Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I love watching movies, but only a few movies have completely blown me away. I can name them, too: Jurassic Park, the Matrix, and now... Avatar.

Seriously, who can look at a T-Rex and not think of it running down the jeep in Jurassic Park? I still think of that movie when I see a ripple through a glass of water. And while I thought Jurassic Park's plot was on the boring side, the special effects were incredible. It turns out that the software used to make Jurassic Park has led to some incredible advances in CGI. South Park even uses the it to make Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman come to life!

I also remember when I first saw the Matrix. My college roommate, Dustin, bought tickets to a pre-release screening of the film on LSU's campus. Me, Dustin, my other roommates Jeff and Jeremy, and "the Mooch" Andy all went to see it. It was us and a bunch of people with spiky hair, tattoos, chains, nose rings and black leather vests, and it was incredible. For the first 15 minutes of the movie, everyone was talking, yelling at how Keanu Reeves was a crappy actor, and throwing popcorn at the screen. But towards the end of the movie, there was complete silence in the theater. As the movie ended, everyone gave a standing ovation.

Well, today I saw Avatar, the $500 million film by James Cameron, and I was completely blown away by the special effects. The 3D was so good that I had trouble adjusting to my regular vision once the movie ended. And just like at the Matrix screening, there was a loud round of applause at the end of the film, just in case James Cameron was watching us through a hidden camera.

The film doesn't have any 3D gimmicks. There's no giant stick that a character points at the audience to make everyone jump and say "oooh!" The 3D just allows the movie to look more layered, as if there's an actual background and foreground. It took a little time to get used to the special effects, but about half an hour into the movie I was completely absorbed. It was like I was there.

Basically, it was like not watching a movie at all. Which is probably the greatest compliment you can give a movie.

You can watch Avatar on a 2D (ie, regular) theater screen, but some places have digital 3D screens. Just let me know before you go watch it, because I might meet you there.

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