I can’t find answers from anybody credible, so I pose the question to anyone reading this: Why is Avatar considered such a revolution in cinema? Or, a ‘game changer’ if you will.
Its use of 3D – while exquisite – has been done before. Cameron’s usage of it to enhance the atmosphere; his decision to play fluttering embers and flickering lights off as subtleties in his 3D world; his popping out small aspects in a large frame… it’s all been done before. So with this, I’m left assuming that the people lauding it as groundbreaking it in visual technology are either a) In love with the film to a point of hyperbole and don’t understand the weight that comes with tossing around ‘revolutionary’ is, or b) Haven’t seen enough 3D films in their lives to understand how it has been used. Especially IMAX 3D. Having seen Beowulf and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX 3D and seeing ashes, smoke, dust and other peculiarities being worked out as simple gestures to its audience, what Cameron has done with Avatar in IMAX 3D is nothing special.
In addition, the fever for 3D has been established already this year. With Up, The Final Destination and A Christmas Carol being showcased in 100s of Digital 3D screens, Avatar’s numbers aren’t exactly overwhelming in comparison.
Is it the reason why 3D is such a commodity today? No. Is it the first film to use 3D more as a way to envelope its audience in the atmosphere with more admiration? No. Does it do each of these well and is it attributing to the success of 3D? Of course, what 300 million dollar visual feast wouldn’t? Avatar’s special effects are some of the best this decade has provided, but are they honestly changing the way cinema is to be constructed from here on out? No way.