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"The danger room is angry."
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March 29 2010

Mad Atoms puts Browncoats to the test against four other major sci-fi fandoms. A handy-dandy reference chart of 5 major sci-fi fandoms, including Firefly, Star Wars and Star Trek.

Mad Atoms has put together a tongue-in-cheek - least I hope it's meant to be that ;) - reference chart for 5 major science fiction fandoms, including our beloved series. Apparently, our hardcore nature is both a blessing and a our lurve for the good Captain Tightpants is apparently the only reason why Castle gets watched regularly.

Great chart :)

Us Browncoats still come out seeming like the most sane of the bunch.
Wow they really don't like LOST. Weird.
Hey! I actually like Castle. The only reason I watched that episode of Lost was because of Nathan Fillion though.
I laughed. (And I kind of agree about the implications of their Lost mockery, especially the sexual one. I haven't seen Avatar yet, though.)
Lies ! Lies I tell you ! We're much, much madder than this so-called article, if indeed it can be so called (and indeed it can cos I just did) presents us. Some of us are bordering on the wacky and i've met Browncoats who i'd even say had an element of zane. Whereas this exemplar of journalistic malfeasance seeks to propagate the idea that we're not actually, literally rabid in our fannishness. Pfft and pshaw I say. Also piffle.

(and do 'Avatar' fans really call themselves "Avatards" ? Cos kudos on the self-deprecation ;)
That is pretty funny!
Wait, there's already an Avatar fandom, nickname and all? That's it: I'm getting too old for the internets.

ETA: Apparently, Saje, there's even two fangroups calling themselves 'Avatards'. From the comments section on that article: "Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender" were "Avatards" first, dangit!" The mind boggles ;)

[ edited by GVH on 2010-03-30 01:01 ]
I'd heard that avatar fans were Na'Vi'Kin, or is that just the more hardcore ones?

and I also watched that one episode of Lost sorely cause of Nathan. and I did start to watch Castle cause of him but stayed cause the show is good.

but yeah,this chart makes us look rather sane. it's kinda weird.
That was cute. I think probably an honorary member of all those groups (except avatar--haven't seen that one yet either, WilliamTheB.
Mostly funny. It's odd that the majority of the list is light hearted, but their Lost comments sound kind of bitter. Am I wrong?
Fun chart, thanks for the link!

We Firefly fans do come off looking fairly sane. (Hopefully QMX products will stay UTR so that word doesn't get out on what some of us spend on that stuff. It might be difficult to explain why a Serenity replica is a basic

Their comments on Lost do seem a bit more serious/less light-hearted than the rest to me too. I wonder if that was intentional or not?
How'd the Star Wars crowd miss out on the nickname? I think we should come up with something 'cause I'm going to Comic-con this year and I'd like to use it.

How about: Lucasites, Star Warriors, Jedi Scum, or the ever popular Star Clones? I'm just sayin'.
I particularily like "Her" and "All the rest" in the Star Trek column for Proudest Moment and Lamest Moment.
I actually haven't met any huge Avatar fans yet. I wonder if that's a younger skewing demographic. I'd understand that film inspiring something like that, although I had script problems galore that bugged me in it. I just honestly didn't know that little subculture existed yet.

Yes, I'm slow.

Another way to piss off a Trekki: "You do know that after the events of the new Star Trek, the original timeline was destroyed and TNG, TOS, and DS9 never happened."

[ edited by azzers on 2010-03-30 05:33 ]
Yeah, it's far from a perfect film (script's clunky in places, it's pretty predictable, the noble savage/harmony with nature stuff is laughably simplistic etc.) but in 3D at least, it was an amazing experience IMO, like all the alien planets i've ever read about and imagined brought to life - in years to come, particularly in 2D, I doubt the film'll be seen as a classic but the detail and realisation of the world will stand out as a "star destroyer overhead" moment IMO, a game changer (I guess i'm a bigger fan of the world than the film per se. I'm a Pandoratard ;).

(and re-enacting September 11th but then having the goodies become the insurgents was brave in its way. BSG had already done it years before of course but that was cable rather than a mainstream Hollywood movie)

From the comments section on that article: "Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender" were "Avatards" first, dangit!" The mind boggles ;)

Love it. "We're Avatarder than you !" ... "No, we're the Avatardest !" ;).
Saje, my reaction to Avatar was similar. I thoroughly enjoyed it in a brain candy-type way, however, and thought it received the appropriate awards.

Hi-larious list! I've recently watched Bones, namely to watch David Boreanaz. Sorta like it. Thinking I should give Castle a try.

And no nickname for Star Wars fans. Huh.
But what if I'm a Browncoat Lostie Trekker? Is there any hope for me? ;)

Besides, I'm primarily a Buffyholic Whovian.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2010-03-30 14:44 ]
I was pretty much in the same place as you Saje with Avatar. The only caveat I would add to that is that the 3D did nothing to improve the experience. The most fantastic part of the tech used in the film was making the Na'Vi as believable as they were. Mostly down to the facial technology, but also down to a physical presence that is generally lacking. They were by far the most believable CGI characters I have seen in any CG heavy film. Whilst the world that was crafted was just simply beautiful. Nothing particularly original, but certainly one of the most visually wonderful things to have been depicted in a Sci-Fi film.

As for the 3D, it was, as ever, pointless. All it served to do was create a cardboard cut out look to the film. 3D is not any more immersive than 2D and never will be. It is a fair ground attraction and nothing more. If anything, the 30% colour loss you get with 3D probably hindered the visuals of the fantastic Pandora. I was holding out on my final decision on 3D until Avatar and I have now decided that I will not bother watching 3D versions of any film, when possible. All it does is to reduce colour and make a blurry image, whilst occasionally pointing things at you. (And yes, I am still bitter about The Cabin in the Woods.) For those that only managed to see Avatar in 2D, here is what you missed

As for the original post, did make me chuckle. I actually thought the Star Wars fans got of lightest, with the slight exception to the Jedism. Firefly certainly wasn't far behind though.
I was one of those Star Wars fans that put "Jedi" down on their census form. Everyone I know that did it did it for a laugh (or out of irreverence for other religions) and I don't know anyone that actually thinks of being a Jedi as a coherent philosophy (though as has been oft-stated, it's similar to Taoism or a sort of Zen/bushido combination in a lot of ways).

Re: 3D, yeah, i've read you saying that before Vandelay and I guess we'll just have to agree to differ ;). After seeing the visuals in 2D both in clips and the trailer I was distinctly underwhelmed . Possibly because of the extra colours or colour saturation you mention (that the 3D version didn't have) I thought it was garish and unrealistic in the trailers (sort of like the green of the first CG Hulk from the Ang Lee film) and was prepared for it all to look distractingly unconvincing for the entire film. Happily that wasn't the case when I saw it.

That said, I haven't seen it in 2D yet (and won't on the big screen) so it's difficult to compare - the effectiveness may be more to do with the full cinema experience than the 3D. That said, the 3D effect itself worked really well for me, for the most part I didn't find it gimmicky (Cameron largely avoided having things flying out of the screen every 5 minutes purely for the sake of it) and whether the 3D was responsible or not, I was immersed in the film while watching. I only noticed occasional blurring at the edges of the glasses (i.e. where I could see around them) and when I took them off (which I did a fair bit at the start - 'Avatar' was my first digital 3D film so there was a lot of lifting the specs to compare and contrast ;). My eyes were quite tired by the end though.

Way I see it, 3D is just another tool in a film-maker's repertoire. It can be used well, used badly or just plain over-used like anything else (CGI in general, crane shots, jump cuts, shaky cam etc.).

(what worries me slightly about Cabin is, the film wasn't originally shot for 3D so i'm not sure how much it's going to add to it and in some ways it may even take away - as I understand it for instance, certain types of camera motion don't work very well in 3D and so are usually avoided/minimised when a film's specifically framed for it)
As I was typing it, I did get a sense of deja vu, so apoligise to anyone else that feels I am going over treaded ground again :)

I do sometimes wonder whether some problem with my eyesight means that the 3D effect doesn't work fully for me, as many people do have problems seeing it in its full effect. I doubt it though, as I have never had any problems with my sight, bar some minor colour blindness. I also found the use of 3D during the Cadbury's advert beforehand much more impressive than the 3D in the film itself, so I really don't think it is my eyesight that makes me opposed to the 3D trend. Thankfully, I haven't suffered from the common headaches post watching a 3D film either.

Interesting you say that you found the early trailers to be very garish in their use of colour. I wonder if it was an intentional decision by Cameron, so that it would make the loss of colour less noticeable.

And I have the same worries about Cabin too, particularly after hearing about the recent Tim Burton 'Alice' film, which similarly was not originally meant to be in 3D. It is interesting that we haven't heard any comments by Joss on the subject, as it is the very thing I would think he would be against (i.e. adding elements that are not part of the creator's vision.) Perhaps he considers it to not be his place to discuss such things, either before the release of the film or not being the director. I would still be interested to hear his thoughts on it one day.
Yeah, it's probably partly political/commercial in that he doesn't want to scupper his (and Drew's) own film or drop himself in it with the studio and partly just good manners and professionalism. And it may also be that since Cabin will almost definitely also be available in 2D (can't think of a widely released 3D film that hasn't been) he knows that people will have a chance to see the film he made, as he intended it.

I wonder if it was an intentional decision by Cameron, so that it would make the loss of colour less noticeable.

It's certainly possible that, being aware of the loss of brightness/colour and presumably primarily intending the film to be seen in 3D, Cameron deliberately over-colourised/saturated it so that when you take some away you're left with the right amount (accepting that the 2D images may suffer slightly). Now that you've suggested it in fact, given how important the visuals are in the film it'd actually be odd if he didn't do that IMO (in fact it'd surprise me if ALL films specifically intended to be shown in 3D weren't corrected for the loss in some way).

(apologies to any cinematographers/camera enthusiasts/people who just know BTW, i'm probably using all the wrong words for what we're talking about)

As to your own experiences Vandelay, have they been similarly bad across several different cinemas (trying to allow, as far as possible, for your own bias - totally understandable BTW, makes sense that the more bad experiences you have with it the more you'll expect a bad experience in the future. In fact that's sort of why they call it "experience" ;) ? If you've only seen 3D films in one place, maybe your local cinema just has a poor setup (ill-suited screens/projectors etc.) ? And there're a couple of (mainstream, non-IMAX) alternative systems too, maybe you've seen one and i've seen the other ? Think it's RealD where I saw 'Avatar'.
I have only seen 3D in a single cinema, but it is a very new Vue (about a year and half old - the first film they showed [and I saw] there was Quantum of Solace,) and I am fairly certain they are using very up to date projectors. Certainly, every 2D film I have seen there has had fantastic picture quality. The two screens they use for 3D have also always been using 3D projectors from the start, so I assume they were specifically designed for it. Glancing on their website, I can't find out exactly what kind of projectors they use; it just simply says "All auditoriums have Dolby Digital Surround Sound and the latest digital projectors to provide the ultimate picture and sound quality."

As for my history of seeing 3D films, the first one I saw was during Christmas a year ago, where I saw Nightmare Before Christmas. The layered effect actually fitted quite well with the style of the film, but I also assumed that it was something unique to it. When I saw other films use a similar effect, including the live-action Avatar, I found to be far less convincing than the illusion of depth created on a 2D screen. Having said that, seeing Nightmare again in 2D I didn't find it any more or less engaging (to be expected, as it was retro-fitted into the film.) I also saw Up and Ice Age 3. Ice Age 3 was fairly mediocre with or without the 3D, but with Up the 3D still just felt like something irrelevant to the film. I certainly can't recall anything that stood out (pun intended) because of the effect.

Also, I wouldn't say I have had "bad" experiences with 3D. In fact, 3 out of the 4 films I have seen in 3D I have enjoyed very much. Avatar was very entertaining, if a little disposable and overly long, whilst Up and Nightmare Before Christmas are both fantastic and amongst my favourite films, particularly animated films. I just never felt that my enjoyment was ever increased by the 3D and that I would have enjoyed them equally in 2D (with the added benefit of not having to wear uncomfortable glasses and save a couple of quid.)

Having said that, the one instance where I would be interested in seeing something in 3D would be IMAX. One of the major drawbacks I find to the "immersion" we are told we should be experiencing from a 3D film is the fact that the screen does not fill our vision. The second something that seemingly is coming at us hits the edge of the screen it disappears. This is particularly noticeable in Avatar when we see the ash and debris swirling in the air after the as well as many other times. I imagine that this would be far less of a problem in an IMAX cinema, where the screen fills your field of view (at least, I presume so. Not actually been to IMAX before.)
Avatards are what I've heard other people refer to Avatar fanatics as, in a disparaging manner. It's exactly what it sounds like, Avatar-loving retards. And really, personally, that's how I feel about them . . . that movie SUCKS. It's the Paris Hilton/Pamela Anderson of sci-fi films: absolutely gorgeous, especially the 3D effects, but NO BRAIN.

As for okelay's comment about Na'vi-kin? Well, prepare to have your souls tortured, people.

You know what a Furry is? A person who thinks they were some animal in a past life, and now imitates the animal's mannerisms and even dresses like the animal, usually for sexual purposes. Know what an Otherkin is? The same thing, only they believe they used to be mythological animals in previous lives, like unicorns and dragons and elves and mermaids. Again, largely fetishistic, but with a slightly more emo "this is who I am, acknowledge meeeeee!!" whiny vibe.

Na'vi-kin are people who are so die-hard obsessed with Avatar, they believe it's real: that James Cameron, in creating his movie, tapped into some kind of collective unconscious of the universe, and brought the Na'vi to our attention. Na'vi-kin thus believe that they are Na'vi reincarnated. That in a previous life, they WERE Na'vi.

Let me repeat that: Na'vi-kin are people . . . who TRULY BELIEVE . . . they are the living reincarnations of an ENTIRELY FICTIONAL RACE. And they use this delusion to get off.

Sometimes, I hate the internet. And humanity in general.
I imagine that this would be far less of a problem in an IMAX cinema, where the screen fills your field of view (at least, I presume so. Not actually been to IMAX before.)

Much less of a problem Vandelay yep though it's still there to some extent - even with IMAX it depends how far away from the screen you are (watched a few documentaries but the only feature film i've seen on it was "Star Trek" '09 so it seems apropos to say that even IMAX "cannae change the laws of physics" ;).

I get that about the edge of the screen BTW, I noticed it too both at the point you mention and the "communion" scene afterwards and it does remind you that you're watching a film, agreed (but then that often happens with 2D too, just for different reasons - people going to the loo being the classic). Possibly because the effect worked so well for me though, I went from being immersed in the film to impressed by the technology.

I think Vue cinemas use RealD too so, assuming it's all being operated properly, just the same - clutching at straws (and noticing you actually seem to be more neutral towards it than I took from your initial comment), maybe it's down to simple stuff ? Didn't really notice the glasses for instance but a friend who had to put them over his specs seemed to have more trouble. Who knows, maybe when I see a few more 3D movies i'll be more able to see the flaws you feel are there. Hope not though, obviously.

(kudos for continuing to try it though, despite not being impressed. Lots of people would go once and then decide on that basis that they hated it forevermore but you seem to have given it a real chance. Either that or Vue don't also show their 3D films in 2D and so you've been forced into it ;)
My local Vue do show in both, but they usually use a smaller screen for the 2D showing. The main screen they use for big 3D releases is by far the largest screen I have ever seen in a cinema, so I do quite like seeing films on it. Also, bear in mind that 2 of the 4 films I have seen were special showings. Nightmare was a one off showing over Christmas, whilst Ice Age 3 was a Secret Movie screening, so they actually were the only ways I could see them. Having said that, I certainly was willing to give it a try.

I would say I am fairly neutral to the effect during the film, but would rather not see 3D become as common as it appears the industry wants. It very much feels like a way of squeezing more money out of the punters to me, as well as way of trying to get people to go to cinemas and stop them downloading films or waiting for DVDs by creating an "experience" that can be unique to the cinema.
You know what a Furry is? A person who thinks they were some animal in a past life, and now imitates the animal's mannerisms and even dresses like the animal, usually for sexual purposes.

That's the CSI definition. I have furry friends, some of whom have costumes (though not all mascot-type costumers are furries - I was once involved in an Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet Near Mars presentation - though I was Weird Al) and many of whom write about or draw anthropomorphic animals.
Wow...when I posted this article, all I thought was gonna commented about was the pokes at the other fandoms...especially the rather unsubtle jabs at Lost.

But furries?! Debates over the nature of 3D film theatres?! Wow...the things that spiral out of basically harmless things, eh?

Variety's the spice of life and all that ;).

Some people might call us flighty but there's actually a UN decree that states those people can be beaten with wet rhubarb while we gather round and mock their choice of underwear (there's another decree that states the UN has to deny that decree exists though so don't bother checking their records or asking anyone because, y'know, they'll deny it).

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