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Old 04-18-2010, 03:18 PM
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Default New Information about the DVD Releases in April and November

LOS ANGELES — Avatar, the biggest box-office success in movie history, is poised to become the biggest home entertainment hit ever released.

But James Cameron and his minions, as well as eager executives at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, will have to wait until November before the full impact is felt. That is because, on Earth Day April 22, Cameron is offering “a pure movie version” of Avatar. That applies to both the standard DVD and the Blu-ray, with the Blu-ray arriving in a combo pack that is driving a significant percentage of pre-sales, which in turn could tip the entire market to high-definition.

For these releases, there are no extended sequences, no deleted scenes, no director’s diary, no extras of any kind. Not even the usual annoying trailers that clutter up most releases and often bog viewers down when menus are disabled until you plough through the junk.

Except for persuading Fox to eliminate trailers, this is a gutsy move fraught with controversy. Some fans may prefer to wait and see. But Cameron has a plan. He is promoting the April 22 release both for its own sake — making Avatar as technically perfect as possible for home viewing — and to link the movie’s eco-activist themes with real-life environmentalism. Avatar is part of a worldwide tree-planting project launched by the Earth Day Network. Cameron is both an environmentalist and a practical man who values quality film technology.

“The Blu-ray especially should be equal to the theatrical experience in the sense that it’s 100% of the resolution that you get in the theatre,” Cameron says about the painstaking way Avatar has been handled. “So all the detail is there.”

Then, in November, Cameron and Fox will release uber-sized special editions featuring an extended cut of the movie. These DVD and Blu-ray releases will contain extensive extras, including a filmmaker’s journey and deleted scenes that don’t fit into his concept for the longer version of Avatar.

“So, you’re right, it is fluid,” Cameron says in a group interview after I ask about the elusive nature of modern movies, which can change from theatre to home through director’s cuts or the optional branching technique he will use in the November releases. “It is organic — and I think that is kind of fun. But that is why it seems critical to me to put out the movie that was in theatres. Exactly as it was with no changes. With no trailers! Nothing at the front; nothing at the end; just, ‘Here’s the movie!’ ”

For Cameron, these Earth Day releases are a filmmaker’s declaration: “We drive the stake in the ground and say: That’s the movie!”

Once that is done, everything can change — and a lot will change, Cameron says. His attitude is: “Now let’s experiment! Let’s screw around. Let’s look at different ways to watch the movie based on what your appetites are. So that’s my approach to it. Different directors have different perspectives on these things and that’s fun, too. But you’re right, it’s an evolving document. It’s like an abridged version of a book that comes out later. A guy gets an idea and writes another chapter. What the hell!”

The exact running time of the extended version, and what scenes it will contain, is far from certain, Cameron says. One addition will be sex scenes involving the tangling of Na’vi braids. They were cut because “they freaked people out” in the original version. Selected scenes, including that one, are now in the hands of the WETA special effects workshop in New Zealand for completion. But the process has only just begun, Cameron says. “I also don’t want to make too many declarative statements right now because, frankly, I’m just getting into it.” That also applies to bonus materials to be included in the November releases. “A lot of the decisions about the supplements are going to be made over the next few months.”

Back to the April 22nd releases. According to producing partner Jon Landau, Cameron personally supervised every frame of the transfer to DVD and Blu-ray, a complicated process that is only noticeable to viewers when the filmmakers botch the job of correcting colour and adjusting sound for DVD and Blu-ray masters.

“This is not something that has been created without Jim’s touch on it,” Landau says, understating Cameron’s famous (sometimes infamous) perfectionism. “Jim’s spent a lot of time working on the colour and the technical aspects to get it out there.”

The pure movie approach came from this drive, Cameron says. “Part of it is that all this extraneous material takes down our bit rate. When you’re a long picture like Avatar, it barely fits on the disc (specifically on DVD). If you have to make room for a lot of other content, it starts to degrade the image quality. That’s part of it.

“Also,” Cameron adds with a mischievous grin, “I have this kind of unwritten deal with Fox that, any time one of my movies makes more than a billion dollars, we leave all the crap trailers off of it, just as a little service to the viewer. Because I can’t stand watching them any more than you can.”

Avatar has now grossed a record $2.7 billion worldwide, a record $743.7 million of that in the U.S. and Canada. Avatar broke Cameron’s own records, which were set by Titanic (1997). The weird thing is how he almost made Battle Angel, a futuristic story about a female cyborg, instead of Avatar. Both projects, long in gestation, had been on equal footing in the planning stages. “They were in a dead heat for a while,” Cameron says. “It was almost a coin toss.”

But he and Landau had to shoot test footage of the motion capture techniques they were planning for both. Only Avatar offered a simple scene involving two CG characters with dialogue, a prototype of the scene of when Sam Worthington first meets Zoe Saldana. The Battle Angel scenes all involved CG action sequences. So Avatar became the test case. “It was a purely practical matter. Then, when we did the test, we just got all into Avatar and then it went to weeks later and we’re doing Avatar. We never looked back at Battle Angel.

“But it wasn’t some master plan. You could expect it to be a master plan, like we’re a little more in control of things than that.” But that was not the case, Cameron says. An accident of planning became part of cinema history — and it is still making history.

Cameron pondering next move

James Cameron has no idea yet what his next feature film will be. One choice is a sequel to Avatar. Another is Battle Angel, the futuristic sci-fi adventure he put on hold to make Avatar.

“Battle Angel was parked the whole time,” Cameron says of the five years he spent making Avatar. “It is still parked now. So I’ve got to decide. Do I want to go back and do Battle Angel now, and come back to Avatar later? Do I want to just plough on with Avatar? Do I want to go do something completely different, like this Mars project that has been floating around out there for the past 12 years?”

The Mars movie originally inspired Cameron to develop the 3D camera systems he then used on Avatar. As for the Avatar sequel, he already has one major sequence in hand. It was filmed for Avatar and then deleted. It will not appear in any DVD or Blu-ray extras, keeping it available for future use, Cameron explains.

“There are a number of options,” Cameron says, summing up his choices. “I haven’t decided. I have too many possibilities and not enough time.”

‘Avatar’ release breaks new ground | DVD | Entertainment | Toronto Sun
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:14 PM
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Thanks for the link and read, I think this states that there will be a Avatar sequel sooner or later. I hope though that he just doesn't rush it and gets lots of fresh ideas for it. But I for sure will be getting the Pure Movie Blu-ray on Earth day and the one in November.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:24 PM
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...do want

I REALLY hope Avatar 2 is next though...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:23 PM
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Well, that's just cool I don't care when the sequel will be released as long as he won't make the Battle angel between it. Only thing i'm worried about is that he's kinda old already, I say there's no time to fool around
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:41 PM
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Meh I will probably get this bare bones release and then get the one in November as well. I just can't wait that long to own it. I'll watch it many times over before November and get my monies worth.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:52 PM
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i really hope he does avatar next!, i too will get this one and the november one!
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:31 PM
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Thanks for the article. I was really happy to see some of the things Jim said. I especially liked the suggestion that an expanded scene between Jake and Neytiri will be going in (or am I incorrect in assuming that "sex with hair" will mean an extension to the Tree of Voices scenes?).

On a side note... if he is making the decisions about this now.. maybe he will listen to our suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KalaKuival View Post
Only thing i'm worried about is that he's kinda old already, I say there's no time to fool around
Jim is, what, 55? Clint Eastwood is still sucessfully directing at 80. Heck, my mother is older than Jim. I really don't think we have too much to worry about on that score.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:54 AM
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its not "sex with hair", it is Tsahaylu.

I will also get the November release, even though i have this one already.
i hope he does the sequel before Battle Angel, but i hope it doesn't take 14 years this time...
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txum_kali'weya View Post
its not "sex with hair", it is Tsahaylu.
It was an amused reference to a section from the OP :

"One addition will be sex scenes involving the tangling of Na’vi braids. They were cut because “they freaked people out” in the original version."

I was amused as heck at the fact that out of all the things that could disturb people in this movie (you know: death, destruction, suffering) it seems to have been scenes involving the loving partnership of two consensually forming a life-long bond.

My apologies for not having made that clearer.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the link. was good reading
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvrien View Post

I was amused as heck at the fact that out of all the things that could disturb people in this movie (you know: death, destruction, suffering) it seems to have been scenes involving the loving partnership of two consensually forming a life-long bond.
Well, what did you expect with something that beautiful, that meaningful? Most people just don't expect that in life any more
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Well, what did you expect with something that beautiful, that meaningful? Most people just don't expect that in life any more
Indeed HNM.

It seems that death and destruction is slowly becoming commonplace. A beautiful life-long relationship is not. That is why people clung to it more, it's a basic longing for something we appear to have lost.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Well, what did you expect with something that beautiful, that meaningful? Most people just don't expect that in life any more
All too true, and yet it happens in other cases too. I remember having read some of the statistics relating to complaints about television programmes in the past. One thing that struck me at the time is how many more complaints programmes that related to relationships (and their sexual elements) received than those that featured frequent violence (and I have just checked information from the old ITC and newer Ofcom in the UK to confirm this).

It disturbs me greatly that people would freak out at such a scene of beauty and love... and not at the deaths of Humans and Na'vi.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvrien View Post
It disturbs me greatly that people would freak out at such a scene of beauty and love... and not at the deaths of Humans and Na'vi.
I don't understand it. Violence and death have lost any meaning in much of the modern mass media -- the vast majority of video games I see friends and classmates playing involve gorily killing monsters (and sometimes people!), and it's so commonplace that it's accepted. Maybe it's "cool," but I wouldn't know, having never fallen in that category. A convincing and touching love scene (as in romance) is significantly harder to pull off: killing people just requires CGI and/or large quantities of ketchup, while a true love story requires that people empathize with the characters on stage. Maybe that's why there's so much more violence than love, and why people have become so desensitized to the former.

As to complaining about relationships versus violence: this is something I really don't understand. I can understand complaining about mindless or excessive sex in films, or in some cases complaining about its very presence. I can't understand complaining about relationships -- something seems very wrong here.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:40 AM
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I think it was more the idea of them "having sex" with their hair (that's how people would see it unless it was explicitly stated that this creates a bond during actual biological reproduction and that it isn't the act itself) that was the problem, lol.
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