Yesterday, me and the rest of the ThinkHero crew (Roth and Jonny) were lucky enough to get into Hall H at Comic Con in order to see the Avatar panel with James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, and Zoe Saldana. The Twilight: New Moon panel was right before and our chances of getting in were based on how many of them decided to leave after seeing their crush Rob Pattison.
Luckily for us, they didn’t seem to care to stick around for James Cameron’s new 3D sci-fi action movie. So after we got our 3D glasses and were seated, Cameron was introduced and immediately showed 25 minutes of Avatar footage.
The first clip we saw was kind of boring, and featured Sam Worthington in a wheelchair coming into a room while the military commander is talking about the situation on Pandora, the moon where the alien race the Na’vi live.
The 2nd clip shows Worthington still in wheelchair looking at genetically engineered human/Na’vi hybrid are being developed in a tank.
The 3rd clip is with Sigourney Weaver putting Worthington into some sort of tank that eventually takes him to his human/Na’vi “Avatar” and awakes as this new being in a medical lab. He is so elated about being able to walk again that he gets too excited and runs off.
The 4th clip was the first action-oriented clip, where Worthington and Weaver’s characters are on Pandora, in the forest, and begin getting attacked and chased by some large creatures. The action was great and the sound was also really well done.
The 5th clip features the Na’vi princess who is played by Zoe Saldana, and how she saves Sam Worthington’s character from being killed but then later insults him for not understanding how the humans are destroying her planet. There were these little jellyfish like floating plant/beings that looked beautiful and calming that floated around them.
The 6th and final clip features, Worthington’s character being now accepted into the Na’vi culture and doing a ritual “bonding” with a flying creature of Pandora. He finally wrestles with the beast and is able to fly on it.
All the footage is visually amazing, and the colors are very bright and saturated. There are tons of amount of detail that went into the design of Pandora, and the all the life that lives on it. Think of a tropical rain forest if you were high on something.
My only concern is that, aside from the first couple scenes, everything else looks like all CG. After the human actors become “avatars”, there no longer seems to be a “live-action” aspect anymore and looks more like a 3D animated movie.
The action in it is great, like all James Cameron movies, but I’m not sure how the story and dialogue will play out. It could go either way. I feel like if the story draws you in enough, you will forget about all the CG and it will be great. However if there starts to feel like moments of cheesiness or heavy handedness in the storytelling, then you will get pulled out of the world, and start to get further and further away.
I’m glad I got to see the footage, and it was a suprise to see so much of it. I’m also concerned that the CG nature of it may turn off some people and cause a disappointment in the box office, when people go see it in the theatres not realizing what they are coming to see. The feeling of the movie is much more along the lines of an animated movie like Titan AE than Aliens or T2.