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Avatar is expected to inspire Halloween costumes for many people this year.  Hollywood hitmaker James Cameron scored another mega movie success with 2009’s Avatar.  The film is the second highest grossing film in history, beaten only by Cameron’s previous film Titanic.  Originally Avatar was supposed to have been released soon after Titanic but the technology that existed at the time wasn’t advanced enough to create the world that James Cameron had in mind as the setting of the film.  Filming didn’t begin until 2006, and the film was released in 2009.

The film is set in the future, where humans are mining a precious mineral on a planet called Pandora in the Alpha Centuri system. The native inhabitants of the planet, the Na’vi, don’t like the humans being on their world and actively fight back against the growing mining operations conducted by the RDA corporation.  Parker Selfridge, played in the film by veteran character actor Giovanni Ribisi, is the head of RDA and is becoming more and more concerned about the Na’vi’s disruption of their mining operations. He hires some ex-Marines to work as security and body guards at the mining site and during transportation of equipment, the mineral, and personnel to and from the planet. Unfortunately the surface of Pandora is toxic to humans, so humans originally used breathing masks to function.  Human scientists began experimenting with genetically engineered bodies that could operate in the Pandora environment and created avatars. Avatars are genetically engineered bodies that are copies of the Na’vi body. Avatars are controlled through the use of computer equipment by humans on ships outside of the Pandora atmosphere. When a doctor working on the avatars is killed his twin brother, paraplegic ex – Marine Jake Sully is tapped to take his place. The doctor in charge, Grace Augustine who is played in the film by sci fi favorite Sigourney Weaver, assigns Jake to be her bodyguard as she and Dr.Norm Spellman head into the Pandoran jungle.

During the trip into the jungle Jake becomes separated from the others and gets lost. He is found and protected by Neytiri, a female Na’vi played in the movie by Zoe Saldana. As he is drawn into the Na’vi society and becomes close to Neytiri Jake sees how the mining operations of RDA are destroying Pandora and the Na’vi culture and he begins to work with them to stop RDA.

Avatar has been nominated for many awards because of the groundbreaking technology used to create the special effects and to broadcast the film.  One of the reasons why Avatar has been such a box office smash is that the film is available in regular 2D film, 3D film, and IMAX format. 3D films and television are being heralded as the next big thing in technology. While not many films are available in 3D now the astonishing success of Avatar and the millions of dollars paid by customers to see the 3D and IMAX formats of the film, have sent a clear message to movie companies that consumers will willingly pay more to see films in these formats.

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