This has been making the rounds of the Internet:
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy
Didn’t anyone watch Malick’s THE NEW WORLD? Or pay attention in history class, for that matter?
But Avatar still rocked!
Now, if I can only get Bruce Willis to commit to my Robocop-on-Mars epic….
“Pay attention in history class”? Really?
Both THE NEW WORLD and POCAHONTAS are terribly inaccurate historically. Pocahontas was approx. 10 years old when she met John Smith, the two never shared a romance. She would go on to marry John Rolfe.
American pop culture has twisted the the myth into fact, and its just another bright, shining example of how little American people know about the history of our country.
I think he was just referring to the well-known myth we all grew up learning. Nobody believes a Disney film is the historically accurate truth.
Also, how many of your friends call you Mr. Fussy-Pants.
Well said James, well said. The pop culture beast along with mama media are masters in twisting tales…
Yes both “Pocahontas” and “Avatar” were cut from the same colonial love story narrative cloth. So were a lot of movies, and it’s an interesting and compelling story line, that apparently seems to appeal to James Cameron quite a bit too. I don’t think the actual story was that important in Avatar. There’s probably thousands of “passable” and even annoying scripts that would turn out to be incredible movies if they were brought to life with the awesome visual effects you see in Avatar.
dances with wolves…anyone?
Absolutely. . . . Dances With Wolves! My first thought and have often wondered what Kevin Costner thought of Avatar???
Great. A bio-pedant.
Since the two cultures did NOT resolve their differences as stated in the final sentence, this evidence must be thrown out of court.
On another note, I hope people who liked Avatar will go back and check out Cameron’s most overlooked and underappreciated film, The Abyss. It’s arguably his most personal and original movie, has better suspense, action and acting than Avatar and still holds up nearly perfectly visually despite last year being its 20th anniversary. The setting and ideas in the movie are so unique that they make the movie consistently fascinating. The overall plot is a little more uneven than Avatar’s, the movie’s only weak point, but at the same time it is much less predictable. And finally The Abyss has what some consider the single most dramatic, suspenseful and intense scene in movie history with incredible acting by Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio that keeps you out-of-breath and on the edge of your seat! Please check out The Abyss, Avatar fans, you won’t regret it!
It would be great if The Abyss were to finally get a decent DVD (and Blu) release.
Totally agree about the Abyss. Totally overlooked but a great time at the movies.
I can definitely vouch for that. The Abyss is indeed a great movie. And now that I think of it, even though I haven’t seen it in a long time it is one of my favorite movies. I didn’t realize James Cameron directed that because I was a little kid when it came out. In retrospect I just remember it being a very original concept and story and very suspenseful.
You are soooooooo right about the Abyss! And that scene you are talking about is off the chain, even still in 2010.
I dunno… THE ABYSS is a good film and all, but it still pales in comparison to ALIENS and TERMINATOR (the original). THE ABYSS has a sloppy third act (even with the tidal wave ending) and is for all intents and purposes CE3K underwater.
I think that so many people love AVATAR that to be “cool”, a certain section of the fanbase has to profess love for Cameron’s least successful (financially and creatively) film.
And don’t throw PIRANHA 2 up to point out how I’m wrong – even Cameron doesn’t give a shit about that film.
Never saw POCAHONTAS. Are there really this many parallels?
SO TRUE. I wish Hollywood would spend more on good storytelling (the foundation of any GOOD film) and less on expensive graphics. I laughed at every plot event in Avatar and at one point, started singing “Color of the Wind” from Pocahontas… Alas, Hollywood doesn’t actually care about movies being “good”….
I can’t agree less. This remix was the bomb, er, the nuclear remix to any story just like it. visuals were stupendous. Now, if we could only get rid of the ‘riley’ character. terrible. Sigourney sucked. the vine bikini was really sad, not that anyone wanted to see her nude.
So what? How many screenplays come from other sources? Shakespeare has been ripped off for years in Hollywood and so what? Really, this is LAME. STFU, you’re just jealous.
Agreed! Virtually all of Shakespeare’s works were based or heavily influenced by others, including Ovid, Plautus, and Plutarch. There is strong evidence that Shakespeare didn’t even write his stuff and manipulated other’s works. To accuse Cameron of appropriating work is silly. Movies have always succeeded best as a vulgar entertainment. Cameron has touched the public’s nerve as no one else has in recent memory and that is a kind of genius.
Lots of great works, in many different media, have been “inspired” by earlier works. The test is whether the newer work brings in something original, something worthwhile that wasn’t there before.
The point of this gag, which you both seem to have missed, is that “Avatar” seems to have failed in this regard. Making the Indians ten feet tall and blue doesn’t really cut it.
Of course, it also helps if your “inspiration” isn’t already careworn.
Cameron has succeeded in touching the public with an original work. It is something that has never been seen before because of its unique visualization. “Writing” and “dialogue” aren’t as important in film as one thinks. The imagery of great films like THE GODFATHER, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, all of Kubrick’s work, THE WILD BUNCH, THE SEARCHERS, and myriad other classics transcend the plot and dialogue. More critics speak of the deep focus photography in CITIZEN KANE than the overlapping dialogue. Can anyone outline a plot in THE GODFATHER or 2001? Studies have indicated that the written or spoken word account for around five percent of the communication in theatrical media. The mood and power of VERTIGO is completely visual. Why have powerful filmmakers like Spielberg, Lucas, and Zemeckis put so much effort in new ways of visualization? Quibbling about the ‘story’ of AVATAR misses the power of Cameron’s achievement completely.
No one is trying to “accuse Cameron of appropriating work”. We are accusing him of being a cheap hack with a flat and utterly LAME script!!
I found out long ago that Cameron had his head up his ass when accepting the Golden Globe he talked about Titanic being an important historical movie about a terrible tragedy. WTF? Did he not realize that he had made a ROMANCE movie?! This is the same idiot who fought against having words put to the theme song for Titanic –which without that Celine Dion song, I don’t think the movie would have had half its audience.
Calling Cameron a ‘cheap hack’ is silly. Many TITANIC movies had been made but none captured the public’s attention like his. AVATAR has broken new ground in imagery. Writers tend to ‘see the script’ when they watch movies and ignore the fact that movies are primarily a visual medium. Many of these critical posts appear to be written by angry and frustrated writers. Many people who see AVATAR completely immerse themselves in the imagery and ignore the story. This may not be a bad thing. The movie is beyond criticism at this point.
@maggie – Avatar had a story? Really? I was so busy thinking “this is soooo pretty” to notice. ;)
Seriously, I HATED, HATED, HATED Titanic. I was afraid that Avatar would be that cloying, melodramatic and just plain stupid. I was expecting Jar-Jar on a sinking starship ridiculously in “love” with the most undesirable Gungan that ever lived and not dying fast enough. I had no intention of seeing this because while, I also thought the Abyss was a wonderful film, I thought Cameron had lost his mojo somewhere. Even with the good reviews it took me a week to go see it and I am usually at an event film opening night. With such low expectations I was pleasantly surprised. Now I have to rescreen Pocahontas to see just how much of a rip-off it is. I like raccoons.
Thank god someone finally pointed out the obvious: Pocahontas’s story was stupid and derivative, too!
There’s a 1.5 billion dollar elephant in the room and someone thinks they found a mouse. Better start figuring out what Cameron did right than dwelling on how full of holes and flawed you think the movie is.
Well said, sir.
Just saw the film. The theater was packed to capacity. It let out at nearly 1AM to applause.
I enjoyed the film. Sure the story was simple. But in a world where you can get ridiculously convoluted action films, it was refreshingly simple. But the special effects were outstanding. And no one can stage action the way Cameron can. No one.
This is just stupid bullshit that Nikki shouldn’t have even posted. Why not post a proper box office analysis for the weekend and show how Avatar will be #1 again with another slight drop from last weekend?
This movie will do well, and it merely reflects on the nature of people as a whole. I wont watch it because I’m not entertained by tricky special effects, I guess I’m one of the last people on earth with an active imagination.
The days of great storytelling are long behind us when recycled simplistic plotlines reserved for Disney films are jazzed up with CGI and sold as entertainment for adults.
I think that entertainment should be more than just pictures on a screen. Good entertainment should make you think, feel, listen, learn, and in turn develop yourself.
Yeah, and Avatar lifted the same 9/11 references and War on Terror references from Pocahontas, too! Or maybe not. And John Smith was in a wheelchair, just like Jake Sully, too, and had this dual existence, right? I mean the films are almost exactly alike…in the same way that Up and Gran Torino are exactly alike. Surf’s Up and Cars had the same story. Avatar and Pocahontas have one similar storyline, and both are great movies, but Avatar works on a level that is amazingly visceral and primal. This is a remarkable movie.
Exactly. This story has been told countless times. It’s merely a new take. The haters simply can’t just let it be. People love the movie and it’ll soon be the biggest movie of all time. And don’t be surprised if this wins Best Picture because this is exactly what a Best Picture should be. Big, like Return of the King before it, Gladiator, Ben Hur, etc. So haters just go on hating, it’s not going to derail Avatar for one moment!
Hmmm…I was actually expecting more haters since it seems nearly everyone who posts on this forum are jealous wanna-be’s.
I don’t think anyone is seeing Avatar for the “story”…….
All I know is, maybe the storyline was a little predictable, but I was completely caught off-guard at one point in the movie by a feeling of absolute and startling spirituality, and I don’t mean tree-hugging-type agitprop. I just was suddenly aware of a sense of soul coming out of Cameron’s vision. Go ahead and laugh, but I had to hold back tears.
I feel you my friend… I was also both grinning/laughing in excitement and adventure, and crying in anguish and beauty of the story. Who cares if the story’s old, coz it’s timeless.
Very funny! Not a surprise. We all knew Avatar’s main ideas have been told before many times.
But it doesn’t really matter. You can do the same thing with just about any Romantic Comedy.
Formula for a Romantic Comedy: Boy and girl meets…They fall for each other…The romance grows…There is some conflict that tears them apart close to the end of the movie…But then one of them (usually the man) does something cute to win the other one back…
You can pretty much say that every movie has stolen ideas or parts of other stories.
Oscar smear campaign. I love awards season!
James, you are a douche.
i am so lucky to have seen this story through avatar, i feel sad for ppl who watched disneys cartoon lol
“Never saw POCAHONTAS. Are there really this many parallels?
This is why you only send in the first 30 pages of your script.:)
Never give them a crisis point or great ending.
Pocahontas was great, Vanessa sang the Color of the Wind.
But I wish they would do a markup of Fern Gully, the machine, the sacred tree, the big people, the little people. THE FORREST.
You got to give it to Cameron
He made Alien 2 from Bannon’s Script, but the rest of his films
really show his creativity.
It must be the water in Kapuskasing.
The Abyss, while I loved that film was Voyage to the bottom of the sea with a little Titanic.
Rambo 2, well we know where that came from.
Titanic- he had plenty of source material to back up his project.
True Lies- well there was James Bond with a little of Walter Mitty.
The only original thing you could say is the Terminator series but if you take a little Sarge from the GI Joe (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” (1983) and add a little Silver Surfer. You get a robot from the future with a silver undercoating. You have to hide what you take, really you do.
Well, we know where he got those ideas. :) that’s why he has the number one movie and one of the lowest imdb.com ratings for a mega creator. Or was that Mega man, oops.
Yeah, Terminator was completely original. That’s why Harlan Ellison sued JC, and WON.
Cameron admitted in testimony that he stole the whole thing from Ellison’s “Soldier” and had to add Ellison’s name to the credit of the film and take out full page ads in Variety and the Reporter apologizing. Cameron goes ballistic whenever anyone mentions harlan Ellison’s name in his presence.
I give him all the props in the world for knowing how to make a billion dollar movie, but James Cameron has never put an original thought on paper, and if the creators of Fern Gulley decide to sue (and have the resources to do so), don’t be surprised to see their names added to the credits of AVATAR as well.
they did the same thing time ago with harry potter!
They do it with lots of stuff, but the Avatar/Pocahontas one is absolutely spot-on.
there always be similarities with every movie (completely new) that is released…the truth is both movies nothing have to do with each other in its real story, how it ends and the the things they defend…and unlike pocahontas avatar has amazing visual that can really jaw drops anyone;)
oh and btw, i can do that same thing with “A New Hope” and the tolkien book…
Avatar was great, but they should use the real eyes of the actors as they speak the lines and mix them with the digital. The phony eyes make it seem like a cartoon
Ditto what Rip It Up said. Just about any film that comes out has sim ilarities to other works like a revenge story, a redeeming story or little guy overcoming obstacles and beating the big guy.
The change is usually the settings (westerns, modern, future) and tweakings of the characters.
Bottom line is Cameron makes it better, more interesting and entertaining.
And if the film has no story how come it has sparked so much debate on reasons for war, conservancy and the way indigenous people have been treated.
Just stop it with all the hate and accept JC as your master :)
i don’t think avatar has “sparked so much debate” on any of those things. it was a fun time but let’s not overreach here.
If Disney was concerned they would have had their legions of lawyers all over FOX. They all do it, it’s the final product that matters. No one really seems interested in this, except maybe here.