James Cameron's AVATAR - now with more Lorax

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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:12 am

All those too cool to appreciate anything James Cameron's even done, kindly fuck off. This movie is supposedly going to be a "game-changer" for big-budget filmmaking. It's an all-out 3D CGI frenzy, which would inspire dread if anyone else were at the helm. I guess Cameron used real-time motion capture "virtual cameras" on-set to avoid Lucasing himself. This explains more: http://www.highdefforum.com/movies/7698 ... -buzz.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/

Cast is mostly people I don't know, but for those I do: The lead is Sam Worthington - he's playing opposite Bale in T4, don't know if this is good or bad. I'm sure Sigourney Weaver will be fine. Fuck Michelle Rodriguez for eternity, and Giovanni Ribisi could go either way. And he couldn't throw poor Michael Biehn a bone?

Here's the "scriptment":
http://download68.mediafire.com/ettljol ... Avatar.pdf
And the first chunk in case you don't feel like downloading:
SPOILERSPOILER_SHOW
AVATAR Scriptment by James Cameron

Welcome to JOSH SULLY'S world.
It is a century from now, and the population of our tired
planet has tripled. Finally, drowning in its own toxic
waste, starvation and poverty, the population has topped
out at a nice even 20 billion.
The Earth is dying, covered with a gray mold of human
civilization. Even the moon is spiderwebbed with city
lights on its dark side. Overpopulation, overdevelopment,
nuclear terrorism, environmental warfare
tactics, radiation leakage from power plants and waste
dumps, toxic waste, air pollution, deforestation,
pollution and overfishing of the oceans, global warming,
ozone depletion, loss of biodiversity through
extinction... all of these have combined to make the once
green and beautiful planet a terminal cess-pool.
Josh lives in the urban sprawl which has grown like kudzu
over the whole eastern US.
His particular part of this undifferentiated concrete ratwarren
is Charlotte, NC, but you could be anywhere. Its
the same crowded, gray, trash-strewn high-tech squalor.
The walls are gray, the sky is gray... the people are
gray.
They shuffle past each other in dense crowds, shoulder to
shoulder, unwashed because of the water shortages, and
sickly looking from the bankrupt diet of cheap
carbohydrates and synthetic proteins. It looks like a
cross between THX-1138 and a Calcutta train station.
Josh has it a little worse than most because of his
involvement in a stupid little war people barely remember.
He is paralyzed from the waist down, and his useless legs
hang twisted and shrunken down the front of his
wheelchair. Josh still wears his army jacket, and with
his unkempt beard and hair, and surly eyes, he is pretty
much ignored by the crowds which buffet him like surf.
Just another angry vet, a piece of discarded human trash.
Josh fights his way to work every day on the crowded
subway. And every night he goes home to a tiny cubicle of
an apartment in a vast government housing project. The
room is reminiscent of a cell at a federal prison, which
is pretty much what it is. The amenities look like they
are from a 747, which is to say they are efficient, space
conscious, and are about a hundred years old.
There is a single fluorescent fixture, which casts a
sterile light over the grimy walls. It flickers
constantly.
One entire wall (all seven feet of it) is a TV screen. On
it we get a wider view of the world, and it's nothing to
write home about. There is a breaking story about a fire
in a Boston subway which asphyxiated over a hundred
people. Not unusual these days. This is followed by a
feature about the death, in Kenya, of the last lion living
outside captivity. This leads to a recap of the state of
the environment overall, and it's grim.
The oceans are overfished and barren, poisoned by toxic
runoff. All whales and at least half the Earth's fish
species are extinct. On land over half the species extant
at the beginning of the century are now gone forever, with
most of the remaining endangered.
The human race, using its technical ingenuity, has learned
to keep itself alive, but it has lost almost all contact
with the natural world, which it has strangled and crushed
out of existence. There are no national parks left, only
housing projects and protein farms. Yosemite is an
upscale condo development. Most ocean-front property is
used for mari-culture, since the only food source
efficient enough to feed everyone these days is spirulina.
It's amazing the things you can do with algal protein
concentrate if you know your spices.
Josh Sully is a hopeless guy in a hopeless world, a little
guy whom the big machine has ground up and spit out.
Josh gets a call from a computer at the municipal admin
complex. The automated voice tells him politely that his
brother, Thomas Sully, has been killed in a transit system
accident in Boston, and he is required to claim the body
by 1200 tomorrow. His brother died choking in the smoke
of the subway fire which Sully had seen on the news.
CUT TO SULLY at the Boston municipal crematorium. He sits
next to a large cardboard box, about seven feet long,
sitting on the rollers waiting to go into the furnace. In
the box is his brother's body.
We see that they are identical twins.
There is no other family there.
Josh watches the attendant cover his brother's body with
the top of the cardboard box, then efficiently band it
with two plastic straps, like he's getting ready to ship
it somewhere. Then the box is rolled into the furnace,
and the burners are lit.
As he is wheeling himself through the crowded halls of the
municipal complex, Sully hears someone calling his name
and sees two guys in suits working their way through the
crowd to catch up with him. He is immediately suspicious,
wondering what collection agency they are from. His
brother must have died with some debts.
They tell him they are with the RDA, the RESOURCES
DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE. This is an international consortium
of major corporations whose purpose is to find and exploit
resources on other planets, both within the solar system,
and in the last 25 years, among the nearer star systems.
Imagine the Dutch West India Company funded by Microsoft,
Matsushita and a dozen or so of their megacorporation
buddies. Everyone just calls it "THE CONSORTIUM".
The RDA has an official charter from the ICA, the
Interplanetary Commerce Administration (pronounced eyekah),
an international trade-regulating body run much like
the EC is today. The charter allows them to exploit the
resources of planets, moons, asteroids... whatever they
find... as long as they follow the International Space
Resources Treaty, and the other treaties which prohibit
weapons of mass destruction and limit military power in
space.
These two guys ask Josh if he knows anything about what
his brother was doing in the last year. He says they
weren't that close. He knows that Tom had made some deal
to work in space, but he couldn't talk about it because
he'd signed some kind of non-disclosure agreement.
It turns out the suits are interested in Josh because of
his genes. Tom Sully had signed up to something called
the Avatar Program. In the Avatar Program you sign a ten
year contract to work on Pandora, a planet of the Alpha
Centauri starsystem.
Like everyone, Josh has heard of Pandora, or more properly
Alpha Centauri B-4. Discovered by the first interstellar
expedition twenty five years ago, Pandora has been the
single most interesting thing to happen to the human race
in ages. The news services love to run clips of the wild
scenery on Pandora, and its bizarre flora and fauna. To a
culture which has lost all contact with the natural world,
Pandora is mysterious, primal, and terrifying.
So what the hell was Tom doing going to Pandora? The
suits take Josh to dinner, and he even gets to order real
steak. They explain what's going on.
There is, of course, a primitive humanoid species on
Pandora, as anybody who watches the news would know. They
are called the NA'VI, using their word for themselves.
The humans usually refer to them clinically as the
Pandorans, and colloquially as "the locals". Humans
cannot live on Pandora without breathing gear, because the
atmosphere is toxic. Lethal levels of ammonia, methane
and chlorine.
The Consortium is trying to bridge the cultural gap with
the aboriginal population, which has been difficult to
communicate and negotiate with. They have recently
started a program called AVATAR. They take DNA from a
Na'vi, and from a selected human volunteer. On Earth, in
company genetics labs, they create an in-vitro embryo,
which is a genetic composite of the alien and human donor.
The recombinant embryo is grown in-vitro during the flight
to Pandora, which takes 3 years (ship-time/ 5 years Earth
time... it's a relativity thing). In that time it reaches
near adult size, since the locals mature fast. When it is
"born" (or more properly de-canted) as a post-adolescent,
it looks like a Na'vi, and can live comfortably on
Pandora, but it has enough human neurophysiology to be
used as an Avatar, or surrogate body.
The human volunteer then becomes a CONTROLLER. Using
PSIONIC LINK technology, the human controller can remotely
control the avatar body out in the wilds of Pandora. The
controller receives all sensory input, and provides all
motor control to the body. Essentially, the controller
lives through the avatar, and is completely unaware of his
own body while linked. Each avatar is genetically keyed
to its respective human controller.
By communicating with the locals through these avatars,
which are less alien to them, the RDA has had some success
teaching them English and basic skills.
So Tom was going to be one of these controller guys?
That's right, they tell him. His embryo has been growing
in vitro at the lab for several months. This is
significant since only one in a hundred volunteers
actually produces a viable composite. Each viable embryo
represents an investment of over 20 million dollars.
So they are offering Josh the same contract they gave his
brother. Since he is genetically identical, he can step
into his brother's shoes, and become a controller. The
next mission leaves in three weeks, so he will have to go
through a crash training course, but it's still better
than wasting a good avatar.
The agents grin like jackals. The pay is great, and it's
a chance to be part of the great adventure.
Josh tells them he went for that line about it's not a
job, it's an adventure once already, and it cost him the
use of his legs. And ten years is too long a stint to
sign up for. The army taught him a couple things. He
tells them to take a hike.
One of the Consortium agents leans close to him. He says
that as an avatar he will have legs. Long powerful legs,
and he can run again.
PUSH IN ON JOSH, thinking about that.
And you see in his eyes... he's going to go for it.
SPACE/ALPHA CENTAURI SYSTEM, 2103 AD.
The I.S.V. PROMETHEUS flies backwards through the void,
blasting out the fire of the gods like a cosmic blowtorch.
Its hybrid fusion/antimatter engines hurl out incandescent
plasma a million times brighter than a welding arc, with
an exhaust plume twenty miles long which stretches out
ahead of it, slowing it as it nears Alpha Centauri.
INTERSTELLAR VEHICLE PROMETHEUS is finishing up a month
long deceleration from its peak velocity of over nine
tenths the speed of light, still pulling 5 gees.
It's a big bastard... half a mile long. Most of that is
engine and fuel, though the fuel tanks are almost empty.
Alpha Centauri is the nearest starsystem to Earth, at 4.5
lightyears away. A lightyear is the distance light
travels in a year, and since light travels 186,000 miles a
second, this is a long way. To get an idea how far this
is, imagine the Earth is a grain of sand in my driveway in
Malibu. On that scale the sun is a cantaloupe 50 feet
away. And Alpha Centauri is in New York.
I'm pointing this out because it's necessary to understand
the kind of energies it takes to get there in any
reasonable amount of time. You have to go really fast.
Almost as fast as the absolute laws of physics permit.
And you have to use more energy to reach that speed (and
then slow back down) than all of human civilization is
currently using in a year. So the bottom line is... the
bottom line. Money. A lot of money.
About a million dollars a pound, to get something from
Pandora back to Earth. The object of the game is not to
go there and mine coal. You want to find things that
don't exist in our solar system at all or are incredibly
rare, and then you want to refine and process those raw
materials, so that what you send back is the finished
product. The least mass for the most buck. So what you
want to do is build up an industrial infrastructure on
Pandora... you want to tame it. You want to civilize it.
And you need workers to do that. Only you can't use
humans, because:
A) They cost too much to bring.
B) They die in 30 seconds without a breathing mask.
So colonization, in the classical sense, won't work. But
wait... you have an indigenous population there. They're
primitive, but they have brains and hands, and maybe they
can be taught to do the things we need done. We can teach
them, and give them cool technology to improve their
lives, so they can be healthy and smart, and can all have
TV, and in return they will be so grateful they'll not
only work in our factories, they'll even build them for
us. Groovy.
These are the basic principles of interstellar
imperialism, circa 2100 A.D.
Ahead of Prometheus we can see the trinary system of Alpha
Centauri... three stars orbiting each other. In the
middle, close together, are Alpha Centauri A and B, two
yellow main-sequence stars very much like our own star.
About 900 billion miles away (a mere stone's throw by
interstellar standards... a couple of light-months) is the
third star, Proxima Centauri, a runty little red-dwarf.
Standing on Pandora (as you will soon) you can see two
disks of light on the horizon at sunset, but never the
third, since Proxima is too far away and just looks like a
star.
Inside Prometheus, everybody's asleep except for a four
man flightcrew who look very haggard. The rest, a hundred
or so passengers, are all in medically induced
hibernation. With certain drugs people can be caused to
hibernate like bears and other mammals, dozing away the
years at low temperature, and with minimal mental
activity.
We see Josh in his hibernaculum, his skin a bloodless
blue-white. To combat the sustained brutal acceleration
and deceleration, he is suspended in liquid, like a fetus
in the womb. A cold womb of dreamless sleep between
worlds.
His head is fitted into a helmet-like device... a PSIONIC
LINK INTERFACE which senses and transmits his mental
energy, as well as filling his brain with the return
signal. This is usually called, simply, the LINK.
He is under the link because he is spending the voyage
linked to his avatar body which is nearby in its own
container. Like two twins in the womb they are communing
at a deep level of pre-conscious intimacy, with the
results that the avatar's brain has been imprinted with
the patterns of Josh's cerebral cortex. The biological
equivalent of initializing the hard-drive in a computer.
Josh's AVATAR BODY floats in its plastic womb, curled in a
fetal position. The avatar is bigger than a human. It
would stand about eight feet tall, if it uncurled. Its
skin is blue... two shades of blue in a banded pattern
like a snake of lizard (though the skin is smooth, not
scaly). An iridescent cyan blue, almost robin's egg, is
contrasted with a deep ultramarine which borders on
purple. The darker color is almost solid on the back, and
down the backs of the legs.
The body is, strangely, almost human in most ways. The
waist is narrow and elongated, the shoulders very wide,
giving a V shaped upper back. The neck is long (maybe
twice as long as an average human, or a little longer than
some Vogue models) and, we will see, can turn almost 180
degrees, like an owl. The body overall is more slender,
proportionately, then the average human, reminiscent of a
Masai or Watusi. The musculature is sharply defined,
given no sense of emaciation despite the thin proportions.
The avatars in their womb-like environment are at their
normal metabolic rate and grow rapidly. Their muscles are
constantly electrostimulated, so that they develop
normally.
The hands are graceful, with three very long fingers, and
one opposed thumb. The fingers curve smoothly, bending
without joints. This sounds off-putting, but it is really
quite beautiful.
The faces are exquisite... with cheekbones high as any
Pharoah's and large wise eyes, maybe twice the size of
ours. When open they dominate the face, like those of a
cat, or a lemur. The mouth is also large, but essentially
human, with a faint cat-like bifurcation of the upper lip,
and a coloration like permanent deep purple lipstick. The
teeth are white, with pronounced canines, upper and lower.
These guys are clearly carnivores, or at least omnivores.
Did I mention the tail? They have a tail. Long and
slightly prehensile, but more like the tail of a panther
than a monkey.
A complex pattern of iridescent dots and lines, perfectly
symmetrical, runs over the body, almost following the
lines of the nervous or circulatory system. These are
bioluminescent chromatophores, and they glow in the dark
like fireflies. The alien can communicate with these, and
in fact they usually are shifting and changing color to
indicate mood and emotion, without conscious control.
The body has no hair whatsoever, though there is what
looks like a black pony tail, or queue, originating in the
back of the head and hanging down almost to the waist.
This is not hair, but actually an external part of the
nervous system, and more on this later.
ON THE FLIGHT DECK the haggard pilots start the shutdown
of the fusion/antimatter engines.
OUTSIDE, the arc-light ceases abruptly. The entire drive
module glows cherry red with radiant heat, and the exhaust
nozzles are almost white. The ship creaks and groans as
it begins to cool.
Prometheus drifts against the stars, nearing the
surprisingly Earth-like Pandora.
INSIDE, in weightlessness, the passengers begin to emerge
from their hibernacula. They look like handmade shit...
hungover badly from the hibernation drugs.
Josh sits up groggily and looks around. His hair has been
cropped back to a brush-cut, and he is cleanshaven.
An announcement is telling them what to do and where to
go, and that they will soon be entering orbit around
Pandora. Josh pulls himself out of his capsule,
maneuvering nearly as well as the other passengers in
zero-g, even with his inert legs.
Moving hand over hand, Josh floats over to the tank
containing his alter ego, the avatar body. He is amazed
to see the growth in the three years which have elapsed on
the ship.
The avatar stretches, catlike, extending to its full
height, dwarfing Josh. And as it turns in the amniotic
fluid, Josh sees the face of his avatar... and it looks
like him. Despite the alien proportions, the features are
definitely reminiscent of his.
A tech tells him he has time to get some breakfast and
still make it back to "see himself born".
THE BIRTH. Technicians in plastic suits and breathing
equipment enter a bright sterile chamber through an
airlock. Josh, similarly attired, follows them in. They
seal the door. One of them tells him that the air is a
match for Pandora's... a poisonous brew of ammonia,
methane, CO2, oxygen and nitrogen. Even a little hydrogen
cyanide. In the center of the chamber is the tank housing
Josh's avatar. Josh is nervous and unsure what to do, but
they tell him it's always best for the controller to be
present at the birth.
Using a flexible collar, like a synthetic sphincter, to
retain the amniotic fluid in zero gravity, they ease the
body out of the tank into the birthing room. It looks
exactly like a giant baby being born from a glass and
rubber womb.
The avatar kicks feebly, and everybody is grappling with
the slimy newborn body. The technicians ask Josh to help
hold it. Like an overwhelmed father, he looks like he is
about to faint. The pure raw shock of life, struggling
into existence, effects him far more than he would have
thought.
Josh struggles to help give birth to himself.
They suction its mouth and it coughs, taking its first
breath. Josh looks on in wonder as the avatar starts to
wail, clenching its fists, its face contorting at the
terror and pain of the outer world. It grabs Josh's arm
and he winces in pain at the strength of the thing. It
opens its eyes and looks right at him. He stares into its
eyes, which are his own eyes. Its terror passes. It
stares blankly at him, taking in shuddering breaths of the
poisonous air.
Josh pulls his arm free.
TECH
Congratulations. It's a boy.
Josh glances down along the avatar's body, his expression
growing even more amazed.
ISV PROMETHEUS goes into a low orbit around Pandora. We
get our first good look at the new world. It is
magnificent. Almost another Earth, at first glance, with
white cloud whorls over a blue and brown surface. But the
continents are all wrong, and the proportion of land to
sea is much greater. The blue is a little different too,
with a cyan tinge to it, suggesting the different air.
But you can just tell, even from orbit... this is a planet
that has life. It's got the look.
The most amazing thing about Pandora is that it doesn't
actually orbit its sun directly, but is actually in orbit
around an enormous planet, a gas giant almost twice the
size of Jupiter, which in turn orbits the yellow sun of
Alpha Centauri B. This monster planet has been named
POLYPHEMIS, for the great cyclops of Greek myth. This is
because, like Jupiter with its Great Red Spot, Polyphemis
has a vest cyclonic storm like a great dark pupil in its
vast disk.
The eye of an angry god looking down on Pandora. Pandora,
despite being almost as big as Earth, is technically a
moon of the giant planet.
Polyphemis has thirteen other moons, some closer in, some
farther out. Depending on what's where in its orbit,
Pandora can have two or even three moons in its sky at
once. Pandora and the other moons cast large black shadow
dots on the parent planet, like beauty marks.
DESCENT. Tiny relative to Prometheus, one of the transatmospheric
shuttles separates and drops down toward the
planet. The LOCKHEED-SAAB TAV-37 "VALKYRIE" CLASS SHUTTLE
is actually a heavy lifter, a workhorse several times
larger and many times more powerful than today's space
shuttle.
As the shuttle plunges through high-altitude cloud
formations, Josh presses his face against the tiny
viewport, eager for a look at the new world. Below he can
see mist-shrouded mountains, growing as they descend. The
pilot tells them they are over the so-called "Horn" of
Australis, the great southern continent, which juts up
into the Equatorial Sea.
Josh can see volcanic buttes and mesas towering above a
lower cloud blanket, like the Tepuis of Peru. Streamers
and whorls of shredded cloud swirl around the mesa tops.
Then the pilot tells them that they may get a glimpse of
the MONTES VOLANS, the famous "flying mountains", which
planetologists say are the rarest phenomena in known
space.
Also called the HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS, they are like
floating islands among the clouds.
Literally floating. Mountainous chucks of rock, some over
ten miles across, hovering thousands of feet above the
ground.
Here's how it works: Polyphemis (the massive planet around
which Pandora revolves) has a mother of magnetosphere... a
naturally occurring magnetic field a million times more
powerful than Earth's. As Pandora rotates and revolves
through this field, its molten iron core generates its own
field, with "cells" or vortices which are small regions of
intensely powerful magnetic force at the surface.
Added to this unique phenomenon is another... Pandora is
blessed with a naturally occurring substance a million
times more precious than gold. Its joke name of
"unobtanium" has stuck, over the years. Unobtanium is a
rare-earth mineral, formed volcanically, which is a roomtemperature
superconductor.
The room temperature superconductor has been the "snark"
of modern materials science... a substance which transmits
electricity with zero resistance, but at normal
temperatures, rather than the liquid-helium cooled
superconductors of human science.
Unobtanium does not exist in our solar system. It is
unique to Pandora. And it is the reason to go there...
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow bridge.
Another interesting property of superconducting materials
is that they will levitate in a powerful magnetic field.
This magnetic levitation, or maglev, effect has been used
to lift trains and run them without wheels since the late
1980's. On Pandora the effect causes huge outcroppings of
unobtanium to rip loose from the surface and float in the
magnetic vortices. These floating islands circulate
slowly in the magnetic currents, like icebergs at sea,
scraping against each other and the towering mesa-like
mountains of the region. The Pandorans call them the
Thundering Rocks, and the entire area is sacred to them.
Which could be a problem, since the humans have come to
mine these mountains and get rich. Which is why they are
called the Hallelujah Mountains.
Josh stares in awe as they pass over a few of the floating
mountains, less than ten miles away on his side of the
ship. They float like clouds made of rock, amongst the
fixed mountains and swirling cloud structures. Where they
are in clear sunlight, they cast hard shadows on the land
below.
They are overgrown with foliage at the top, and a straggly
beard of vines hangs down beneath them like the roots of
an air-fern. The sides are shear cliffs. Waterfalls,
originating on the mesa-like tops, stream down the sides
and dissolve into spray at the bottoms like upside-down
geysers. The local peaks and mesas actually project above
the level of the craggy underside of the few floating
mountains Josh can see, so it's obvious that collisions
are inevitable.
Twinkling like tiny flecks of ash on the wind are what
look like birds... manta-like flying creatures of various
sizes. Josh doesn't get too close a look at these.
Standing like a wall behind some of the smaller islands is
MONS PROMETHEUS, the largest of the floating mountains.
Known colloquially as THE BIG ROCK-CANDY MOUNTAIN, it
alone is worth hundreds of billions in revenue to the
Consortium. Its flanks and top are wreathed in streamers
of clouds... cloaked in mystery.
He sees it for only a few seconds before a thunderhead
blocks the view, and the shuttle plunges into gray murk.
Now the shuttle is passing lower and lower over the
highland rainforest. Just as the plants on Earth are
green with chlorophyl, the plants of Pandora, based on a
different biochemistry, are mostly purple. The tones
range from purple-blue, through violet to magenta.
Josh catches glimpses of the rainforest through the clouds
as they skim over the endless purple carpet. Other than
the color the trees look like trees. They have trunks and
branches and leaves... though some of the shapes are
strange, and the proportions are wrong. There are
waterfalls feeding highland rivers, and Josh sees more
flocks of the bird-like things.
They pass a few small patches of open grassland. The
magenta grass ripples in the wind like wheat. Josh sees
some moving shapes... large herd-beasts running. Then
clouds again.
Josh, coming from his gray concrete urban sprawl, is
amazed by the sheer scale of this lush, virgin world.
Finally he starts to see the hand of man. They fly over
what looks like a small refinery. This is the DEUTERIUM
PLANT, an automated facility for extracting the heavy
isotope of hydrogen from the local water supply. The
deuterium is used to fuel the fusion engines of the
starships for their homeward flight, as well as to run the
base generators and the shuttles.
The shuttle makes its turn on final approach. We get our
first look at the human colony, called HELL'S GATE. It
looks like a giant cookie cutter took a chunk out of the
rainforest... a disk of naked ground two miles across
where the trees were razed and the earth scraped bare.
Nearby, connected by a broad gravel road, is a gaping
wound in the earth, a strip mine where metal ores for
construction are extracted.
At the center of the cleared circle of Hell's Gate is a
cluster of squat concrete and steel structures.
Surrounding the central complex are two high fences of
thick chainlink, one within the other, with concertina
wire at the top. The whole thing is electrified. At the
corners of the complex are concrete towers, their tops
bristling with searchlights, scanning gear, and automated
SENTRY GUNS. The reason for the no-man's land between the
fences and the dark wall of forest is clear... it is a
killing ground.
The shuttle lands and Josh dons his full-face exomask and
rebreather pack. There is a hiss and a popping sensation
in his ears as the pressure equalizes to the outside, and
then the doors open.
Josh struggles with his wheelchair on the steep loading
ramp of the shuttle. When he gets to the ground, he moves
with the others toward the nearest building. His mask
fogs with his exertion, and he feels a tickle of fear
knowing how deadly the atmosphere is. If he took his
exomask off he would be unconscious after the first few
breaths, with irreversible lung damage in less than a
minute.
Josh sees the new avatars being unloaded. They are
brought down the ramp on gurneys, unconscious, getting
their first lungfuls of real Pandoran air. They are taken
to a holding compound outside the Science Module (SCIMOD).
Around him is the roar of equipment as huge tractor-like
machines thunder past. There is loading equipment, and
massive earth movers, mining equipment, and bulldozers
almost two stories high. He sees construction workers in
heavy environment suits. A tractor, its wheels as big as
a house, rumbles past, dwarfing the new arrivals. Beyond
it, two VTOL vehicles take off. Armored and heavily
armed, they are KAWASAKI AH-19 SCORPION gunships.
Nearby Josh sees several TROOPERS of SECFOR, the RDA
security force, a kind of private army operated by the
Consortium. The troopers wear full helmets, rebreathers,
and body armor, and carry heavy AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. They
look constantly outward, toward the perimeter. They are a
hardened bunch of men and women, who live by the
philosophy that sharp eyes, fast hands and a warm gun are
the keys to survival on Pandora, the most badass bush in
history.
Among the arriving passengers are twenty new troopers.
They double time down the ramp, carrying their huge packs
and kit bags. They smartly salute the hardened SECFOR
troopers, who eye the new meat with smirking disdain.
Josh sees more of the troopers, and realizes they are
forming a loosely deployed guard around the new arrivals.
There is a sudden ROAR as the sentry gun in the nearest
tower opens fire. A stream of bright tracers arc out to
the no-man's land of bare earth beyond the fences, and
there is an ungodly shriek. Josh cranes to see, but his
view is blocked by the shuttle.
There is a sense that the place is under siege. The dark
line of the forest is suddenly more ominous. Above the
functional concrete bunker of the nearest building, the
crescent shape of Polyphemis looms like a malevolent eye,
seeming to cover half the sky. Another sentry gun
thunders briefly as Josh goes into the complex. Josh's
expression says it all.
My God, what have I gotten myself into?
It sounds a little stock, with major Aliens overtones, but who knows. I guess the aliens will look like this:
SPOILERSPOILER_SHOW
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Last edited by Necrometer on Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:10 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:13 am

It's got CCH Pounder from The Shield!
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:15 am

etc.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:18 am

I know you can Mantis better than that!
Parachute wrote:It's got CCH Pounder from The Shield!
That it does!
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:25 am

I tried to read a little bit of that article but I'm too tech-stupid to understand any of its mumbo-jumbo. The movie will either be good or not I guess. I suppose it's cool that another gigantic budget james cameron sci-fi movie is coming out, but I find it hard to summon too much excitement for a guy that hasn't made a movie since Titanic in 1997.

Titanic. :|

I guess that's about all the movieMANTISing I have in me for this one.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:28 am

I still haven't seen Titanic so I'm feeling pretty 8) right about now. The whole point of that article is this: he has a camera that is pointed at a dude in a dot-covered suit, and it shows in real-time the CGI rendering of some alien or whatever moving along to the suit-dude's movements. So you are able to see instantly the virtual reality that would usually be visualized way after the fact.

I hope it's not just sci-fi on the surface, and that it actually has some interesting ideas buried under the cool visuals (didn't read the script beyond the stuff I spoilerpasted).
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:32 am

How does one pronounce CCH? I have yet to hear it spoken by anyone with knowledge of such things. Does one pronounce the individual letters (see.see.ache) or is it something along the lines of a Mexican comedian (cheech)?
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:33 am

Necrometer wrote:I still haven't seen Titanic so I'm feeling pretty 8) right about now. The whole point of that article is this: he has a camera that is pointed at a dude in a dot-covered suit, and it shows in real-time the CGI rendering of some alien or whatever moving along to the suit-dude's movements. So you are able to see instantly the virtual reality that would usually be visualized way after the fact.

I hope it's not just sci-fi on the surface, and that it actually has some interesting ideas buried under the cool visuals (didn't read the script beyond the stuff I spoilerpasted).
Well, I got the gist of it. But, so what? you know? He can see instantly the CG characters his actors are portraying. Doesn't say much to me as a potential audience-member.

And aren't all his "sci-fi" movies just sci-fi on the surface, but really action movies?

The whole thing sounds like a bigger budget
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:41 am

MANTIS wrote:And aren't all his "sci-fi" movies just sci-fi on the surface, but really action movies?
I think Terminator has fundamental sci-fi elements: computers becoming self-aware and a battle across time. However, major elements were lifted from Harlan Ellison [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ell ... Terminator ] so I don't think JC has really brought much sci-fi thinking to the table. Ah, I guess The Abyss has some legit sci-fi ideas in there, especially considering the long cut's ending
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:47 am

Necrometer wrote:
MANTIS wrote:And aren't all his "sci-fi" movies just sci-fi on the surface, but really action movies?
I think Terminator has fundamental sci-fi elements: computers becoming self-aware and a battle across time.
Meh. I guess there are core ideas in there, but he does nothing with them other than use them to springboard action setups. He barely scratches the surface of the implications of AI becoming sentient, and the time travel element is paradoxical and a mere plot-point. I mean, I like them as action films but they're hardly cerebral. I guess I'll be happy if he makes just an entertaining spectacle really.

Never saw The Abyss.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:09 am

I'm stoked for this.
After Titanic it has seemed like he sort of gave up on movies (understandable, I suppose...), but he used to make some of the BEST sci-fi, and I miss that.
Never saw The Abyss.
The Abyss is a great movie, man. It's long as hell, but worth watching (especially the director's cut with the added stuff). Michael Beihn plays a good asshole-crazy-crewman in that movie.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:15 am

Molester Stallone wrote:This isn't that Nickelodean kids series Avatar is it? I didn't read the spoilers.

I just would find that hard to believe.
No but that is being made into a movie as well. I'm guessing I should see the theatrical cut of Abyss before the extended cut (like Aliens)?
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:19 am

I just realized that the title and theme of the movie are quite fitting to the way he's making it: a guy takes control of a body that's not his ("avatar") / the actor's motions are translated into a CGI body that's not his
:drooly:
ungodlywarlock wrote:
Never saw The Abyss.
The Abyss is a great movie, man. It's long as hell, but worth watching (especially the director's cut with the added stuff).
If you're in the mood for James Camerony goodness, the long cut of this movie will NOT be a waste of your time. It's really solid. And yeah the long cut is all plus, no minus.
Molester Stallone wrote:This isn't that Nickelodean kids series Avatar is it? I didn't read the spoilers.
No - M. Night is running the show for that one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0938283/
MANTIS wrote:Meh. I guess there are core ideas in there, but he does nothing with them other than use them to springboard action setups. He barely scratches the surface of the implications of AI becoming sentient, and the time travel element is paradoxical and a mere plot-point. I mean, I like them as action films but they're hardly cerebral. I guess I'll be happy if he makes just an entertaining spectacle really.
OK what movies do a better job dealing with AI becoming sentient?
Last edited by Necrometer on Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:24 am

Necrometer wrote:OK what movies do a better job dealing with AI becoming sentient?
Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2, 2001: A Space Odyssey etc.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:25 am

MANTIS wrote:
Necrometer wrote:OK what movies do a better job dealing with AI becoming sentient?
Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2, 2001: A Space Odyssey etc.
:tup:
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:26 am

It's C.C.H., I read an article where she talked about how she used to go by her full name or something.
Stabbed in the eyes with a fucking caak...

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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:38 am

If you're in the mood for James Camerony goodness, the long cut of this movie will NOT be a waste of your time. It's really solid. And yeah the long cut is all plus, no minus.
Yeah, this isn't like a lot of today's "unrated director's cut extra deleted scenes!!!!" bullshit, where it's like 5 minutes of talking.
This is major story shit with awesome effects that can't be missed, as far as I am concerned.

Watch the long one first.
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:39 am

Will do.
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Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:37 pm

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/avatarnews.php?id=53847


TIME Watches Footage From Cameron's Avatar
Source: TIME
March 20, 2009


TIME magazine has published a new article talking about upcoming 3-D movie projects and the writer of the piece, Josh Quittner, got a chance to see footage from James Cameron's highly-anticipated Avatar, which 20th Century Fox will release on December 18. The sci-fi action-adventure stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Peter Mensah, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, Stephen Lang and Matt Gerald.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

More than a thousand people have worked on it, at a cost in excess of $300 million, and it represents digital filmmaking's bleeding edge. Cameron wrote the treatment for it in 1995 as a way to push his digital-production company to its limits. The movie pioneers two unrelated technologies--e-motion capture, which uses images from tiny cameras rigged to actors' heads to replicate their expressions, and digital 3-D.

The film is set in the future, and most of the action takes place on a mythical planet, Pandora. The actors work in an empty studio; Pandora's lush jungle-aquatic environment is computer-generated in New Zealand by Jackson's special-effects company, Weta Digital, and added later.

I couldn't tell what was real and what was animated--even knowing that the 9-ft.-tall blue, dappled dude couldn't possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.

Hopefully we'll get to see some footage from the film soon as well! You can read the full article here.
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Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:34 am

Molester Stallone wrote:
Necrometer wrote:
Molester Stallone wrote:This isn't that Nickelodean kids series Avatar is it? I didn't read the spoilers.
No - M. Night is running the show for that one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0938283/
OK, now that sounds even worse than before. I don't like Shamalaiaianakanankan, but Cameron is OK.
He cast that Dev Patel guy as Zuko, which is a million times better than his first choice, some dude who was whiter than me. His casting choices for Sokka and Katara are pretty bad though. And god, I hope he doesn't LOL TWEEST this movie.

And this James Cameron movie sounds kinda cool. I'm kinda excited for it, that hes finally back to doing action/sci-fi.
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Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:27 pm

Thanks for the respekbump, Dan! Fuck, glad it's next-level non-shit CGI.
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:04 am

http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/04/06/ ... evolution/

I guess the actors were filmed by 197 cameras simultaneously :shock:
What can you say about the film and who you play in it?

Laz: Unfortunately, I can’t say anything because that was part of what we signed. None of us are allowed to talk at all about the script or what the story is about. All I can say is that the technology is something that no one has ever seen or used before. We were being filmed by 197 cameras, simultaneously, in real time. It was something that took two and a half years to do, and when you see it this December, you’re going to know why it took that long. It is just unrivaled by anything that my eyes have ever seen in cinema. It blew me away, when I saw some of the finished scenes.

How does it affect your performance when you’re dealing with all of that technical stuff?

Laz: It affects the beginning and the end of the day because there’s a huge process. It literally takes over an hour to prepare and get synced in with the technology that they’re using, in addition to make-up and all the other stuff you have to do. So, there’s a whole ritual that takes place, at the beginning of the day, but once you get on set with Jim, you literally get transported into a different place. Once you’re there, you’re there, and you don’t leave for the next 15 hours, until you wrap. Working with him, you work long hours, but then you get to set the next morning and he’s cut the scene that you did the day before, and you realize that he never got any sleep. You’re a foot soldier and this guy is at war, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when he finds something that he’s passionate about, and he’s passionate about this movie. That’s why I know the movie is going to do well.
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:55 pm

I thought the next film he was going to do was the Gunm/ Battle Angel Alita trilogy.... :( :( :( :(
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:57 pm

THE KILL wrote:I thought the next film he was going to do was the Gunm/ Battle Angel Alita trilogy....
Right - Battle Angel was originally slated to come out first, but he swapped priority for whatever reason. That'll probably come out in 2013 or something... sorry!
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:17 pm

THE KILL wrote:I thought the next film he was going to do was the Gunm/ Battle Angel Alita trilogy.... :( :( :( :(
:what: :what: :what: :what: :what:

ok, i'm completely on board for this. it could be utter shit and i'm certain i'll still enjoy it.
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