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James Cameron's Avatar: First Impressions

Written By: Harold Schossman

2009-08-21

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He has created the Terminator, continued Aliens as no one else could have, pioneered CGI with The Abyss and Terminator 2 and a few years later he directed Titanic, the most successful film to date: James Cameron. For the past decade the visionary director has kept quiet shooting documentary films and experimenting with new technologies. But if you think that Cameron has peaked with Titanic and quit Hollywood altogether think again. For he’s back with his latest sci-fi fantasy adventure Avatar due out December 18th.

While a trailer for this highly anticipated cinematic event just popped up on apple.com Centfox was kind enough to show members of the press 15 minutes of finished footage from the film in IMAX 3D as it will be available in theaters upon it’s release: Wow! This is really unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! I’ll try and describe what I remember as best I can – if you’re worried about spoilers – according to Cameron ALL the footage shown was from the film’s first half hour so no major plot points will be revealed:

The first clip showed an instructor briefing a group of Marines and Sam Worthington on a tough mission to the Planet Pandora where an indigenous species called the Navi (sp?) resides that is notoriously difficult to kill. The Navi in return like to use poisonous arrows to dispose of their enemies.

The next clip showed Sigorney Weaver’s character Dr. Grace strapping Jake Sully (Worthington) onto some contraption and transforming him into a tall bluish alien creature – his Navi Avatar. The following segments had Sully making his way though Pandora, battling various creatures and eventually being rescued by an exotic tribal alien girl (Zoe Saldana). She chides him for being a loud and clumsy killer of animals but she also shows some curiosity.

The girl leads him to her tribe where he tames a flying creature and embarks on a breakneck ride. Then the presentation segued into a trailer style montage of cuts from the film showing battle scenes between Marines and aliens, some romance, some sadness, some wonder moments and then the very unwelcomed word “December”.

It is hard to do this Avatar presentation justice with mere words one really has to see it. The motion capture is the best I have ever seen. The characters are believable and had me instantly hooked. All the scenes, especially the action had a fierce ferocity and speed and the 3D looks utterly gorgeous. This is important by the way! You HAVE to see it in 3D! Avatar has been designed for the IMAX 3D experience and that is how it works. There are shots in the trailer that look just plainly ordinary. If you seen them in 3D they look incredible! The same goes for the characters. 3D is what makes Avatar work, and if you’re worried about getting a headache as some people tend to suffer from 3D movies you’ll probably be fine with Avatar they showed us tons of action and it was a perfectly smooth and wonderful experience!

Cameron really made Avatar his own and given his remarkable skill as a storyteller I think there’s very little that can go wrong with his latest directorial effort.

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About The Author: Harold Schossman is our International News Correspondent and our resident Expert Videographer. He has worked in the entertainment industry for almost two decades. Be sure to check out his outstanding video work on his YouTube account.

http://www.youtube.com/user/hdeditor

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