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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hollywood Gets Blue for "Avatar"

Los Angeles – They rolled out the blue carpet on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles as "Avatar" blew into town and took everyone's breath away.

Writer-director James Cameron returns to the big screen with a vengeance, 12 years after his last fiction film, "Titanic," swept the world's imagination and won him three Academy Awards. That 1997 film is still the biggest grossing movie of all time, both in the U.S. and the world beyond, so the question on everyone's lips at the celebrity packed premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 16, was, "Can he do it again?"

Certainly his stars believe that his science-fiction adventure parable "Avatar" is sure to blow the top off the box office. Sigourney Weaver, who starred in Cameron's "Aliens" so long ago, told reporters at an earlier press conference that he really is the "King of the World."

"Jim Cameron is the only one I know who understands that special effects are not for effect," Weaver said. "He uses them to enhance the emotional story and to make even sharper, in this case through 3-D, the sensory experience of the audience experiencing the story. And then he sublimates this incredible, revolutionary breakthrough in special effects to the actual work of the actors and the story of the relationships and the characters. I think is the true accomplishment of the movie."

Cameron has created a whole new world called Pandora, populated by gigantic blue people who live in close harmony with their environment until the humans show up. It's reportedly the most expensive movie ever made, ringing in at about $230 million, which explains why everyone who is anyone made the trip to Grauman's Chinese Theatre to see just what that much money will buy.

Cameron brought his wife, Suzy Amis, and his parents to the party, Weaver came with husband Bill Simpson, and the other "Avatar" stars brought the family, too. Giovanni Ribisi and his daughter Lucia joined Joel Moore and his parents, CCH Pounder and her husband, Stephen Lang and his wife, and leading man Sam Worthington brought his girlfriend, stylist Natalie Mark. Leading ladies Zoe Saldana and Michelle Rodriguez got busy signing autographs and greeting fans, while a stream of Hollywood's favorites headed into the packed theater.

Cuba Gooding, Jr., brought his boys, Jamie Lee Curtis brought her two children, and Bill Paxton had his son in tow, as did Virginia Madsen. Brendan Fraser came solo, Luke Wilson slipped in late, and Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman even brought their own candy to sustain them through the almost three-hour movie.

Cheryl Tiegs, Audrina Patridge, and Leona Lewis prettied up the blue carpet, and a slew of Hollywood's most famous directors came too, ready to check out what Cameron has created. From "Transformers" came Michael Bay, Bryan Singer of "X-Men" fame checked in, "Public Enemies" top dog Michael Mann turned up, and Cameron's ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, of this year's acclaimed film "The Hurt Locker," even joined the fun.

The most common comment of the evening was a telling one. Heard over and over again, the consensus was that "Avatar" is an "incredible, amazing movie" and one that just may take on "Titanic" for the top spot. The film opens worldwide on Dec. 18.


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