First Avatar Clip And New Image

The first Avatar clip to have made it online will be fairly familiar to anybody who made it along on Avatar day, it's just a whole lot smaller and one dimension short these days. Happily for me, this is a snippet of the sequence I was most impressed with in the seventeen minute bundle. We can debate the merits of performance capture and stereoscopic cinematography for hours on end and still not get to the heart of what will make James Cameron's action sequences so incredible, which is their staging and editing. Get a good look at that mastery of pure cinema after the break.

Also tucked away down there is a new image of Neytiri, the Na'vi played by Zoe Saldana. Why, Neytiri, what big eyes you have.

On both of the machines I tried this clip on it was a little stuttery and it's going to be lo-res no matter where you look at it. Again, that's not going to obfuscate the brilliant action direction at work.

Click here to watch the clip

Of course, it was rather more impressive on the IMAX screen in full 3D – don't misread me as an advocate of watching movies on cellphones or any of that silliness.

This action sequence dates back to Cameron's 1998 scriptment for the film at least. Back then, Cameron described the two beasts we see as:

Like a six-legged rhinoceros. It has a massive, low-slung head with blunt transverse projections of solid bone which give it the look of a hammerhead shark. It is a herbivore, but like the rhino, elephant and hippopotamus, it can be aggressive and deadly.


The Manticore is the most fearsome of Pandoran predators, and by the look of it might be the toughest carnivore in the known universe. This thing could eat a T-rex and have the Alien for desert. It is a black six-limbed panther from Hell, the size of a tractor trailer, with an armored head, a venomous striking tail, and massive distensible armored jaws.

Actually, he goes into an awful lot more detail. Notice how the one time Manticore is now being called a Thanator in the clip URL. I wonder why the change?

The below Avatar image comes courtesy of USA Today's article on how Hollywood are scaling back on releases in the next quarter, both deliberately and through fall out from the writers' strike. Not to worry, Avatar is throwing around the budget and marketing for a good handful and could probably use the reduced competition.