Transcript: Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Transcript of 70mm’s Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) Episode.
SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers just like you. Every Monday I chat about recently watched movies with my close friend and artist Danny Haas.
DANNY Probably the worst part of this movie, and that is the character of Spider, the little Tarzan white boy running around. This kid needs more than just a loincloth.
SLIM And my close friend and movie insider, Protolexus.
PROTO Oh yeah, when he’s walking out to the pool fully nude with those champagne glasses. How about the sex in the pool though? This seed! This movie!
SLIM Every month, we have a new theme that guides our featured presentation for that episode and this time around, we’re closing out our special Avatar Event Month with the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. To celebrate, we also have our dear friend Ctcher from the Cinenauts podcast.
CTCHER Just look at any of the scenes during like the whale hunting and you tell me where the set starts, and where the CG begins, like, I can’t figure it out.
SLIM Just another the uncut version of this episode available on our Patreon runs two hours long and includes a discussion about our favorite movies of the year. Is Avatar 2 the most immersive cinema experience of all time? Or does Spider in the week storyline ruin the whole thing? Let’s find out… together.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM The end of Avatar Event Month. This is it. Use the chapters in your app to skip right to the discussion if you want. Because if I can be brutally frank, we have a lot to talk about this episode. Let me just rattle them off real quick. We have a guest. We have Avatar 2, we have to talk about and announce our next theme for January. And we didn’t talk about this, but we’re also going to reveal our favorite movies of the year. This is the last episode of the year. Danny pooped himself earlier when he remembered that we were going to talk about our movies of the year. I’m just setting the stage folks. Buckle up. You saw Proto’s videos on IG earlier. He’s preparing, you were preparing people on IG this week, Proto, for this episode.
PROTO I’m trying to prepare people because I don’t want to catch them off guard.
DANNY Yeah, it’s smart.
SLIM If anyone has watched Proto’s videos, can we get the algorithm to correctly transcribe your words? It doesn’t look like it’s doing a very good job at all.
PROTO Yeah, yeah. There’s something wrong over there. Is it my speech? Am I speaking wrong?
SLIM Maybe it’s the beard?.
PROTO Is it the beard interference? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Beard interference. Alright, so we have a guest this episode. Let’s talk about the guest. Let’s bring them in. One of the hosts of the Cinenauts podcast, which goes through the Criterion Collection in a very fun way. But more importantly than all that, a very close friend of ours, Ctcher, welcome to the show, finally.
CTCHER I’m so blessed to be here. I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting for the call, patiently. I said one day, one day, my friends will ask for me to join them. And I’m not gonna pressure them. When it feels right, they will find me. And then I sent Slim a text instead. [Danny & Proto laugh]
PROTO Now is the time!
CTCHER This is the time.
SLIM I’ve been waiting for three years and I think now is the time for Avatar 2, actually.
CTCHER I was sitting in the theater watching a movie that was not Avatar and I thought to myself, oh, Avatar’s coming out. And I was like, oh god, Cinenauts is still on hiatus. And now I will have no one to talk about this. And Emma’s gonna go and watch it once and then never want to talk to me about it again, and I can’t have that. So I texted Slim, I said, I think now is the time.
SLIM Cinenauts, the return of Cinenauts is right around the corner, right around the corner that podcast with Ian.
CTCHER Yes, when I’m making filler content like once a week until we can get things started up again. We’re very excited.
SLIM We’re big fans of cinnamon knots. So when we have a guest on for the first time, we usually like to introduce that friend of ours through their Letterboxd four favorites. So I took some notes. I took a peek here for favorites. Let’s just get a taste.
CTCHER I just updated this actually.
SLIM Hopefully, oh, hold on a sec here.
CTCHER No, this was like a few weeks ago, like three or four weeks ago.
PROTO Hold the friggon phone.
SLIM Hold the friggin phone if I may. Number one on that list, which we’ve covered, The Blair Witch Project. Tell us why that’s number one on your faves.
CTCHER It’s like, it might like be one of the most like perfect movies ever. It’s one of the most lean movies ever. It uses so very little to do so very much, both like financially, obviously they had a small, like budget, but like what they’re actually doing, what you see in the movie, what goes through, like what’s even happening. It’s some grainy black and white footage, some torn up flannel, and a couple creepy people at the beginning and like that gets you to like one of the craziest, most beautifully executed horror finales in history, it’s perfect. Horror has this really amazing thing where it doesn’t cost a lot and so a director with vision can make something like super outstanding for not a lot and so I think it’s like a perfect genre for young filmmakers to like flex their muscles and try something new.
SLIM Proto, do you remember that episode, that time we had talking about Blair Witch Project?
PROTO I do, yeah, it was a great time. Those horror months, fantastic.
SLIM There’s some talk in chat, “ctcher make a horror movie with me,” that’s from KK.
SLIM Things are moving in chat, progressing fast.
CTCHER Speak to an agent, he’ll hook you up.
PROTO Get the line, KK. [Slim laughs]
SLIM It’s firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss with his agent.
CTCHER Cinenautspod@gmail.com. [Danny laughs] Please.
SLIM That email probably expired, Ian let that expire. No one’s checking that email. Someone took it over and they’ll sell it for 10 grand. Do the Right Thing is your next film and your top four. Spike Lee, 1989.
CTCHER Yes. A perfect film? I mean, I guess if you’re putting your top four. that’s how you feel probably. But I just watched this again at the TIFF Lightbox. Actually, Sophie, who was on your Titanic episode, was talking about how she saw Marie Antoinette for like a fashion focused thing. This was part of it as well, and they had an opening interview with Ruth E. Carter, who is the costume designer for that movie. She was also on Black Panther, won Academy Award for that. And this is a movie I saw like really young in college during like a film class and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s a movie that makes me question my beliefs every time I watch it, and how I feel about things, which I think is the most healthy thing you can do, is like constantly be questioning what you’re doing. And it taught me something very specific this time, which was and that’s why I moved into my top four, you don’t always need to have answers. But you should be always making sure you’re asking the right questions. And so you leave that movie and for me personally — has anyone done the right thing? I never know for sure. I never know for sure. But it makes me question that and so I think that’s healthy.
SLIM Proto said the same thing about Avatar last week, made him question everything. Made him asked the same things.
CTCHER We’re gonna have the same conversation tonight, I think.
SLIM Martha Marcy May Marlene is your number three. What the French toast? This is streaming on Hulu. What the heck is this?
CTCHER This is an exceptional film. The first film from the Olsen twin, that’s not the twin, what’s her name?
CTCHER Elizabeth Olsen. She escapes a cult and is picked up by her sister, her older sister. And we are with her post cult while she’s experienced, experiencing life outside the cult, and then at the same time, we’re flashing back to her experience living in the cult. And as those two worlds like sort of intersect and inter lap, you start learning about like her experience and what she’s gone through. And then, for me, the thing that really is amazing is her sister who’s protected her. She you sort of start realizing that her and her sister have sort of been living parallel lies to each other. And this is like, again, like Blair Witch Project. Lean, super lean, every scene is perfectly designed to do one specific thing. And it’s the first time I’ve seen characters that feel like four dimensional I used in my review, like you understand time has affected these people. And there’s like an, a shared experience that they have that they don’t ever explicitly talk about that is clearly affecting them. And it’s awesome and very easy to watch.
SLIM Streaming on Hulu.
CTCHER Yeah, watch it. I’m like, oh, this is my new like, Speed Racer, it’s like the thing that I’m championing is if I can tell anyone to watch movie, that’s the one you should watch.
PROTO I love the poster.
CTCHER The poster is great.
SLIM Yeah, it’s really nice.
CTCHER It’s like amazing. Really good. Everyone should watch it.
SLIM Final movie in your top four, before we announce January’s theme, we’re not even waiting until the episode ends.
CTCHER That’s how big it is.
SLIM It’s how big it is.
CTCHER We’re going so hard.
SLIM We’re going so hard for January. This is a movie you covered on the Cinenauts. A haunting, erotic, unforgettable. Avatar 2. No, just kidding. Woman in the Dunes.
CTCHER Yeah. This is like the biggest shock of our entire Cinenauts podcasting experience. It’s like 2001, but instead of sand, I mean, instead of space, it’s sand. Which is a stupid thing to say. But I won’t even try to explain it. It’s just, you should go and watch it. It’s better than Dune at making sand interesting.
PROTO Oh, we love a little Dune dragging on here.
CTCHER Dune’s exceptional. This is better.
SLIM Okay. Yeah. All right. Well, we’re glad to have you here. And we’re excited to discuss Avatar: The Way of Water. Just mere moments were mere moments away. But avatar event month is over. And we thought, you know, what do we do next? We did three Jim Cameron movies. How can we rebound? You know, how can we change it up, Proto?
PROTO Where can we go? Avatar 2 is the most recent movie that’s come out. We can’t go into the future — the only the only place we can go is the past.
SLIM We got to go back.
DANNY Further back.
SLIM Back to the past. Proto was alluding to it, we’re doing 70s Month for January.
CTCHER Oh my god.
SLIM We’re going back to potentially the biggest, most successful decade in the history of film, the 1970s.
PROTO I’ve said it before, I’ve said it many times on the show, I’ve asked the question: is the seventh use the greatest decade for film? And I think the answer is yes.
DANNY We’re about to find out.
SLIM I cannot wait to see our picks for this month. I cannot wait. I mean, I feel like Portal only watches 70s movies. If it’s not Jim Carrey in CGI from Robert Zemeckis, who shouldn’t be in prison by the way, for these films, it’s a 70s film, you’re buying blu-rays, they don’t even work on your blu ray player for God’s sake.
PROTO Yep. [Danny laughs]
SLIM All right. So we’re also doing something very different for 70s month, we’re going to get some time off, we’re going to — I was about to say something I can’t say. But we’re going to do a double shot recording. We’re doing two episodes in one night. We’re doing the first two episodes of 70s Month in one night. So at the end of the show, we’ll announce my pick. But we’re starting off with a joint pick. This has never been done the history of the show. When I tell you we’re going hard for this month, we will be doing streaming on HBO Max and the Criterion Channel next week: Scenes from a Marriage. 1974, Ingmar Bergman.
DANNY My king.
SLIM Okay? Just to set the stage for this month. So add that to your watch list is streaming in several places. It’s time to change it up. You know, we have different tastes, we do different things. We watch different things.
DANNY Name another podcast that follows Avatar 2 with Scenes From a Marriage.
SLIM I dare you. I dare you.
CTCHER Has it been done? Should it be done? We will find out.
SLIM Is this a mistake? Who can say? Do we want to talk about we watched this week? Proto, anything you want to highlight from the past week?
PROTO Oh god, I probably should just mention this to get it on the record. But I watched Showgirls. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Avatar 2, Scenes from a Marriage, Showgirls.
PROTO Yeah. Paul Verhoeven 1995. You know, when people talked about this movie, and like having, you know, a lot of bad reviews of this, you know, I thought maybe just, you know, it’s because of the content, or they didn’t like the story, but it really is the fact that it’s just a terrible movie. The story’s terrible. The acting is atrocious. I don’t know what Paul Verhoeven was thinking with this movie, just one of the worst viewing experiences I’ve had in a long time. I I had to stop it not because my normal reason because it was late. I just needed to take a break. I would have DNF this movie, but I knew I would be like with me for the rest of my life. I had to finish it. I had to see what calm o’clock and was going to do in this. I had To see it all the way through. But it’s it just got worse, the further it went on, and I’m glad it’s behind me, you know, I can complete the Verhoeven, you know, I know I’m at the bottom, all the All we got is up from here with Verhoeven. So that’s at least, you know, a good thing. But yeah, one star for Showgirls.
SLIM I’d be interested to see your thoughts on his l movie, Elle, which I thought was very fascinating was a Verhoeven film that shocked me, shocked me to my core. But yeah, I had the same kind of viewing experience with showgirls. When I watched it last year or something, it came out, and it was universally panned. And then it started to get a little bit of a cult following. So then I was like, am I wrong? Is this is this actually a good movie? Overall? And I watched it and I thought, no, not for me. Danny, anything to compete with Showgirls that you watched this week?
DANNY Elf. But no, we’re on our Christmas watches. So we watched, we did a double feature, we watched both Frozen movies. Elf. We watched The Holiday, which was a yearly watch for us. So nothing, nothing too crazy. I love The Holiday, by the way. Jude Law is sexy as hell in that movie.
SLIM Jack Black.
DANNY Jack Black is a doll in that movie. King. Could be his best role, some say.
SLIM Speaking of best roles, Proto, I forgot to ask what you thought of Kyle Maclachlan’s stunt doubles butt cheeks in that one scene.
PROTO Oh yeah, when he’s walking out to the pool full nude with the champagne glasses.
PROTO Nice stunt double cheeks. How about the sex in the pool though?
DANNY Excuse me.
PROTO This scene! This movie!
SLIM That might be Proto’s intro audio for this episode. People thinking we’re talking about Avatar 2. [Slim & Danny laugh] Ctcher, anything you watch this week? You want to highlight it all?
CTCHER Yes. Two very important things. One, For All Mankind. I think they just finished season three. I don’t know how anyone feels about this show. It’s excellent. And if you think it’s bad, you’re wrong. I’m just gonna leave it like that.
SLIM What was your second one?
CTCHER The second thing is I love Love Island. If you’ve heard any me and Boom talking about it on Cinenauts. It’s like our favorite show ever. And it may have competition. DVC just put out a new series called The traders. And it’s basically Among Us, but for real with real people.
SLIM So it’s like The Mole? Remember The Mole with Anderson Cooper?
CTCHER Like to Mole, but less complicated. It’s literally Among Us, it’s literally Among Us set in like a Scottish castle. It’s really good. It’s like if you love Love Island if you love just watching the human drama of people just turning on each other. It’s perfect.
SLIM Most of my television knowledge comes from listening to the Cinenauts. I tink the only television —
DANNY It’s a TV podcast.
SLIM Traversing Criterion by way of television.
CTCHER So you’ve watched all of Sex and the City then I imagine?
SLIM No, I listened to that whole series you guys did on Sex and the City. I haven’t seen one friggin episode of Sex and the City.
CTCHER Slim, look at me right now. Don’t look at them. Don’t look at them.
SLIM I have ghost hunting shows to watch. I don’t have time for Sex and the City. I have Murder She Wrote season 10 I’m going through right now in the background at the house.
CTCHER Slim, throw it all out. You don’t need it. You don’t need it. You just need Sex and the City.
PROTO Can we get back to For All Mankind?
SLIM Let’s quickly say hello to some new patrons before we talk about our movie. You can join at 70mmpod.com or go to patreon.com/70mm. Katelyn and Nathan all joined this week. They got access to the VHS Village Discord, aka our legacy. Discounts on Danny’s prints and a bunch of exclusive episodes that are only available for supporters. We need to talk about this frickin movie. Avatar 2. The Way of Water. It’s in theaters right now. Don’t expect a whole lot of clips. You know, I’m not gonna go scrounge around for clips for this movie, it’s only in theaters. Proto, what’s this movie about?
PROTO More than a decade has passed since the Na’vi chased the sky people from Pandora. And in that time, Jake and Terry have raised the family as the leaders of the Omaticaya clan. But when humanity returns, they come not only in great greater numbers, but with a new plan: colonization. Jake begins a guerrilla war against the humans but soon becomes a danger to his people as he is hunted. Somehow Colonel Claridge has returned implanted with the mind and memories of their dead Marines, a group of avatars are tasked with hunting down Jake and his family using any means necessary. In an attempt to protect his people and family Jake takes the salies into hiding with the C clans where they must learn to adapt to a new way of life. They face adversity unlike ever before, must lean on each other, ad through it all learn The Way of Water.
CTCHER I’ve never, I’ve just, experiencing that live is just chef’s kiss.
PROTO Being in the same room as a part of synopsis is a spiritual experience. We see it every week.
DANNY We get it every week, baby.
SLIM I can’t tell if I’m giving positive or negative points for Rise of Skywalker reference in that synopsis. I’ll have to meditate on it. Gosh, where to start? Maybe we should talk about what our thoughts about the sequel were when this movie came out. We touched on it a little bit last week, Danny, about how like, Pandora and Disney were like, why? Even though it’s great. And like, how many years away is this movie gonna happen? Were you thinking these movies would arrive? They kept getting delayed for so many years?
DANNY Yeah, I thought they would come I really did. I mean, I feel like James had this in the can for a while now just was delayed release, if I’m not mistaken, but I knew this would happen. Jim is a visionary. He’s gonna tell his story. And here we are.
SLIM Proto, did you have any hesitation about these movies coming?
PROTO Um, I guess not, because it for so long we’ve been hearing that they were he was going to make that not just one but four movies. But I guess it’s it’s been so long, and there wasn’t really news that much news about it that it kind of just fell off my radar. You know, just like out of sight out of mind.
SLIM Right. Ctcher, what about you? What was your thought process in the last 13 years?
CTCHER Just waiting patiently, I guess, is the only thing. What else can you do? Like, the first was supposed to come out originally, like 2017? I think. And that was just the first of like, you said five more or whatever, whatever the number was gonna be. And then it was just a matter of okay, well, I guess we’ll just keep waiting, and waiting and waiting and waiting. And whenever he’s ready. Hopefully, we’ll see it. And thankfully we did, or not, I don’t know, we’ll see.
SLIM We’ll see if we even like these movies, who knows. But I remember thinking back to the first time I saw Avatar, and I think he like announced the sequels were coming soon, not so long after the first one. And I remember being like perplexed, like, you’re making two more of these, Jim. Like, am I gonna care about these Na’vi in two more movies worth like, because I still like the human element. And really, the human element, by the end of the first movie is kind of gone. So you’re almost fully absorbed in a NaVi series of movies. And at that time, I wasn’t really interested. So then last week, when we rewatched it, you know, I’m all in on Na’vi. I’m connecting my ponytail to the future of this movie franchise is what I was doing last week.
CTCHER You can’t see Slim, but he’s got blue face paint on right now.
SLIM It only took us 25 minutes for someone to mention it. So in this section of the show, we’ll go roundtable give our three points that we notated during this viewing or what we tried to remember since we saw it in theaters, and then we’ll give our final letterbox rating and if I can go first please. I’m gonna change it up. I’m gonna change it up. Is this the most beautiful looking film ever made? Avatar: The Way of Water, is it, Proto? Is it?
PROTO I mean, if I’m just going off my limited memory, my limited amount of movies that I’ve seen, I would be fine with saying that right now. I would be totally fine with you making that statement and saying yes, this is the most — I mean, if we’re talking about CGI, in terms of what can be made that’s imaginary, yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
SLIM Ctcher, your thoughts?
CTCHER Well, yeah, like we need to define some parameters here. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Ctcher is uneasy. He is very uncomfortable with that statement.
CTCHER It looks great, but I mean I mean, you’ve seen other films. So like, we have to be careful with the words. Words mean things, Slim.
SLIM I’m just putting it out there, I’m putting it out for debate, okay?
CTCHER What Proto said, the CG I mean, there is no movie that looks better than this. None. There’s nothing it’s like and somehow it looks like it trumps the first one, which the first one made my brain melt and this I don’t like what happened is that this is what spiritual like it doesn’t it’s incredible. I don’t know how you do that. I don’t know why we can’t be doing this. I mean, obviously because it cost $20 billion to make. But it’s incredible. It’s incredible.
DANNY I have to agree with you, Slim.
SLIM Thank you, thank you.
DANNY And it’s because it is computer generated that I lose myself in this film with thinking like not just how it’s made. I honestly to get to a point when all the NaVi are on the screen, where I am almost forgetting these are not real things standing there. And it is incredibly impressive. That just the texture, the movement, the lifelike nests of these characters. I forget that this is not real. This is this is not makeup. This isn’t prosthetics. This isn’t some weird animatronic. That’s amazing. This is this is this is Mo cap. This is CG people that have been placed in the scenes and I am like, jaw on the floor.
SLIM Right? Yeah, you’re like transported that. So my review I wrote what I write like Waterworld meets Star Tours meets Lord of the Rings. And that probably didn’t make any sense until you saw it. But in my opinion, it makes perfect sense. Because, again, this comes back to my love of the flight a passage. This feels like almost some kind of weird evolution of watching a movie in a theater. Yes, in with the high frame rate combined with the 3d like I am in Pandora. And this three, this IMAX 3d theater, I was completely blown away. And it has to do with like the way the backgrounds looked like every scene, I was like zoning in on how things looked far away. But it looked real. It looked friggin real. And it freaked me out.
PROTO Yeah, we were kind of joking around about the idea that of like movies being experiences, like they’re not movies, you go to experience something, you know, like a Marvel movie with, you know, 200 people, and it’s about that moment, it’s not necessarily about the movie. But this, this felt like something across between a movie and an experience. Like what I was witnessing with the 3d. You know, like a three I felt like I was on a three hour ride into a different world. Yes. Which I which I haven’t experienced before.
DANNY It’s also so weird. I never feel the need to champion 3d technology for movies like even with animated films like Disney or DreamWorks or whatever. Where that kind of works the best. I don’t even like care that 3d exists. But for this, I can’t imagine not seeing it in 3d. It’s really weird. And I would always say to see this movie in 3d, I always said that the 3d experience of the first movie blew my mind. And it’s done it again.
CTCHER Yeah, totally. I mean, just like, if you’ve not seen this, or if you’re gonna go watch it again. Just look at any of the scenes during like, the whale hunting. And you tell me where the set starts. And where the CG begins. Like, you’ve got real humans fishing with hooks. And then you’ve got NaVi beside them, and they’re on boats, and they’re on the water. Like, where you tell me where it starts and ends because I sat there and looked and did nothing but stare. And I I don’t know, I can’t can’t figure it out. And I wish more movies could be made this way. And I think the future like I don’t know how long it takes maybe maybe it doesn’t happen but I think like the future of like big blockbuster movies will be like this. It’s just got to get cheaper to make. But stuff like the Justice League movie. Oh, okay. When that looked like that Zack Snyder one. Let’s just go with that. Because that’s the one I watched the most recent but like, most of the action in that movie is CG. Like there’s almost no real people in a majority of that movie. But it’s you know, you consider it a live action movie. But most of the effects are and I remember tweeting when I saw it was like when when can we just get to the point where we don’t need real people anymore. Like let’s just let’s just have the bad guy versus making this video.
SLIM The best movie ever made, but Ctcher was saying get rid of human beings.
CTCHER In situations like this in selected situations like this, why not like if 90% of the movie is already CG? Why have like 10%? Like bad green screen? Like it doesn’t make any sense to me like, the only problem is we can’t make movies like this because no one’s going to put the time or the care and the or the effort into doing it. This well. And that’s like, why it’s so exciting. When this the first one came out and why I was so hyped for this because it’s like, yeah, there’s who who else? Like the only and I know, this is why I don’t mean to bring it up again. I know how do you guys all feel like walking out of Dune, the first, the first time I walked out of Dune was a similar experience where I walked down, I was like, Oh, wait, I’m in a city. In Canada. I’m not on a world a million miles away. And there are so few filmmakers that can actually make a film that feels like that. I watched the first Avatar the other night for So Emma, because she’d never seen it as prep before we went in to see the sequel. And I don’t have a 3d TV. And that movie was as immersive watching it at home, as without the 3d. So just like adding the layer of 3d Just makes it just so much more affecting to be there.
SLIM Proto, what’s your number one point you want to bring up for Avatar 2?
PROTO Um, my number one is the the story. This, which is similar to what I talked about last week, it kind of happened again, because I’ve read some reviews and people are kind of ragging on the story of this movie. It’s It’s It’s strange, sick. It’s too simple story. But I think I think like, what Jim does with this and how it’s written, I think it just works so well. Because I think the more you remove the complexity of a story, the actual more epic it can become. Because I was talking I saw it with my dad and my brother. And afterwards I said, like, this feels like a Bible story. Like, oh, it felt biblical in the way that everything is pared down in terms of what’s going on. And that actually like to me it like elevates the story. It reminds me of like Metropolis when I watched metropolis, I was blown away by the story because it’s, it kind of removes those, those those things that make the story more complex and just shows you like the, the like, almost like the bare metaphors and symbolism that’s there of just, you know, you have like the elements of family, and people might feel like, oh, you know, we’re being hit over the head with this stuff. But I just thought in terms of it being like a grand epic story that’s three hours long about this family running for their life and trying to survive. I love that I have no problem with you telling a simple story. If you executed so well, like I feel like it was executed. So well. Danny,
DANNY I don’t disagree with that statement at all. I think when we from coming from Titanic to avatar in our last couple episodes and proto kind of opening my eyes to the type of writing that Jim does, or the lack of it, because it’s very, it’s very sparse. I mean, he’s not he’s not writing a Shakespeare. I think I was ready for it in this film, because I realized that and watched my rewatch of Avatar. The one thing that bugged me in the story was that as basic as it was the stuff that was the most interesting, was only in it to set up the next movie, if that makes any sense. Like Ed Falco’s character on that giant city that was terror formed over so many years was super interesting, and it looked incredible, but also it was gone in a heartbeat. Sigourney Weaver’s avatar, NaVi character, and the way that she can talk to everything and how she’s connected. That’s incredibly interesting, but it wasn’t completely told to us and I was like, I want to know more about this. I guess it’s going to be in the next movie. Like there’s the stuff that was the most interesting to me. Only felt like cliffhangers for what’s to come and it kind of bugged me to a point.
PROTO Hmm. Interesting. So he definitely does leave a lot of open ended. Story Points for the sequels.
SLIM Yeah, the TerraForm city like the back shots of the like the things leaving that like the whaling ship leaving and you can see it in the distance. Oh, my God, that looks awesome. Yeah, like that city. Also the the ships coming to Pandora to start the movie.
PROTO Oh my god. Right. So you’re kidding me? Yeah. So good. Are all kidding.
SLIM Yeah. I mean, he finally has like the budget to make that like Terminator two type style stuff. And just seeing them like, you know, hit the breaks and burn up. So much of Pandora and the Mac’s come out. Oh my god. So I think it was on maybe awesome danger pod. I listened to their episode with Jason and H from dune pod they did the first Avatar. And I might have been cat that said like the rumored fourth or fifth movie is supposed to go back to Earth. And I almost passed passed out when I heard that idea like, oh my god, I’m all in on Namor. And going back, just know, just nuke Earth.
DANNY Don’t ever go back, stay on Pandora please.
SLIM The one other The weird thing he talked about, like prepping stuff for the next couple of movies. And there’s so much out there about like what he was filming, I think like two and three, he filmed at the same time. He also filmed a third of four. Because the kids apparently age in the second half. Like I don’t know if it’s like a time skip or a future scene. But he says this is a quote from the wiki I had to shoot the kids, they’re allowed to age six years in the middle of the story on page 25 of movie four. So I needed to film that before then. And then everything after that we’ll just film later. So like oh my god. That’s how like DP is in prepping for these movies, which is just bonkers to me, the logistics of filming movies like this at the same time, I would crumble I can’t do any of that. I can’t even pay my bills on time, let alone film three different avatars with mocap BS into it.
PROTO Well, you know, just with some of the ideas that Jim is playing with here. And I think what’s also as cool as this movie feels like a culmination of every other movie he’s made before like even said, just like he’s doing that stuff in from Terminator two that he would want to do. But just like I mean, he did Titanic again in this movie. Like he just like, did everything that he did before and just but did it better. But like the ideas in terms of like also being like a sci fi fan and like the kernel credits coming back as an avatar whose memory was preserved and wakes up in a NaVi body. Like that is like just like straight out of like anime. Like it’s like such a cool idea. Then like that the Curie character of being like immaculately conceived somehow by Sigourney Weaver’s avatar, and like that’s her daughter. Like all those like those different ideas to me were so incredible.
SLIM Picture Proto levitating in that theater and a half hours. Danny, what’s the first thing you want to talk about from this movie?
DANNY The probably the worst part of this movie and that is the character of Spider. The little Tarzan white boy running around. Every time he’s on screen, I’m uncomfortable and I hate the way he looks. And it makes no sense. He’s a human. He needs clothes. He doesn’t he’s not a NaVi he needs he’s in water out of water. This man this kid needs this more than just a loincloth. Also, I hate I don’t think he’s well. I don’t think he was well fleshed out written well at all. I don’t like how it was just like this weird back and forth was I trust my avatar dad. Or I trust the people who’ve raised me since I was a baby. Like it, didn’t it? None of it worked for me. I didn’t understand. Why like it just every bit of that storyline was stupid.
CTCHER Hard disagree. Oh, hard listening a hard one just to backtrack quickly. The breadcrumbs work but I don’t think it fails. The film
DANNY fails the film. It’s my worst least part of this. Yeah,
CTCHER that’s fair. But I think it tells a cohesive story on its own. And then too, I think the thing that I will agree, the look is not ideal. Don’t love the dreads don’t love them. But what his character does throughout the movie was kind of surprising to me, because so often in like, I feel like people see him as a character that he’s not actually like he’s making active decisions. And to me, they always feel true to who he is. He’s never settled with the Kirtle as like, he never just gives up to him. He’s always fighting him at every turn. He’s never really giving up on his family and him to go and save him at the end just like resonates with me, just with regards to the film like the themes of the film and of family and instinct and trusting your gut and, and knowing something and believing something to be true and believing in other people and like he never He never does something where I’m like that’s that’s not what he would do. Like it never feels. It never feels authentic to me.
SLIM I absolutely would have put pants on the kid. Day one design seminar, Jim Cameron. I actually would love pants on that kid. That’s my only note. I think his name’s stupid. Spider?
DANNY Pants and a buzzcut.
SLIM Jim, please. Give him a different name.
PROTO I believe in the freedom of legs.
DANNY We know you don’t let it all hang out.
SLIM I liked the journey of this character over the course of the film. Like when he saved the colonel. I wasn’t expecting that. And then on the second watch, I kind of it really just like laid into me that we’re probably going to get a very more like a much more complex journey for the colonel over the next two Hailes than I was until the end, but he’s in every Alright, yeah, I don’t know how long his storylines as long as I keep dropping his memory and another body. It’s true. And I actually one of my favorite things. I know I harp on this a lot, but I didn’t watch any trailers for this. I didn’t see any previews. So like, all this stuff was brand new. I like I didn’t even know the whole thing took place on freaking water. Like literally, I didn’t know anything about the whales. It was all new to me. And like, I didn’t even think that they would stay in this location for the next one either. Like like, oh god, they’re staying there for the next movie too. I want to I kind of want the forest back to be honest. Oh, but the journey of Spider was better than the overall presentation the character. I mean, also he had some really bad lines. Yes. Yeah, I mean, that was the lift there was a low point in the movie spider is definitely it for me. Proto, was Spider the high point for you?
PROTO No, but I kind of agree with ctcher, I didn’t really mind his character. And I thought the relationship with cleric of just being his, his his father is the human who this like now, really a true like demon character who’s come back from the dead is his only, you know, relationship. I think that’s just like a really fascinating idea.
CTCHER Yeah. 100% And like the idea that he’s like, learning about this kid and making the active choice to sort of like, open himself up to him even if it’s like, in a small way in this film. And just like his his embrace of being an avatar and like trying to learn the language and like learning this like, new body, like that’s really fascinating to me and like his interest of like becoming he sort of goes through like a Jake like experience. Yeah.
SLIM I would love to and like maybe maybe his body gets effed up maybe he has to become an avatar at some point in one of the later movies like I think someone made a comment in chat but like maybe something goes wrong between the family and spider and he becomes like an adverse adversary of them at some at a certain point in the age. So like, that’s also like the the anime manga thing you talked about like I can absolutely see this become being applauded in a manga that I would read, where there’s like a time jump or something and all these characters you’re stayed with for so many chapters like they change over time like that almost like Akira is probably the most recent thing we talked about spider
DANNY Spiders the Tetsuo avatar
SLIM oh my god, can you imagine Jim Cameron doing Oh, oh my gosh. The Universe Neo New York City in Avatar
CTCHER Yes, yes yes, yes,
SLIM I catch her what’s what’s your first point?
CTCHER I’m gonna go a little bit lighter. Just EP just like the visual like all the desert like the what’s the word? Just like the tech stuff that like the submarines and the the new Macs but then also like the new wildlife we get we get this like turtle whale thing that is incredible. His like whoever whatever whoever his team is. I think you guys mentioned this on the avatar episode is like the first one like whoever he’s got coming up with these worlds and designing these creatures and creating this like unique biology for this world. It just all flows so seamlessly like when he’s on top of when he’s saved by that will and you think it’s rocks and then all of a sudden it like breeds like the blowhole and then you see like the three noes blowhole things. It’s exactly the same as the other creatures that you’ve explained. It’s just like you knew right away like, Okay, this is the blowhole like, this is a creature it’s alive. He’s not on a rock, like it’s, he does this brilliant, really simple, like visual storytelling. And it’s just mind boggling. It’s mind boggling.
PROTO Yeah, there was there was so much stuff like that, that that kind of almost like shocked me when I saw it of just how you’re like, oh, yeah, I’m watching this scene, that CG but then it would cut too. Whoo, something that was real like it for at least it felt really real. And it kind of like, like shook me. The one thing I remember is like weather where the subs are chasing the kids underwater. Yeah. And then the one sub, like, hit something and it cracks the glass. It shows from inside the sub, and it’s filling with water. I was like, What the heck, because it was like, it was really like two dudes in a sub getting flooded with water all of a sudden. And it was just like, jarring in that way. But there was like so much stuff like that. But again, like that the blurring of the line between real and CG was just so compelling to me. That it just, it made it so immersive.
CTCHER How about that, like, truth telling, spinning violently spinning? Like contraption? Oh, yeah. Like, what? It’s like, it’s like the thing from Clockwork Orange, but like, somehow, I mean, not as bad because I don’t want hooks in my eyes. But like it’s getting just nearly as, as like terrifying to think about being inside
SLIM the there was one scene inside the sub where it’s like, glass plastic thing curved a little bit. In the 3d you can see the curve of glass in a way that I’ve never seen on film. That was just another weird thing like is this.
PROTO Yeah, that looked amazing.
SLIM Let’s see my next point. The one I want to talk about, we haven’t talked about the frame rate, but I guess we talked about a little bit of the visual stuff. But before I didn’t mind the frame rate. So what I got tickets the second time, I almost went to the theater, like it was three it was real 3d. But I noticed another showing said high frame rate in it. And this one didn’t say that. So I almost like my second viewing almost didn’t have that kind of like experience. I didn’t have any problems with it. In this movie. Like maybe it’s just an avatar thing where I only would want a high frame rate experience in this type of thing. But for me, it didn’t bother me. Danny,
DANNY did you see it in an IMAX? Yeah, IMAX IMAX 3d I talked to I don’t know how to talk excuse me, I saw someone talking online. And he was saying how he saw the 3d high frame rate not an IMAX in it bothered him. And they had a second viewing where he saw 3d IMAX and a didn’t even notice how, like it didn’t bother him at that at all. So I wonder if just that IMAX viewing helps, at least whatever sort of cutting in and out of HFR and non helps.
PROTO I don’t know if it was with a combination of 3d but there was a few times where with the high framerate I kind of had like trouble at first like tracking what I was seeing on the screen like it looked blurry for like a first second until my eyes like adjusted to it. And that like kept happening. But other than that I didn’t really minded either. I know we always joke about you know, motion smoothing, being on TVs and like hating that. But yeah, maybe it maybe it’s just because like this is, you know, it’s like an experience in the theater and like, this is what Jim wants to do. And it to him it like looks better this way. I guess I kind of like I trust Jim. I think you know, with that. Yeah,
CTCHER my understanding is it’s it’s he wants to use it for the 3d so that that sort of motion blur effect that you get at 24 frames is less nausea inducing, because you just you lose that stuttering that was that was my from my limited research.
PROTO I know people said it also like it looks like a like a video game cutscene or whatever. But I’ve been watching like Blizzard cinematic trailers my whole life. And every time I’ve watched one I said, I want to see a movie. Yes, yes. I want us to see a two hour movie of a trailer like this. And that’s what Jim did. He just like gave it to us.
CTCHER Yeah, it’s so true.
SLIM I mean, you remember me our vacation house how annoying I was with that Samsung frame TV. No one could figure out how to turn on smoothing. I wanted to destroy that thing.
PROTO I came in from outside and you were just sitting there and I looked at the TV and I looked over at you and the look in your eye the distain
SLIM total technology to stain proto your second point,
PROTO we mentioned a little bit but the character of Curie who is the daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s character I love that character. I love the her connection to a wall that she has like she’s kind of going through you know what appears like this kind of like depression. She’s like suffering with someone or parents think it’s you know, missing spider, you know, and then they asked her, you know, like, what’s going on? She’s like, it’s it’s a lot. It’s like, I can hear her I can hear her heartbeat like I can see ants are all around me. And this character being like this, like this profit, medium connection to a while more than other people. I just like found that really beautiful in this story and it kind of like those scenes having like a very slow down pace. I was really impressed by the pacing of this movie, as well. And I felt like especially those scenes, because her scenes are often very, like, you know, in the moment, and Jim didn’t, he wasn’t afraid to like, take time and just, like give us the scenes that like we’re allowed to breathe. And I really liked how that was expressed through the character of Carrie.
SLIM Yeah, I was thinking in the second viewing I was trying to think of like, what would you even cut from this movie, really, but so much of those scenes, like, a lot of them did feel long, like the first time I saw it, I was kind of bored a little bit during the whale meeting scene where they’re just kind of like dancing together in the water being BFFs. But in the second watch, I’m like, you know, it’s long, but it looks amazing. And it is just this gorgeous scene just kind of showing rather than saying, and I on the second day, I was like I should probably wouldn’t cut anything out. Really a lot of this stuff. Danny, what do you think of that character and her scene I
DANNY think I think her character to me was the most interesting character in the movie I enjoyed how because of how thin the story is that hers felt the most fleshed out like this is this is adding a bit of lore to what we’ve learned so far about Pandora. And I just I really liked her character. I liked the design of her character. I thought she was adorable looking, easy to connect with. And she had some great moments
SLIM were teetering on a Danny three, I think rabbits in the tea leaves in 3d right now. Being very gracious in his comments so far. catcher, what’s your second point?
CTCHER Let me let me check my notes, guys. First time ever. I brought a book with me into the fierceness. They need to invent like pens with a little flashlight. On the end. Because my scribble is on. ILLEGIBLE. This is amazing. Okay, family, just the themes of family. I think we touched on it a little bit already. But just the fact that like, Jake, and Terry’s family is made up of not only their own sort of like biological children, but the sort of like found children as well. And the idea, again, that Colonel sort of has this connection with spider and this, the movie is just examining families in all kinds of different aspects and giving respect and credence to all of it. And I think that’s really, I think it’s a really important thing to be talking about in these movies and think about in these movies, I think they get a heart, they get a hard time or given a hard time because are just very earnest. Like he’s not cynical in any way when he’s dealing with the themes that he’s talking about. And it’s just like, it’s kind of refreshing just to have someone not try and like, be constantly pulling something on you. Does that make sense? Like, yeah, he’s just like, Here’s a beautiful story about protecting the earth and like the water and are in the place that we live in defending that, and how the how where you live is so integral to who you are as a person and your family and like, protecting that at all costs. Like how is this not a message that like everyone should be pushing, like, you know, obviously, everything with climate and all this other stuff, but like, you need to protect the thing that like where we live, and whether that’s the earth and the jungle, or that’s like our neighborhood where we live, like these are very important things. And I think this these films are really like trying to tackle some, like vitally simple ideas, and I think he does that really well.
DANNY And I definitely felt like the first one is anti-deforestation movie. And then this one is protecting the oceans. Yeah, anti whaling
CTCHER and all that stuff. Yeah, definitely. Like the idea that like, pull this like anti aging juice from these whales, and like we use whales to make makeup like, you know, there’s like a connection there. That’s quite interesting. So
DANNY forever. Yeah. Say it.
SLIM Is Jim Cameron a hero.
CTCHER He’s a filmmaker. He’s a filmmaker.
SLIM That’s the question we have to ask. No, really. My only comment about that one is I think the writing of my Jake Solly being an idiot father was a little to bear. Like The only scenes we saw with him and his youngest son, were just so opaque. Like, let’s get a little bit more depth with why you think like I would have maybe like I would have wanted to see more time with him having a more complex relationship with his younger son. I don’t know if anyone else.
PROTO It’s interesting how Jake Celie has is almost a side character in this movie. And I would not be surprised if he’s not really relevant in the next movie.
CTCHER It was half expecting him to be killed off. Like in that final sequence. I was like, let’s make room for other more interesting people. Like, let’s do that. So,
PROTO yeah, like every scene he was in it was kind of like, almost like a dad joke. You know, like the scene where it’s like the two dads like the other clan leader, and they’re just like, giving each other’s looks like wow, what are you gonna do? And I was just kids.
SLIM And even the teary I would have like she was held back by my Jake. In most of the movie like she wanted to fight. She wanted to eff people up. But he was like holding back, and maybe that’ll change the next one because he realizes he was wrong. Danny, next point,
DANNY next point. Back to the whale. Yes, I think his name was pi icon. Yeah. And my note says I would die for pi. That storyline with the middle son, and the whale was incredibly well done. It made me that was like, for me, that was the best emotional bid in the movie. But that also led to like, so many of the most beautiful scenes of this movie, everything underwater. For me, it was, I don’t want to say immersive. It was just it’s just the stuff that I love the most. And then every time we cut away to like, the humans, or the fake avatars, I was like, just put me back in the water please like get me back onto the water. It was gorgeous. But my but the PyCon storyline I thought was incredible. I loved him jumping on the boat. That scene was had me like I just want to cheer for that whale. It was it was incredible.
PROTO I love the the whale stuff is brilliant. Also the fact that like these whales are compared to humans are novice or like geniuses. Yeah, they’re like hyper intelligent, but they’re whales. So it’s not like they’re gonna develop computers or anything or, you know, a train system. They’re just chillin in the water. But also the fact that like when the clan leader tells the story of the whales and how they, they, through their, like, their intellect, and their experience, they all decided that we’re not going to kill anyone. And just even like that message that like, Hey, here’s these hyper intelligent creatures, and they’ve just decided that killing is off the table, no matter what if you’re if your mother you know, if you’re, if your partner is being hunted by these whalers, we’re still not going to kill and like that’s such like a powerful message. And then also just the message is like this pie icon at the end. who’s like, I’m going to kill him. You know, like, I’m going to protect my brother here.
DANNY Not only that, like laying his life down for him. Like that was what else I took from it. Those underwater scenes are insane. It’s insane. The learning the hold the breaths learning to ride the underwater horses, the like Stingray angelic type thing that goes on your back to help you breathe like incredible incredible thought went into what is under the water.
SLIM And I don’t mean to compare to the Marvel movies. Oh, do IQs do anything if you talk about like the Wakanda forever more underwater scenes or even Aquaman and then you have this like it’s not even a competition I would never want to watch any other one underwater anything if it wasn’t Jim Cameron visionary hero putting it together it doesn’t even doesn’t even look like close at all it’s it’s wild know
CTCHER what kind of forever a movie that like has its positives but is kind of a little bit of a mess. The underwater stuff in telecon is a disaster like it’s it’s so it’s just gray and muddled and you don’t see anything and it just there’s no life there at all. And this is the polar opposite of that. Right polar
SLIM in those movies. I would not want to live underwater. No, but in this movie. I could maybe
DANNY Oh, I wish I was joining that tribe.
SLIM We would never see you again. Day one.
DANNY Underwater. I’m out here. Oh, my God,
CTCHER okay, imagine this hold on picture this picture this Okay, okay, and expand. We’re talking about Disney Disneyland rides. Imagine like this place but like as a resort, I thought I’d go to with your springing walkways and all this stuff like How amazing would that be?
SLIM Danny would move like Close Encounters of the Third Kind he’d be Richard Dreyfus leaving everybody draft missing
DANNY my family.
SLIM I think is it I think we Yeah, we’re up to my final notes. The final battle is probably my like, main thought so like, the course of the journey of the movie, for like, my enjoyment levels is fascinating to me. Like it’s, it’s unreal, it’s gorgeous. And then you start to like, get in with the characters. And then you start to see like the camera in writing. But then there’s like scenes that like, oh my god, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And then, like we talked about last week, it makes me forget about it. And then I start to dip a little bit but then the final battle scene happens when finally materie is able to grab her bow. And then Kate Winslow’s character I wrote down her name ronelle I think it is ronelle Yeah. When she’s her characters pregnant, and then her husband turned a wiry, you know, like, she’s ready to go go to battle and he’s like, Are you sure? Like, is this a good idea? And she What is her line? Like? I ride like, and then they go to battle. I was like, fist pump. And I was like, hell yes. Hell yes. And then the whole journey to the ship them waiting in the water for Jake my Jake to go wade out, and then the whale jumps on, and then they all freak out. They’re charging in. That is so badass. It’s so cool. Like, I was enthralled for that. I mean, how long is the final battle? Like in two hours? Danny was still thinking about swimming in that water. I love the final fight scene. I thought the whaler dude was so frigging annoying. So every scene he’s in I want to strangle him. And I guess that’s the point that like, come on.
CTCHER I hate that guy. Yeah, How satisfying is it when he gets his arm ripped off? Like how great was he’ll nice.
SLIM It would have seen a few more body parts ripped off of that guy and make him feel better. Or what do you think of the final fight?
PROTO Oh, yeah, I thought it was great. I also I loved how like local this story was, I feel like if anybody else was making this movie, it would have been the final battle to rid the planet of the humans now of course Jim has this plan of like four movies or however many movies it’s gonna make. So this isn’t the end of the story. But it’s kind of neat just that like the reality of this world is that humans are here to stay the Navi aren’t capable of removing them all they’re doing is like fighting for like their families and their home right now where they are so like it’s a final battle that has like no real relevance on the world as a whole but it means everything to the people right there and then and even that is like refreshing just to see in a story but the final scene especially like when it goes tonight like Jim you crazy for this man you’re like he’s doing everything in the dark it like when they come out of the water like whenever it in water. Oh yeah the Eclipse not I didn’t even like I don’t know if this was was that in the first movie that it’s like no yeah that it’s what do they call that tidally locked or whatever where they spin in orbit that so it’s like it looks the same all the time and then the sun going around it’s just incredible like that was that was beautiful shot but
CTCHER science outsider
PROTO gorge gorgeous and fantastic fight scene at the end
SLIM Pardo final point.
PROTO Um, you mentioned the earnestness, someone, I think I might have been captured like just how the story is so earnest, and
CTCHER the, the two star that the to string.
PROTO The lower, I was not really expecting, like the depth of like spirituality in this movie as well. Like, as somebody who grew up as a Christian and who thought about God, like daily, daily, hourly, all the time, considering my soul. Like these, those sort of those things in movies really connect with me, and I find them very compelling. And the way it’s presented here in the Avatar series is so cool, because it takes those things that kind of moreso live in our head, in our world of like, you know, well is like, Is God real? Is there really What does spirituality even mean? You can’t feel it or touch it. And it’s actually real and there’s evidence of it in this world, that that mirrors our world and the way that people want to experience it. So like that being so like real and literal in the world of and Dora is just like so beautiful to me, especially if the character like I said earlier of Curie, but even the end there where they were their son dies and like that scene of them, taking him to like the field or whatever to like, return the energy. And then you see like the flashback to the movie at the beginning where it feels like nine hours ago, you saw that scene where they lift him up. They lift him up as a baby and you’re like, oh my god, like you see this whole this kid’s whole life. Like I just thought that was like incredibly beautiful storytelling and I loved I loved it.
SLIM Is Jim Cameron a genius?
DANNY Yes, that’s slim. Not Danny, catch her final point.
CTCHER I mean, the, okay, I’ll just say this. I just, I just think it’s, I love a film that makes me when I leave the theater, I start questioning things. And sometimes it’s the plot and sometimes it’s just like, is this the future of filmmaking? Like, you know, it’s just there’s so many different things that I’m left thinking about. Is it okay that we had put this kid in dreads are we okay with that? I’m not sure like, what this movie offend people less if it was directed by an indigenous director for instance, or like these are the kinds of questions that like I left the theater really wrestling with that I really don’t have answers for. Do we need higher frame rate? Other Other questions you know, like there’s this layers but this is a movie that like, I had such a blast watching and felt so good watching but then I want to go home I want to think about this I want to engage in this more Am I okay with this? Is this cool? Is it great? And I think a movie for me that’s the thing I love about movies the most is like, what kind of questions I’m left with when I walk out and for me this movie does that on so many levels, so just thankful thankful for movies.
SLIM Should spider be wearing pants? No. Question one no.
CTCHER Oh, imagine being wet all the time in pants. That would be the worst point
SLIM hey have some like dry fabric you know the army they got quick dry fatigues and throw on that kid
CTCHER yeah that’s very ugly for sure the
DANNY NaVi have that Yes.
SLIM Danny final point
DANNY final point I feel like I’ve I’m there I’ve already done it all. So can I go ahead and give rating
SLIM honorable mentions rating let’s do it.
DANNY Honorable Mentions I don’t have any Oh my god. I listened this is one of the best movies of the year guys please just I have the same feeling coming into this episode that I did with dune like i i It what stuck with me the most about this movie were things that bugged me and it drove me nuts that that that was what stuck with me. But this movie is incredible feats in cinema. This is what we would call event cinema. Like this is this is the stuff you go to movies for to see this this incredible it’s just it’s like a work of art like this is this is what we witness on the screen. Do I promise you the story a little bit maybe it’s protocol for opening my eyes to how bad Jim is at telling stories I don’t know. But I’m at four stars for this I had an incredible time watching it brilliant oh four
SLIM stars the old fake job from Danny the F job Oh my
CTCHER Is this a Quinn Tarantino podcast?
SLIM Let me see here. I’m going through my list here. My Oh yeah. So I referenced in my review but James and I saw this it was James first 3d movie experience and it was a just a treat seeing him Yeah, like experience it like it’s gotta be mind blown was mind blowing to me. And he loved it. He loved seeing the 3d and stuff it was awesome to talk with him after the movie. All the backgrounds the passage of time so like we like a year passes from the humans coming back to Pandora like right off the bat and sets the stage for a new status quo for the planet which I thought was fascinating. The Terry’s final fights with them bow and arrow. Oh my god Cirque de Terry. How about her holding spider hostage? At the end there
CTCHER for a second, please.
SLIM Still you did let’s see if there’s anything else. Oh, what are you when he finally said I see you to his son. Finally idiot. For Yeah, that was great. Well saves them. I think this is it. Yeah, it makes all Marvel movies look like a ps1 game. Everyone should be ashamed. Who was in charge at Marvel? It’s over for you. I’m not saying 3d is a future. But I’m all in on 3d avatars. For God’s sake. I’m only in on 3d high frame rate gym. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s He’s gonna they’re gonna get to five. But like, I mean, this made a lot of money didn’t make as much as Dr. Strange, you know, who cares? But it made a lot of money. I hope he’s able to continue. I hope I get to Earth. I want to see all of this. This is this is my Lord of the Rings. I said it last week. It’s a ride. It’s barely even a movie for me. It’s a ride. It’s like I’m paying 30 bucks to sit in a Pandora ride for three and a half hours and I love every second of it. Five frickin stars had to bring us home have mercy on our souls please, for no
PROTO honorable mentions the crab Macs were incredibly cool. Just like amazing design. They look real. They look real as they’re moving. It’s just incredible. Also like the humans on the stilts. Yeah, that was cool as well.
DANNY Edie drinking coffee.
SLIM What is going on with that coffee using
CTCHER the mecca of soy sauce?
PROTO Paya Khan bouncing the harpoon off his horn. Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. That whole scene of him just toying with the chips. Yeah. Was was incredible. Um, yeah, I adored this movie. It really it’s a singular experience. I think in the theater. Just you know, something else I plan on on seeing it again. Five stars for sure. Wow.
SLIM Honorable mentions anything left out and your final letterbox rating?
CTCHER We didn’t talk about the little crab mech. Not that like his there’s the crab mechs but then there was like the swarm ones that build buildings in six days. Oh my god. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Awesome. But is is this like? Is is this like? The James is Star Wars? Oh, this idea. Like for me, I love Star Wars. But in my mind, like, I love the world of Star Wars more than I love the movies, if that makes sense. And like this, just to me is like here’s a dude a technical film achievement that is all about sort of creating this most epic world using like the most bleeding edge technology then I’d be interested to see if it has the sort of like, I don’t think anything could ever be culturally as as large as Star Wars could be it just thinks it’s seems impossible. But I’d be interested to see kids who are young now like your son going to see this and if it affects them in a similar way. Oh, I have to give a rating or Yes. This isn’t the son or not okay. Okay, well speaking of which, I actually interesting onsen and arts, we do a thing called the pairing where repair No, I feel. So I’m taking over. I want to get my rating first. So my rating, four stars or stars. I’m trying to be a little bit more reserved with my five stars because I feel like I got a little flim did there for a while. And I was just reading a bunch of stuff five stars. And I just need that to mean something more. Oh my. And I love this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast. And I will probably see at least another time, maybe. Third, we’ll see. And it’s just brilliant. But I just certain movies just have to touch deep in my soul to get a five and this just didn’t. It’s just a visual masterpiece. And it just didn’t you know it’s just not five material but for a solid solid four solid.
SLIM So what’s this business you’re about to lay on?
DANNY What is this?
CTCHER So uncertain knots we just tried to pair something with the film that we’ve talked about just gives people another way of learning or maybe another entrance way in. And I watched a film this past summer that was like really moving. Called Kenneth stockade a 20 270 years of resistance. It’s a documentary about something called the opioid crisis that took place in in Quebec in Canada. And I think this movie really like represents that idea where it’s like we’ve got to come together and work like proto you were saying like, on the grand scheme of things, maybe this doesn’t mean anything but like when you have to protect the thing you love you band together and you work and so I think it’s just a really great documentary. So you should check that out.
SLIM I added to the old watch list,
DANNY I thought you’re gonna say that last summer I was gonna choke you.
SLIM I mean, that’s also a movie but that’s neither here nor we have a lot of show to get to. We might have to hold our our faves of the year for the uncut, maybe like, we’ll talk about our faves just in the uncut. I don’t know I’m starting to get old. I’m literally sweating at the runtime of this episode. But we do have some letters and emails to get to first before we make any decisions and announce my pick for 70 This month, which we’re doing also in this episode. We have some VMs let’s see. Let’s read a letter. First. You can shoot us a letter using Links on 70 Mm pod.com. From Brandon, I recently watched contact for the first time and a particular passage of dialogue really hit me in the heart. It’s late in the film and a character tells Jodie Foster scientist you feel so lost so cut off so alone, only you’re not seeing all our researching the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other. Thank you all for making the village a place that makes this world a little more bearable. Whatever you celebrate, I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season with people they love. That comes from Brandon PS while driving around listening to the mailbag episode of question did pop up in my head. If you had carte blanche at letterbox, and could add any dream feature, or new functionality of your choosing? What would it be? Oh, my gosh, amazing letter. Thank you, Brandon. All obviously one of my all time favorite movies contact part of what would you add to letterboxed?
PROTO Um, I don’t know how they I don’t know what it would be. But I’d love more stats, maybe some kind of stats that would compare you with your other like people you follow? And who follow you in some way? I’m not a stat man. I don’t know what that would be. But I think the stats are just like really interesting, especially when you look, you know, that Pro feature. When you look at your stats over the course of the year, I just like want more of that stuff that could like give me insights into like the movies I watched, you know, hey, like, can they tell me anything about myself based on the movies I watched this year, that would be really cool.
SLIM Make letterbox more like Awa can find out more by yourself. Login. Danny, what would you add?
DANNY I think I would like the ability to add users. So like not just in reviews, but like in comments. Like if I read someone’s review and like, hey, slim, check this out. Or something like that, and maybe not like super sociable, but I think I would use it socially more. If I could be able to just like, ping someone to check out a review or in my review, like I read protos review the other day and you’re at him and people can go directly to his profile or some sort of like that instead of having to do hyperlinks. Yeah, just a way to just add a user. Okay, I want to drag them for the rise of the Skywalker.
SLIM We don’t have revealed there something like that together right now in the future may every
DANNY time someone under five stars of rocketeer review I can just add they can add me.
SLIM Paul says wish we could spoiler tag certain passages of a review. Catcher What about you? Do you have any thoughts?
CTCHER I had one the other day that I was like shouldn’t message slip about this and then I totally forgot what it was. So I don’t remember but I think honestly the thing is with it, it’s really good. So there’s very few things that would actually change. It’s perfectly I it’s it’s shockingly good. It’s shocking.
It’s shocking. It’s shocking how good it is. It is shocking it’s like
CTCHER so pure he’s
SLIM very mature. I would love more customize I’ve already said this about I’d love more customized push notifications maybe only give me push notifications of people that I follow will in my friends comment on a review or my friends like to review or something like that. Also, I want TV I’m in the pro to print to pro T the common horde get it added Hi, I’m pro TV Live
DANNY TV episode.
SLIM What is there’s just a checkbox that you say yes, I want to see TV. No, I don’t want to see TV so you never have to see anything. I put it right next
DANNY to the porn checkbox. Don’t show me this Phil. Smart KVM porn, get it out of here.
SLIM I’m gonna auto enable both of those things in your account. Tonight, so I’m gonna post so many porn reviews. Your head is gonna spin. Nolan sent a letter before we get into our VMs here, subject line avatar to wet and wild excuse me normally. I’m gonna walk back later on lockbox. Today I’m writing for multiple reasons. The first one is to discuss the movie of course a movie that along with Top Gun Maverick has restored my faith in blockbusters. That’s a word we didn’t even use to get to talk about this film. The problem is that this movie unfortunately has not yet restored my faith in movie goers I mean Dr. Strange multiverse of madness had a bigger domestic opening you kidding me? Also I heard a great deal of buzz going into this about the fat suit Brendan Fraser war but I thought his performances the whale in this was quite moving. Oh my Whoa there were the tomatoes. I can’t even tell it was him as the animal truly transformative performance if you ask me secondly, I got no one goes on. I’m writing to say pedos daily news updates on Instagram are the greatest thing to happen ever. The privilege of having the movie insider speak directly to my soul every day has given me life. I love being days week. and even months ahead of the news cycle due to pros inside scoops. Happy Holidays, Nolan. There you have it.
CTCHER Can I tell you the other day, please? he scooped me on that Barbie trailer. And I was Whoa, I was like what? Really? And I went watch it because of that.
DANNY You know one thing this isn’t directly at Nolan. One thing I care less about is to talk about how much money a movie makes.
CTCHER I don’t care. Like get it out of here. It is going to affect whether or not we get more of them.
DANNY I don’t care either.
SLIM He’s already filmed. Third of four. We’re getting we’re getting at least three is gonna
DANNY be the best one. Okay, you’re following it right now getting through? Yes, it’s going to be the return of the Jedi of the series. It’s
CTCHER going to be the best one. Well, the thing is, too with avatar too. This happened the first time as well as like, usually you get most films like a drop off the following week. But the avatar had a lot like week over week, it didn’t drop that much. And a lot of it had to do with people waiting to see it in IMAX like they wouldn’t see it in another version. They’d wait and so it would push things out. So let’s just wait and see. For a second.
PROTO Sorry, I can’t remember what it was. I can’t wait. What were you just talking about box office? Didn’t care. This is what I say. The another I mean, is James Cameron a genius. He paid for these movies with yesterday’s money. But he’s gonna make today’s dollars guys ever hear of inflation. Oh, my God. He’s a genius. Oh my god.
SLIM You heard it here. First.
CTCHER There’s another scoop. Financial insider scoop.
SLIM Okay, let’s get to our VMs here. 90 minutes. That’s why the sweat starts. Silly.
VOICEMAIL Hey there 70mm, it’s Silly. Your residence NaVi podiatrist. I got to see this in IMAX 3d And I was totally blown away. This is why we go to the theaters I had a blast the spirit of Christmas I’m suspending all hostilities and I want to say Slim, 70mm, village, I see you/
SLIM Guys saw a very high rating from catcher just did the hand thing was silly and I you know we’ve gone to battle. We’ve gone to war against each other in this discord about the cultural footprint as movie I saw. Let’s see four and a half stars from silly in letterboxed unreal, we can heal. And there’s one person that can heal us. We know what his mother said. I’m not gonna say another. KK left us a voicemail.
VOICEMAIL Hey, there, it’s KK. I’m just sending in a voicemail for Jim sake. I don’t want him to think that I left him behind. I really loved this movie. It was out standing. Oh, I find myself thinking about it pretty frequently, which is a bit of a surprise. And just being very emotional about the whole ordeal. The first time I watched it, I like didn’t tear up at all. The second time I watched it, you know, a couple tears got flowing out. But man, in the time since then, like I’ve just been thinking about the film. And it’s hard to not tear up when Jake repeats the line from the first movie about all energy just being borrowed. Oh my goodness. One little thing that really stuck out of the movie that I appreciate is because of the constant bioluminescence of Pandora, you’ve become very used to a specific look at nighttime. And that look is a distinct lack of darkness. And one of the things that Big Jim does so well as the ship is sinking the Nydia of the narrative. For the first time across to movies, all the lights go out for the first time you’re actually greeted with this pitch blackness, and it’s unlike anything I’ve seen in those movies before and it was so striking because of that. Love the podcast and love. Love James Cameron just so much. I’m on board with these movies forever. Okay. by weight. No, not by yet. I don’t care for high framerate. That’s all I know.
SLIM Had to get a comment in. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s fine. Thank you. KK. Catcher. Did you shed any tears? In either via your feelings?
CTCHER No, but I was close. I was close. But no that no actual tears tears. Yeah, but it was close. It’s a touching movie.
SLIM You know what I think our previous longest episode was talk to me. Dan, in our 34 That was our matches. Longest movie I think mentioned
PROTO James Cameron made dune Oh my
CTCHER God, dude. No, I can’t I need any work at all times.
SLIM Actually, you know I’m I’m wrong and correct myself live on air. It was Zack Snyder’s Justice League and six. Man we had a hoot talking about that movie. Total who charge? Next VM? My final one I think let me see if I have it here from Philip.
VOICEMAIL Hey 70mmpod, Phillip from Kansas City. First off, apologies for the world’s worst audio. That last avatar episode, I just followed the prompts and called in on the Google voice line. And it sounded terrible. So thanks to the folks in the discord for mocking me and helping me realize that voice notes were the way to go. So this works. Avatar the way of water what a blast. was able to take my wife to a one day her early press screening here in Kansas City, and we got to see it on screen x. It was 3d, got a whole wrap around 270 degrees screen, it was pretty rad. very immersive. And just an incredible experience. I can’t wait to go back. I still have only seen it the one time so jealous of all the people who’ve seen it two or three times already. But it was great. I wanted to ask my wife if she had any thoughts review. She wanted me to share and prepare yourselves for this. Wow. Is that was her review. She might be listening to this with me. I shadowed her for fun. She said her way last minute so we could go see a 10 hour movie together. Last night looking forward to protos two star rating to what you guys think have a happy holidays.
PROTO Thanks for I would also say Philip. I actually I appreciate when people leave voicemails on the Google phone line because there’s no reduce. You’re just going out there and you’re just you’re saying it from the heart. So don’t don’t don’t let them get to you in the discord.
SLIM I won’t stand for mocking. No, unless we’re the ones doing the mocking. First Correct. Two things I want to call out. I’ve gotten a few panic DMS in the past about Can I redo my Google Voice voicemail, please delete the first two.
CTCHER I’m responsible for such a
SLIM second one. I love when we get a voice memo that you can almost predict was recorded in a bathroom with whispering or some kind of closet usage. But thank you Philip the great VM. So next week, we talked about how we’re going to be doing scenes for marriage streaming on criteria and HBO I think we said. For scheduling purposes and for folks that listen live and eventually will listen to the second week’s episode. We’re gonna be recording them the same nights we can have some time off. So I need to announce my pick for 70s month.
DANNY ‘m excited.
SLIM And this was tough. I had a few of my list. 70ms month is going to be hard for us.
DANNY We’ve also done a lot of bangers from the 70s already.
PROTO Yeah, we have, it’s true.
SLIM Let me just give maybe, if it’s okay, I can give some ones that were in the running, if that’s okay?
DANNY I’ll take notes.
SLIM Salem’s Lot was in the running.
DANNY My god.
SLIM One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
DANNY Yeah. Jack’s Oscar.
SLIM In the running. Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta. That was that was maybe my number two. However, there’s a movie that has been gathering buzz recently. And it was released in the 70s. And I thought it would be great for us to watch it and maybe we get some folks on our Discord to watch it, experience something brand new to them. 1975, Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dieleman, 23. The number one movie for Sight and Sound of all time.
DANNY You didn’t.
SLIM So I think this is gonna be great discussion, it’s a long movie. It’s a very different movie. It’s streaming on HBO Max and Criterion, so let’s try something new.
DANNY Wait, is it foreign language too?
SLIM It is.
DANNY We have TWO in one night?
SLIM Two long French movies in one night.
CTCHER Welcome to Cinenauts, boys.
DANNY Let’s do satelite picks when we’re done.
SLIM I had some fun picks in here, but we’ve been doing like, at least from my pick, I’m not saying nobody can pick a fun movie or whatever. But I don’t know, we did the Avatars. I just feel like we need to balance the scales a little bit.
PROTO The fun is over.
DANNY Year three of no fun.
SLIM The three hour french movies will continue until morale improves at 70mm. So you have your picks folk, if you want to watch along with us, we are going to be going hard in January. And we have some cool plans for the end of the month as well. But I refuse to have a public feed episode over near two hours. So we’ll do our fave movies of the year in the uncut discussion. So for now, Proto, do you have any closing thoughts for this week?
PROTO Oh I did have a, I wanted to put something forward as an idea. Last week, I was listening back to our episode and at the beginning, Slim, you were talking about, you said that you went into see Avatar the first time and you felt swindled because you weren’t expecting great and then it was. And then you were like, maybe it’s like a reverse-swindling. And I thought, that’s kind of clunky. It shouldn’t be a reverse swindling when you think somethings gonna be bad, it’s gonna be good. It’s really more of a… slimdling. [Danny & Slim laugh] You got slimdled. Just putting it out there.
DANNY It’s a good one.
PROTO But also, you know, watching Avatar 2, what is so great is knowing that when Avatar 3 comes out, we’re gonna be able to do Avatar 1 and 2 redux leading up to 3, which is gonna be a fantastic month, cannot wait for it.
SLIM I mean yeah, you see these podcasts that just re-post their episodes. Here’s our episode from 2009. No, no, no, no. We do the work, okay? We’ll redo the friggin thing. Enough.
CTCHER Danny will also do art of all three of them combined together.
SLIM Hold on, hold on. We currently don’t have Avatar artwork in 3D!
DANNY I’m not. Oh no…
SLIM I’m just throwing it out there, you know? Throwing it out there.
PROTO You have time.
CTCHER I’ll talk to Danny.
SLIM Before we sign off officially, Ctcher, thank you for finally coming on the show. I hope everyone checks out the Cinenauts, checks out your beautiful art that we love. I mean, it might have been the early goings of us meeting you, many moons ago during Paper Keg. But thank you, for being our friend.
CTCHER Thank you for being my friend and inviting me on and letting me wear my T2 tshirt that I have on.
PROTO I just noticed that.
DANNY Ohhhh my god. Where did you get that T2 shirt? DM me, don’t let Casey see the link.
CTCHER They’re a secret, I keep it close to my chest. I don’t let too many people
SLIM Casey’s in live chat, everyone just be cool, please. We’ll see everyone next week for Scenes From a Marriage.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]