Avatar Is Like The iPhone Of Movies

I’ve seen Avatar twice now, which is saying something when you’re talking about a nearly three hour movie that was released 36 hours ago. But we lined up on Thursday night for the first midnight showing. And then I saw it again yesterday at the TechCrunch screening in San Francisco.

What do I think? I think I’m going to go see it again this weekend at an IMAX theater. Because the movie is awesome in 3D, but I want to see it in 3D on a 50 ft by 70 ft screen. Movies will never be the same after Avatar. Like the iPhone in the mobile world, this movie disrupts an entire industry.

I didn’t know much about the movie until I read an article about it in Wired (more here) on a flight to Europe last week. A movie James Cameron has been working on since 1994, but he had to wait until technology caught up with his dream, and he invented a new kind of camera along the way.

The amazing thing about Avatar isn’t the story – it’s simply a passable tale that’s part Pocahontas, part Dances With Wolves. But it’s a story played by ten foot tall blue people with tails who fly around on miniature dragons and generally kick ass. And suddenly the special effects in every movie you’ve ever seen seem trite in comparison. Jurassic Park type special effects, which seemed so awesome in the 90s, are now laughably dated.

There’s no point in the movie where you can really tell the difference between real imagery and CGI. You become completely lost in the world of Pandora, the setting for Avatar. And if you thought Zoe Saldana was amazing in Star Trek earlier this year, wait until you see Avatar. An entire generation of teenagers are now going to have a lifelong crush on a huge blue woman with a tail named Neytiri.

The movie grossed just $27 million in its first day at the box office, which pales in comparison to Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72 million) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($62 million). But don’t forget that Cameron’s Titanic made just $28.6 million on opening weekend. And that movie did ok in the end.

Avatar, like Titanic, is one of those movies you’ll want to see over and over. But don’t wait for the DVD. This is a movie that has to be seen in 3D. And for that you have to go to the theater. Go see it, you’ll thank me later.

See the high definition trailer here.