Sunday, August 23, 2009

15 Minutes of Avatar

So after the teaser trailer of Avatar was released there was mixed reactions. Most people I know didn't understand the teaser because it didn't really say what the film was about. *explains concept of a teaser* okay it's all good. I think the folly was on the people who cut the teaser, it should have been shorter and have ended on a "what the fuck was that" note, not a "holy shit this is epic" note.

There was a 6 and 645 showing of Avatar footage, I managed to catch both. The first time I didn't know what to expect, when James Cameron came out in 3d to tell us to enjoy, my eyes didn't agree with the 3D. Maybe it was just in awe at having to have a 100 foot James Cameron head talking at you. Either my eyes adjusted quicker than any other 3D film I've seen or the technology they developed for the film works that well.

The first bit of the preview is a badass dude with a facial scar, which communicates he's been in the shit, explaining that the world of Pandora is vicious and deadly. The scene is all live action with the new camera that uses two lenses to simulate the focus and depth perception of the human eye. It is the best 3D live action ever produced. The camera worked.

Next we see Sam Worthington's character, a wheel chair bound soldier who gets put into a Na'vi body. Which is accompanied by a cool wormhole sequence when his mind takes over the Na'vi. The Na'vi stuff in the preview is some of the most photo realistic CG out to date. Although it is hard to judge given they're texture is nothing like a humans. Some people had trouble with the Na'vi in the 2d internet trailer, but they really come to life in the 3D experience.

There is another sequence at night on the alien planet where everything lights up like some tripped out acid dream. It looks absolutely breath taking. The depth that the 3D gives to the jungle while its lit up like a stoners bedroom creates a hazard because you find yourself not blinking (us with contacts get all dried up) so you don't miss a second of the world Cameron has created.

I don't want to talk too much about the action sequences shown because they were spectacular and should be watched before read about. Let's just say the best part was Sam Worthington's Avatar facing off with a huge dino looking beast, which turns for the worst for him. They also have a phenomenal sudo horse breaking scene with a drake (flying dragon type creature) that Worthington must pin before he can use it for a mount.

This isn't going to be like anything we have seen from Cameron it is more fantasy than anything he has done, but it has the dark Aliens/Terminator feel in the back drop at all times. This film won't be in league with 2001 or Aliens, more like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Expect that change.

The story looks like it will be a classic, good guy starts with the bad guys, some stuff happens then he sides with the oppressed good guys and helps them achieve victory. Universal storyline. From the dialogue and tone of the scenes, Cameron is trying to get at something by literally putting our main character along with the audience into another culture. From the 15 minutes I saw Cameron's hearts in this project and that's all I could have hoped for.

Try to avoid the naysayers and give it a try when it comes out. People can call the Na'vi smurfs, say it is a Turok vs Halo fan film(both are quite funny analogies), and say any other pompous things they want, but when it comes down to it, the film already shows potential for changing the entire industry and pushing the standard of digital filmmaking. This is exciting since we have been watching recycled garbage since the late nineties. How many remakes do we have sit through in the 2010's? Let's hope this bring new life into the cinema as I think it will.


  1. Great perspective. I agree, it was indeed the best 3D technology I have seen. I am hoping it does what you say, and breathe new life into the industry, but all puns aside, I'm not holding my breath.

    It's nice to see filmmakers with heart. We could definitely use a few more of those....

  2. These teases are driving me nuts. I ma really excited to see this and you are lucky as hell to see 15 minutes of footage. Your descriptions are really hyping it up!