This morning the now ten nominations for “Best Picture” for the 2010 Academy Awards were announced as as expected, there are plenty of ties to the LOTR community.

“Avatar” with powerful ties to Weta Digital and “District 9,” produced by Peter Jackson and with conceptual design (not an Academy category) also from Weta, are competing in the “Best Picture” category. The two films are also nominated in “Best Visual Effects,” and “Best Editing.” Each film received other nominations as well. See inside for a full list of all nominations and talk about it in our forums. Continue reading “Strong ties in Best Picture race”

When the trumpets sound Tuesday morning and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its annual Oscar nominations, could there be any more of a sure thing than that James Cameron’s mega-hit “Avatar” will grace the list of visual effects honorees?

After all, while many people have enjoyed the film’s sprawling anti-colonialism storyline, there’s little doubt that what has made the movie the highest grossing of all time is its stunning computer-generated imagery, primarily the intricate, intensely detailed and impressively realistic world of Pandora. More..

From Looks like James Cameron is the King of Middle Earth, too. With $1.14 billion worldwide and counting, Avatar has now overtaken the $1.1 billion raked in by 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King to become the second-highest-grossing film in history.

In fact, Avatar is going so strong that what once seemed an out-of-this-world impossibility now seems within the realm of (virtual) reality. If the 20th Century Fox movie, which screens in both 2-D and 3-D formats, keeps up its current pace, it could catch the $1.8 billion in global ticket sales tallied by the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s own Titanic.

If that wasn’t enough (and it never is in Tinseltown), Fox’s FX cable network has reportedly paid upward of $25 million for the TV rights to Avatar, which will premiere in 2012. And that makes Cameron’s blue folk even more green.

avatarPromotional campaigns for films are designed to do one thing: Sell tickets. Unfortunately, they sometimes mislead viewers into expecting something a film doesn’t deliver which can taint the viewing experience.

This might be the case with James Cameron’s “Avatar” which was released Friday with an incredible amount of hype – both grass-roots and manufactured through an advertising campaign that might lead viewers to expect the greatest movie known to the history of humankind. Continue reading “Movie review: Avatar’s visuals dazzle”