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Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney To Buy Marvel!! 3D Live Action And Cartoon Carnage To Ensue!

Jim here. Wow. Mega deal here and full of ramifications! Marvel is being acquired by The Walt Disney Company for a reported $4 billion in stock and cash, pending regulatory approvals. With it, Disney gets over 5000 characters to work with and future distribution rights (after current deals are completed).

Disney always seems to snag the perfect entertainment fish at the perfect time - first Pixar and now Marvel with the latter just starting to now get movies under their feet. The timing couldn't be better.

From CNN: "If Marvel shareholders approve the deal, they would receive $30 per share in cash and 0.745 shares of Disney for each share of Marvel that they hold. The deal is valued at $50 per Marvel share, more than a 29% premium, based on Friday's closing price.

Disney said it will issue about 59 million shares as a result of a deal, but it will repurchase as many shares over the course of the 12 months following the deal's closing."

What does this mean for us? Well I can assure you Disney is still head over heels in love with stereoscopic 3D and the addition of Marvel's vault will significantly enhance the prospect of an explosion of 3D content from the mouse house.

Further, you can expect a great deal of collaboration between Pixar and Marvel divisions! What a great pairing! Of course Pixar has pledged to all future tentpoles being 3D so it is only a matter of time before we are treated to some awesome cartoon carnage.

Spider-man and his super hero friends in live action 3D too? Can't wait! :-) Marriage made in heaven.

Nicholas Cage's DRIVE ANGRY and HALLOWEEN 3D Planned

**UPDATE: September 2 - Rumors have the director for HALLOWEEN 3D as being Steve Miner (H20, HOUSE, WARLOCK, FRIDAY THE 13TH 2 & 3). Interesting!!

Jim here. As my friend Matthew has pointed out to me - "Soon it will be news when a new movie *isn't* in 3D". And he is soooo right.

Two more 3D movies are getting greenlit:

Nicholas Cage has signed on to star in DRIVE ANGRY - a story about a father who exacts revenge on the roads for the murder of his daughter and the kidnapping of her baby. Bodies are left on the roads as the death toll mounts - reminds me of a cross between DEATH RACE 2000 and DEATH WISH.

From HeatVision: "Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Avi Lerner and Boaz Davidson are executive producing for Nu Image/Millennium, which is planning to begin production in April in Louisiana; the company has a new $10 million studio in Shreveport, La.

"Angry" will be the first foray into 3D for Nu Image/Millenium and marks a return to the format for Lussier. The director, who got his feature start editing horror movies for Wes Craven, last directed "My Bloody Valentine 3D," which grossed $51 million domestically this year."

Here is the good news - Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier wrote the story and the latter will be directing. I feel MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D was done very well for the money involved and DRIVE ANGRY should bring in the masses for Nu Image / Millenium Films. Cage has got legions of fans - especially overseas.

Ready for Nic Cage in 3D? The time has come! :-) Shooting is slated for April 2010 in Louisiana.

Secondly we have HALLOWEEN 3D being offered up from the Weinsteins - which makes perfect sense to me. With THE FINAL DESTINATION kicking HALLOWEEN 2's butt this weekend, they weren't going to not go 3D for the next iteration of the re-energized franchise. However it will have to be without Rob Zombie this time around as he is committed to making THE BLOB.

From the LATimes: "The investment it takes to shoot movies in digital 3-D has proved particularly lucrative for horror films. For "The Final Destination," this weekend's No. 1 movie, theaters with at least one 3-D screen earned 3.25 times as much as those that showed the movie in 2-D only, according to distributor Warner Bros."

Bob Weinstein said the studio is talking with a new helmer for H3D who he did not want to name at this time - but did say that this director has a "different take" on the franchise and is experienced in horror.

Who will the Weinstein's get for HALLOWEEN 3D? Any wagers? Sounds like a no brainer to me though: Make a movie for $15 million and have it easily recouped the first weekend? Wow. Seeing FD do so well though made them stop and think "what if". Not anymore. Look for HALLOWEEN 3D in the summer of next year.

Stay tuned for more about HALLOWEEN 3D and DRIVE ANGRY when I get it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Joel Silver: SWAMP THING 3D?

Jim here. Seems Joel Silver is interested in bringing SWAMP THING to the theaters in 3D. My friend Steve over at Collider had a brief opportunity to speak with Silver and managed to squeeze out some gold nuggets of info:

“I’m developing a picture now that I’d like to do…I’ll hopefully do Swamp Thing, which is a movie we’ve had for a long time. We think that would be great to do in 3D. There are a couple of projects I’m thinking about (for the format) but not everything.”

DC Comics character SWAMP THING was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. It actually had a movie adaptation already written and directed by Wes Craven (and a sub-par sequel too).

The story involves a scientist who was involved in an accident in a laboratory and was transformed into a half human, half monster seemingly from a swamp. After indeed moving to a swamp he fights the good fight against all enemies that threaten his new very damp home.

This is great news - SWAMP THING was one of several comics I favored as a child and I am anxious to hear more about this project. Will pass on the info when I get it.

Guillermo del Toro Blown Away By AVATAR, Says No Native 3D For THE HOBBIT*. 3D Conversion Still Alive...

Jim here. Well my best sources are hardly ever wrong - and if they are it is because they have been told one thing when another thing altogether is the truth.

I have defended my sources on this site and my friends over at TheOneRing.net because I value their opinion over there. Indeed Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro often visit and post their thoughts there.

And so when I posted on THE HOBBIT being made in stereoscopic 3D, TORn decided to email GDT and check it out. Well his answer left probably more questions that answers and led to quite a discussion afterwards in the forums. However, to GDT's credit, he replied not once but twice in the forums to the ongoing debate: Will THE HOBBIT be in 3D?

Long story short: GDT says this - "Actually, in all my interactions in the site I may have gotten myself in trouble because of my enthusiasm but not any sidestepping. As a co-writer and director of this film (who works with the design teams, costume teams, creature teams, VFX teams every day of the week), let me be very clear one more time: we are not talking about 3D, we are NOT writing the screenplay for 3D right now- we are hiring my DoP Guillermo Navarro to shoot the film and we are not discussing 3D with him either or with WETA digital or WB or anyone else. That should be a little less sidestepping, I hope. If after AVATAR the market may change and demands are put upon us, etc that is in the future. But if such things happen and we start discussing 3D down the line, I'll let it be know here at TORN because that's the proper way of doing things. But make no mistake- I've been living in NZ for almost a year now and we have not been discussing 3D. When we do, I'll make sure your source finds out. Thank You Guillermo "

So it seems that native 3D is out *for now*, unless PJ and the studio pushes for it. My conclusion? My sources were clear - it will be in 3D. So that leaves 2D to 3D conversion and it makes the most sense in some respects. It appeases the fans that want a 2D continuity for the LOTR trilogy (even though that too is being converted to 3D) as well as the 3D fans like us.

Guillermo is a class act as always. His second post on the thread supports what I am doing here with MarketSaw and underscores just how good AVATAR will be:

"I believe Jim is defending what he believes to be true. He is a knowledgeable, passionate film-lover and perhaps his source in this case is also someone that would love to see the HOBBIT films happen in 3D. Perhaps so- Jim has been right in the past and he may be right in the future. He is dead-on about the imminent conversion of film into an expanding 3-D field - at least in most blockbusters and I know of, at least, 4 or 5 major filmmakers preparing 3D films right now. Some of them seriously artistic and ungimmicky!! I've seen AVATAR and I was absolutely blow away by it!! I myself expect to explore 3D soon enough- it is the future, just not my immediate future. I promise to you guys and Jim to let you know if anything changes in that or any regard,,, And no- neither David Tennant nor Tom Cruise are Bilbo and we are not redesigning Gollum. My best wishes to all- GDT"

I appreciate his candor and professionalism. I also invited him to contact me directly at any time. However, I remain steadfast in my guarantee that THE HOBBIT will be 3D and that now it seems to be pointing to conversion. I have reached out to my sources again for anything new on the subject. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 28, 2009

THE FINAL DESTINATION Opens Today!!



Jim here. Can't wait to take this one in. The reviews have been great so far and since I couldn't make it to Comic-Con this year I missed the advanced look. But thanks to Empire Theaters I will be seeing it this weekend. Will have more on my thoughts on the movie soon!

In the meanwhile, check out this animated GIF showing off the lenticular poster for the movie. Cool or what? :-)

We All Live In A 3D YELLOW SUBMARINE...

Jim here. In case you missed it I had better put this one out there: Robert Zemeckis has been tapped to use his steadily improving mocap expertise to tackle YELLOW SUBMARINE for Disney. It will of course be in stereoscopic 3D with Zemeckis at the helm.

Further, Disney has designs on adapting the movie for Broadway as well as a Cirque du Soleil show.

I still have not seen Beatles LOVE show in Las Vegas as my wife is a huge McCartney fan and I am saving that for her, but this one looks very intriguing too. With Zemeckis handling the creative, anything is now possible for this psychedelic trip.

Disney is looking to get this movie out before the summer of 2012.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

As Best A Guarantee We Have: THE HOBBIT Movies Will Be In 3D!

**UPDATE Aug 28: Looks like Del Toro is kinda shy about it! Here is his quote from TORn: “I can safely say that, as of this moment, there are absolutely NO conversations about doing the HOBBIT films in 3D.” Which of course says exactly... nothing. While he could have said a definitive NO, he merely side stepped the question by saying that as he is typing the reply, they are not talking about it. If the answer was an easy no, then he would have said it - especially to that website who he and Jackson adore. But he COULDN'T say no because it is TRUE. You heard it hear first! :-)

Jim here. I have just gotten word from another one of my best sources embedded in Peter Jackson's camp that collaborates what I reported on August 18 - THE HOBBIT movies will in stereoscopic 3D!

What this means is that I can finally place my personal guarantee that this information is true and will happen. Remember back when I had the exclusive first look at AVATAR's AMP Suit? I made a guarantee then, and I am making a guarantee now.

I first reported that THE HOBBIT(s) will be in 3D back in November 2007 and a LOT of people raised their eyebrows with doubt. I also exclusively posted that Jackson would definitely be attached to THE HOBBIT as he and New Line had settled their law suit and that the LOTR trilogy would be converted to 3D! Again - quickly dismissed. All these things are coming to fruition now.

Now with solid internal notice from sources I trust, THE HOBBIT is virtually assured to be made in 3D. And I couldn't be more elated! With the writing of at least the first movie handed off or nearly handed off, the notions that were in Jackson's and Del Toro's head are now on paper. If you go 3D, naturally it is in the script as the shots are described in detail. I am checking further with this source to collaborate whether there will be 3 movies, with Del Toro directing 1 and 2 and Jackson number 3. At this point, that is still a rumor. You will be the first to know!

Feeling nostalgic? Click here for all of our exclusive HOBBIT coverage from day one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Breathtaking Avatar Pics - Amazing Jungle Shot, Neytiri & More

Michael here. Thanks so much to our reader David from France for sending these beautiful pictures. I agree completely with what he says below:


Hi Michael. I'm David, a french Avatar fan. I bought the latest issue of our "Empire like" french magazine called "Studio Ciné-Live". And, as they do sometimes for other movies, they published world exclusive pics of AVATAR. So I took some pictures and decided to send them to you guys, knowing that you would hardly find them anywhere else. Plus, some of them are GORGEOUS, the pic of Pandora with Jake and Sigourney's AVATAR proves once again how much photo realistic Pandora is (I mean look at those details !!!).

Gorgeous is absolutely right. I think that picture of Pandora will do a lot to silence those who think that the Pandoran jungles are too Earthlike during the daytime. The amount of design work, technical achievement, and sheer beauty on display in that shot is stunning.





Pandora's Box Opened - New AVATAR Stills! Sigourney And Zoe As Avatars!! SPOILERS!

**WARNING: SPOILERS!!**

Jim here. (Click to enlarge these!) One of my awesome readers from the UK - Matthew, sent me scans of the new Empire Magazine issue with AVATAR on the cover. As before I am showing you these images with the strong suggestion you buy the whole magazine to get the full story - but they certainly kick some butt.

First up is a closeup of Jake's avatar (Sam Worthington) with some tribal paint on - obviously after he leaves the lab after entering his host's body! :-) Notice the pores in his skin; the work in his eye's pupils - spectacular work. There are even little tiny baubles on his necklace. Amazing detail. In his second photo - look how his eyes are adjusting to the bright sunlight.

What does Worthington have to say about AVATAR? "I'll tell you what AVATAR is. It's a f*cking beast that is going to kick everybody in the head."

Next is Sigourney Weaver's avatar - notice any resemblance? Wow - stunning. Note that Grace's avatar is not as old here - Na'vi age much slower than humans in the story.

Certainly nailed that nose of hers! And bloodshot eyes. Amazing. I think that this really gives us a sense of the motion capture technology potential here for facial performances. Here we have an older Sigourney acting in an avatar's body while the performance is rendered with her younger face! Anything is possible as you can see - and will see in December.

Her human form gives that sense of credibility that every science fiction movie requires. If there was one woman who carries her own on an alien world, it is Ripley. Errr, Sigourney.

Zoe Saldana's avatar looks damn good here. Again they are nailing the hardest parts - eyes, mouth...

The second image of Neytiri surpasses even the first one! The headpiece she is wearing and the level of detail in her hair and face boggles the mind. Truly a work of art. You can't say this isn't photo realistic!

I went ahead and blew up the second image to give you a better feel of the intricacy. Simply astonishing. Keep in mind that these are magazine scans - not original photos, but obviously Matthew did a great capturing them. But you can expect even better results than these images once you see them in stereoscopic 3D and high definition digital. Or IMAX Film. It will be unlike anything before.

The level of accomplishment that has been achieved here is far from merely evolutionary - it is revolutionary in every sense. It is not just for AVATAR here guys; it is for all the future body of work for Weta too (and the other contributors) - AVATAR has brought us the future of cinema here. The same techniques and technology can be used on future projects and we are seeing the catalyst. It is not everyday this happens. It is a privilege to witness it happening! Our future movies to look forward to, just jumped up several notches.

What do you guys think of these shots? :-P Are you looking forward to the movie of the decade or what??

Lang's character looks like it is a winner. I can't say enough about the casting - superb job. Intense fellow isn't he? For good reason - Pandora's box is opened to be opened.

That is a nasty set of scars he has acquired. Any guesses as to whose claws made this close encounter? Looks like he hits the weights before his scenes as well - good job Mr. Lang!

Why haven't we heard more from Michelle Rodriguez? Normally she is front and center with promoting and dropping bombshells but she has been remarkably quiet during the past few months. She did let slip that her character dies - but we pretty much figured that out anyway. Nothing more to say there MR? :-)

We finally get a look at how she appears in AVATAR and it is your standard, pensive stare of a (doomed?) pilot - again perfect casting. I am a big fan of her work and she deserves to carry a movie soon - VERY soon. Will she become part of Cameron's future work? CALLED IT.

I am awestruck with what I am seeing here. It really is amazing. Can't wait for more to be revealed - and of course the finished product. I want to remind you to buy the full Empire Magazine to get all the details!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Germany's CINEMAXX To Deploy REALD Technology

Large Volume Pact to Bring RealD 3D Experience to CinemaxX Theatres Across Germany and Denmark

(Emphasis is mine)

Global 3D cinema leader, RealD, and major German cinema circuit, CinemaxX, have partnered to equip CinemaxX theatres across Germany and Denmark with RealD 3D. This multi-screen pact builds on RealD’s extraordinary momentum that saw 400% growth across Europe in the first half of 2009, cementing RealD as the territory’s preferred 3D provider.

The multi-year agreement kicks off with 30 CinemaxX screens in Germany and Denmark immediately upgraded to RealD 3D in time for the highly anticipated September release of Disney●Pixar’s Up. An additional 30 RealD 3D equipped screens will be added across the CinemaxX circuit by the end of the year, with an ongoing rollout of more RealD 3D enabled screens through 2010.

“We’re pleased to welcome CinemaxX to the RealD 3D platform,” stated Bob Mayson, managing director of RealD Europe. “This partnership will assure moviegoers across the CinemaxX circuit will experience the extraordinary line-up of movies this year and for years to come in crisp, clear, fully immersive RealD 3D.”

“We’re excited to partner with RealD to equip our circuit with the best 3D cinema technology available,” said Christian Gisy, CEO of CinemaxX AG. “RealD 3D will give CinemaxX audiences an unmatched 3D entertainment experience in time for this year’s top films.”

Real D’s new generation 3D technology is deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform with over 8,700 screens under contract and over 3,200 screens installed in more than 45 countries with over 300 exhibition partners. The leading 3D provider around the world, RealD 3D is the market leading 3D cinema platform in territories including North America, Latin America, Australia and Europe, having notched 100% growth to its global install base in the first half of 2009 alone. A bright spot for the entertainment industry, RealD 3D is driving box office to the tune of three to four times per screen revenue of the same film on 2D screens.

About CinemaxX
CinemaxX AG is the most well-known operator of multiplex cinemas in Germany. In total, the company has 36 cinemas with 303 screens and capacity for around 88,000 people in Germany and Denmark. Due to their architectural design, CinemaxX multiplex cinemas occupy a unique position in the German cinema landscape and also offer exemplary standards of comfort and quality - including refined picture and sound quality, extra large screens, modern comfortable seats in air-conditioned cinema halls and an excellent ambience. For more information, please visit www.cinemaxx.de.

About RealD
RealD is the global leader in 3D, bringing the most advanced and realistic digital 3D experience to cinemas worldwide. RealD’s new generation technology, deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform, provides a stunningly lifelike viewing experience. Beyond cinema, RealD is the worldwide inventor and provicder of key stereoscopic technologies used in science, manufacturing, marketing , and other industries, with thirty years of scientific development behind its systems. RealD’s mission-critical 3D visualization technologies are used by organizations such as NASA, Pfizer, BMW, Boeing and more. www.realD.com

Awesome news to hear more conversions taking place. Timing couldn't be better for CinemaxX as AVATAR is ramping up and 2010 promises to be a huge year for 3D. I would love to check out a CinemaxX theater as they seem to be a hugher end venue for movies - I love theaters like that.

New AVATAR BTS Photo: Cameron Directing Worthington

Jim here. Got a great behind the scenes look at Cameron directing Worthington in what looks to be one of their transporter ships. Personally I love seeing these shots - I like seeing where scenes come from on a human creative level and this helps bring it home for me.

I would bet that this scene takes place immediately before Jake rolls out on Pandora for the first time in his wheelchair (as seen in the teaser trailer). If you have a look at what Jake is holding - it is his breathing mask that he wears when in the atmosphere of Pandora.

The photo is from Empire who will have more shots in the upcoming issues.

Wayfare Breathes Life Into 3D Underwater Survival Drama SANCTUM

Jim here. SANCTUM promises to be a very intriguing project. Just after the low budget and Peter Jackson produced DISTRICT 9 was released to much acclaim we learn that SANCTUM has gotten $30 million financing from Wayfare Entertainment. James Cameron will executive produce.

The underwater survival drama will be using the FUSION 3D camera system (photos) invented by Vince Pace and James Cameron. Wise move. There is no one better in the world in underwater 3D. Expect the production to begin shooting in Australia in Q4 this year with Vince Pace most likely as DP (I have an email into Vince inquiring about this).

Another similarity with DISTRICT 9 is that the relatively unknown Alister Grierson (KOKODA) will direct the movie under the guidance and technology of an industry power player. Obviously the intent is to duplicate the overwhelming success.

Andrew Wight (GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS, ALIENS OF THE DEEP) co-wrote and will produce. John Garvin co-wrote as well.

From Variety: "Sanctum" is a fictional drama inspired by Wight's near-death experience when he led an expedition of 15 divers into a remote underwater cave system below Australia's Nullarbor Plain, and then watched a freak storm collapse the cave entrance. It became a two-day battle to survive until all 15 were rescued, an ordeal recounted in the 1989 docu "Nullarbor Dreaming."

In "Sanctum," a hard-edged father and his teen son lead a diving team, and the true character of the divers surfaces when they are faced with adversity."

As one who was nearly killed in that cave collapse, I thought there was great stuff in how people react in crisis, and become heroes or cowards," Wight told Daily Variety. "Jim and I spoke about all this while working on these 3-D adventure projects, and we had a burning desire to make a gritty film about what it's like to be on an expedition and have it all go horribly wrong. We wanted to show that the 3-D equipment and technology can be used to tell a story in a modest budget independent film."

We can expect more such ventures from Cameron. He obviously is taking a strong approach to ensuring their is plenty of 3D movies in the pipeline for distributors to make the call to changeover to digital 3D. This is yet another underwater 3D drama from Cameron/Pace with the other being his THE DIVE project which he will be directing. I have to say that I would not want these films under anyone else's influence - the man knows submerged filmmaking.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

AVATAR Trailer Smashes Apple.com Record!

Michael here. Wow. Avatar is a monster. By the time December 18 rolls around, the entire world will be salivating for it. I expect this is the first of many records that Avatar will leave in the dust.

From Fox's Press Release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AVATAR TEASER TRAILER MAKES HISTORY, BECOMING THE MOST-VIEWED TRAILER EVER ON APPLE.COM

MUCH-ANTICIPATED FIRST-LOOK AT THE EPIC ADVENTURE FROM
“TITANIC” DIRECTOR JAMES CAMERON NETS OVER 4 MILLION STREAMS, SHATTERING PREVIOUS RECORD OF 1.7 MILLION

LOS ANGELES, (Friday, August 21st, 2009) – Twentieth Century Fox announced today that the AVATAR teaser trailer has become the most-viewed trailer ever on the popular iTunes Movies Trailer section of apple.com, which Thursday hosted the long-awaited public first look at writer-director James Cameron’s motion picture epic. The teaser registered over four million streams in its first day on the site, shattering the previous record of 1.7 million.

The amount of interest in James Cameron's return to cinema is insane, and I think the strategy of keeping it under wraps paid off in a huge way for Fox. And when millions more people see this trailer (or future Avatar trailers) in 3D in front of forthcoming 3D movies such as The Final Destination and A Christmas Carol, the anticipation levels will be unprecedented. These are truly exciting times - less than 4 months to go!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Today is Avatar Day!!! Time to Celebrate!

MY AVATAR DAY FOOTAGE REACTION: Michael here. I just got back from Pandora again, and, just like the last time I visited, I was smiling with my mouth open throughout the entire trip.

Absolutely spectacular. Exhilarating. A game changer. The avatars and Na'vi are three steps beyond Davey Jones, and Pandora is something that has simply NEVER been accomplished in cinema.

Years of work by thousands of people has yielded an awe-inspiring result: a world so fully realized - from the smallest patch of glowing moss to the majestic floating mountains - that I felt that if I stood up out of my seat in the theater, I could walk around and explore it myself. My emotional reaction was similar to the one I had as a kid when I first saw that brachiosaurus rear up on its hind legs in Jurassic Park. But more so. Cameron has pushed cinematic spectacle further than even Spielberg did back in 1993.

The difference between watching the teaser trailer and seeing the Avatar Day footage in IMAX 3D is like comparing watching a travel show about a tropical island with the experience of actually visiting that island and being surrounded by the lush beauty of the flora and fauna while feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and the breeze in your hair.

It's simply night and day. You MUST see Avatar in 3D, and IMAX 3D if possible. Cameron and Pace's masterful 3D shooting combined with the extra height of the IMAX screen actually places you IN Pandora, right alongside the characters. This was by far my best 3D experience to date.

The theater was packed. The crowd was mesmerized by the sheer wonder of the beautifully colored, intricately detailed, living, breathing ALIEN WORLD that James Cameron somehow traveled to in order to shoot this movie. And then there were the applause moments. There was a huge audience reaction when the screen faded to black at the end of the (incredibly well-shot) thanator chase and we are left with Jake about to become a snack. Likewise when Jake finally gains control of the Banshee after some very intense wrangling. Cameron is simply a master at eliciting emotions in an audience. Every scene has stakes, every moment we are feeling what the characters feel. And the audience tonight responded by becoming completely hooked on the tale Cameron is weaving.

The footage ends with a montage of shots from the trailer.

And then there are a handful of new shots. All go by very quickly, but we get a glimpse of a Na'vi/avatar being restrained/shackled, Ney'tiri falling from a great height towards some giant-leafed plants, what looks like Jake's avatar and a Na'vi preparing for a fight while a crowd of Na'vi encircle them, watching, and a really cool shot where shards of some large object are raining down on the jungle below (perhaps a falling floating mountain or the remnants of an exploding ship?)

The footage ends as the trailer does, with Jake and Ney'tiri embracing. Fade to the title. Raucous applause from the crowd.

Avatar is so mindblowing that I am finding it almost impossible to communicate the experience. I wasn't born when the first Star Wars came out, but I wonder whether audiences then felt even close to the same way I do now: utterly mind-boggled by this absolutely REAL but absolutely ALIEN world to the point where I feel that my brain has been hacked.

I have my ticket for the midnight showing at 12:01 am Thursday, December 18th, but I want to go back to Pandora right now.

SAME DAY UPDATE: Michael here. I have heard from someone currently at a screening in Pennsylvania that tickets for Dec. 17 will go on sale TONIGHT. Will confirm soon...[NEWER UPDATE: It seems like AMC IMAX theaters are selling tickets for the Dec. 18 midnight showing at the theaters themselves. The theater manager at my showing announced this before the footage started. Likewise, an AMC employee at an Avatar Day showing in Pennsylvania also announced that tickets would be available at the counter.]

Michael here. I won't be seeing the footage until tonight, but I know that many of you have, and the consensus is that watching these scenes in IMAX 3D is a truly amazing, awe-inspiring, and mystical experience.

Tell us about your Avatar Day experience below. How long were the lines, and how early did you arrive at the theater? What were your favorites parts of the footage? What was the crowd reaction?

Also, Ubisoft has released the trailer for the Avatar game. It's very well cut, and looks like it will be a blast to play - especially in 3D. Watch it here.

I'll be updating this post with my impressions later today.

In the meantime, this is a day to celebrate Avatar and James Cameron's return to feature films. I can feel the electricity in the air.

3D Geek Alert: AVATAR AMP Suit Maquette On Pre-Order!

Jim here. Guys - take a look at this! I love what Sideshow Collectibles has to offer most of the time for various movies out there, but this one... this one takes the cake.

Here is the 21" high maquette of an AMP Suit from AVATAR! Sideshow is launching their line of AVATAR collectibles and what a great choice to kick it off with. The suit weighs in at 12 pounds and it was "created in conjunction with the film's special effects studio Legacy Effects. Created directly from 3D scans of the 14-foot suit used by Legacy during filming, the AMP Suit is a truly authentic scaled representation. Each piece is individually painted and finished, each with its own unique quality and detail that is the trademark of a handcrafted Sideshow Collectibles product. The AMP Suite Maquette is the perfect addition to any display."

I have to say I seriously looking at picking up on of these. If you are thinking that too, the pre-order is available RIGHT NOW with a deposit coming out of $240 on November 15 @ 11:59PM Pacific. They will be shipping the AMP Suits by the second quarter of 2010.

These AMP Suits are going to sell out FAST. If you are interested, act now because they will be gone even at their price of $1200. These things are the REAL DEAL, not some knock off from a toy factory in China. The level of detail and craftmanship is staggering!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

AVATAR Trailer is HERE!

Jim here early on AVATAR Day: UPDATE to Michael's post - STUNNING Trailer! I can feel movie poster and Blu-ray quotes coming on: "AVATAR is this generation's STAR WARS. A movie you will not see but experience. Brace yourself, storytelling will never be the same again."

Getting ahead of myself, but what the heck - everything I have seen to date points to me saying that after a full screening. In fact I will go on record now as saying them. I am THAT confident.

The trailer is amazing and wonderfully cut. It's a symphony really. I wonder if Mozart felt this way after composing a piece he knew would be resoundingly embraced and then playing only a few teasing bars for fans. Sure he would be nervous but at the same time absolutely thrilled to finally see the public's faces light up with emotion and wonder.

Again I will go back to Jake looking at his AVATAR for the first time as being the most moving point in what I have seen so far - a moment not unlike a parent seeing their child for the first time in a delivery room. The smile says it all.

Throughout the trailer I was imagining the 3D and how it would be fulfilled and I have to say the potential is enormous! But of course it is - look who directed it with stereo fully in mind. I made the right decision not posting that Comic-Con clip and I can boil it down to one scene - when Jake sits up on his gurney and looks at his feet. The focus is pristine and undistorted - the exact opposite of the bootleg clip. It is a pivotal scene as well - again Jake's emotions shining, this time through his avatar as he finally feels motion in his feet and comprehends the power that he now controls. AWESOME stuff.

Make no mistake though, the way to see AVATAR is in 3D. Those with AVATAR Day tickets are in for a special and unprecedented treat.

Michael here.
UPDATE: My initial reaction: I love this trailer. The imagery is spectacular, and it ends on a perfect note. And there's a bunch of stuff that hints at the sheer scale and epicness of the final battle. But the extended scenes from Comic-Con hyped me more, especially since in those we get to see the awesome chemistry between the characters, some of the already-classic dialogue, the *perfect* performance capture in the extended scenes between Jake and Ney'tiri, and the magical, jaw-dropping run through the nighttime Pandoran jungle.

James Cameron has created a movie that, from the extended scenes I have watched, looks to be filled with those applause-worthy and emotionally affecting scenes that he is famous for.

This trailer is packed with amazing moments (my jaw dropped when Jake's avatar bares his teeth to the Banshee, when the ship drops through the clouds, and when the gunship lands in the jungle, among many other outstanding shots), but leaves out much of the best stuff from Comic-Con. As a series of shots with only one line of dialogue, it serves as a great tease, and as a teaser trailer it succeeds beautifully in providing an introduction to the world of Pandora and giving a glimpse at the story, characters, and action. But I think you would need a more dialogue heavy trailer with some longer scene portions for maximum emotional effect, and I see that coming with Trailer #2. As for the CG, the Avatar Day footage will be a better platform for showing off the 100% translation of the incredible nuances of detail of the actors' performances. I forgot that these characters were 0's and 1's after the first few seconds, simply because I connected to them. Cameron hooked me emotionally, and I was along for the ride.

I think the general public needs to see that at its heart Avatar is a classic, archetypical tale- a hero's quest, a love story. I'm hoping Fox releases a complete scene online. Cameron is a master storyteller, and I guarantee that what I saw in Hall H was as great as anything he has ever done in regards to creating feelings in an audience by drawing them into characters and story.

Still, this trailer gives me goosebumps, especially in the context of what I have already seen at Comic-Con. And this begs to be seen in 3D.

UPDATE: Direct download Apple.com links to HD English versions!

480P: http://images.apple.com/movies/fox/avatar/avatar2009aug0820a-tsr_h480p.mov

720P: http://images.apple.com/movies/fox/avatar/avatar2009aug0820a-tsr_h720p.mov

1080P: http://images.apple.com/movies/fox/avatar/avatar2009aug0820a-tsr_h1080p.mov

Michael here.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/avatar/

Loading now. Watch and comment below.

This is history in the making.

A few of my favorite shots from the trailer(720P):





















New Avatar Images!!!

Michael here. Fox has officially released six new images from Avatar - some are set pics, some appear to be from the movie itself. All I know is that they are all awesome, and that the trailer will be online in mere hours. Will I be able to sleep tonight? Will you?


















Wednesday, August 19, 2009

AVATAR Day Ticketing Miscue: Do You Have Tickets? Better Confirm It...

Jim here. We have been getting plenty of email from readers that their confirmed tickets have some issues. We have tried to get a hold of Fox but they must be busy as there is no official response to this as of yet.

Here is what many have been getting in their emails:

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to overwhelming demand to see the special scenes from James Cameron’s epic motion picture AVATAR, our AVATARMOVIE.COM RSVP site experienced technical difficulties. As a result of the crash you must re-select a screening time. Please note you may not get the original time you selected. Also new ticket confirmations that will be generated by your selection here will be the only accepted form of admittance.

Please click below and choose a new screening time."

Here is hoping that you have a good ticket and if you don't, you will be successful in rebooking. Good luck guys...

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS Has Racked Up $600m Overseas Alone! 3D Has Arrived Baby!!

Jim here. An LATimes article caught my eye because I had been watching this movie CLOSELY - I named it as my #5 most anticipated 3D movie of 2009 last year. According to Box Office Mojo, Ice Age 3 has pulled in $601,259,279 internationally and $191,038,252 domestically as of the 17th.

It's got a great voice cast, entertaining story, family appeal and enduring characters but, hey - don't fool yourself! This puppy is in 3D and 40% of the revenues have come from the premium priced experience.

Let me say that again. $240 million from 3D alone overseas! The only movie that comes close to these numbers in many countries is TITANIC - and we all know the director of that little historical piece has another sci-fi coming out (he has done a few sci-fi's before...) in December. Seems almost poetic.

I say the markets are being warmed up perfectly for a phenomenally large box office for AVATAR. I love it when a plan comes together. Ice Age is the stepping stone. We are witnessing history here guys...

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