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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2 Avatars and an Idiocracy

Wow. Got lots of really cool movie news today. Let's start with the big one.

After all these years, James Cameron is finally back in the director's chair. Cameron, of course, the man responsible for such classic films as Titanic, Aliens, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Cameron's next film is called Avatar. It's a gigantic sci-fi film about a war on an alien planet. And, the thing is, it's being done all motion capture, like The Polar Express.

That's kind of why Cameron has been taking it easy since Titanic 10 years ago...he's been waiting for the technology to catch up.

James Cameron's Avatar hits theatres summer 2009.

But wait! That's not the only filmed named "avatar" in development.

It's also been announced today that M. Night Shyamalan will be writing and directing a live-action movie version of Avatar: The Last Airbender

For the un-initiated, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the hottest cartoons on TV right now. It takes place in a very Asian world full of martial arts and mysticism. Key to this world is the art of "bending," martial arts that involve the manipulation of your four basic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

This world has been conquered by the Fire Nation...those people who can firebend. Our adventure focuses on Aang. The airbenders have been hunted to extinction, except for Aang. And, it turns out that Aang is the Avatar...the only one who can master all four kinds of bending, and thus bring peace to the land. So, Aang is off on a quest to master all forms of bending.

Aang is joined on his quest by Katara, an aspiring young waterbender, and Katara's brother Sokka. Sokka can't bend...he's just a plain ol' warrior. And, of course, they are pursued by the agents of the Fire nation at every turn.

I'll admit, I watch the show. It's probably the best attempt by an American cartoon to duplicate all that's good about anime. It has a fairly in-depth ongoing story, and some very appealing characters.

And now, the man still best known for The Sixth Sense is going to be writing and directing a live-action trilogy about it.

No word on when film #1 comes out.

Plus, I have to take a moment to highlight one of the bigger DVD releases of the day.

Idiocracy is out on DVD today. Idiocracy is the latest project from Mike Judge, the man who gave us Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, and the cult-classic comedy Office Space.

For those who haven't heard of it, Idiocracy was Judge's comment on the dumbing down of society. It follows the adventures of Private Joe Bauers (played by Luke Wilson), an average joe. Bauers gets caught up in a government experiment, where he's frozen for 500 years. He wakes up in the future and discovers that, thanks to the dumbing down of society, the USA is now filled with morons. The President is a masked Mexican wrestlers, Starbucks is now called "Starf-cks," where you purchase sexual favours, and the #1 film is Ass, which is just a picture of a butt for 3 hours. It won 7 Oscars. Surrounded by this Bauers quickly becomes the smartest man on Earth, and proceeds to find a way back to the past.

Well, what can I say? In test screenings, the film was so offbeat, that no one knew what to make of it. It sat on the shelf for 2 years. It finally got a very limited theatrical release back in the fall (only in 6 cities), and it unceremoniously gets dumped on DVD today.

But, from what I read online, it's just freakin' hilarioius.

Give it a rent. I'm going to.

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