Friday, January 29, 2010

Avatar Review and VIP Theatre

I saw this at the Wellington VIP Cinemas in 3D on the weekend and here is my brief overview of both.

First off this was my first 3D movie ever and my first visit to the VIP cinema ever. There were a number of neat 3D moments but none that were more than a novelty which really surprised me since the vast majority of this movie is computer generated which would allow for a lot of stunning 3D moments. I was left with the clear impression that a really good 3D movie would need to be specifically filmed to take advantage of that display medium and very likely be entirely CG with simple colour themes, perhaps a scifi of some sort. I wear glasses and after wearing the tinted 3D glasses over my own for a number of hours my eyes and head started to feel taxed, also a lot more of the movie seemed kind of flickery than maybe it should have.

As for the movie, it followed almost exactly what I thought would happen in the narrative after watching only one trailer. The story is predictable in it's major elements and evokes some amount of both Deus Ex Machina near the end and simultaneously fails to suspend my disbelief in the motives for some of the actions on screen. Maybe this latter is due to a lack of investment in the future world these events take place in - we have only the off-hand word of the "villian" characters to go on that certain pressures are legitimate influences to allow certain contradictory actions.

That said, it was compelling. The story really did have me interested in how they were going to pull off what I thought was coming and the majority of it was pretty cool. This would have made it a watchable and fun movie for me but what the story really does is offers a vehicle for the visuals and concepts. The visuals and concepts in this movie are stand-out the reason to see it in my opinion. This is a really cool place, with really interesting creatures and plants and customs and represented in some of the most stunning computer generated scenes I've seen in a movie. This is not a Pixar movie or a plastic feeling Spirits Within, this is computer generated effects at their best. Acting was great and the translation to the CG characters was flawless... often in video game mocaps and lower quality CG movies actions are overwrought and mime'ish, but here these are living creatures. For these reasons, I'd like to have seen it without 3D to get the full clarity of the visuals. As it was it felt a bit like looking at the Mona Lisa in that funky stereovision.

As for the VIP experience I'd say if you want a big comfortable seat (with a bit of recline) and no hassle seat reservations or are dying to drink while watching a movie or hate watching a movie with kids and teens disrupting things, this place is a well worth the $5 premium. In short, it's ideal for a date. If you want to kick right back, the first-row seats fully recline La-Z-Boy style. VIP Downside? I'm not actually sure how much of the movie I remember...

All in all a good movie and worth experiencing in the theatre even if the main story arc is predictable. The 3D is worth checking out if you've never seen 3D before or are a fan of 3D in movies, otherwise this movie has a lot more to offer than just that. Oh yeah - if you loved this movie, perhaps check out the fantasy version: Ferngully.

No comments:

Post a Comment