Why Avatar Will Change the Way We Go To the Movies

Earlier this week I went and saw the movie Avatar in 3D.  Now 3D movies are nothing new and they seem to go in and out of style faster than tie-dye shirts.  I think they first popped up in the 50’s, right?  The 3D experience has never been one of those things that have been able to get a foothold for many reasons, but this time around it felt like the technology has finally come of age.

I’m not saying that Avatar was the greatest movie of all time.  I’ll still continue to give that title to Forrest Gump.  It was also an extremely predictable title following all the “required” plot structure that we enjoy in our movies.  Now this doesn’t make it a bad movie, it was an absolutely amazing movie.

Where I want to be so bold is comparing Avatar to Star Wars in revolutionizing the movie experience.  Not only were the computer graphic imagery top notch, but the technology displayed in the movie was simply out of this world.  As we credit Star Wars and Star Trek in defining what looks “sci-fi” let’s be honest our understanding of technology has advanced to the point where surely they must have more advanced technology than what those franchises use, right?

Watch the movie trailer here, but be warned even this in HD doesn’t do the experience justice.

Let me come back and talk about the computer imagery for a moment.  This isn’t the first movie to bridge the gap between a Pixar animation and human live action but it felt like it brought the two together in such a way where you really couldn’t tell them apart.  Movies like Sin City, 300 and Speed Racer paved the way for blockbuster big world experiences that can be created in a single warehouse without building gigantic sets.  The difference between those movies and this one is the budget size of this movie.  Avatar is one of the most expensive movies ever created.  With all that extra bread to spend they can go the extra mile to throw more excitement into the movie.  This brings me into where I really want to talk about.

The 3D Movie Experience

Movie theaters are looking for that next new boost to give them an experience that you can’t have watching a movie in your home.   With all the new HDTVs that have flooded the market and surround sound systems I’ve been making the argument for a few years now about why do I need to go to the movie theater when I can just wait and watch the movie when it comes out on DVD (downloadable content, Blu-Ray or whatever other way that you like)?  Heather doesn’t always like that excuse to not go to the movies for a date night though, but the practicality and expense of the experience usually helps me win the debate.

Movie theaters latest trump card looks to be the 3D experience that is coming back in full force.  In the previews for Avatar I saw quite a few upcoming movies that will incorporate 3D technology.  Why this is a big deal for the theaters is they can charge a premium to watch a movie in 3D.  As if going to a movie wasn’t already expensive enough!

Yes, watching a movie in 3D still requires you to put on those glasses.  Even that technology has come a long way as these are decent plastic glasses that you recycle after the movie and I’m assuming they sterilize and reuse. Surprisingly watching Avatar in 3D wasn’t a painful experience and if I could last through a marathon movie that was two hours and forty minutes then it’s probably a sign that this technology will last this time around.

So bottom line, GO SEE AVATAR IN 3D and let me know what you think?  If it doesn’t blow you away I want to hear why.  This is the future beyond HD TV and I think it’s safe to say in five years we will probably go see every movie in the theater in 3D!

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