DID YOU READ

“Avatar” attractions coming to Walt Disney World

“Avatar” attractions coming to Walt Disney World (photo)

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If you watched James Cameron‘s “Avatar” and thought to yourself “With the 3-D, virtual reality, and wild rides on the backs of dragons, this kind of feels like a theme park ride” you weren’t alone. You know who else thought that? James Cameron. And he hooked up with the folks at Disney who gave him $400 million to make it a real theme park ride.

Disney announced yesterday that they’re partnering with Cameron for an entire “Avatar”-themed land at their Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 and last approximately 5 years (the deal leaves open the possibility of additional “Avatar” lands at other Disney parks). If the current calendar holds, that would put the opening some time in 2018, roughly three years after Cameron’s third “Avatar” film is currently slated for release. In other words: it’s a long ways off. It will be interesting to see whether “Avatar” is still a massive cultural force in seven years, and whether “Avatar 2” and “3” (both of which will be directed by Cameron) enhance or diminish its status amongst movie lovers.

Here’s a Cameron quote on the project from Disney’s press release:

“‘Avatar’ created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new ‘Avatar’ films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our ‘Avatar’ universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of ‘Avatar’ with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

And that’s the real question here, right? Just what will park goers find in this “Avatar” land? I don’t know what is technologically feasible, but I know there are a lot of meaty possibilities in that first “Avatar” movie alone. How badass would it be to pilot your own AMP suit? Or fly on your own dragon (banshees in “Avatar”-speak) using some kind of combination of animatronics and 3D filmmaking? Or let’s get really crazy: how about some kind of virtual reality helmet that actually lets you feel like you’ve got your own avatar? You enter some kind of Pandora lab, a pretaped video of Sigourney Weaver gives you some instructions, you strap yourself onto a gurney, and then presto chango, it feels like you’re one of those big blue dudes. Impossible? Absolutely. But fun to imagine.

Cameron has had some success with theme park attractions in the past. He co-directed “T2 3D” for Universal, which is still going strong at their parks after fifteen years. A similar 3D movie would be a no-brainer with “Avatar,” but given that the film itself is a 3D movie, there’s not a whole lot of novelty in going to a theme park just to watch another 3D movie. Actually, the 3D invasion into movie theaters in recent years kind of diminished the novelty of all the 3D movies at theme parks like Disney. That’s why I think whatever attractions that “Avatar” land contains, 3D is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.

Not iceberg. That was “Titanic.” Wrong James Cameron movie. My bad.

What kind of “Avatar” attractions do you want to see at Disney? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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