The Avatar Movie from renowned director James Cameron is set to open in theaters worldwide this week. Cameron, creator of movie greats including Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss, not to mention Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time, has not released a movie in 11 years. Touting a more than $300 million budget, reportedly the most advanced special effects ever seen in movie making, and the prowess of Cameron himself, the hype for the Avatar movie would seem impossible to live up to. Yet indications from last week’s premier of the film in London indicate that the movie just might live up to viewers’ lofty expectations after all.
Those who attended the London premier were reportedly raving about the stunning animation and overall wonder of Avatar’s fictional planet Pandora and its inhabitants. Several viewers have noted a weak plot fraught with overused cliches, yet the overall consensus seems to be that the impressive animation and vision of this film make it a must see movie destined for box office success. For what its worth, Rottentomatoes has given the movie a respectable 84% rating.
Movie reporting isn’t a staple for us here at the Hub, but movies like Avatar loaded with futuristic visions of telepresence, alien civilizations, and medical marvels are right up our alley. From a technical standpoint the Avatar movie gains our attention because it represents a radical shift to more realistic, more immersive movie animation. The Avatar movie has amassed the budget, the credibility, and the talent required to create a new standard for movie animation techniques that will set the pace for the rest of the industry in the years to come. Just as with the Star Wars films before it, the Avatar movie is an animated marvel today, but in only 5 years will look dated and normal as it propels the rest of the industry to a new level of greatness. After seeing the Avatar movie viewers will expect more, and we will all benefit from a new generation of more realistic movies that entertain our imaginations.
With its wide release in a format allowing viewers to wear glasses for full 3D immersion, Avatar joins an impressive host of 3D films that have been released this year. As we wrote earlier, although 3D movie technology has been available for well over 50 years, 2009 will mark the year that the technology has overcome political, financial, and technical hurdles to finally break out into mass production in theaters across the globe. This is just the tip of the iceberg of a trend in virtual realism that is bridging the gap between the physical and virtual worlds.
As long as we enter the movie with the right expectations of stunning animation supported by a mediocre plot, the most anticipated movie of the year looks to be a winner. In a toast to the future (and supposedly a better viewing experience) be sure to check out the movie in 3D if a theater near you supports the format. Pandora, here we come!
Below is the trailer in case you live under a rock and haven’t seen it yet, or if you understandably just want to see it again: