Film Junk Bonus Podcast: Avatar


You’ve heard plenty of ranting and raving about James Cameron’s Avatar over the past week or so, but if for some reason you’re not completely burnt out on the film yet, we’ve got another half-hour of discussion to throw out into the ether. Although there weren’t a ton of spoiler topics we wanted to address, we thought it best to keep it as a separate bonus podcast that acts as a supplement to Episode #248 of the Film Junk Podcast.

The bonus podcast is about 30 minutes long and it addresses some of the lingering questions we had about the story, some of the issues raised by the movie, and a number of Reed Farrington’s inevitable nitpicks. Warning: This podcast is basically all spoilers all the time, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, think twice before you listen.

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  • Reed I think you should get the book:

    It will fully answer your tech. questions and the condition on earth at the time of the film. it hints at sequels

  • rjdelight

    Sigourney’s Weaver!

  • rus, I will definitely have to get that book at some point.

    I’ve been looking at science articles about Avatar on the net. I didn’t realize that the properties of that mineral could be used as an explanation for the “floating mountains.” Also someone raised the interesting point that if the environment around the world tree affected communications, then what was special about the human/Avatar link-up that allowed this communication to take place?

    @rjdelight: Sigourney’s Weaver makes me break out laughing when I think about it, too. Must have been a Freudian slip. Ha ha.

  • Mrespony

    Lawrence of Pandorabia

  • KeithTalent

    I thought there would be nothing worth discussing with respect to spoilers for Avatar, considering how predictable the movie was, but this was an interesting discussion as always.

  • @KeithTalent: I had some more interesting stuff to talk about, I think. For example, given Cameron has used a “false” ending in the past, I thought that when … Oh, I guess I should type some extra words here in order to avoid having someone see this spoiler in the comment synopses on the right side. That should do it. When Colonel Quaritch, the Stephen Lang character, got killed by Neytiri’s arrows, I thought there would be a scene showing some character waking up in a chamber, thus revealing that the Stephen Lang human body was an Avatar! If humanity can genetically create a Na’vi body, I don’t see why it couldn’t create a human body unless, perhaps, the Na’vi brain is simpler.

  • Mrespony

    Reed, you’re forgetting that humans don’t always do what technology allows for other reasons, like religion.

  • KeithTalent

    Interesting idea Reed and would definitely set things up well for the sequel, assuming it will be a trilogy as I have been hearing.

  • Mrespony, you’re forgetting that the military will do anything without any scruples.

  • Well written writeup. But I kinda felt cheated with this film. It was high on visual low on intelligence and everything else.

  • Maopheus

    I think I have determined the reason for my annoyance with Reed. It’s not that it’s a bad thing to nitpick or to find faults or complaints especially with genre movies that have to use a lot of ‘contrivances’ and suspension of disbelief in order to make the story work. You can nitpick but do it within the context of the movie. For example, when Reed suggests that perhaps the Pandora researchers should have backup avatars, well that’s probably what would have happened in reality, but for the purposes of this movie, Cameron needed a way to have Jake get in the story, so he created the twin gimmick. Sure it would have made more sense for their to a backup, but then there would be no story! You can’t make complaints about things that would invalidate the point of the story. What you can complain about are perhaps different ways that he could taken the story, but not if it makes for a worse movie. The point of sci-fi movies is not to feature the most accurate science and the most plausible scenarios it’s to use some kind of futuristic or advanced technology background to tell a story. The point of the story is not the specifics of how the human-Nav’ii interlink happens. If you harp on that you miss the point. The point is what it then causes to happen with Jake’s experiences and change of heart. It’s simply a vehicle to make that happen. If you watch the features on the “Star Trek” Blu-ray (it may be on the DVD) they interview scientists who are fans of Star Trek and they say “We don’t really care how accurate the science and all that, we just want good stories and characters, etc.” So what I would suggest to Reed is that in the future when he is doing one of these spoiler podcasts, he should come up with a list of 5 nitpicks that do not completely invalidate the story and that would foster good discussion among the guys instead of a lot of sighing that Reed has yet another nitpick.

  • Thx, Maopheus. I’ll try to consider your words even though my initial reaction is to be defensive. I guess I should just refrain from bringing up anything that can be construed as negative.

  • Maopheus

    You can be critical without being negative. I think that’s what the point of these spoiler podcasts are is to go over things that you think could have been done better, or maybe explained better or you wish were explored more etc. If you just plain don’t like the movie then I would choose not to participate in the podcast because I would not feel that I would be participating in the spirit of the discussion. This is not directed at Reed personally, but to anyone participating. If you didn’t like the movie enough that you could get your point across in a non-spoiler fashion then continuing on to the spoiler discussion ought to be moot. Besides I think that the movies that deserve an additional spoiler discussion ought to be the ones that already appear to widely liked and accepted, hence ensuring that a lot of the listener-ship would be interested in listening to it.

  • Maopheus, it seems to me that you’re saying that people ony want to listen to a bonus podcast review of a film if it’s a film that they like. And, therefore, the people discussing the film should only say nice things about the film so that the listeners will not get upset. I’m probably twisting your words to make you sound like an idiot. Ha ha.

    I liked Avatar, but I also have my own opinions about its shortcomings.

    Not to excuse my annoying behaviour, but people complained about my being hung up on science in the District 9 bonus podcast. So I on purposely didn’t attack the science of Avatar and not because Avatar is more scientifically sounder as some people seem to think. I concentrated on story aspects, and now Maopheus thinks we should overlook poor storytelling in genre movies. Ha ha. Sorry if I twisted your words Maopheus.

    BTW, I really thought it was stupid of Jay to say that Cameron concentrated on the technological aspects of the film so Avatar is a “good” movie because it succeeded on those terms in which it was made. Someone mentioned previously that they didn’t like my childish arguing with Jay, so I didn’t pursue it.

    I know I’m bound to annoy someone with anything I say. Keep your complaints coming. Like Woody Allen’s Zelig, I will modify my personality until I become an amorphous mess.

  • Ovenball

    I like Reed. Hmm… Let me rephrase. I like Reed on the show. I mostly disagree with pretty much everything he/you (not sure who I’m addressing here) says, but if Sean can keep the conversation going, Reed definitely adds a ridiculous x-factor that bends the show toward the comedic. A show like this lives and dies by its chemistry and it seems like Reed makes it more fun for everyone else. I don’t want him on every show, but I can dig the occasional Farrington dose.

    Good episode. The peeing seemed scripted.