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Hollywood.com goes to the Avatar Premiere

Fittingly, the red carpet was blue at last night’s world premiere of James Cameron’s Avatar in London. The clear evening brought out the stars to fill Leicester Square’s Odeon cinema including “King of the World” Cameron himself (along with wife Suzy Amis), Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez and the rest of the main players from the long-awaited 3D epic.

Speaking to the press outside the theater, Cameron was asked if he intended to work with his star Worthington again. Jokingly, he replied, “Hopefully this movie won’t make any money because then we don’t have to do a sequel.” Of course, earlier in the day he had alluded to the fact that he may indeed have two more “Avatar” films in him.

Among other celebs to grace the blue carpet were Simon Pegg, Queen’s Brian May and the newly-crowned heavyweight boxing champion of the world, David Haye (who sat just a couple of rows ahead of us, appropriately enough, in the nose-bleed section).

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Although journalists were asked by the film’s studio, Fox, not to post any reviews before next week, that embargo flew out the window last night when comments began to fill the blogosphere as the final credits rolled. Fox shouldn’t mind too much: The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.
 
I don’t know if I want to jump on that break-the-ban wagon – and I’m no critic – but I will say that the film is indeed impressive. It’s easy to see where the reported $200 million plus budget was spent as the wonderland that is the alien planet Pandora comes to life in a tangible fairy-tale realism. It’s not cartoonish, though, and indeed you’ve not seen anything like it before. In fact, despite the vision of the film, its story, characters – its universe, if you will – were all born inside Cameron’s head, there’s hardly a notion of it being “un-real” in any way.

What’s more, this is the first 3D film I’ve seen probably (and admittedly shamefully) since “Jaws 3-D,” and although I’ve seen more recent examples of 3D in clips at special presentations, I was a bit skeptical.

One of the things that thus impressed me most was the way in which, after about 5 minutes, you totally forget you’re wearing the shades and just flow with the story. There’s nary a sense that you’re watching anything of artifice. There’s wonderment and spectacle, sure, but they draw you into Pandora’s box rather than wreaking havoc with the mind.

I won’t say much more about the film other than the fact that there’s a lot more story and a lot more to pull audiences in than what’s been shown in much of the advance footage.

Speaking of footage, Weaver and Saldana may want to rethink the height of their heels for future outings. The two women, who looked stunning in black and white frocks, had a hard time negotiating the stage steps before the screening. This was made even more difficult when the house lights came down before the ladies could be helped from the platform. Still, there were no broken bones to report, only, perhaps, breaking records to come.

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