Spoilers Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) - Full Spoiler & Review Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kai "the spy", Dec 16, 2022.

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How would you rate this movie?

  1. 10 out of 10 - Mighty.

    11 vote(s)
    23.9%
  2. 9 out of 10 - This movie connects all things. Before your birth, and after your death.

    11 vote(s)
    23.9%
  3. 8 out of 10 - Strong Heart.

    13 vote(s)
    28.3%
  4. 7 out of 10 - Wherever we go, this movie is our fortress.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  5. 6 out of 10 - This is where we make our stand.

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  6. 5 out of 10 - That's all you take, you just waste the rest?

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  7. 4 out of 10 - I took you under my wing. You betrayed me.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 3 out of 10 - Outcast. That's all I see.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 2 out of 10 - That's why I drink.

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  10. 1 out of 10 - I cannot allow you to bring your movie here.

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was thinking the other day that I would love to see either all this or the original with none of the special effects. I've seen a few clips, but it could be fun to watch the whole movie that way.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Admiral Admiral

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    So what are the leading theories as to what Kiri's deal is?
    The obvious answer seems to be that she's a child of Eywa and was conceived in the failed attempt to transfer Grace into her Avatar body.
    Another possibility that occurs to me is that she is Eywa incarnate; that the transfer actually worked but in the wrong direction causing Eywa and Grace to switch places, making Eywa a sapient person and not just a cross-species super-organism.
    The former seems more likely, but the latter could have something to it, depending on where they're going with this. I mean the logical endpoint of this story is going back to earth and making contact with and reviving whatever is left of Earth's version of Eywa (let's call it "Gaia" for the sake of argument), and what better way to do that than with a living avatar of Eywa incarnate.

    In fairness, Neytiri has never been a mother figure* for him. It's established right from the off that she barely tolerates his presence as an "alien thing" that hangs around her family like an unwelcome stray.

    But yeah, even so that's something that I hope gets addressed down the road as it felt rather unresolved here. She barely interacted with him the whole movie, and nothing passed between them after the finale, not so much as a look.

    * Side note; who the hell was his biological mother anyway? All they said was that he was orphaned by the war, so we're to presume Quarich knocked up someone under his command?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2022
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  3. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was reading this over at AV Club which makes it sound all the more weird.
    https://www.avclub.com/avatar-way-water-visual-effects-weta-workshop-interview-1849921448

    AVC: We’ve all seen behind-the-scenes footage of when actors play taller CG characters, like She-Hulk, and they have reference faces on posts above their head. When they’re playing smaller CG characters, like Sigourney, what does that look like? How do you get the eyelines?

    ES: Well, Kiri’s actually seven and a half feet tall. That’s the thing that you don’t think about when you’re watching these movies. She’s quite a lot taller than Sigourney was, and to interact with Spider, because we didn’t actually have anyone for him to interact with on set, we had a new thing, a fly-by wire camera. Basically from sporting events, you see that camera that’s flying overhead, over NFL games. We had a very similar setup, where we had the wire cameras over set, and hanging off that, off a pole, we basically had a very small HD monitor, and we had Sigourney’s performance on that monitor, and it tracked to the location of where the performance was that Sigourney did, so that when Jack was there interacting with Sigourney, he had an eyeline to where Sigourney was supposed to be from the performance, moving around set and with Sigourney’s face on it, so he had something to interact with for timing, for dialogue, all those things.

    DB: Yeah, because the performance happened before the live-action shoot, it was a very accurate eyeline. The screen would move exactly where the CG head of Kiri was ultimately going to be.
     
  4. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember being blown away by Avatar’s 3D in 2009 but soon found that it had very little rewatch value (my birthday 2010, I received two copies of it on DVD, so this theory was tested).

    So much so that my opinion of it declined continually over the years to the point where I was really lethargic over the idea of a sequel and I actively put off going to see this. But at a loose end and out of excuses, I went to see Avatar: The Way of Water in IMAX (figuring at least the 3D would be off the charts again) this weekend.

    And I really enjoyed it. The HFR scenes were jarring as hell, and I think the projector might have had one or two of those glitches reported too. But those things aside, the 3D for IMAX was spectacular. I don’t think it will kick off a second 3D trend, but it is worth seeing this in IMAX if you can.

    Considering the three hour run time, the first act still feels incredibly rushed with the ‘One Year Later’ time hop and the catch up montage is beautifully clunky (shouldn’t work but does).

    But once they’re at the ocean clan village, the film breathes and takes you on a simple, in depth ride. It really didn’t feel like three hours, so much so that when the climax was reaching its end, I started wondering how the next action sequence would top it.

    It’s no masterpiece, it’s unlikely to get me to rewatch the first and I worry that my opinion will reduce on rewatch (history repeating itself). But it is a good, solid movie. And one which I am surprised to be considering going to see one more time (in IMAX again) during its theatrical run. Which I did not expect.

    I might even be looking forward a little to the third.
     
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not a super-organism exactly. She was already established to be a global thought transfer network that seems to exhibit an unspecified form of super-intelligence, with character-assumed sapience. Super-organism wouldn't make it that different from Earth, and I don't think it technically qualify for one, either. Nitpick aside, I think if there are tests for sapience, the decision to suddenly and contrary to precedent intervene in the world's affairs without that being random occurrence would be a very good indicator. Unless Jake or Grace accidentally sent a threatening thought to all the animals, and it was the individual animal's decision, the ending of the first film would strongly imply the thought “I/we would be hurt if I don't act” to be formed and then conveyed in one way or the other, along with specific instructions of attack X, help Y. So she definitely was a character with heavily implied sapience and personhood of sorts.

    Anyway, I'll admit I'd enjoy the Grace half of this possibility, Grace “becoming” Eywa is pleasing narratively. They are, well, not at odds, but certainly both Grace and the Na'vi would have never in a million years imagined such a thing was possible. The people seemed to love Grace, but they sure didn't think she was even compatible with their world. So it's totally fitting. I like it when the story narrative decides to trolls its own characters.

    But I don't think it'll happen, at least not that way. For one, that would be a serious vulnerability of the whole planet to be able to remove/extract its entire being like that. For another, I don't find it very plausible for a swap like that to be structurally possible. I don't think a planet's mind fits in a humanoid brain. And where do we go from here? Eywa/Kiri going all Zara (DIS) on us?

    You can have Grace's consciousness preserved inside like a Force-ghost manner – it was being transferred while she was still alive in a procedure that was later revealed to preserve consciousness and memories fully intact (with some unreliable narration by Mo'at that it failed to be read), which is sufficiently different to what is assumed to happen to a dead person. That half is even supported by the film – she exhibited something that wasn't truly a memory when Kiri commuted with her. Unless that was a memory of an interaction Grace had with Sylwanin in the forest that was altered, of course. (On the other hand, it was established that the consciousness needs a congruent brain, which the trees lack, and the not-memory/memory was definitely fragmented and not Grace herself being fully aware)

    It would make slightly more sense to just have Eywa finding a friend in the only or one of the few fully preserved consciousnesses like The Elysian Kingdom (SNW), or “Eywa” can also actually be made up of multiple people whom Grace now joined. That would perfectly explain why the plants like Kiri, without any magic required.

    P.S. Conception through what was supposed to be a mind link to the brain during a consciousness transfer would be the thing making least functional sense in the franchise so far. It would be totally arbitrary. The least explainable up to now would have been how the animals got the message (do Tree of Souls seeds carry information around, or do animals sleep hooked to a tree somewhere?), and how the hell did Eywa know to “choose” Jake without time travel to see the future.

    Which is funny, because I did read a fan theory that Kiri is going to become Eywa in the past through time travel. About as over the top and ridiculous as you can possibly go (the author must have been watching Discovery), but it managed to elicit emotions in me because it totally fits with Eywa liking Jake and reproaching Neytiri in the first, and playing games with her own self in the second. :lol: (I'm still going with my assumption from the first time I watched Avatar – the biosphere scanned every person coming and going, the Na'vi had just never seen a newcomer on their first day before)

    https://james-camerons-avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Paz_Socorro
     
  6. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The stuff before the one year later was a recap of the prequel comic, which originally was going to be to be the movie before they changed it.
    Speaking of which, I finished that prequel graphic novel recently. It was pretty good. The best part was in volume 2 with the Na’vi attack on the spaceships in space. Quite an interesting image to see Na’vi in space suits; killing people in zero g with bows and arrows. I imagine Cameron cut it because he either wanted to keep the story on Pandora, or he has it coming in a sequel movie.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2022
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  7. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, this supposed box office bomb has crossed the 1 billion mark world wide... In 2 weekends.. :nyah:

    All the critics poo pooing the box office total.. It'll get there.
     
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  8. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm still reading that it's going to flop, so I'm waiting for that flop sound to sound!
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Avatar's a perfectly good scifi movie that due it its insane budget is always fighting above its weight class. Anything except being embraced as a top tier scifi franchise on the level of Star Wars will be considered a flop.
     
  10. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cameron himself has said that it needs to take $2B to break even.., so it can take $1B, it can take $1.2B, $1.99B and be a box office flop.

    Of course, that is a very shortsighted view anyway, looking only at cinema box office as the only distribution income stream which qualifies the film as a flop or non-flop.

    Whereas, there’s streaming (rental and purchase, as well as D+), dvd/blu ray and TV rights as other revenue streams and years and years and years in which it, as a single production, can attain a profitable position. But for some reason that side of things are never really looked at or taken into account.

    Avatar 1 took over $2B over multiple theatrical releases. It’s also made significant sums from dvd/blu ray, streaming deals, TV deals. It’s not just a $2B movie.

    It’s actually really, really, really hard for a film to be in a position of loss perpetually.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2022
  11. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, he has not.

    He said that he told the studio executives in 2013 that the production he wanted to begin developing would need to be third or fourth highest-grossing film in history to break even.
     
  12. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, and the fourth highest grossing film is $2.07B, which means Way of Water needs to take…. over $2B to break even.

    But let’s not let that get in the way over pedantry in regards to his exact verbiage.
     
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They picked a good time competition wise, there's not a whole lot that looks too exciting coming up. I think M3GAN might be a bit of a sleeper hit but nothing to rattle it. I can see the fascination with its box office being such a juggernaut but I myself would like to see it do well enough to get the sequels.
     
  14. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really suspect this is one of those patented Disney Distribution Mandates, which they famously did with the Star Wars sequels. Where they stipulate that if a cinema wants to carry the film, it must be on 80-90% of screens, 80% of the time for the first two weeks.

    They muscle any counter programming out.
     
  15. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That would be completely wrong, now, wouldn't it? The fourth highest grossing film in history in 2015 was The Avengers, and it made only 1.5 billion. And in 2013 – 1.35 billion. Endgame, Infinity War, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and The Lion King (2019) certainly were not released when Cameron said the original statement.

    Before you adjust that for inflation or something, that wasn't the point – Cameron's vague claim doesn't say much about how much Avatar 2 needs to make now. It was about a projected cost, during pitching of the film; it could have gone over- or under-budget. It's one giant self-hearsay, people tend to stretch truths more when they quote themselves. It's unclear if that covers the new film, half of it, the new film and Avatar 3, etc. – especially if you account for the rumours that the intro was a dropped film, or the rumour that the film got too long and was split into 2 and 3 (the numbers of announced films changed at least once since then). We don't even know which specific year he said that exactly. Translating that into a specific number is hogwash.
     
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  16. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How do you know it was a mandate and not "common sense"? Don't forget, we are in an age of Fandango. So they had plenty of advance notice of sold out screens. With that advance knowledge, you had plenty of time to adjust so they can accommodate the actual demand.

    Schedules usually don't get released to closer to premiere time . And older movies could get bumped
     
  17. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except he was saying this to Fox and Disney execs, which dates his remark after Disney bought Fox in March 2020, and given he was in the business of multiple rereleases of Avatar by that time and readily acknowledges his penchant for going over budget again and again (taking some pride in it too), I’d find it hard to believe he’d not know the scale of his own project versus the top of the table in which he has two films as well.
     
  18. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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  19. The Knappos

    The Knappos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn’t say I know in my post. I said I’d not be surprised to find out if it was the case. And it’s a suspicion based on previous behaviour.

    Pre-pandemic, cinema chains were open about having these mandates and that Disney were particularly prone to including them. I don’t remember if it was The Last Jedi or Rise of Skywalker but one of the two got quite a bit of press on it.

    It just makes no sense for a chain to have most of its screens less than 20-30% full for most of the day at a time when they’re desperately trying to regain their feet still following the pandemic, unless they’re forced to.

    I’d normally say a big clue is the lack of any counter programming of any kind. Though a big part of that is Warner Bros. deciding they don’t have enough money to distribute any additional films this year and taking out their Holiday release. But they made that call months back and in enough time for it to embolden Disney’s mandate clause. Had cinema chains had a big WB release to counter with, they’d have had a tad more leverage.

    Like I say though, I don’t know but past events and the fact that the first 3-4 weeks of Avatar 2’s screen times being published all in one go (rather than the typical weekly reveal) give me a solid enough base to hold that belief.
     
  20. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It made a billion in 12 days. I’m sure the franchise is fine