Jurassic Park than the blue aliens do in the Avatar trailer. Come to think of it I never saw a real alien but think the aliens in Alien look pretty cool and not stiff or lifeless like in the Avatar trailer. I’ll judge for myself if something looks real or not and by going on and on with stuff like “if you just give it a chance” or “once you get past that it doesn’t look the greatest”, I just have to ask, are you getting paid to pump this movie up? Really? Like oh my god, I think it was so awesome your gonna think it’s so super awesome and the next person is going to think it’s so frigg’n super awesome. I’m coming to realize that it’s not the trailer I’m not to keen on but it’s the fan boys and girls dropping their spooge like the atom bomb over it. I guess they should start using the slogan “Resistance is Futile to Avatar”.

  3. ok here is my summary of this movie so far in my eyes….

    the trailer was amazing…..everything about it….
    i can see why people hate cause they think it looks fake….but what are they suppose to look like

    james cameron has never lost in flicks

  4. I cant wait to see the movie but i agree with Kristina, i live in latin america and here we dont have IMAX or a 3D theater, so i will not enjoy the movie that much because of that? I was blown away last year watcing TDK in a regular theater and most people did, OMG mindblowing special effects (i love special effects) but give good acting, story,etc.. before groundbreaking effects.

  5. You should see it because it’s a James Cameron film. The man knows how to tell a good story (unless people disagree with me on that).

    I will tell you all straight up that the story I have seen and the dialogue I have heard is at best cliche and at worst ghastly. It is because Cameron has never let me down that I remain optimistic and excited.

    And I have officially given up trying to predict what other people will see. When Ice Age 3 and Transformers 2 make $800 million but Star Trek only makes half that, I just give up accounting for the taste of the “general audience”.

  6. My problem with this movie is that all I have heard about it is “The CGI! The EFFECTS!”. WHAT IS THIS MOVIE ABOUT?! What is the STORY? Other than the technical aspects (which the general audience doesn’t give a shit about), why should I see this?

    People who don’t have an IMAX or a 3D-capable theater nearby will watch this in 2D, and if the film does not hold up on a 2D screen, it is going to BOMB miserably. Bank on it. James Cameron’s name doesn’t mean shit to the general audience, and don’t you dare pull the Titanic card. Titianic was 12 years ago and most people joke on that movie now, so tossing around Titanic isn’t going to help Avatar one bit.

    1. I guess Aliens, True Lies, and Terminator have no impact on the “general audience” either then. Forget one of the highest grossing films of all time – that the grand majority of the “general audience” has obviously seen. We are not allowed to mention that.

      The story looks good, and granted people were more interested in the effects because this will be a 90 minute promo reel for the tech Cameron has created. This movie doesn’t have to be 3d or Imax to succeed. The trailer looked fine in 2d.

      The film will pioneer another generation of films using this tech.

      1. Yeah Rodney, if your ask the general public who directed each of those movies, most people couldn’t tell you. Just because you and I as movie buffs appreciate Cameron’s work, the majority of people do not care about directors. And unless you’re a fan of a certain director, even film buffs would often not even know or care who directs things they watch.

        Besides, did those films succeed with the general public because of the name “James Cameron” or because of names like “Swarzenegger” and “Di Caprio”?? What does Avatar have?

  7. Liked it…. a whole f$cking lot. Really looking forward to this one. IMO, I think that the story will be just as important as any of the effects… it was certainly the case for “The Terminator” and “Titanic”. From what I have seen and read it looks to be a good story which will capture many an imagination and pull on a few heartstrings with a twist of ethics thrown in for good measure

  8. Well I just finished watching the trailer and I thought it looked okay, it certainly isn’t as awe inspiring as it has been proclaimed. I mean this movie has been hyped like the second coming of Christ for Pete’s sake, there are some moments when the CGI looks seamless, but other times whatever!!!

    But the simple fact of the matter is; it won’t matter how breathtaking the special effects will be, if there isn’t a great story and terrific performances by the actors; then it’s nothing more then an FX laden film like the Star Wars prequel movies were, sorry folkes but you can’t argue the acting in those films weren’t God Awful.

    Will I go see it when it comes out, sure I will, but am I going to blow my load for it, like some are doing already?? I don’t think so!!!!!!!

    1. Agreed. Really looking forward to this one. IMO, I think that the story will be just as important as any of the effects… it was certainly the case for “The Terminator” and “Titanic”. From what I have seen and read it looks to be a good story which will capture many an imagination and pull on a few heartstrings with a twist of ethics thrown in for good measure

  9. Everybody is just talking about the CGI quality and about beautiful images but it’s everything. The problem I have with what I’ve seen from Avatar so far is it doesn’t look original. There was nothing in this trailer that I haven’t seen before in movies or comics. 2001: a Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Hellboy, Starship Troopers, Dances with the Wolf, Pocahontas, Hulk, Aliens, ect.! Everything is in there and more. It seems this movie has not many original ideas of it’s own.

    1. Congrats, you just realized something that occurs in close to 99% of all movies. Even the praised District 9 can be picked apart like this. In these cases it’s not about looking at what scenes were taken from, but rather are they being presented in a fresh and new way that has not been done before. District 9 managed to do it for the most part, and I thin Avatar will too.

  10. I think this film would rake in the bucks and might end up challenging for the no.1 spot for 2009 box office crown (domestic and worldwide), where the current topnotcher is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen . James Cameron is a visionary director. Although numerous complaints by fellow workers and his actors have lodged against him (like being too perfectionist), I’d say Cameron is always the pioneer in storytelling and visual effects department. Give the guy his due props, Ladies and Gentlemen.

    1. Not sure how well Avatar will do financially, as the movie is not based on anything, or a sequel(which we all know has been the name of the game lately).

      However James Cameron is what Michael Bay wishes he could be, a respected action director. And even though I doubt it, I hope it beats Transformers 2 as well.


  11. Seems to me after watching the trailer that Cameron was using ideas from his earlier films. I mean the love story reminds me of titanic. The Soilders remind me of Aliens. The robots made me think of terminator. There are few parts where the CG looked good but other parts looked not so good. What I dont understand is if there so much CG in this film why not have made it completely CG?

    1. speaking of story, this trailer reminds me of “last samauri” or “dances with wolves”.
      1. Soldier infiltrates enemy camp.
      2. Soldier ends up liking their culture.
      3. Soldier ends up fighting against his own.
      4. Along the way makes out with alien.

      am I way off?

      The supersmooth aliens need a little roughing up in my opinion.

      Can’t wait to see this, glad to hear those who went to Avatar day were floored. I’d love to be floored again the way Jurassic Park knocked me out!

      1. Cameron has already stated that the story is similar to Dances with Wolves. Expect much more action and an alien world you won’t want to take your eyes off of.

  12. It’s nice to have your balancing opinion, Rodney. After what John wrote, I was wondering what Cameron must have done to piss him off like that.

    After viewing the trailer, I can’t see why people are bashing the fx. Perhaps Cameron set expectations too high with some of his comments. Personally, I thought the fx were OK. They certainly do not desrve the vitriol they are receiving. I think they likewise don’t deserve all the ‘grounbreaking awesomeness’ they have been getting. It’s all been done before.

    After all is said and done, it won’t be the fx that make the movie bad, mediocre, or great, but how good a story it tells.

    1. I think the issue is how overhyped the CG was. With the statements from Cameron about how this was going to change the nature of what we expect from CG in a movie, the failure to deliver is amazing.

  13. When I saw the footage at Comic Con, I thought it looked great but was disappointed that the CG wasn’t mindblowingly realistic. However after having accepted that, looking at this first teaser trailer, it has made me excited again.

    I’m no longer expecting revolutionary, but expecting a fantastic action sci fi movie with some cool visual effects.


    1. It may not be as photorealistic as Cameron hyped it to be, but from the screening I think it does look pretty revolutionary. Just not at the level that was being hyped. If people get over the hyping from Cameron and look at the movie minus Cameron’s hype, I think they will find it pretty amazing.

      1. It’s definitely a step above all the other CG out there, I think it’s a pretty ambitious project, and when it didn’t look photorealistic they were disappointed.

        I didn’t get to goto Avatar Day, so don’t know how immersive the 3D is, because Comic Con’s 3D isn’t really 3D projection.


  14. LOL, it just occurred to me. As amazing as it seems like this movie is going to be, the Battle Angel movie he’s doing next is going to be just phenomenal.

    Holy crap, I love James Cameron!

    1. Agreed. Battle Angel is one of my favorite, top five, anime I have ever seen. Can’t wait to see how he does Alita, since in the past he has said she will be fully CG.

  15. Holy crap that’s amazing!

    While I do agree the CGI isn’t as ground breaking as I was hopping, it still looks truly awesome. Plus the movie is still 4 months away, which is plenty of time for them to make the CGI even more polished.

    I’ve been wanting a movie like this for a long time now. It’s very video game like, but in a good way. It reminds me so much of the best massive multi player games I’ve ever played, but how they would look in my head, on a live action level. The mechas, the monsters, the way the alien race looks, I love how they’re so freakin’ tall, the flying creatures they were riding on, the alien world with the floating islands/rocks in the sky. I’ve had visions and dreams similar to the look and feel of this movie, due to all the huge, epic games and movies I’ve played and seen in my life. Now I finally get to see a movie close to the level of my imagination and I just love it.

  16. Thank you for posting. The trailer looks great!

    “Makes me wonder how long before we just don’t need actors anymore.”

    I understand the statement but my answer is… we will always have actors. We had actors when we were cavemen as we had painters, writers, etc.

    My question is “Do we need celebrities anymore to push a film?” No, as long as we have great directors and screenwriters to make great film. District 9 showed us that is what we need.

  17. I tell you what John,

    I did actually get the chance to see this in 3D on Avatar Day and if i had not have seen it in the theater. And watched it on the computer like millions of other people. I would’ve thought it looked stupid.

    Instead … This thing looks absolutely AMAZING!!! The 3D CGI is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

    Watching Jake when he first goes into his Avatar is one of the greatest moments I’ve seen on screen in my life. Like the first time I seen ET x10!


  18. I’ll probably see it on IMAX..but what about the people that see it in a regular theater??Did the filmmakers give thought about what the film will look like in a normal theater…hopefully it doesn’t look as bad as it does on a computer screen..because this was pretty bad.

    1. The CGI in the Avatar trailer looks the same on a normal cinema screen as it does on my Mac. I can’t imagine an IMAX trailer in 3d would make a world of difference other then you would be more submerged in the effect since it would feel like your surrounded or a part of it. The motion, eye movement, lip movement and flow of the CGI characters just looks the same as everything else I’ve ever seen. As for all the fan boys and girls who saw the 15 trailer and are all oozing from every open crevice in their bodies from having seeing it. Reserve your judgment until you see the final movie before you start handing it the nobel peace prize, oscar for best everything and so on cause it really puts people off who try to keep an open mind. There’s nothing like someone telling you that this is the best movie ever (like my 13 year old nephew spoke of Transformers 2) and all you can do at the end of the movie is go “what movie was he watching?”. And for the dip shits who go on about “better get your tickets now, cause these babies are gonna be scarce”, dudes, relax, it’s not the aids or cancer vaccine, it’s a frigg’n movie that will play forever in the theater if it’s as jiz blowing as all the fan boys and girls are going on about! Take a chill pill and stop acting like you’re about to lose your virginity!

  19. A lot of scenes just…don’t…look…real. When the main character gets out of the plane..just look at is – YOU CAN TELL its CGI. When the blue alien says “this is great” in the room WOWWWWWWW so fake..reminds of “I AM LEGEND” CGI(that movie had terrible CGI) or Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions CGI(horrible CGI there..the 1st Matrix had better/more natural looking CGI then Rev. or Reloaded). The way the blue aliens move makes me hate the trailer/you can clearly see that its CGI just by lookin at their movements.

    1. i mean, since weve never interacted with any real blue aliens, your brain is telling you its obviously fake, but come on man….

      as movie fans, have we become THIS jaded?

      1. Sorry, but this argument makes no sense. I know Cyborgs don’t exist, but I don’t look at the Terminator robot and instantly think it looks fake. I know dinosaurs haven’t walked the earth in thousands of years, but I didn’t instantly think ‘FAKE’ when I saw Jurassic Park. I know Orcs don’t exist, but I never sat in Lord Of The Rings once picking out what was CGI and what wasn’t.

        Good special effects don’t take you out of the movie to question whether what you’re seeing is real or not. However BAD special effects do.

        So far, I’m not impressed by the CGI I’ve seen from this supposedly groundbreaking film. Yes, it’s detailed, but the movement doesn’t appear very believable at all.

      2. I have to agree with Shane Hero. Because we don’t know what blue aliens are supposed to look like, that means they have to look fake?

        That makes no sense.

      3. so 4 votes to 2….we HAVE become this jaded.

        damn this movie thats been in production for over a decade because you dont approve of 2 minutes you saw on your laptop!!! hahah…

        i cant change your minds, but I am confident all of you posting in here will be paying 10 bucks to see this in mid December. have a wonderful life nitpicking shit to death!hahah

  20. came back from the 15 min screening, and I was taken away. the cgi/mo-cap was very good, and the world just looks beautiful, and so realistic. yes there are a few parts (ie when he wakes up in the body) that seems off, mainly cause it’s cgi around a real room, but once you enter the jungle, it almost feels like a brighter, weirder version of Jurassic park w/ the animals that are on the world.

    it’s unfortunate that this is heading to be James Cameron’s “episode 1” the way fans are eviscerating it (came back from “basterds” and the crowd was cheering for chris nolan’s inception trailer, which had no story just loud bass booms and “from the director of dark knight”, and when the avatar trailer finished all you just heard were boos)

    still, this movie looks amazing, and I hope it regains some steam before release

    1. Guess it is based on the crowd. My screening had clapping. We also had clapping at the end of Inglorious Basterds. Theater was pretty quiet after the Inception trailer. I thought all three were pretty awesome.

  21. Let me start off by saying that “secretly boycotting” comment the other day was totally meant as a joke! With that said, onto the juicy stuff.

    I was one of those thousands that stood in line to see the 16 minutes of footage. In fact, I was first in line for the first showing at the theater I decided to RSVP at. Let me tell you, if you liked the trailer, you are going to be dumbstruck by how amazing the movie is if it is anything like those 16 minutes I saw. Holy shit, probably one of the most unique experience at a theater. The 16 minutes were shown on IMAX in 3D, and it was probably the coolest 3D I have ever seen. The scenes on the planet were like nothing I have ever seen in a movie or game.

    That said, those that were disappointed in the trailer, I am sure will have a different opinion if they choose to see the movie. Those people that are die hard I-fucking-hated-the-trailer-and-expect-the-movie-to-be-none-the-better… well, your dead set on that, so you probably won’t like it no matter what.

    I loved the trailer, and I must say that it did those 16 minutes of footage little to no justice. Cannot wait to see the whole thing. They said all the scenes shown were taken from the first half of the movie, so I cannot even imagine what happens in that second half.

    Enough of my die hard fanaticism… I’m sure I gave you plenty of praise here to insult me for my own hyping of the movie, so have at it.

    To finish things off…

    Got a ticket for seeing the screening that allowed me to buy a movie ticket a matinee prices any time, so I stuck around for Inglorious Basterds. Trailer for Inception has be very, very intrigues, though they showed very little. Basically it reference a crime within the mind. Shows two guys fighting in a what looks like a long hallway in a hotel. Nothing special, right? Well the fighting has them fighting around on the walls, ceiling, and floors, which ends with one of the guys falling down the hall as if falling off a building. Really trippy looking. That then pans out to show DiCaprio’s face and that’s sorta where the trailer ends. Revealed very little in regard to the plot and was maybe a minute to a minute in a half long.

    Inglorious Bastards was pure genius and Tarantino once again proves that he has still got it. A few scenes seemed to kinda drag on a bit, but damn was the movie funny. Brad Pitt also proved he is still an A list actor and Christopher Waltz was an amazing villain. Hope everybody can make it out to see this one.

    Anyway, it’s later here and I had a long day. Good night.

      1. I’m not buying the eyes for some reason. It’s not that I’m trying to nitpick, I just can’t get over them. I think they’re too big.

        This movie is going to be a tough sell for women.

  22. I saw the trailer and I was still a little iffy. However, those 15 minutes were remarkable and stunning. Now I totally hyped and convinced that is whole motion capture thing is cool. Hopefully, Spielberg can make it work with Tintin.

  23. It was a teaser, nothing more, and a very good teaser to say the least.

    The amazing thing is that mostly everyone that’s bashing the film will more than likely see it on opening weekend. I recently saw the trailer in the theater and I wish that was the medium in which I first saw a glimpse of this film. It looks so much better on screen that I can only imagine what I can expect when I see it in full IMAX 3D.

    Let people complain…it makes the world go round…glad to hear someone is excited to see the film. Can’t Wait!

  24. Trailers are supposed to make you excited about a film. Avatar looks Star Wars Episode 1 (Phantom Menace) bad and the blue people look like the same crummy CGI that gave us Jar Jar Binks. The CGI in this preview looks cold, stiff and fake. Are we seeing a preview of a cartoon, a live animation movie or what? And as far as the person who post something about how one day we just won’t need actors anymore, I hope you are kidding and that it never happens plus you need to get out of the house or your Mom’s basement.

    Less would have been more for this Avatar preview but I’m afraid that the more they show the less people will want to see it although most people are sheep and I’m sure it will bank a trillion dollars being that it’s from the Terminator and Titanic guy.

    And just to think I’m already reading stuff about how this may be Oscar worthy, whatever. This trailer makes the first Terminator look like Casablanca!

      1. First off, your reply is mean spirited and second I won’t be eating anything because I saw the trailer before Basterds and it looks the same as every other CGI flick which supports that I won’t be seeing it because it looks CGI. I’m just not a fan of that kind of work when it dominates the film. Just because something looks cool doesn’t mean it looks real or make for a better movie. Sure Megan Fox is hot and looks cool but is she a good actress? Is Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Star Wars (A New Hope) or any other wildly popular and critically acclaimed films content better on blu-ray or any other hi-def format? The picture quality may be better but I’d take a crummy copy of one of these films over a hi def version of oh, lets say Dick Tracy for no good reason. Man that Dick Tracy movie really sucked til I saw it on blu-ray! Now it’s like my favorite movie next to that Avatar trailer! I think the Avatar band wagon is getting heavy enough with everyone’s pants wet in excitement over a trailer and 15 minute clip without me jumping on it. The first thing that comes to mind when I see the Avatar trailer is the Final Fantasy movie and that movie sucked. Bottom line, the trailer looks CGI and nothing has convinced me to spend my money to see it. Not even the threat of having to eat my, uh let me read it again as you worded it, “my bat shit engulfed in maggots flavored words”.

    1. I think Inglourious Basterds proved the worth of real live actors. Not to mention the movie cost almost nothing to make, since it only had about 8 sets.

      1. Dude, Cameron has been working on and writing this film since the Titanic came out. Not to mention that they’ve been developing and shooting this film for YEARS. They came up with the aliens way before Delgo even started getting made.

        And if anything at all, the characters in Delgo bear a striking resemblance to the aliens in the 1985 Wolfgang Petersen film Enemy Mine.

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