Today I went and saw Avatar in 3D.
The movie was really good: very spectacular and great visuals. The plot was a little cliché at times (there's nothing really original about the themes, plot, or ending at all), but not so much that it annoyed me. I do reckon it could have been done about 20 minutes shorter though.
To be honest, I didn't really notice the difference that the waz-bang stereoscopic camera production was supposed to provide, but maybe that was the effect that was intended: it's supposed to look more natural.
Big credit must go to Weta Digital though. If there is one thing this movie is, it is spectacular. Visually, i'd say it's almost perfect. The whole world and environment was sold really well, the greatest compliment I can give is forgetting that I was looking at CG scenes for most of the movie.
Now onto the 3D part: this is the first movie I have seen with modern 3D (i.e. not the blue and red glasses 3D). I've been sceptical about whether it's just a fad, i mean the polarisation effect to generate a 3D image is really nothing new.
After seeing Avatar today in 3D, i'm still undecided. It was good in that the movie was not a constantly 'in-your face' type of 3D movie. Rather, i'd describe it as a natural type of 3D: one that puts you in the environment of the movie and lets you feel the depth in the scenes and the shape of the character's faces.
That said, I did feel as though the 3D did take away some of the sharpness and edge off the picture, blurring it slightly. For me it did make the movie visually seem less crisp than it should have. I wouldn't mind seeing some scenes in a theatre with and without 3D to better see and compare the difference.
Nevertheless, it seams that 3D is the way things are heading at the moment. More and more movies are coming out in 3D, HD TVs and Blu-rays are going be capable of it really soon, and video games are now easily adopting the technique (as most games are rendered on the fly by the GPU, i'd assume applying polarisation to a 3D rendered is relatively easy).
Whether Avatar is the movie of the year that some critics are raving about, i'm still undecided on. I think i'll leave it settle down in my mind for a few days before writing my 'Best and Worst' of 2009 entry.