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Old 03-26-2010, 05:37 AM
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Default Plot isnt original...

Okay, so earlier today I had this discussion with a friend who has not seen Avatar yet saying how everyone has told him its only good for CGI and the story is so unoriginal "just like Pocahontas" etc. This picks a bone with me. Because, please tell me what movies today are original anymore?

The previews I have seen lately are as follows:
  • Robin Hood (done before)
    Clash of the Titans (done before)
    Alice in Wonderland (done before)
    Batman (done before)

and the list can go on and on. Everything has been done. Look at how many movies are being re made. So what do the directors do with these movies being re-made? They put a new spin, a new view on things and change it up. So tell me what did Avatar do? Seems like it had new things, Pandora, Na'vi, creatures. Definitely put a new spin on it using Aliens. I would say that James Cameron definitely put a spin on the traditional story that everyone compares it to.

So why do these people say this? In my eyes it is because they WANT to hate the movie. Maybe they dont like Cameron, maybe they just cant immerse themselves into the world, or maybe they just cant let go of things like we can. However, In my opinion, it is such a trivial thing to say the story is unoriginal that I will forever discredit most peoples opinion if they bring that into a discussion. /rant
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:43 AM
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I agree that the "unoriginal plot" is the height of irony: it's unoriginal criticism at its finest. I see the need for this criticism when someone is hyping their work to be some kind of innovation in storytelling, but no such claims were made for Avatar.

There is a certain limit to what kinds of basic plot-structures will draw crowds. Someone on Avatar-Forums wrote an alternate ending in which Jake, Trudy and Norm are captured by the RDA, Neytiri is caged along with all the other Na'vi "her empty eyes staring out at nothing" (or something like that) and the "bad guys" win.

Sure it might be hailed as a "plot twist" or "unexpected turn of events" but it wouldn't' sell tickets. Heck, I read the original scriptment and thought "If that was Avatar I wouldn't like it nearly as much as I do in its current form."

The end result of hundreds of years of human history is that things get repeated. This is true in literature, business, government and pretty much anything else we can think of. The "It's the same, but I'm doing it differently so it's better than the last time!" type thought-process. Cameron really did "do it differently" than Dances With Wolves, FernGully and the like.

For heaven's sake, look at how humans solve problems. Reality Check: War and violence are unoriginal! So to think that our movies would somehow avoid the same circle-back tendencies, then complain that they cannot avoid the same repetition that the rest of society engages in is just dumb.

Never mind the "Plague of 3D Re-Releases" that is coming.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:49 AM
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Yes! Exactly! Glad I am not alone
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:39 AM
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Recently, I listened to an interview of James Cameron on a talk show (link) and about 20 minutes in, somebody brought up the question, "There's a lot of 'Oh, this plot is so unoriginal, it's a rip-off' being thrown at Avatar. What are your thoughts?" James Cameron responded with (and this is basically word-for-word), "[I completely retold the story after throwing out tons of dialogue] in a much more familiar arc-type of way. [Though the original story is still there]. We intentionally wanted to use familiar touch-stones of story telling that were historical and reflect them through a lens from the future, so I could take more of these difficult concepts, seed them in there, and people would pick them up along the way because that's all they had to trip over and not the big gestural stuff."
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:00 AM
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It's pretty much the lamest argument I've heard about Avatar, as you point out yourself, how many films that are out there are original?

Another point, I don't think a film that cost the amount to make that Avatar did could afford to have a story line that was completely different to what people are used to, it's not like it'd just lose a few $'s if it flopped, if the plot had been crazy & inaccessible then people would have not gone to watch it in the way they have.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:51 AM
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That is another good point Rizzy! A film like this in a way did need something that people could grasp onto.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:05 AM
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As far as original plots go you've really gotta look at independent & smaller size films if you want to see something different, there's just no way that a major Hollywood company would take a chance on bank-rolling a big budget movie that your average person wouldn't understand, there not in it for the art - they want our money.

In all fairness to JC he has done incredible well to make the film & keep all the messages still in there, & it's probably only the fact of who he is & what he's done previously thats made it possible. It's no surprise to me that big name directors are rarely involved with comic book/sci fi/action movies as the film company wants to keep complete control & just make films that will get as many kids into the cinema as possible.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:39 AM
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Personally, I don't even see the unoriginality. Tell me what else had Ikran, had the concept of an Eywa-like organism, what had the idea of the avatar program, what had humans as actually being the people we aren't supposed to like?
I thought not...

It has a few elements which are similar to other stories, but guess what... They weren't the first stories with them either. NOTHING is 100% original, as long as fiction has existed.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Personally, I don't even see the unoriginality. Tell me what else had Ikran, had the concept of an Eywa-like organism, what had the idea of the avatar program, what had humans as actually being the people we aren't supposed to like?
I thought not...

It has a few elements which are similar to other stories, but guess what... They weren't the first stories with them either. NOTHING is 100% original, as long as fiction has existed.
exactly! this movie takes you and put you in a real world called PANDORA, and the way how it do that is really awesome, never seen before, this film made history and the people that dont think this, is because of envy or just share the same ideas that the RDA..
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:18 PM
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The plot isn't original, the story very much is.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:20 PM
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yeah i think the plot isn't original but the music, the actors, and the world that JC give us was so wonderfull that the film become so awesome
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:52 PM
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This is one of the most tiresome arguments (if you can call it that) against Avatar since nothing is truly original. What is original is the world that Cameron has created, the Na'vi, and the creatures. He put a new twist on a classic story which also makes it more appealing. Stories like Avatar touch the soul. They need to be told again and again .
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:24 PM
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DEVIL'S ADVOCATE:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Personally, I don't even see the unoriginality. Tell me what else had Ikran...
Nothing... But LotR was close with the eagles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
...had the concept of an Eywa-like organism...
Pocahantas (Grandmother Willow; "It's all connected").
Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
...what had the idea of the avatar program...
Similarly District 9 did (the human-alien hybrid operation).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
...what had humans as actually being the people we aren't supposed to like?
Bambi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
I thought not...
Umm... ?
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:31 PM
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^That is true, but while it is similar JC put his own twist on it. I was drawn into Pandora, if it was just a mix of all the same stories told the same way this would not have happened.

I would not have gone to see it as much as I have if it was so unoriginal.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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I'm inclined to agree with the "plot vs story" thing. That is, it matters equally much (if not more so) how you show the plot as it does what's in it.
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