Monday, December 28, 2009

AVATAR Will Blow Your Mind

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It generally takes a lot to blow my mind, but AVATAR did it... many times over.

I went into the experience expecting a lot, considering the rave reviews I had heard from family, friends, and critics throughout the past week, but because I didn't read up much on the movie, I didn't know exactly what to expect, and that is just how I like to go into a movie watching experience.

Showtimes were sold out all day at Dallas's only true IMAX (size-wise), so I got tickets to the fake IMAX at the AMC down the street, and let me tell you, I was not at all disappointed by the smaller screen. Even calling it "smaller" is stupid because it's still huge. And because AVATAR's aspect ratio when shown on IMAX nearly fills the entire screen, it was well worth the extra dollar for the IMAX upgrade.

Now, on to the movie: it was incredible.

Without getting into storyline (because I don't do spoilers, even though it wouldn't really even matter with this film), I will just say the visual effects employed in this film are unmatchable. They make the dragon fight scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire look like I made it on my home computer.

The 3D added amazing depth and sensation to every scene whether stationed in a military bunker or flying through the floating Hallelujah Mountains. The image was, however, overwhelming at times, due to my vulnerability to motion sickness, but I just removed the glasses during a few indoor scenes when the 3D was less necessary in order to relieve the overwhelmingness.
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James Cameron has been developing AVATAR ever since Titanic was finished in 1997. But he said he waited to make the movie until technology caught up with his vision for it. And thank God he did.

As my dad said, "It made Star Wars look like kindergarten."
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I also loved the casting of the movie. Relative newcomer Sam Worthington was great as lead character/avatar Jake Sully, and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) was perfect as Neytiri.Photobucket
It was very interesting to read about the new motion capture technology used to create the avatars and Navi. Particularly that they were able to view the CGI characters on monitors in real time as the actors played them. Crazy stuff you can read more about on the Avatar Wikipedia page.
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Also liked that Ana-Lucia from LOST came back from the dead for the movie and that Phoebe Buffay's brother Frank is still getting work.Photobucket
Moral of the story is: go see AVATAR in IMAX (big or small).

It'll blow your mind and then some.

I can't wait to see the influence it has on movie making in the future, including the two sequels already planned by Cameron "if the movie is successful." But seeing as it already has the highest opening of any original non-franchise, non-sequel film in history, those sequels are already a done deal.

PS: the night after I saw the movie I had crazy cool dreams I was flying through mountains and rain forests. That alone was worth the $13 ticket price.

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