Is James Cameron’s Avatar Still Hot and Expectations For Its Sequel

Some knowledge is required before I watch James Cameron’s Avatar: Way of the Water. Both are good, but not spectacular.

James Cameron's AvatarWhen James Cameron’s Avatar played in theatres 14 years ago, nearly everyone loved it. During its first run, this movie proved two things were needed. The technology to capture this filmmaker’s vision on digital celluloid with proper 3D cameras had to be custom made. His efforts proved why films who fake the process aren’t as spectacular, and even watching it again today, in preparation for part two, shows the pretend method still isn’t good.

The second fact explains why he waited so long to make that sequel. Despite all the technical advances (and many year long study to get aquatic effects looking right), there is something special about the tale Cameron tells. It’s a story where a paraplegic Earth-man, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) visited the planet of Pandora, met an alien girl Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña), to whom he falls in love with, and decided to change sides to save a civilization from disappearing.

The upcoming sequel thankfully considers ten years will have passed since the last adventure. Aside from a few comic book releases from Dark horse Comics, I doubt every fan looked.

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Apollo 11 Quarantine to Arrive at Select IMAX!

Director/Producer Todd Douglas Miller remarked, “I am honored to be working again with so many talented filmmakers and the innovative teams at NEON, CNN Films, and IMAX. And very excited for audiences to experience a little-known part of history –an enduring message of hope during these unprecedented times.”

Why were Apollo 11 astronauts put in quarantine? - skyatnightmagazineApollo 11: Quarantine, the new short film from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller (Apollo 11, Dinosaur 13) is coming to select IMAX theatres world wide beginning January 29th. Just when you think staying at home because of a pandemic is tough, these astronauts have it even rougher! They have to remain in isolation for three weeks than two, and the fear of bringing a space-borne virus to all of humanity is just the same.

This piece is created by the award-winning filmmakers behind the cinematic version recounting Apollo 11’s blast off, exploration, landing and return. This film is co-presented by NEON and CNN Films, Apollo 11: Quarantine will feature never-before-seen 70mm footage sourced from the National Archives and NASA.

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A Look at the Sneak Peak of Doctor Strange on IMAX 3D

doctor-strange-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’m sure the numbers of how many people who attended the short preview to Doctor Strange (on a long weekend in North America) is as varied as the response to this film. While I’m excited to catch the end-product come November 4th (the 3D sequences when he’s flying through the multiverse look great), just how many die-hards can accept the movie’s obvious changes will determine its success. I’m okay with the gender-swapping of the Ancient One, and Tilda Swinton is a very respectable actress. With no successor to Mako Iwamatsu’s amazing presence, I’m guessing the producers had make changes lest they do a casting call throughout China / Tibet to find someone just as promising to fill the role.

When the introduction reveals nearly an hours’ worth of scenes are shot with IMAX cameras, the need to tease fans with what is to come is obvious — to spotlight the special effects on a box screen. I will certainly plan to see it again at the National Geographic IMAX Theatre. Sadly this operation plays these movies as a second-run product. Not every cinema has a proper screen to show off this format right.

In what is more in front and centre is Stephen Strange’s ego (Benedict Cumberbatch) which can easily rival Tony Stark’s. When he’s a famous neurosurgeon with some pent up frustrations over who he is required to operate on, the first few minutes works very well to show how conceited he is. That’s until he looks away from where he is driving to a cell phone (showing x-ray scans of his next patient instead of playing Pokémon GO) and winds up over a cliff. The slow-motion scene shows his hands getting crushed.

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IMAX Opens Their Digital Poster Art Archives!

IMAX_technologyBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The IMAX company leapt to a whole new level of movie art appreciation this week. While I was checking into what’s being offered for exclusive art for upcoming films, this company opened their digital image archive. Every film which had a special poster offered since this program’s inception as a 12:01 special midnight screening to Fanfix to theatre chain exclusives is available and I’m very happy with this move. The trio of Captain America: Civil War and 10 Cloverfield Lane images (distributed by AMC Theatres) are suspiciously missing, but in what’s new, Suicide Squad (seen below) is looking very delicious!


Now, poster art aficionados can view and download (for their own personal use) each print that was once available. There’s still nothing like owning an original, but for those folks who just want to admire the image instead of seeking one out, this alternative is great! The best part of this digital offering is in the fact anyone can have instant wallpapers to use as a backdrop on their computer screens (for those horizontally made pictures at least).

Alternatively, most of these images can be printed onto 8½ x 11 or smaller sized paper to display on a wall. I looked at the names of some of the files, and some are pretty easy to identify as good to print or not. Any file with a “_LO” are of a lower quality, not really advisable to print, but are good to view on a screen. This company is not providing to allow folks to reprint them onto poster-sized (28×40″) paper. Instead, fair use allows for postcard size images for personal use only.

IMAX A Beautiful Planet, A Review

ABP_ArtFor the nearest screening near you, please check local listings.

A Beautiful Planet is a gorgeous film that only IMAX can capture. No other film format will do to capture what astronauts behold every day while living in the International Space Station (ISS). Most of the filming was done by those astronauts on their downtime and I suspect they were given minimal direction by writer/editor Toni Myers on what to catch on camera. I loved looking at the life on board this station more instead of looking down upon the planet Earth.

When peering down, weather systems can be examined, the spread of humans upon the continents are better understood (Moscow truly looks like Star City, even though that’s in Moscow Oblast), and the light from these cities is nothing but awe striking. My only nitpick is that when looking at this planet, I did not see much depth to this 3D product. Either my vision is not being perfect or the 3D compositors working on the conversation had no reference to give those scenes the feeling of looking far away real. Some layers of the atmosphere being peeled away as a camera drone entered it would have made for an excellent view. The 3D window to the world that is Earth was kind of flat even though it was rendered in fantastic Ultra 4K. When the type of camera brought aboard the station is a single lens model, the conversion to 3d should not have been done.

The look at the work the astronauts did inside the station to study the affects of living in space leapt at me more.

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