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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

James Cameron's Giant Step

I just got back from watching Avatar.  I'm not going to do a review of the movie because I'm not a movie critic.  However, as a futurist/philosopher, I believe that it is within my purview to call out the significance of this movie.  I should preface my comments by disclosing that I watched it in IMAX 3D.  I cannot imagine it being seen any other way.

This movie is a game changer for entertainment.  I know there are other 3D movies that use the technology, but this one opens up new possibilities for the technology.  This is the "movie" version of the Internet's eBay.  Before eBay, the Internet was a gimmick: a new way to push out static content.  eBay was the first site to tap the collective nature of what the Internet would become.  It was the precursor to the very tool I am using now.

Avatar uses 3D technology to see a new path for mankind.  After reading some reviews, I realize that there is no saving some people from our savage past.  I actually read a review that said that all but the last 40 minutes of violence was a waste of time.  God help us all.  Clearly, Cameron intended us to associate with "The People."  They understood their connection to the Earth and found peace and harmony in it.  We need that message now more than ever.

My belief is that this technology will be enough to provide some people with a connection with this understanding for the first time.  Moreover, he opens up a new realm of possibility that movies (if that's even the right term for this) can be a powerful vehicle for lifting us out of our own skin.  Many will not understand what I'm talking about right away.  Like any game changer, it will take time to sink in, but as sure as I'm writing this, other movie folk are "getting it."  They will not wait to up the ante.

On the heels of these new 3D adventures will be an explosion of new home theater technology.  Let's face it, some people will be willing to pay a premium to climb inside the mind of the producers and directors who make these features.  Eventually, none of us will need to.  Remember  when a 42" LCD with HD cost $15,000.  Well, not it's 10 times less.  I can't wait until all movies are like this.  People will look back on Avatar like they look at the Wizard of Oz - the first movie that made color mean something.
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