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Tag: Avatar (51-60 of 84)

Do the 10 Best Picture nominees make you want to watch the Oscars more? Or less?

It’s only a week away from the Academy Awards and only a week until we see whether the big decision to include 10 Best Picture nominees will yield ratings gold. Personally, I’ve still only seen half of the nominees (Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Up, Inglorious Basterds, and District 9) and I’m a little overwhelmed with catching up on the rest! That’s a lot of movies! That’s a lot of time! But thankfully snow has blanketed much of the East Coast this weekend so it gives me reason to sit down and catch up on a couple more (I think I’m gonna watch Precious and Up in the Air). I do think this will lend more eyes to the telecast next week but screening all of these titles is borderline exhausting (Be sure and check out this week’s EW with all of Dave Karger’s Oscar odds.). Am I alone here in my frustration?

So here’s my question for you, PopWatchers: Has the expanded Best Picture category made you want to watch the Oscars more? Or has viewing all ten of the nominees stressed you out? Sadly, I think I fall into the latter category but having seen front runners Avatar and The Hurt Locker brings me some peace.

After watching ice dancing, does anyone else think 'Avatar On Ice' could be super chill?

With a perfectly cast Meryl Davis as Neyteri, the entire Olympic Ice Dancing community needs to just team up with James Cameron and do an Avatar tour already. Let’s make this happen. You know Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina already have Na’vi costumes as well as somewhat cohesive looks for the “various flora and fauna” endemic to Pandora. It could be problematic when whoever’s playing Jake Sully (ideas? doesn’t have to be Charlie…) wakes up in Reality, but that’s the beauty of taking things On Ice — the potential for drama! Jake Sully On Ice will figure it out. What are those weapons affixed to the ends of his seemingly useless legs? They are BEAUTIFUL SKATES. He is an ICE DANCER. Maybe diminutive man-behind-the-curtain Scott Hamilton could be the Giovanni Ribisi? Time to stop.

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

James Cameron vs. Kathryn Bigelow: How Should This End?

The two front-runners for this year’s Best Director Oscar, James Cameron (Avatar) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), used to be married. It sounds like a plot from an old Hepburn-Tracy romantic comedy (or at least an episode of The O.C.), so if you ask me, we haven’t given this situation the proper “Holy Crap!”-level of consideration. That might change. James Cameron recently told Charlie Rose that his “fantasy outcome” for the Academy Awards would be for Kathryn Bigelow to win Best Director, while Avatar wins Best Picture. “I have already got an Oscar. I’ve got a couple of them…. I don’t really need another one.”

As with everything James Cameron says in front of a microphone, it’s possible to interpret this comment as magnanimous (Awww, he wants to share!) or cosmically egotistical (Awww, so very nice of you to give away your Oscar, Mr. Cameron). I tend to think that Cameron gets kind of a bad rap – his “King of the World” is actually utterly charming, right up until the last four seconds. But by actually speaking aloud what many people have been thinking, I’m betting he’s just made a Hurt Locker Director/Picture sweep more likely. (EW’s Oscar guru Dave Karger also thinks Hurt Locker and Bigelow will win.)

Let’s put aside the competition for a second, though, and ponder the yin/yang duality of Bigelow/Cameron. The two are perfect opposites. Avatar is the budget-breaking, billions-grossing romantic adventure about adorable natives battling grouchy invaders in a zero-gravity neon rainforest. The Hurt Locker cost about one dollar, made about $1.50, and follows amoral invaders battling nearly-invisible natives in sweaty, colorless, bombed-out cities. READ FULL STORY

James Cameron promises 'Avatar' novel

Are you ready for Avatar: The Novel? According to the Wall Street Journal, director James Cameron intends to write a novel that will follow his Pandora movie adventure “quite closely.” Rather than dwell on whether it will incorporate the film’s 3-D elements — say, like a pop-up book — I’m actually eager to dig deeper into Pandora and read the characters’ “interior monologues.” Even the blockbuster’s most enthusiastic supporters don’t herald the story’s originality, complexity, or dialogue, so it will be interesting to see if a lack of depth in those areas was an inevitable casualty of Cameron’s emphasis on the groundbreaking technical aspects of filmmaking. “There are things you can do in books that you can’t do with films,” Cameron told the Journal. And vice versa. I’m not sure I left the theater with a lot of gnawing questions about Avatar‘s backstory, but I’m intrigued by the prospect that clues to future Avatar adventures might be buried in Cameron’s prose.

Will Avatar be on your reading list?

Photo Credit: Mark Feldman

Weekend Box Office Poll: Are you going to the 'Edge of Darkness'?

Could this weekend be lucky No. 7 at the box office for James Cameron’s Avatar? Possibly, as it seems that the masterpiece could yet again top the weekend’s box office. But for the first time since it premiered, the flick has a formidable foe in Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness. EW’s box office guru Nicole Sperling predicts that the two will battle but that ultimately Avatar will prevail over Darkness. Sperling also sees When in Rome, Legion, and The Tooth Fairy tangled in the $6-8 million range and battling for spots three through five.

But, predictions, shmerdictions: What are you going to see? That’s what I wanna know! Please vote in our totally informal, weekly EW Weekend Box Office Poll below. Oh wait, what you’re planning to hit the theaters for isn’t one of the five choices in the poll and talked about above? Choose the last selection of “Something else!” and then tell us about what you’re going to see in the comment section below. I wanna hear from you! Thanks for playing!

More from EW.com:
Box office preview: ‘Avatar’ and ‘Edge of Darkness’ battle for No. 1
‘Avatar’ review
‘Edge of Darkness’ review
‘When in Rome’ review
‘Legion’ review
‘The Tooth Fair’ review

'Avatar': Just how unprecedented is that box-office take?

avatar-saldanaImage Credit: WETACongratulations to Avatar, James Cameron’s CG-laden sci-fi opus, for its spectacular box-office success. Yesterday, in only its most recent milestone, Avatar became the most popular movie…since Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace. Yes, I’m well aware that Avatar also surpassed Titanic to become the planet’s biggest box-office grosser. But the fact remains that, due to the rising price of movie tickets, more North Americans saw Phantom Menace in the theater than have seen Avatar so far. In fact, Avatar currently ranks 26th all-time when you adjust for inflation and probably won’t crack the top-10.

I’m not trying to diminish Avatar‘s truly awesome impact, but a little perspective can’t hurt. Yes, James Cameron has the two highest-grossing films of all-time. But in terms of tickets sold — arguably a better reflection of popularity – Titanic and Avatar rank 6th and 26th. Compare that to Steven Spielberg’s resume, which includes No. 4 (E.T.), No. 7 (Jaws), No. 16 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, and No. 17 (Jurassic Park). And don’t get me started on this country’s unrivaled affection for No. 1 Gone With the Wind, which played to packed houses for years.

Comparing the success of blockbusters from different Hollywood eras is a complex and perhaps futile assignment, due to new revenue streams, international markets, etc., etc. But it’s still worth noting that films of yesteryear were every bit the pop-cultural phenomena as today’s Avatar or The Dark Knight, if not more so. And from a bottom-line point of view, forgettaboutit. Star Wars grossed $461 million stateside; E.T. checked out with $435 million. Both films were made for less than $12 million each. No matter Avatar‘s eventual tally, those rates of return will probably never be equaled by a studio film.

Do you find these comparisons and debates as fascinating as I do, or am I simply grasping at straws to defend the blockbusters of my youth?

Weekend Box Office Poll: Are you hitting 'Avatar' again? Or maybe—groan, groan, groan!—'The Tooth Fairy' instead?

As the No. 2 movie of all time, Avatar, moves into its sixth weekend in theaters, EW’s box office maven Nicole Sperling is predicting yet another win for James Cameron’s masterpiece. And according to Nicole’s estimates, it’s not like Avatar is just gonna win—it’ll win by a huge margin, taking something like $34 million to The Tooth Fairy‘s $18 million.

But, predictions schmedictions! We wanna know what movies will propel you to hit the theater this weekend. You doubling back for more Avatar? (C’mon, you know you’ve already seen it!) Or will you be flossin’ (UGH on this movie, but at least we can have fun with puns, right?) with The Tooth Fairy and Dwayne Johnson? Maybe you’re gonna get your Lovely Bones on? Tell me in the poll below!

More from EW.com:
Box office preview: ‘Tooth Fairy,’ ‘Extraordinary Measures’ and ‘Legion’ will all fall to ‘Avatar’
‘Avatar’ review
‘The Tooth Fairy’ review
‘Book of Eli’ review
‘The Lovely Bones’ review

Which scenes were cut from the year's best movies?

The fun of a director’s cut, of course, is being able to watch an elongated version of one of your favorite films, and constantly wonder, “Why did [insert director name here] take that scene out?!” (One of the most egregious cuts in my opinion: Christopher Guest cutting “This Bulging River” from his finalized version of Waiting for Guffman. Why, oh why?!)

Well, even before you see all the director’s cuts of this year’s most celebrated films, you’ll get some answers to that question, thanks to the L.A. Times’ “Envelope Roundtable.” The media outlet gathered some of this year’s award-worthy directors — James Cameron, Jason Reitman, Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, and Lee Daniels — to chat about their films and careers. This is one interesting clip from the roundtable, in which the five discuss the scenes they cut from their acclaimed films.

One common thread between all the slashed scenes? They all seemed to be cherished by the directors. (Well, except for a seemingly ill-advised dream sequence from Up in the Air.) But even if the subject matter of this clip doesn’t interest you, you should check it out anyway: The awkward tension between Bigelow and Cameron — who, at one point, teases his ex-wife about her low budget for The Hurt Locker — is simply too good to miss.

Tell me, PopWatchers, if you had the five directors in one room together, what would you ask them? And what, in your opinion, was the most egregious cut scene from a film?

James Cameron wins PETA award for 'Avatar.' Nice, but...

Golden Globe winner James Cameron earned another kudo this week: PETA just awarded him its “2010 Proggy Award for Outstanding Feature Film” for Avatar. The “Proggy” (that stands for progress) is “making a film with an overarching message of decency, understanding, and compassion — as well as breathtakingly beautiful CGI that heralds a new era in filmmaking (one that we hope marks the coming end of the use of live animals in entertainment).”

Hmm. You had me with the first part, PETA: The film’s message is that all nature is connected and man should never destroy any species’ home for monetary gain. That certainly relates to animals whose habitats are threatened. But arguing that Avatar, which takes place in a fictitious world featuring animals that don’t actually exist, proves that no movie ever need enlist a live creature again? Now, you’re reaching.* Would CGI animals — normal ones, not singing Chipmunks — freak you out and diminish emotional impact? Or is knowing that no animal was harmed in the making of a movie not enough?

Just like the non-PETA protester who recently yelled “Squeeze your boyfriend’s balls instead!” at me as I was going into Madison Square Garden for a PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event. I’m sure there are arguments to be made against bull riding, but that is not one of them: The flank strap never touches the bull’s berries.

More Avatar coverage

'Avatar': FX's 'Creating the World of Pandora' special got me thinking...

Last night, FX aired a 30-minute special called Avatar: Creating the World of Pandora. For those of you who know all about Avatar‘s groundbreaking production (and I’m guessing that’s a lot of you), this mini-documentary didn’t offer many new insights. However, for those who still have no idea how James Cameron created the awesome 3-D spectacle that is Pandora, the TV special would rapidly get those moviegoers up to speed. The program began with Cameron making a speech to his crew on the first day of production in 2007, and even then he was giving the same spiel about how he initially developed Avatar in 1995, but had to wait for the technology to catch up with his vision. READ FULL STORY

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