Avatar praised for visuals

Cameron: "Avatar" is the most challenging film I've ever made.

17 Dec – James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of "Titanic," first conceived the live action film "Avatar" 15 years ago, when the means to realise his vision did not yet exist. Having already created CG milestone characters with "The Abyss" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Cameron wanted to push the CG arts to new heights, and so the visually ambitious "Avatar" was written. However, when the treatment was broken down by CG experts, he realised that the technologies required for photorealism were still years off, so the project was shelved.

Delivering the story of a newcomer from Earth who ultimately fights to save the alien world, Cameron said, ""Avatar" is the most challenging film I've ever made." In his aid to create an alien race called Na'vi, Peter Jackson's Academy Award-winning visual effects powerhouse WETA Digital in New Zealand was called in. WETA's groundbreaking photo-real characters like Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" led Cameron to believe that they could breathe life into his characters.

According to the production notes, Cameron said, "It always boils down to this question: Is it a good story? Ultimately the discussion is going to be about the characters – alien and human – and their journeys." He then adds, "I really want audiences to have a completely satisfying cinematic experience. And I hope audiences will walk out of the theatre saying, 'I didn't see a movie; I experienced a movie.'"

Cinema Online's "Avatar" contest winners caught the preview screening on 16 December at GSC Tropicana City, where we later asked them "What they thought of the movie and how many stars would they rate it out of five".

Hubert Koh: Basically, it was a very good movie. I enjoyed everything from the special effects to plot arrangement and costumes. Actually, it would be even better and worth the money to watch it in 3-D seeing as how good the colour contrast was. Planning to go watch the 3-D version soon! I'd give 4.5 stars.

Lung Shyh Shen: The computer-generated imagery (CGI) was good, but the story was very weak. I expected the story to be better since it was nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe awards. Judging by the strong visuals, I think it would be worth the watch in 3-D. I'd give the movie 3.5 stars.

"Avatar" is now showing in cinemas!

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