I finally went to see Avatar in 3D today. All I can say is “ZOMG!” My friend Bob had pronounced it James Cameron’s magnum opus. I had thought he was perhaps exaggerating just a little. After having seen it, if this isn’t his magnum opus, I can’t even imagine what it will be like.
This movie pushed the envelope on so many fronts it boggles my mind. In the first place, the amount of motion capture CGI alone is overwhelming. In the second place, its use of 3D as an integral part of the story telling instead of just as a gimmick is unprecedented in my experience. Third, the creation of an entire world and culture far more detailed than Lord of the Rings or Dune ever hoped to be sets the bar for the entire genre.
New science fiction premises are few and very far between and this premise is not entirely without precedent. It is new, as far as I’m aware, to movies though. While not breaking entirely new ground in the speculative fiction canon, it is an incredibly innovative mash-up of some of the more esoteric premises from that corpus.
Everyone loves a story with heart and this one has a heart as big as an alien world. It moved me to tears in more than one place. I can say no more for fear of spoiling one of the most amazing and entertaining films I have ever seen. I heartily recommend you see it and be sure to see it in 3D. It is truly an immersive experience.