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Avatar Movie Review: Another Cameron Epic

Avatar

Avatar is the space between dreams and reality, fantasy and science fiction, 'Cowboys and Indians'. James Cameron's latest film since Titanic is a dazzling spectacle of computer-generated photographic imagery and vivid contrasting themes. The film's mesmerising visuals capture a world of their own much like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy with 3D effects giving the audience a heightened sense of reality. Cameron has been tinkering away at this project for more than a decade, proposing his $400 million budget movie and waiting for the CGI technology to come to the party.

The story follows Jake, a paraplegic war veteran who becomes part of a 3 month project to relocate an indigenous race of humanoids known as the Na'vi from their spiritual forest realm on planet Pandora. Jake is biologically locked into a man-made Na'vi tribesman, who he can control in a waking-sleep from a remote location and instructed to work his way into the ancient civilization's inner circle as a spy in order to glean valuable information on how to thwart the locals.

While the cast is comprised of a solid ensemble of actors, the CGI is the star. Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation) does a good job of playing the pure-hearted Jake, Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) conveys the emotional intensity of Neytiri, Giovanni Ribisi (The Gift) is convincing as the power-hungry, yet inept executive, Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil) slaps it on thick as the tough girl marine, Stephen Lang sizzles as the ultimate G.I. Joe tough guy and Sigourney Weaver plays a high-powered expert in a similar role to ...continued.

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Trailer Showdown: Sherlock Holmes vs. Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century

 


Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a classic detective character, who has been with us longer than James Bond. The fictional character is the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who first wrote Sherlock Holmes into existence in 1887. The pipe-puffing detective is renowned for his intellectual prowess, deductive reasoning and observation skills. The character was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, who Doyle says also managed to draw large conclusions from the smallest observations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_holmes)

Countless plays, short stories and film adaptations later... the legend of Holmes still fascinates us with Robert Downey Jr. taking the role to new heights (or possibly depths) in the London-based detective's latest adventure. It's directed by Guy Ritchie of Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels notoriety. His latest efforts with RocknRolla show a return to classic Ritchie, but will this classic adaptation follow this trend?

 The plot: "Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England." (IMDB), sounds like it could be another Johnny English or something more akin to Christopher Nolan's The Prestige. My guess is that it's going to be a mixture... Downey Jr. usually adds his own whimsical humour to whatever role he's playing, including Iron Man. Ritchie also has a penchant for comedy with an eye for action and slick visuals. Whatever the case... it's definitely going to be one to watch. Other stars to look out for: Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong. Opens in South Africa on 1 January, 2010.

It's one of those strange match-ups in the Trailer Showdown today, between the Sherlock Holmes HD movie trailer and a Bravestarr episode entitled Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century. Could go either way... :-)


VERSUS

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Paranormal Activity Movie Review: Don't See It Alone.

Paranormal Activity is the quintessential sleeper hit... not only has this indie horror gem been out for a few years, it's all about what goes on when you're sleeping. The film starts without any credits, opting for a title screen where Paramount thanks the San Diego police department and families of Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston for allowing them to broadcast the film.

The premise of reality horror, a $15,000 low budget, 10 day shooting schedule and unprecedented box office success instantly align Paranormal Activity with the marketing wizardry behind The Blair Witch Project. However, the two films are worlds apart in terms of content with Paranormal Activity focussing on the private lives of two suburban Americans, instead of going on a witch hunt in the forest.

Writer-director, Oren Peli used his own house to shoot the film, buying in pieces of furniture that would suit the film and thus creating his set. It's an inspiration to independent film-makers as Peli creates such amazing tension on such a limited budget. He realises the impact of 'reality' filming, the authenticity of caught on home video moments and the power of darkness, sound effects and ...continued.

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Fan Friday: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button DVD

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a fascinating film from the mind of David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club). Fincher’s translation is emotionally taut and harnesses the power of his partners-in-crime, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The story by Eric Roth follows a passage of time in American history in a similar biographical formula to Forrest Gump, however Button’s reverse aging is the concept, which works in a similar manner to David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.

The film is like a dream as one man’s unique clock delivers the basis for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, set in New Orleans. At two-and-a-half hours the biographical fantasy is overly long, the concept is problematic in the last quarter and the epic story lacks heart. However its shortcomings are smoothed over by terrific performances coupled by spellbinding and Oscar-winning art direction, special effects and make up artistry.

David Fincher has always adhered to the darker side of the heart. His filmography includes: Panic Room, Fight Club, Zodiac and Seven. His fascination with the darkness still has an influence on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, however it’s swathed like an epic lifelong romance with an infusion of Forrest Gump’s charm. The lighter side of his journey is counterbalanced by death as his formative years are riddled with funerals ...continued.

A The Curious Case of Benjamin Button DVD is up for grabs for Fan Friday on the SPL!NG page on Facebook. If you want to stand a chance to win this or other fantastic giveaways like this every week, join up... here.

 
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