Avatar: James Cameron's Ostensibly Revolutionary Spacey 3D Cinematic D&D Campaign


By the end I found that I really didn’t care who lived and who died, who won and who lost–I was simply rooting for the special fx to be awesome and for some glorious explosions and deaths.


True, but I am not going to be awed any more or less, it will just be more or less memorable to me.

Sure the grand canyon was amazing, but that grouchy bastard sucked. This is probably what is coloring some opinion of the movie. I am saying objectively, If I were to be shown 2 scenes of amazing 3D-ness, the amount that I am awed will have nothing to do with the story.

Lets take the 2 scenes. The HTTYD scene first. Did I enjoy this movie more? Yes. Was that scene better? Yes. Did it awe me as much? No.

It probably has to do with how realistic the scenes were. Where on pandora you saw regular dudes walking around, you could imagine yourself in that environment. In HTTYD as beautiful as that setting was, it was a cartoon, so it didn’t pull me in as much. (I would actually say that the vistas in Cars actually wowed me more) I think that people’s dislike of the story in Avatar is coloring their opinions. (which is just weird to me) The way that Avatar was set up, specifically made you feel that you yourself could become a blue cat man and ride on these creatures. That you could experience this first hand. HTTYD was just touching. (And definitely got a bigger emotional response out of me)

But I think of emotional response to characters and emotional response to the CG as different things. At least in my mind. When I am awed by some scenery I generally don’t think of the context, because it doesn’t matter. Who cares who designed the “House on the Rock” (Frank Lloyd Wright) the place is amazing, and no matter who I visit it with, it is still going to awe me.

Now, if I were to suppose propose to my wife there, or bring a child there for the first time, and see their eyes light up. I might think of that as my favorite place on earth. Though, If I were to go to the top of that giant tower in the UAE (I think, maybe it is Qatar?) I might think that is more breathtaking.

The Avatar scene probably wins out for me, at least in part because it was the first CG I ever saw of that quality. (You always remember your first time) It looked real, and I basically spent the entire movie pinching myself to make sure this wasn’t all a dream. Visually that movie blew me away. (IGN.com) But, that is all I will probably remember of it, because it was a cookie cutter story. HTTYD however, will definitely be more memorable in my mind.


What an odd analogy. I have a different expectation watching a movie than I do viewing a landmark. Standing at the Grand Canyon, I’m not asking for narrative and character to draw me in. I’m just admiring the view. And if all your movie has to offer me is the view, then I won’t be back.


I really liked Senjak’s discussion on the difference between inevitable and predictable events and how they are presented. Don’t have nothing to add to it right now, except maybe one of my favorite quotes ever, where the hero is going to his final fight.

His fate hovered near
unknowable but certain

  • Beowulf


True, but what I am trying to say is that objectively, if we are talking about views and breathtaking vistas… I don’t think about character and plot. Just the view. Character and plot might help me cherish that memory more. But not always.

I would also like to note that during that HTTYD scene, I spent a lot more time watching the characters than the scenery.


Thanks for the idea. I took my older daughter to see it yesterday and we had a blast (she did love Avatar in 3d as well though). I was quite a bit more impressed with How to Train Your Dragon than I expected to be.


My favorite part of Avatar is its subtle environmentalism message.



I finally saw this last week and it may have been said already, but I think the reason the masses ate this up is because they don’t play videogames and haven’t seen this story about a zillion times before like we have.

It all felt like a giant cutscene to set up some gameplay. If you’ve seen those for the last fifteen years like gamers have, you’re all bummed out that there’s nothing really exciting about the movie (whether on a technical level or a human drama one). If you never played games, it’s like entering a whole other world you didn’t know could exist.


“…they killed their mother.”



I’m pretty sure some of the first hour was just remastered FMV sequences from Wing Commander.


Console gaming… isn’t main stream? You what?


The Wing Commander movie would’ve been a LOT better if that’s what it had been.


Seen it tonight in the cinema, first 3D movie I’ve seen so far. The tech is good and interesting, and Avatar was totally forgettable and boring. No 3d or 4d can save that movie… the movie does not have a story at all… save the princess, or save tha Navi is not a story worth telling… what a pitty! 3D could be great for porn, I guess…


I dunno, there are some things I don’t want waving around in front of my face.


Recently I was on a flight from Europe to the US and the guy ahead of me watched Avatar on his iPad three times in a row.


watched Avatar on his iPad three times in a row.

probably to make up for the 2D on his iPad…

3D is like looking into a box. Instead of having wide, cinematic spaces, now we have cramped boxes. I think 3D is actually hurting the cinematic experience…


Oh please no.


Aren movies for the iPad cropped because of the iPad’s 1:1.33 aspect ratio?


Just imagine: 3D bukkake.


particle effects work best in 3D…