James Cameron says three more Avatar sequels then he’s returning to the ocean

Avatar 1

In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, James Cameron vowed he’s signed on with 20th Century Fox for three more Avatar sequels.

Cameron claims the Avatar franchise will allow him to continue his filming passions and speak to the things which mean most to him, specifically, human interaction with nature.

CG (computer graphics) are already in full gear for the next movie with teams in Manhattan Beach, California and New Zealand creating the signature Avatar world–blades of grass, flowers, and all. Cameron has also begun laying out the story with four other writers working alongside him.

Asked whether or not he’s sequel happy like many studios capitalizing on big hit movies, Cameron believes his Avatar sequel dreams are not of him selling out, but more of a George Lucas, Star Wars kind of thing.

He’s not ready to leave the blue lush world of Avatar just yet.

But why Cameron has been busy working on the next Avatar sequel, he didn’t start without first exploring a new world much more real and also very blue. Following the first movie, Cameron built a cylindrical submersible, not much wider than his body, and plunged into the ocean.

Cameron witnessed what is known as the Mariana Trench, 35,798ft below the ocean’s surface, and is only the third person in history to do so, the others being Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in 1960.

Don-Walsh-and-Jacques-Piccard

And that is why Cameron says, when he is done filming Avatar in five to six years, he is returning to the ocean, back to science.

While Cameron loves Hollywood, he’s very much aware it’s a bubble. Self describing himself as an explorer, Cameron’s love for Hollywood and all things movies is surpassed by his yearning to discover the unknown.

We might all be in for a heck of a journey to come. Whether it’s Cameron’s next Avatar sequel, or a documentary about his descents into the unknown, Cameron is bound to excite us in the theaters.

Let’s just hope the sequels don’t run out of steam like so many franchises do.

Cameron 3

Blue Jasmine Movie Review

Last night I finally got around to watching Blue Jasmine, and I must say, despite my initial reservations about the storyline, I enjoyed it!

The movie, featuring Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett playing wealthy New York socialite, Jasmine, at wit’s end after her husband Hal’s (Alec Baldwin) questionable business endeavors lead them to financial ruin, is emotionally raw and awkward.

Blue-Jasmine

While a storyline of this nature normally does not catch my interest, unless rivaling the gutsiness of the The Wolf on Wall Street (okay maybe not that gutsy), in there lies the beauty of Netflix–a flat monthly rate for unlimited movies.

The messiness and realness with which the story is told by Woody Allen and played by Blanchett is entirely unnerving. There are no moments of bliss or forgiveness in this movie. Even while Jasmine finds herself kissing Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard) on the back porch of their soon-to-be new home, possibly returning her to the privileged life that marked her past, she cannot shake the feeling of being wildly out of control, thus continuing her lies and hurtling her closer towards disaster. Constantly popping pills to avoid a meltdown, something about her fall from grace, and never returning to it despite her greatest efforts, is deeply satisfying. The movie is real, and no it’s not a chick-flick.

Throughout the film Blanchett gives a convincing performance as we watch her meander around the streets of San Francisco trying to make sense of her new reality and incorporate herself into lower class society where her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) lives. These scenes often punctuated by the complete inability of Jasmine to relate to her environment.

Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

Though the story of broken socialite sent back to reality is not exactly a plot-line we haven’t heard, Jasmine’s complete loss of control feels refreshing, especially as she slips deeper into her own despair.

My one qualm about the movie was setting. At times, it seems to portray the 70s and 80s, though clearly other elements in the film, specifically cars and technology, remind you the story takes place in present day. Maybe it’s just the vintage filter Woody Allen gives the movie. However, I found this confusing and had to remind myself where I was.

Overall, definitely a movie to check out if you haven’t done so already!

Gaza (Day 9- Full Scale Ground Invasion)

With smiles on their faces, Israel invades Gaza…

Smiling soldiers

 

As the massacre continues with no end in sight, I find it hard to express everything going through my mind.

Senselessness, barbarism, sadness, corruption, innocence….

Last night while Benjamin Netanyahu cleared the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to proceed with a full scale ground invasion into Gaza, even journalists on the front lines found it hard to control their dismay. One example was seen when CNN correspondent Diana Magnay tweeted about a gathering of Israeli civilians, calling them “scum,” as they watched and cheered the commencement of the IDF’s invasion. The commencement characterized by the raining of bombs on Gaza during the night. Pictures of the gathering resembling a Fourth of July celebration, the familiar fireworks replaced by bombs, symbolizing almost certain casualties every time they fell.

Israeli troops 2

However what disturbs me most, is that my own country, the United States, and more specifically the White House, who could stop this war in an instant, considering $350 million dollars of our country’s tax dollars were just donated to Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System, continues to standby and watch as the bodies stack up.

The White House, which so often reiterates its unwavering stance against oppression and humans’ undeniable rights to freedom has fallen eerily silent. Not even a tweet has been heard from the White House Twitter feed since the battle began. Their attention now being turned, the timing near perfect, to the recent downing of yet another Malaysian passenger plane, MH-17, which has yet to be explained.

Despite the White House’s silence, one thing that does give me succor is UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon’s decision today to visit the Middle East in an act to broker a ceasefire.

As reported by the Irish Independent, Ki-Moon stated that a “ceasefire was ‘indispensable’ for urgently needed humanitarian efforts to succeed.”

Due to the length of the ongoing conflict, he added that UN humanitarian aid had been “stretched thin.”

Furthermore, Palestinian UN Ambassador, Riyad Mansour, promised to take his pleas about the ongoing atrocities in Gaza to the UN and international criminal courts if the Security Council did not act to protect Palestinian civilians.

Mansour went on to say that Israel’s “savage aggression” into Gaza “cannot be justified by any means. It is not self-defense. It is a vengeful military aggression intentionally planned and perpetrated by the occupying power on the civilian population under its occupation.”

israeli-troops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In closing, I want to mention a picture I recently saw. The picture accompanied by a one lined caption. It was of a Gaza paramedic that had been answering the ceaseless calls of the gravely injured and deceased. Constantly starting up his truck to help another person, the picture showed the man crying. I imagined his tears were from the horrific things he had seen, but when I read the caption, I found out I was wrong. The man had been crying because after starting up his truck yet another time, he came to realize that this time was different. This time it was his own family that he would be rescuing. But it was too late. They had been killed.

 

Has the world forgotten about Gaza (Day 3)

Gaza Mosque targeted by Israeli airstrikes

Gaza Mosque targeted by Israeli airstrikes , posted by thewire.com

While rockets rain down on Gaza from every which place, a lopsided US news decries attacks against Israel. Even while the death toll continues to rise in Gaza, and healthcare facilities are brought to their knees by the ceaseless stream of injured and dying victims of Israel’s military onslaught, the US and the world mostly standby and watch providing no aid, no medical supplies, and no shelter to those who are being killed. A deja vu response much similar to the Syrian civil war now ongoing for three years.

Time magazine’s online addition, states “Everything about the latest offensive is moving fast, especially relative to the last round of fighting. That November 2012 air campaign — dubbed Operation Pillar of Defense by Israel — lasted eight days. Israel’s current offensive, Operation Protective Edge, has bombed more than half as many targets in Gaza in less than half the time — 860 in three days compared with 1,500 in eight days last time.

Clearly a one sided war is being witnessed, Gaza being unequipped militarily to handled the bombardment of a nation backed by US military defense systems and weapons. Reports stating many of Gaza’s rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome system (which the US assisted Israel in developing) or falling in open areas. There have been no reports of Israeli citizen casualties. Meanwhile, Gaza has witnessed approximately 120 deaths in three days, nearly a quarter of which have been women and children. Though Israel continues to claim its missiles and rockets are being specifically targeted at Hamas hot zones, such claims have been hard to agree with considering the destruction seen thus far.

As Palestinians continue to die and live in fear of Israel’s next missile, the world wonders how long yet another war will go on before somebody steps in.

To help the people suffering in Palestine, please donate at:  visit: http://www.irusa.org/emergencies/palestine-humanitarian-crisis-2/

 

 

 

Guantanamo Bay–Shut it down

Recent headlines surrounding hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay have drawn national attention to the controversial facility. Reports have stated that hundreds of prisoners have staged over a two month long hunger strike.

Through mostly an unmotivated legal system and minimal evidence, detainees have been protesting treatment and human rights violations, many of which have been imprisoned indefinitely with no clear hope of ever being released.

What is further concerning is how the US military lied to reporters about the severity of the hungry strike, according to a CBS News source.

While we hear reports of Gitmo closing its doors, we also hear reports of renovations, including chapels and recreation buildings. According to various sources, the United States Pentagon is preparing to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into the facility making it more robust than temporary.

Presently, Gitmo prisoners have surprising comforts such as video games, movies, flat screen tvs in many rooms, and an outdoor recreation field roughly half the size of a football field that prisoners have access to 22hrs a day. While I am all for the humane treatment of prisoners of war (which these men almost are), I am not for the delayed politics barricading the way to getting these men to a timely trial. These prisoners are not on a hunger strike because it makes them feel good. They are on a strike because they are desperate for attention. They are desperate for rights. And being its our money that is being spent to hold them in limbo while they play video games, I think we should listen.

Its time to convict or set free these prisoners. We must remember that even though they are prisoners, they are human. It is neither beneficial for them or to the people of the United States to keep these men in a state of waiting. Force feeding these men bottles of Ensure through feeding tubes inserted into their nostrils to keep them alive during this hunger strike is absurd.

I guess we will just half to see how long the madness lasts before somebody decides to make a needed change.

Spain’s Modern Robin Hood Criticises Austerity

Spain’s Modern Robin Hood Criticises Austerity.

This is an astoundingly real situation. I feel terrible for the Spaniards and Greeks affected by these measures. Sometimes it takes brave individuals at the grass roots level like Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo to change a dire situation. Though what he is doing seems wrong (stealing and looting), the motives behind his actions are sincere and compassionate. He is trying to help the people being left behind.