So I finally saw that Avatar movie on Saturday in IMAX 3D. I highly recommend seeing this film in this format for the pure spectacle it becomes. It’s like a soup made of candy, and not just visually. Should you watch Avatar on DVD or even in a traditional movie house, the experience will be less than overwhelming. As other reviewers have pointed out, the story is a fairly conventional tale of industry-vs-nature, invaders-vs-natives, greed-vs-harmony, etc. There are no plot twists, just safely banked bends with warning signs well in advance.
I believe that if the story had been developed slightly differently, it could have come off as a witty inversion of all the clichéd alien invasion tropes— they look like us, they want to kill us for no reason, and they are no match for the common cold. Oh, and they also want to mate with our women. Well, some of them do. Okay, only one of them does.
The only other problem I had was with the 3D effect itself. I’m not sure exactly why, but the first few minutes of it made my eyes hurt. I must need glasses.
Speaking of glass, I think I may have noticed a trick used by the animators to avoid the Uncanny Valley. I suspect they might have used the breather masks to disguise the pasting of real footage of actors’ faces onto computer-generated dummies in some scenes, particularly the spaceport scene. But that’s really just my speculation, and I’ll probably never know for sure until I watch the “Making Of” bonus feature.
I believe that I’ve already shared my theory that movies come in pairs. For example, one year, there may be the Sitcom Remake and the Other Sitcom Remake. There may be the Action Figure Movie and the Other Action Figure Movie. The Pixar Animated Movie and the Not-Pixar Animated Movie.
I just hope that Avatar isn’t the Other Backward Space Invaders Movie, and that it isn’t the Other Telepresence Android movie… because I’d really like to see the Other Powered Battle Suit Movie.