4 Reasons Why Avatar Will Own, Son! (Mania.com)
Date: Thursday, December 17, 2009
James Cameron is leading the 3-D revolution and on December 18, 2009, he is going to show the world how it begins with his latest film Avatar. If you have any fear or doubt about whether this film will live up to the hype surrounding it, don’t. Here are four reasons why Avatar will own, son!
4. The Last Time James Cameron Was Accused of Plagiarizing, the World Got Owned
James Cameron has been linked to lifting his upcoming Avatar film from a 1957 story titled “Call Me Joe” by Poul Anderson, a story that like Avatar, deals with an injured human using his mind to control an alien body in another planet. This isn’t the first time that James Cameron has been linked to taking aspects from someone else’s work. Back in the day, a writer by the name of Harlan Ellison sued Mr. Cameron for taking certain aspects from his work in the Outer Limits episodes “Soldier” and “Demon with a Glass Hand.” The James Cameron film in question by Mr. Ellison was The Terminator. This 1984 film ended up putting Cameron on the map and is an awesome film that not only spawned a multimedia franchise but also unleashed into the world a character that according to America’s Film Institute is one of the best villains and heroes of all time. If that wasn’t enough, the film had some quotable lines that Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger used to help him get elected as governor of California.
If history is any indication then it is safe to say that the world is set to be owned once again when Avatar drops this December and that in 20 years, the Avatar franchise will be ruined by McG, Sam Worthington will be running for Prime Minister of Australia using “This is OUR land!” as his campaign slogan and Joss Whedon will be offering $10,000 to acquire the Avatar film rights.
3. The Haters Hate On It With a Best Picture Winner?!
Clear sign Avatar will own? The haters have rallied around a best picture winner to hate on the film. Like the Chewbacca defense, that does not make sense.
The 1990 Kevin Costner film, Dances with Wolves is the film mentioned the most when cracking jokes at Avatar’s expense. Why that is being used and not something more recent like Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai, a film that accomplished considerably less than Dances with Wolves, is anyone’s guess. The Last Samurai also romanticizes a different culture, features a guy on foreign soil who goes native and then goes to battle against his own people like Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully will do in Avatar.
If you read internet user comments you will not find a single The Last Samurai in Space but you will find plenty “it’s Dances with Wolves in Space” or “it’s another Dances with Wolves”. People act like Dances with Wolves type films get made every single year. It’s been 19 years since Dances with Wolves was released and it seems some things were forgotten during that time span. Quick refresher, Kevin Costner’s epic film not only nabbed a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar but it was also a financial success. The film was made on a budget of $22 million and while it was initially thought that it would flop, the film went on to gross $184 million stateside to go along with $240 million on the foreign markets, a success all around.
When people have to reach for a Best Picture Winner in order to hate on a film, then you know Avatar is going to be something special.
2. The Effects Will Blow Your Mind
The special effects for Avatar are so good that if Nicolas Cage was in the film his hair piece would look real. Amazing right? Well that’s the type of miracle James Cameron can accomplish with the new technology he created.
Avatar is meant to be seen in 3-D because it is this way that you will witness the true beauty of the planet Pandora and its inhabitants. After one minute of adjusting to the 3-D glasses you will feel like you are being magically transported to Pandora. James Cameron created the world of Pandora from scratch and by witnessing it in 3-D everything from the grass to the Na’vi will pop off the screen and look extremely beautiful. The trailers and TV spots have already shown the movie will cause visual orgasms; imagine how awesome it will be to spend time with Avatar for 161 minutes, the length of the film.
The planet of Pandora is no doubt a sight to be seen but it is with the Na’vi where the special effects of the film really shine. Robert Zemeckis’s latest films have featured CGI human characters that look really good but have an emptiness in their eyes which takes you out of the moment. It’s the sort of emptiness found behind Channing Tatum’s eyes when he attempts to act. James Cameron however seems to have finally gotten the eyes right as the Na’vi now look like they have some soul behind their eyes. This along with the motion capture performances he was able to get from his actors is what makes them look so real and set them apart from other CGI characters like Davy Jones and Jar Jar Binks.
James Cameron was able to accomplish this due to three reasons. First he hooked up with Weta Digital. Weta is Peter Jackson’s special effects company and they are responsible for King Kong, Gollum and Orlando Bloom. Second, the motion performance capture cameras used for the film are able to capture 95 percent of the actor’s facial expression ensuring very little gets lost in translation from the actual performance to the big screen. And third, James Cameron created the technology for Avatar, it’s something called Reality Camera System. This system films in 3-D and uses two high definition cameras within a single camera to create better depth perception. What does that mean? It means it delivers something the likes of which the world has never seen.
1. The Return of the King
James Cameron has had more wives than Big Love’s Bill Henrickson and by some accounts he is also a douchebag to work with. The man is obviously not easy to get along with and maybe it’s due to his ego. The thing is you have to have a big ego to attempt the things he does and he expects everyone to be on the same page he is and work at the same elite level. It’s James Cameron’s ego, drive, determination, focus and attention to detail, along with the man’s creative brilliance which has led to a career in filmmaking that may be the equivalent of batting 1.000 in baseball. You would have to reach all the way back to 1981 to find a James Cameron misstep and even that turned out to be the “finest flying piranha movie ever made”. Actually even though Cameron is credited for directing Piranha 2: The Spawning, he really shouldn’t since he wasn’t allowed to cut his version of the film and the producer of the film pretty much messed with his vision a week into production.
So if you scratch that, you are looking at a timeline from 1984-1997 that looks like this: The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies and Titanic. Look at that list and let it sink for a while. It features classic sci-fi films, sequels better than the original, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last great film and a best picture winner. The guy not only directed those films but he also wrote them. It’s 100 percent his vision from page to screen.
It’s clear the man consistently delivers the goods each time out and now he’s waited 12 years to deliver again. Think about that for a second. Coming off the biggest blockbuster of all time, James Cameron had Hollywood by the balls which meant he could’ve gotten greenlit anything that he wanted and collected a huge paycheck. Cameron however decided to wait for the technology to get up to speed rather than sacrifice even 1 percent of the vision he had for the story he wanted to tell. Actually the technology didn’t get up to speed; James Cameron brought it up to speed by creating it. That’s how passionate he was for Avatar.
The best films are made when passion, thought and care are put into them and it’s obvious Cameron has those bases covered so trust and believe that James Cameron’s Avatar will own and in December 18, 2009 the world will witness the return of the king.
Watch Tara Talk AVATAR
See Mania's Top 10 Films of 2009
Become a Fan of Mania on Facebook
Follow Mania on Twitter
Friend Hanso on Mania