"Avatar"

I finally got to see this movie last weekend. I've been waiting for this flick for years. I admit it - I'm a Cameron fanboy. I've pretty much loved everything he's made ("Terminator 2" really blew me away), so I already had high hopes for this one even before the massive hype machine kicked in. When the trailer came out, I was a little disappointed, but I reminded myself that this was meant for the big screen, not my laptop's screen. Still, it was hard to lower my expectations for this, so when I finally put on the 3D glasses (BTW this was the first time I've seen a 3D movie) I was a little worried that this was going to fall flat.

It didn't.

Not even close.

I was floored.

This movie sets a new standard. The storyline may not be phenominal. Some of the roles may be a little cliched. But this really raises the bar for every movie in the future. Why?

1) The 3D effect was used to enhance the movie, rather than "hey we're 3D so let's throw crap at the audience". Some of the scenes just blew me away from a "how in the hell did they do that?" perspective. It was seamless, completely believable. It will be hard to see a movie in "flat" 2D from now on. Even dramas can use 3D to add to the experience.

2) The performance capture stuff and the CG effects were utterly fantastic. There were only a couple of movements from some Na'vi that I didn't buy, but overall you just forget that a lot of the movie is just an effect. Pandora is completely believeable.

3) There's a lot of science behind the movie. I find it really odd when people accuse the movie of championing "goddess worship" or "Gaia belief systems" or stuff like that. There's a scene where Weaver makes it very clear that what the Na'vi worship is not something spiritual; it's a true, interconnected system throughout living entities on Pandora - basically a big computer brain (although that's selling the idea short). The point is, science isn't bent a lot, especially when you remember that it is a sci-fi movie, and usually movies like that bend and twist science all over the place.

I would not hesitate to see this again. There's so much to look at and experience with this movie. It won't get a nomination for Best Picture, but it will affect movie-making in the future. Of that I have no doubt.

* Posted at 12.30.2009 07:12:48 PM CST | Link *

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