The first full trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water is here

Originally published at: The first full trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water is here | Boing Boing

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The absence of comments on this post confirms what I’ve long suspected about “Avatar”: no one really cares.

It was beautiful to look at, and the animation and graphics were very impressive at the time. But it was weirdly lacking in any emotional core. It was as if “The Word for World is Forest” and Industrial Light & Magic had a baby and it grew up to be a bland supermodel. Aside from a few “I see you” memes and some Rule 34 giant-blue-people pornography, it never really made much of an impression on anyone’s pop-cultural radar.

Or am I wrong? Is there a secret army of “Avatar” fanatics who have been holding their breath waiting for “Return of the Giant Blue People, This Time With Whales,” shot in widescreen National Geographic-vision?

Oh yes, I’d almost forgotten that the original was available in migraine-inducing 3D, an innovation that has mercifully died the death, and which probably had fewer devoted fans than “Avatar” itself.


It was “the end of 2D”!


I’m not super excited to see this but I thought it was a bold move to use 73-year-old Sigourney Weaver to create the motion-capture footage to animate a 14 year old alien child.

I’m sure that Sigourney is in excellent shape and is far more athletic than me, but septuagenarians generally don’t move in the same way as adolescents regardless of how young at heart they may be. There’s a reason that in movies like Rogue One they used a replacement actor for Carrie Fisher rather than just digitally de-age her face.

But if she does manage to pull it off convincingly that will provide even more evidence of her impressive acting chops!

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Avatar The Last Airbender Goodbye GIF by Nickelodeon
Sokka is unimpressed


I loved the movie when it first came out, but with hindsight, I was mostly just in love with the visuals. It was, for its time, absolutely stunning. Also, I didn’t suffer from the headaches many got from that type of 3D, although, after about 3 or 4 films of it, I got bored with it. And that accurately describes Avatar itself. It was visually stunning for its day, but the story itself is pretty meh, and the visuals on the small screen are also pretty meh. So the rewatch value is basically zero. There is potential for a good story in that world, though, so I will probably give this movie a shot unless the reviews are terrible.


I think this was a trend during the early years of digital film making. Directors and audiences were both fascinated with the tech, but as the spectacle began to be more common audiences wanted good stories again.

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There are undoubtedly a non-zero number of people that are absolutely stoked for this sequel. The Pandora part of Disney World is constantly busy for a reason. I’ll watch the sequel, because the original was watchable, if a bit dull and predictable, and I haven’t given up on James Cameron, who is one of my favorite directors. I’ll probably wait until it’s streaming, though.

Different strokes. While I never bought a 3D TV, I did see a lot of movies made available in 3D, mostly animated movies. On the whole, I’m a fan of 3D done properly. Avatar was one of the more enjoyable 3D movie experiences I had, with the live-action portions being the least successful. I would probably give the sequel a shot in 3D, though I’m not looking forward to the possibility of another spate of bad 3D copycats. That’s where headaches lie for me.

When I first watched the trailer, I had no idea that Weaver was narrating the beginning. Either she’s really good at sounding young, or there’s some digital manipulation going on, which might be tricky to make sound good for an entire film. I don’t want to listen to an Auto-Tuned protagonist.

And yet I’ve watched it at least 3 times since I saw it in the theater. A 65-inch TV is big enough to recapture at least a bit of the theater experience. I don’t know what it is, exactly. It isn’t the most interesting movie out there, but I like the cast, and the visuals are interesting. Maybe I just have bad taste.

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This is just weird if true:

To be clear: Na’vi is unrelated to the characetr Weaver played in the first Avatar, released 13 years ago. Fifteen years have passed between the films, which means Weaver’s character wasn’t born yet around the events of the first Avatar .

I assumed Weaver was playing some kind of reborn/resurrected version of the character she played last time around because her soul was uploaded to the planet’s neural network or something. Otherwise why bring her back for the film at all? It’s not like there aren’t plenty of actual teenage actors out there.

I admit I felt nothing watching the trailer. Not sure if I would go see this as I tend to avoid the theater post covid.


See also Captain Marvel, the de-aging was amazing on Samuel L Jackson but he still moved like a 70 year old which kinda reminded one of his age.

Will there be a recap sequence at the beginning of the movie? After all, it’s been a while since the first movie came out…

Previously in Avatar…


Finally, a chance to rewatch The Last Samurai Dances with Wolves.

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When Avatar was released, an old friend of mine dragged me out to see it at the IMAX theater in Sydney, at the time the largest screen in the southern hemisphere. He dosed me up on liquid acid as we left. An hour later we were exchanging our tickets for 3d glasses as we entered the venue. The screen was so huge you couldnt see it all without moving your head around. The movie started, the acid kicked in, and it was pretty fucking amazing.
The nightime forest sequences were particularly memorable.
Then, roughly 90 minutes in, the fucking projector broke, the lights came up and everyone was unceremoniously ejected from the theater with the promise of a free ticket… I never bothered to go back.
At that point, we were tripping balls anyway, and had a spliff to smoke and a nighttime city adventure to occupy us.
Years later I downloaded it and finally watched the whole thing, in 2d.
Boring as hell.

My advice is, unless you want to fully immerse yourself in the experience, balls deep as it were, don’t bother.


… also due to the third death of 3D movies

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Same, although I never had a chance to get bored with 3D because nobody I ever went to the movies with wanted to choose the 3D showing.

I know it’s uncool to admit it but I am looking forward to this movie. I did like the first one for its visuals and 3D effects, but more importantly I love underwater movies and I know James Cameron will have poured his all into this, because that is his passion, too. The abyss is unironically one of my favourite movies.


As much as I admire Cameron’s work from a technical standpoint, this trailer has awakened my “meh” reaction to the original Avatar, which was a generic gung-ho action story to frame the CGI.

Today’s state-of-the-art CGI will be commonplace CGI within a couple of years. 3D? Meh. I only notice the 3D aspect for the first few minutes, the rest is wasted on me.


Some would argue that’s already happened. Plenty of TV shows have high-quality CGI effects and virtual sets that were only within the realm of big-budget movies just a few years ago. And the effects are usually good enough now to tell whatever story they need to without being obviously fake or distracting, so any future improvements will just have increasingly diminishing returns as we move forward.

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