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29 posts from December 2010

12/10/2010

Fun and Surprising AVATAR Trivia

Ikran fly AVATAR is the kind of movie that is packed with fun trivia. For example, the look of the Na’vi was inspired by a dream that James Cameron’s mother had about a 12-foot-tall blue woman. Here are more little-known facts… what can you add?

 

 

 

For more AVATAR trivia, check out the film’s IMDB page.

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What AVATAR trivia can you add?

12/09/2010

Coming Soon: New 3D Movies for 2011

Avatar2 Although 3D movie production was gaining steam when AVATAR was released, the science-fiction epic set an incredibly high bar for anyone who would follow into the 3D realm. And yet—Hollywood being Hollywood—there's no shortage of studios, directors and artists willing to bring their own "A" game and try.

Here's a roundup of what to look for, third dimension-wise, in the coming year. Sadly, the sequel to AVATAR won't be ready until 2014.

 Alien 3D

Alien3DIn the perennial game of can-you-top-this? he's been playing for decades with James Cameron, Ridley Scott is expected to film the next Alien movie in 3D, although as Fandango puts it, the original Alien movies did a great job of scaring in regular old boring 2D. But Fox is footing the bill, so there's a better-than-good chance Scott will start with Cameron's technology and then take things even higher.

  Sanctum 3DSanctum

Cameron himself revisits his love of diving and oceans in Sanctum, scheduled for a February 4, 2011 release. A flash flood traps an underwater-caving expedition in a watery maze that they must explore to find an alternate exit. If AVATAR's 3D soared, Sanctum should inspire some sympathetic claustrophobia (start with the trailer), especially in 3D.

Green Hornet 3D

GreenhornetJanuary 2011 will see the release of Green Hornet, which Collider says will be converted to 3D on its way to theaters. This trailer makes it look like a fun blend of action and comedy, so here's hoping Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz take this legendary crimefighter successfully into the 21st century.

  Horror 3D: Piranha 3D and Saw: The Final ChapterPiranha3D

If the January weather makes you want to stay home, though, you can pop a couple of new 3D horror releases into your 3D Blu-ray player: Piranha 3D (including the theatrical release plus behind-the-scenes featurettes and filmmaker commentary) and Saw: The Final Chapter (which features deleted scenes, music videos and a featurette called 52 Ways to Die).

  Tintin 3D

All the way at the other end of 2011, slated for a December 2Tintin3D8 theatrical release, is The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which takes the beloved Belgian comic-book character into motion-captureland; he'll be played by Jamie Bell, with Daniel (James Bond) Craig and Andy (Gollum) Serkis also starring. No word yet on which lucky dog gets to play Snowy, but keeper-of-childhood-dreams Steven Spielberg directs in his first venture into 3D digital so you know the magic will be there—in fact, you can see some early production images right now.

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Which of the new 3D movies are you excited to see?

12/08/2010

AVATAR 3D Blu-ray DVD — First Reviews Roundup

Arrr Since the AVATAR 3D Blu-Ray is currently only officially available as part of the Panasonic promotion (though some copies have begun trickling onto eBay), few reviews of it have hit the web. Here are the early birds: Blu-Ray.com writes, “AVATAR's Blu-ray 3D transfer delivers a mesmerizing 1080p experience that's about as close to perfection as any high def 3D release is likely to come for quite some time… As if the amazing 3D visuals weren't enough, AVATAR yields an exceptional color palette and plenty of fine detailing that both elevate the disc to the top of the heap and make it the premiere Blu-ray 3D disc in production.” HD Guru says, “The Avatar 3D Blu-ray is the finest example of the 3D at home picture quality we have ever evaluated (and we have a good collection of 3D Blu-ray movies and sampler discs on hand).” And Digital Versus writes, “The 3D Blu-ray looks just like what we saw in the cinema—in other words, the 3D effect is so immersive you'll forget about it after about ten minutes.”

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

What AVATAR scenes if any do you think are best experienced in 3D?

12/07/2010

3D TV: How It Works

Faces As the current boom in 3D movies continues—witness AVATAR, Toy Story, Despicable Me, etc.—and movie makers get an ever-larger percentage of revenues from DVD rentals and sales, TV manufacturers have been steadily introducing 3D TV technologies.

Naturally, moviegoers want the same attention-grabbing, you-are-there immersion of a movie such as AVATAR while watching movies and sports at home. But does 3D TV live up to that promise?

NowPublic describes the two major categories of 3D TV—active and passive—and they're a bit more complicated than the red/green glasses you might have worn for 3D movies in the past.

In the active category is so-called "active shutter" technology. In this case, the HDTV alternates projecting left and right images at 120 frames/second (120 Hz). Meanwhile, you're on the couch wearing special "shutter glasses" that are synchronized with the HDTV and alternate closing the left- and right-eye views, so each eye sees only the image intended for it. This happens so quickly that your brain interprets these alternating pictures as a single three-dimensional image—and suddenly you're nearly inside the movie.

In the passive category are TVs that display two slightly different images simultaneously, which you view through specially polarized glasses that resemble sunglasses. (If you saw AVATAR in 3D in theaters you probably watched it through polarized glasses.) Left and right images are projected onto the TV screen through filters polarized at 90-degree angles to one another, and since your glasses are similarly polarized, each eye receives a different image and your brain combines them into a 3D image.

Finally, two no-glasses technologies are in the experimental stages, but they're both a bit tricky. The first involves two projectors set closely behind a screen but at fractionally different angles, so one eye naturally "goes" to one set of images while the other prefers the second set. The downside of this technology is that you've got to sit precisely 4 meters (13 feet) away from the screen or risk seeing both sets of images.

The second technology involves a parallax barrier, essentially a TV screen with two sets of tiny slits in it, angled to aim each of two sets of underlying images at different eyes. Both these technologies are nearing, but not yet on, the market.

Although there's relatively little 3D content available yet, buying a 3D TV (and 3D-capable DVD player) now means you'll get an excellent 2D picture at home now and be ready as 3D content increases, especially movies and sports.

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

Have you ever watched AVATAR on a 3D TV? What did you think?

12/06/2010

Great AVATAR Holiday Gifts

Bookcover art of avatar Looking for some AVATAR-related gifts to put on your holiday wishlist? Here are a few ideas. First, if you’re thinking big and have been really good this year, the purchase of every Panasonic VIERA 3D TV comes with the exclusive AVATAR Blu-Ray 3D bundle. But if a gigantic new TV isn’t in the cards right now, there’s always the AVATAR 3-Disc Extended Collectors’ Edition (for Blu-Ray or DVD). Hot Topic sells an “I’d Rather Be on Pandora” T-shirt ($9.98), or check out the big selection at Teenormous. Ninety9mall.com has AVATAR iPhone skins ($13.99). Several Avatar books are available, including The Making of Avatar ($26.40 on Amazon), The Art of Avatar: James Cameron’s Epic Adventure ($19.77 on Amazon), and Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora ($12.23 on Amazon For gaming fans, there’s James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game for Playstation, Xbox, Wii, and other gaming systems.) And if you’d like some AVATARon your Christmas tree, you’ll want to check out the Hallmark Jake Sully ornament ($17.95 at Hooked on Hallmark).

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

What AVATAR gifts are on your holiday list?

12/04/2010

Avatar Collector's Edition DVD – A Complete Guide to Deleted Scenes

Avatar-Deleted The Avatar Extended Collectors Edition (available on Blu-Ray and DVD), which hit stores November 16, includes three discs and eight hours of new material. The pack includes the original film, a special edition re-release, and a new collector’s extended cut with sixteen additional minutes, as well as a documentary called “Capturing Avatar.” (And an Easter egg reveals hidden 3D footage, too.) Avatar fans are especially excited about the 45 minutes of deleted scenes. “The footage of life on Earth adds a whole new layer to the film, it gives a sense of desolation, of overpopulation and suffocation. A sense of consequence, a reason for the plunder of Pandora, and enhances the feeling of freedom that comes later for the character of Jake,” writes Screen Rant. “Unlike most deleted scenes, the footage here actually adds more texture to the characters and narrative,” writes DVD Verdict. “In this footage, executive Parker shares an arc that makes him surprisingly more three dimensional and sympathetic. Not only that, the remaining Avatar enabled scientists have their moment in an uprising, Norm and Trudy spark a romance, and Jake is put through far more stringent anthropological ringers. These scenes were obviously cut for pacing and budget early on, you'll have to view them in all their Playstation One computer animated quality, but the content will keep you glued to your seat for the bulk of their runtime.”

“The extended cut is simply a better film,” declares Hollywood Chicago. “Most notably because of the opening chapter, six minutes on Earth, before Jake (Sam Worthington) is sent to Pandora and scenes that give weight and melancholy to his character that was missing from the theatrical version. A scene where Jake pummels a guy in a bar proves that he was already a guy not only willing to fight for good but who didn’t see his handicap as something to stop him from doing so. And the ‘Blade Runner’-esque view of Earth perfectly balances the natural world of Pandora. I’ll never understand why Cameron cut it.”

Why So Blu? agrees that the opening footage is reminiscent of Blade Runner. “The people wear masks over their faces, it’s overcrowded, and the buildings tower over everyone. Industry is very much alive on this Earth. Other scenes include a Sturmbeest (buffalo) hunt. Yes, this scene really stands out, but as with the rest of the film, it is flawless in its execution. Very exhilarating. There is a scene extension in which Grace (Sigourney Weaver) tells Sam Jake that Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldana) sister was killed by humans. The rest of the footage is beautifully interwoven into the film that you probably won’t know what to look for.” And R-Views writes, “The deleted scenes offer even further plot extensions that develop the more minor characters to a very satisfying degree.

Coming out of this Blu-ray is quite a lot of respect to the Avatar creation. James Cameron has done it again, creating the ultimate home theater experience.”

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

What do you think - is the extended cut simply a better film than the original?

12/03/2010

Panasonic’s Exclusive Avatar 3D Promotion

Avatar_special_edition_new You’ve seen Avatar in 3D in the theater—now watch it in high-def at home. Panasonic has officially announced its exclusive Avatar 3D Blu-Ray DVD, which is available as part of the “Panasonic 3D Ultimate Pack” free with the purchase of a Panasonic VIERA 3D HDTV. The package includes the Blu-Ray 3D DVD, and two sets of 3D glasses. While this promotion officially launched on December 1, those who purchased a VIERA 3D TV before that date are still eligible for a copy of the DVD via a mail-in offer. The Avatar 3D Blu-Ray disc is not yet available at retail, and Panasonic holds the exclusive rights to sell it, so the discs that have trickled onto eBay are pretty pricey—“above the $200 mark, while the highest sold price we saw was $399 about a week ago,” reports Engadget, “although considering a copy of Bee Movie went for $400 back in the day, we can’t say we’re too surprised.”

Avatar3DUltimatePack If you snag a copy of the DVD, you might as well watch it with James Cameron’s recommended settings. Meanwhile, those who purchased the 3-disc Avatar Extended Collector’s Edition on Blu-Ray can preview a bit of 3D themselves (uh, if they have a 3D TV and glasses, of course): “AVSForum poster josephcoatar discovered that by fiddling with the menus, you can unlock an Easter Egg that pops up two 3D special features, the three and a half minute extended theatrical trailer and a four minute ‘Pandora Discovered’ featurette…[go] to ‘Live Extras’ in the main menu of disc three, [press] down, and [slip] on some 3D glasses.” More Avatar Easter Egg details here.

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

Update: Panasonic has confirmed that it’s nabbed the exclusive global distribution rights to Avatar 3D Blu-ray DVD until February 2012. Until that point, it will only be available to buyers of the brand’s 3DTVs and Blu-ray players.

What minor characters do you think are better developed in the DVD version of the film? What did you learn about them?

AVATAR: Collector's Vault 3D

3DCollectors Vault If you're looking for a great companion to the most successful film of all time, check out the 96-page newly-released hardcover book AVATAR: Collector's Vault 3D. An in-depth interactive guide to Pandora and the world of the Na'vi, Vault 3D is an oversized book that includes pull-out posters and stickers and comes in a slipcase with a pair of high-quality 3D glasses. Check out the 3D images in the book, and you can also use them to watch the AVATAR hidden videos on the Collector's Edition DVD. Inside the book you'll find exclusive photos, more than 60 special features and removable pieces.

The publisher's description:

Literally and figuratively, Pandora is a long, long way from mother Earth. Its distance of 4.37 light years is so far that humans traveling there are put into cryosleep for the journey in a spacecraft so fast that it could reach the Earth's moon in two seconds. Located in the Alpha Centauri star system, Pandora is a moon that orbits the gas-giant planet Polyphemus. Its environment is beautiful and wild but often hostile to humans, who must wear an exopack to breathe safely in its carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. As you make your way through James Cameron's AVATAR Collector s Vault 3D, you will journey through stunning terrain that few human eyes have seen the world of the Na vi, the 10-foot-tall blue-skinned humanoids who inhabit Pandora. They have a mystical connection to Pandor' s natural world, which they believe to be nurtured by and inextricably bound with Eywa, the goddess of life they worship. Enjoy natural wonders like the floating Hallelujah Mountains and Pandora s natural bioluminescence. View the moon s amazing creatures, ranging from the gentle, spirit-powered woodsprite to fearsome predators such as the thanator and the great flying leonopteryx. This interactive scrapbook also contains 3D glasses to further enhance your viewing experience, plus 3D Pandora removable profiles.

Check out a video flip-through of the book on the publisher's site here.

AVATAR: Collector's Vault 3D is available for $36 on Amazon.com. If you're looking for an in-depth guide to Pandora – or a gift to put on your holiday list, this one's definitely worth a look.

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

Have you checked out the AVATAR Collector's Vault 3D yet?

12/02/2010

Unlock Hidden 3D Footage - AVATAR Collector's Edition DVD

3DPandora The original AVATAR DVD that released on Earth Day had no hidden videos or Easter eggs (although it did have a few special features) - but the Extended Blu-ray Collector's Edition DVD has two! In addition to the 45 minutes of deleted scenes, you'll find 2 hidden video featurettes on disc 3 of the Collector's Set. The featurettes were first uncovered by fans on the AVS Forum - which also means there could still be other hidden features just waiting to be found by future fans.

To find the 2 featurettes discovered so far, pop in disc 3, scroll down to the end of the menu where it says "Live Extras" and then press right one more time as if you're trying to scroll to the beginning of the loop. When you do, this pops up an egg-like image. Select it and you'll uncover 2 hidden videos – the theater trailer in 3D and Pandora Discovered 3D. Of course, you'll need 3D glasses to fully appreciate both.

So what's in the two AVATAR 3D Easter eggs or hidden featurettes? The theater trailer is the same three-minute trailer you've seen before, and one of the most viewed trailers in history – but in eye-popping 3D. The second one, Pandora Discovered 3D, is a four-minute video that's included elsewhere in the collection, but this version is in 3D. Narrated by Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine, it's a fast-paced overview of the native animals and wildlife, clans and religion of Pandora – as well as the science and technology of the humans. As Daily Game points out, these featurettes are the only way that you'll be able to see AVATAR in 3D at home for some time unless you buy a Panasonic Viera 3D TV bundle.

Click Here Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning 3D with the Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV.

Have you seen the hidden 3D footage on the Collector's Edition of AVATAR?