‘Avatar’ Featurette: Visit Planet Jim


Perhaps we have never seen a movie like “Avatar,” or perhaps there has never been a movie like this. One thing I know for sure is that if anyone can make a movie like this, it is James Cameron.

The featurette below is properly named “Planet Jim,” since it is his world, a universe based on a dream that James (or Jim) Cameron had 14 years ago. By the looks of this featurette, we are going to be taken to this world, and when I say taken, I mean as close as we will ever get to this fantasy of the mind.

This will for the most part be due to the “third dimensional” special effects to which our eyes will be exposed. We are going to be enveloped in the forest world that according to the trailer is called “Pandora.” A world that James Cameron could not create for us at the time of his dream. What wonders he saw at the time had to stay locked up until the technology required for him to express his fantasy was available.

In 2005, as the featurette explains, he approached the dream once again. As luck would have it, it seems the technology to make it come to life was accesible, finally. This is where the featurette below comes in. It answers many of the burning questions many have about “Avatar,” such as: What is “Avatar?” How does the key character become an “Avatar?”

With these questions answered, viewing the original trailer, and the ones that followed it, it is easier to engulf yourself in the creativity of the movie, and grand scale of it all.

I cannot deny that I am a 3D fan; ever since I was a child it would amaze me. I am so glad it is making a comeback. I am still, to this day, sad that Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” was never released in 3D even though it was filmed in 3D. Yes, it has been 40 years or more since 3D basically died, and although it surfaced every once in a while (i.e. “Jaws 3D,” “Friday the 13th Part 3-D”) it never caught on — until now.

There are quick things to listen for during this featurette. One thing that really impressed me was the explanations, like the explanation for what an “Avatar” is, they speak in a jargon that only science-fiction folks would understand or appreciate (i.e.: “An avatar is a remotely controlled body, the DNA of an alien and DNA of human are mixed together, placed into a womb, and the humans thoughts and personalities are channelled into a synthetically grown avatar”).

When all is said and done there are a series of spectacular images, battle scenes and flights through picturesque forested mountains. The views rotate around flying creatures and in mid-battle, and the images go back and forth between advanced technological vehicles and machinery to simple, primitive, throwing weapons and wooden-made contraptions. The Creatures of the Pandora planet are large “dinosaur-like” monsters, perhaps, but like nothing we have seen before.

The movie is mostly filmed with green screen, but the combination of life and special effects appears to be seamless. You will be able to see every leaf in the trees and every detail in the human skin. All the key characters in the movie appear in the featurette. They contribute to it with “behind the scene” facts or simply by sharing what they are taking away from this experience.

“Avatar” will be just a dream no longer starting on Dec. 18, 2009.

Follow Josue Sanchez on Twitter at

10 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Robert DeFeis #

    Great article. This movie looks very interesting. The only thing I really don’t like is the name otherwise I am definitely looking forward to seeing this.

  2. 2

    It looks to be amazing! Hopefully, the title won’t slow it down too much. Still, I’m waiting on another Terminator movie. How much longer is Arnold in office?

  3. Bob #

    It looks like James Cameron is making his own 2009 version of Star Wars.

    The detail and lighting effects make the computer animation seem real. Its sharp detail from what I can see on You-tube is stunning, at a first rate theater with full sound, I’m sure you will feel the moss under your seat.

  4. Apple El #

    Oh Wow Josue! This movie looks fantastic!
    It is something I would want to see.
    Not to mention it has fellow Aussie Sam Worthington in it,he is from Perth, my hometown!
    The FX look amazing and the story sounds interesting, I hope it does well for James.
    Thanks for your review, and here I was thinking ‘Avatar’ was just an id pic for message boards!

  5. bigge3021 #

    Well Done, Josue on your article. I have to say to me it is best to watch Avatar in IMAX to get a better experience of this film. Have to agree with others that commented earlier, I hope title doesn’t affect viewers from watching it because honestly I wasn’t too crazy about it. As well, I wonder how many people where turn off from first trailer of Avatar because from reading comments on websites that had trailer, they were either confused or had negative feelings towards the first trailer. Nevertheless, I think and it should draw big box office numbers because it is James Cameron film and from his past films, Avatar should be amazing!!

  6. 6

    Great Article!
    From the clip/trailer the effects look amazing and the plot extremely intriguing. What I like the most is that it’s an original idea based entirely on the writer/producer’s imagination. I certainly love all James Cameron work from Terminator to Titanic!! And this is one feature I wouldn’t dare to miss.
    Thanks for your review, Josue, perceptive as always.

  7. mediumtuna #

    I saw the trailer in the theater and was very intrigued. It looks visually amazing. I hope it makes it’s money back.

  8. PattiD41 #

    Brilliant work, Josue. I saw a commercial for Avatar the other day & it intrigued me. After reading your review and seeing the clip I will definitely go see the movie.

  9. Elle #

    Great job Josue! The special effects look amazing! Will have to go see this movie!

  10. 10

    Good article it’s really complete. Wen I saw the trailer it didn’t convince me at all. Now I am intrigue, good job! Thanks!

0 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. uberVU - social comments 03 11 09