By John C.
I just got back from Avatar Day at the Toronto Scotiabank theatre, where I viewed 16-minutes of specially selected footage from the upcoming film, in IMAX 3D. The turnout was good, and the audience was receptive and seemed to really enjoy the footage.
The footage started with an intro from James Cameron. Then we were treated to six scenes from the film. The first one was a scene where the army general (Stephen Lang) was warning his troops of the dangers of the Na’vi. The second showed Jake (Sam Worthington) getting his brain scanned and “becoming” a Na’vi. The third was Jake getting chased through the jungle by an alien creature. The fourth saw Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) fighting off some creatures that were attacking Jake. The fifth was a sort of night time run through the jungle. The sixth one showed Jake taming a dragon-like creature so that he could ride it.
The CGI animation is amazing, and the 3D effect is excellent. The sense of depth is very believable. The backgrounds are extremely realistic, and the way Pandora glows at night is certainly beautiful. As for the Na’vi and other creatures, they have more of an animated look to them. They aren't exactly as photo realistic as I had heard they would be. The dialogue is not always the most believable, but I don’t think that really matters in this type of film.
I have to say, this will certainly be a great film in terms of special effects. I just hope that it doesn’t turn into too much of a good thing. Especially if the rumoured 3-hour plus running time is true. The fanboys are certainly already sold on this, but the bigger question is, how will this appeal to mainstream audiences? One thing’s for sure, the way to view this film will be in IMAX 3D.