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    Saturday, Aug 22, 2009 6:48PM / News / Cinema / Members only
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    Yesterday was “Avatar” day. 15 minutes of James Cameron’s highly anticipated movie was screened free worldwide in selected theaters (102 screens in the U.S. and 342 international screens in 58 countries).  In France, this exclusive preview was shown at 12 theaters in major French cities, including two in Paris.


    French viewers did not need online ticket reservations as in the US or UK; they just needed to show up.  The first screening showed at 6:00 pm and the last one showed around 10:30 pm.  All of the French screenings were in 3D except in the suburbs of Paris at the Gaumont Disney Village (45 minutes by train from Paris), where it was shown in IMAX.  I chose to see it in IMAX to fully immerse myself into the “Avatar” world.



    Before the footage preview, a 3D James Cameron introduced us the movie:

    Hi, Jim Cameron here. Everybody got their glasses on?  I know you've been waiting for an ‘Avatar’ trailer, but today we'll do something way beyond that.  I'm here to present the worldwide ‘Avatar’ day special preview, a sampling of scenes from the movie, all from the first half so there are no major spoilers.  It's the 22nd century and Jake Sully, a disabled former marine, journeys to an Alien world of beauty and danger. Prepare to enter the world of ‘Avatar’. "


    Scene 1: We’re on Planet Pandora, in a military station away from the hostile jungle.  Colonel Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang, recently seen as a hard-boiled cop in “Public Enemies”) tells his soldiers to be extremely careful because outside there are all kinds of creatures who will not hesitate to kill them. Among the marines listening is Norm Spellman (Joel Moore from “Dodgeball”), and coming towards the group in a wheelchair is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington from “Terminator: Salvation”).  Quaritch also talks about the Navi, a group of humanoids who live on Pandora. They use deadly poisoned arrows and have very strong carbon bones.


    The only regret about this IMAX screening was the French dub (although James Cameron’s intro was in English), especially Colonel Quaritch’s last line in French:  En tant que chef de la sécurité, ma mission est que vous restiez en vie. Je ne pourrais réussir – qu’avec l’aide de tous. A basic English translation reads this way:  As the chief of security, my mission is to keep you alive. I will be able to succeed only with the help of everyone”.   The original English line is:  I will try to keep you alive - but I will fail. For most of you."


    Scene 2: Jake gets into a coffin/machine that will transfer his brain into a Navi avatar. He has a discussion with one of the scientists of the lab, Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), who asks him why he wants to do this experiment. At the end of the scene, the Doctor also prepares to get into a machine.    


    Scene 3:  Jake wakes up in his new body (the scene opens with the subjective vision of the character, similar to “Robocop”).  Two doctors give him a physical exam and ask him to stay calm and remain seated.  Instead of listening to the advice of the doctors and Norm, who is also in a Navi avatar, Jake is too excited to try out his new body and gets up immediately.  The doctors try to stop him, but Navi-Jake walks out of the room...



    Scene 4: Navi-Jake is in the forest with other Navi avatar pals, including Navi-Grace.  Navi-Jake is holding a machine gun, facing a huge mix between a rhinoceros and a hammerhead shark.  Navi-Grace tells him not to shoot the animal and not to run away.  Navi-Jake decides to shout, and the Rhino-Hammer steps back.  But not because of him.  A much more ferocious animal has appeared and starts to chase Navi-Jake, who tries to shoot the thing without success.  He has to run for his life...



    Scene 5: Another action scene. Navi-Jake is attacked by mad forest dogs and is saved by a female Navi warrior, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), who kills all the beasts – with style.



    Scene 6: Navi-Jake wants to thanks Neytiri for saving him, but she says she didn’t want to kill the forest beasts and is not happy about it.  Navi-Jake’s childish and ignorant behaviour obliged her to kill them.  But she saved him because she thinks he is courageous and fearless.


    Scene 7: Navi-Jake, Neytiri and some of her Navi pals are on the mountain-top territory of huge pterodactyl-like creatures.  Neytiri tells Navi-Jake that he has to choose one of the beasts and ride it.  Navi-Jake wrestles with one of them while the other Navis, except Neytiri, make fun of him in Navi dialect.  Finally Navi-Jake succeeds in controlling the beast and mounts it before they all start to fly in the air.... 


    With that the preview ended, and we saw another teaser trailer full of action and emotion.  I watched the “Avatar” preview 3 times! - The IMAX theatre was not even full!!!  Can’t wait for the whole movie!!!!!!!

    Watch the "Avatar" trailer here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/avatar/hd/

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Entry comments (1)

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  • 4eVeRdAyDrEaMeR
    posted on Friday, Aug 28, 2009 11:07AM [Report]
    Cool...art direction and I love the MU & SPFX in the film...will be watching it when it opens in Sydney...^V^

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  • Frederic Ambroisine is a Hong Kong cinema expert and documentary director who has made over 140 DVD bonus features for film distribution companies in France, the UK, the USA and Germany...


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