January 21st, 2010

My Thoughts on "Avatar"

After avoiding the (relative) rush, we went with friends to see "Avatar" at the local cinema that has an IMAX 3D setup, after being told that this was THE way to see it. After having seen it, I agree. The movie is visually spectacular, all the millions of dollars and years of work are clearly up there on the screen, and 3D has become a reasonably enough mature technology to be enjoyable and not intrusive, at least for those of us who are not prone to motion sickness or have some visual imbalance that makes viewing a literal pain. Fortunately for me, I am a good audience for these effects, as long as they provide glasses that fit over my corrective lenses, which the IMAX ones do. CGI, especially with motion capture, has also matured: the movements of the alien creatures are wonderfully fluid and natural, and the computer-generated elements are seamlessly integrated with real settings and live people.

Those that have gone before have enthused about the sheer gorgeosity and immersiveness of Cameron’s Pandora, so I don’t need to do that. There is another aesthetic, however, that should be explored, and that is the sheer fannish coolness factor, which is both a gift and a flaw in the film. (Rather spoileriffic analysis follows)

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