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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:05 pm 
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It doesn't come out 'til December, but Steven Soderbergh has seen some footage

ComingSoon wrote:
We were asking why he thought recent films didn't have quite the impact or longevity as the classics, and he gave us a great response about how the volume of movies being made and seen made it hard for anything to have the cultural impact of a movie like The Godfather or be remembered. He was disappointed there weren't those sorts of benchmarks in the movies being made today, but he surprised us by adding that he thought James Cameron's Avatar would be one of those benchmarks:

"I've seen some stuff and holy shit. It's the craziest shit ever. That could negate everything I just said," he told us.

I know they're pals but my interest has certainly been piqued.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:32 pm 
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I've always thought Cameron as one of our best living directors. His screenplay for A Crowded Room is just plain phenomenal and shows complete mastery. I think his only letdown so far has been The Abyss, which isn't that bad... As a sci-fi blockbuster, I wonder if Avatar will top T2 in terms of Cameron's sense of action. I've read the scriptment but he's promised much has changed...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:00 am 

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I think Avatar is easily my most anticipated film. Cameron has always delivered for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 am 
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exte wrote:
I've always thought Cameron as one of our best living directors.

I think his ex Kathryn Bigelow is his superior in every way: technically, formally, selection of material, etc. Not only one of the best mainstream female directors alive, but one of the best "action" directors, period.

Still, Avatar sounds pretty interesting.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:50 am 
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I couldn't care less about a cutting edge 3D film. Let's just hope Cameron has a story that will be worth telling.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:55 am 

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Cameron must be one of cinema's oddest contradictions. Aliens and The Terminator being perhaps the sole justification for the existence of the modern action genre and then, the moment he hits the A-List, he willfully descends into the kind of mawkish sentimentality generally reserved for the most laissez-faire of journeymen.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Hey, his first fictional film since "Titanic." What, no more underwater documentaries incorporating the names of his previous films into the title? I was all set for a doc on great white sharks: "The Terminator of the Sea." :P


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 5:11 am 
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Nothing wrote:
and then, the moment he hits the A-List, he willfully descends into the kind of mawkish sentimentality generally reserved for the most laissez-faire of journeymen.

...which is presumably the price one has to pay for being the first to be entrusted with $100 million (Terminator 2) and $200 million (Titanic) budgets. Mawkish sentimentality sells, as the continuing careers of Steven Spielberg and Richard Curtis demonstrate only too well.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:22 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:04 am
MichaelB wrote:
...which is presumably the price one has to pay for being the first to be entrusted with $100 million (Terminator 2) and $200 million (Titanic) budgets.

Nah, I don't think so. After Aliens he could have done pretty much anything.... Instead, we have The Abyss. See also Ghosts of the Abyss. It feels like a choice to me or, rather, a personality flaw.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:27 am 

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Is the implication that Terminator 2 belongs in the "mawkish sentiment" category? Because compared to Titanic it's positively Bressonian.

Had Cameron stuck to his stubborn guns and retained the embarrassing 'happily ever after' epilogue, I'd be the first to condemn T2. Fortunately, finally, he saw sense and pulled it -- quite possibly the last decent editorial decision he made -- leaving us with a conspicuously joyless 'happy ending' to a film whose visual emphasis on aridity (industrial, natural, urban) suggests the machines' triumph remains only a matter of when, not if.

If we can excuse Ozu's thuddingly obvious and miscast farmers at the end of The End of Summer, witnessing a funeral and waxing poetic on the circle of life as they harvest their crops -- hmm, what symbolism might the director be conveying here? :roll: -- we can forgive Cameron Arnie's final thumbs-up.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:02 am 

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If you believe the crowd from CineExpo Amsterdam, who saw 24 minutes of this, the revolution is real. It won't be televised, or put on the internet, for a while longer though. And it's all under NDA. But it's 2009, and we all know what that means: people will 'tweet'.

Quote:
@firstshowing: "3D is here and here to stay" James Cameron said in Amsterdam today. My friend saw 3 full Avatar scenes, but can't say much about them.

@firstshowing:He kept teling me that it's "truly unlike anything you've ever seen." First public(ish) showing of Avatar footage seems to be amaazing.

@dt4storms: Still in awe of meeting James Cameron... Avatar will change movie industry forever.. thank you Jim

@gjkooijman: saw 40 minutes of James Cameron's Avatar footage at the Cinema Expo tonight. THIS WILL CHANGE MOVIES FOREVER. Trust me, it will.

@gjkooijman: is mindblown

@gjkooijman: still can't process the Avatar presentation he saw. It's nothing you can imagine, it's real. Cameron made a new planet and took a cam there.

@NafRas: OMG keep this in mind James Cameron's AVATAR this Dec. it's gonna rock the way u see movies! Preview @ cinema expo leaves me wanting more

@sperling: It's official! The footage from "Avatar" shown at Cine Expo was amazing. Absolutely stunning in 3D. Should be a huge hit.

@UCSNord: "Avatar" footage at #cinexpo: CGI was photorealistic, characters look really real. Believe the hype, this movie will be massive!

@UCSNord: Footage from "Avatar" at #cinexpo was stunning, literally jawdropping. Amazing visuals unlike any before seen, with incredible detail.

@UCSNord: The screening room was packed, I'd say about 1500 to 2000, around there. Genuine excitement and an amazed crowd.

Do you believe?

If Cameron has really pulled off the first successful 3D film, proved 3D to be more than a gimmick and changed cinema projection standards, will you welcome this so called 'future of cinema'?

I expect plenty of cynicism and suspicion to follow!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:22 am 
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Cde. wrote:
Do you believe? If Cameron has really pulled off the first successful 3D film, proved 3D to be more than a gimmick and changed cinema projection standards, will you welcome this so called 'future of cinema'?

Nah. I've got a wonky eye and can't see 3D, Magic Eye pics, etc. So it's all a bit 'ho hum' for me. Looking forward to there being an actual story to the film though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:51 am 
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Cde. wrote:
Do you believe?
If Cameron has really pulled off the first successful 3D film, proved 3D to be more than a gimmick and changed cinema projection standards, will you welcome this so called 'future of cinema'?

I expect plenty of cynicism and suspicion to follow!

I will not believe until I see. After catching a few films in the new 3-D, which is terrible, I have vowed to make a special effort not to see anything else in 3-D with the exception for Avatar, so that I can at least evaluate Cameron's claims. If he has truly invented a new cinematic language, then I look forward to seeing it. If he's just come up with some cool effects to use with the same shitty Digital 3-D projection exhibitors have been using, then I'll be back in my trusty 2-D seat, free from stupid glasses, the day after its release.

In particular, this article leaves me skeptical:
Quote:
"Three years ago, I stood up here and said the 3-D renaissance is coming," the "Titanic" director said. "And from what we've seen in the business, we can now say it has arrived."

No it hasn't arrived, so you better be bringing it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Someone twittered some pictures from CinemaExpo and they are posted here. See them now before it's taken down.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:19 am 
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I could hire no one better to spend that 300 million dollars. The man knows what he's doing, just like he did with T2 (first 100 million film) and Titanic (first 200 million film)...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:39 am 

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I have a feeling that James Cameron is actually the director of the first $350 million film.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:45 am 
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Wowie zowie.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:25 am 
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Lotta money. Hopefully it works out for all involved. The pics look inticing, but we'll have to see it in motion to find out if it creates a new cinematic language. It could be totally awesome and still a colossal disappointment.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:35 am 

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The main reason why I'm looking forward to this is that in an age of big, stupid, by the numbers blockbusters, here we have the prospect of something truly interesting, and a real visual marvel.

This film has to succeed, and big, simply because Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen keeping the record for the highest grossing film made in 2009 would be too tragic for our culture.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:58 am 
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Cde. wrote:
This film has to succeed, and big, simply because Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen keeping the record for the highest grossing film made in 2009 would be too tragic for our culture.

Is "highest grossing film made in 2009" really such a lofty cultural benchmark that we have to hang our highest cinematic hopes on a James Cameron movie?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:21 am 

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It doesn't mean anything to anyone that really cares about cinema, but the most prominent work in the most prominent art form is something of a reflection of who we are and where we're going. This is the only thing with potential to take down Bay, and anything is better than Transformers 2.

Of course, if worst comes to worst, I'll just grumble, complain a bit less than when Crash won best picture, declare the downfall of our civilization, and move on with my life.
I just really don't like Michael Bay.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:12 am 

Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:24 am
Cde. wrote:
I have a feeling that James Cameron is actually the director of the first $350 million film.

If that's the case, then by the old rule-of-thumb AVATAR will have to make $875 million (or nearly a billion) in order just to break even. No stars, no pre-sold property, only a science fiction adventure story in 3-D. There's gotta be something about this movie to draw in DARK KNIGHT- and TRANSFORMERS 2-size crowds. Especially if it's over 3 hours, as has been reported. Just because a few geeks in Amsterdam saw 24 min. of visuals and went nuts doesn't mean the movie's any good. Can it sustain itself for over 3 hours? Will the story be enough to grip audiences for all that time? Are there characters the audience will care enough about to stick with it? Are the visuals that dazzling that audiences will truly feel they're collectively entering a new world for the first time? And is that a big enough dazzle to get all my bootleg/download-loving, theater-hating young co-workers (all of whom were film/TV/media/communications majors) into theaters for it?

Cameron has a mixed track record here. Certainly, he achieved the desired results with ALIENS, T2 and TITANIC. But two of them were sequels to popular originals and TITANIC was based on a famous disaster and featured an actor whom millions of women around the world wanted to see in a high-profile romantic drama. What does AVATAR have going for it that will make it as "must-see" to the same audiences as the earlier films? At this point, I simply don't know. Will they convince me and the millions who haven't yet even heard of the film between now and the film's release date?

I'm skeptical, but we can only wait and see.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:20 am 
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Vic Pardo wrote:
But two of them were sequels to popular originals and TITANIC was based on a famous disaster...What does AVATAR have going for it

Avatar is based on on a soon-to-be-famous disaster.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:22 am 
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Vic Pardo wrote:
Especially if it's over 3 hours, as has been reported.

As no movie over 160 min can be shown in IMAX 3D, it will have to be shorter. 40 minutes have been reported to be cut.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Vic Pardo wrote:
no pre-sold property

A video game (the licensing was sold way back in 2007) and toys are already in the works. I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg (ha ha).

The entire film isn't being shot in IMAX, just certain sequences right (unless James Cameron is shooting 3D, CGI heavy dialogue scenes)? So a two-and-a-half hour film or longer with some sequences in 3D and/or IMAX is feasible (ie. like The Dark Knight).


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