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In Depth Reviews of the Avatar Footage

Kris Tapley at InContention has written a lengthy piece on both the scenes and the panel afterwards:

Weaver, who made a giant splash when she graced the stage, visions of Ripley dancing in the heads of those in attendance, hit just the right note with the audience. “Thank you for caring about movies as much as you do, for caring about every lush detail, because this is the movie for you,” she said with all the compassion of Grace Augustine. “Jim wrote such a wonderful character for me to play in Grace Augustine. I find her so moving in a way. She’s a woman who’s dedicated her life to something she believes in.”

Weaver said she never did that well in science class as a student, but she was always eager to learn it. “I think I got a second chance with this,” she said.

From Garth Franklin at DH:

James Cameron showed up in San Diego an hour ago to show off 24 minutes of footage from the film at the most anticipated presentation at the show amongst non-Twilight fans.

The collection of around five or so scenes from different sections of the film meant we only got a disjointed look at the story. What it mainly was doing was showing off the visuals which truly are breathtaking, groundbreaking but not earth-shattering.

Specifically the texture rendering and lighting is superb. The movements and skin texture of the all CG blue Na’vi aliens are detailed enough that it often looks like actors in makeup. Only the tiny waists and yellow cat-like eyes took away from the photo-realistic illusion but give the blue pastel zebra/horse/cat hybrid creations a very alien look.

The environment and non-Na’vi creatures were more notably CG, especially one scene with attacking alien beasties that seemed more George Lucas than James Cameron in tone. Plants and jungle recreations though were simply beautiful, especially a night scene where the characters traverse a bioluminescent forest utterly rich in biodiversity. The final scene involving harnessing and flying a winged creature was also pretty spectacular.