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Author Topic: [movies] James Cameron's Avatar  (Read 20959 times)
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rittchard
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« Reply #160 on: December 21, 2009, 09:45:57 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on December 21, 2009, 08:56:10 PM

You thought Weaver and Rodriguez were wasted?  Wow.  I thought they did great jobs.  Rodriguez in particular was great.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I am a HUGE Aliens fanboy, I consider it my all-time favorite movies.  So coming from that perspective, I expect first that the major sub-characters will be memorable for some reason or another, and if/when a character is going to die, it will leave an impact on me.  Thinking back on Aliens, each of the characters' sacrifices/deaths was memorable.  It's not that the actresses didn't do well, I love them both in pretty much anything, but I just felt their characters were not given enough to do within the film, and didn't leave the kind of impact on the story that I would have liked.

In Avatar, I never had any doubt Michelle's character would turn to help the "good guys" so that "twist" was lost on me.  Having her sacrifice/die for really no purpose other than to solidify how "evil" Lang was didn't cut it for me.  If she had to die, I wanted to see her kamikaze into the explosives or dive bomb into one of the big ships, or something on that order.  As for Sigourney, she had some decent moments in the movie, but ultimately her character seemed more of an expository role to set the movie up in the first half, and her death did nothing except telegraph exactly how they would allow the hero to join the aliens.  I wanted to see her face down Lang, or bitchslap Giovanni Ribisi, just give me a classic line or 2.  Too cheesy?  Maybe, but clearly the script was not written with tons of depth to begin with, so why not give fans something more classic to remember?  Honestly, I can barely recall what she did in the latter half of the movie.
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« Reply #161 on: December 21, 2009, 09:53:26 PM »

I liked both Rodriguez and Weaver in the movie a lot.  I do think there is the sense that, even at over 2.5 hours, there is some missing material from the supporting cast.  Particularly:

Spoiler for Hiden:
  The other scientist who arrives on Pandora at the same time as Jake (forgot his name).  There is the bit midway where he is jealous of Jake being accepted so quickly but then that gets spackled over a bit later with some of the voice over narration.  Seemed like there is probably more there that was left on the cutting room floor.  As-is, they should have eliminated the jealousy angle completely since it just didn't amount to anything.
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leo8877
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« Reply #162 on: December 22, 2009, 01:10:56 AM »

Love, love, loved this movie.  What a fantastic movie.  A true feast of the senses that needs to be experienced.
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Dramatist
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« Reply #163 on: December 22, 2009, 03:36:55 PM »

Saw this last night with the family and loved it.

It was pure movie magic!  I was in awe of the world Cameron created.  I haven't felt that sense of wonder in a movie in a long time.  Probably Star Wars when I was a child.  I'm still a little overwhelmed at the movie today.

And for The Grue.  My 10 year old son loved the movie and thought it was appropriate enough for him.  We both want to vacation at Pandora, too bad it's make believe.
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leo8877
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« Reply #164 on: December 22, 2009, 03:48:13 PM »

I also wanted to add that the use of 3D was friggen amazing.  I mean sometimes you could see smudges of fingerprints on glass in 3D...it was fantastic stuff.
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naednek
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« Reply #165 on: December 22, 2009, 05:02:21 PM »

Pretty good movie I must say.  Plot, yeah it's been done before, but everything else carries it.

I just have one thing to say...

"I see you" is the new "I'll never let go"
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« Reply #166 on: December 22, 2009, 05:17:47 PM »

"I'll never let go" would be less of a joke to me if its use during the emotional climax hadn't been done like this:

Chick: I'll never let go.
Lets go.
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« Reply #167 on: December 22, 2009, 07:37:37 PM »

Awesome visuals, but the story and plotline was shit.  I guess I'm in the minority as a weak story line was total distraction for me. I was rolling my eyes at some of the dialog.  Anytime, I'm rolling my eyes at the movie something is wrong

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« Reply #168 on: December 23, 2009, 04:14:42 PM »

Saw the movie and enjoyed it.  Quick question-was the movie entirely computer animated?  Or were the parts that were not obviously unreal done with real actors?
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Bob
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« Reply #169 on: December 23, 2009, 04:20:57 PM »

Most of the normal human shots were real humans.  They did do some on location stuff in New Zealand (I think.)

All the Na'vi stuff was animated via motion capture.
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« Reply #170 on: December 23, 2009, 07:03:55 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 22, 2009, 07:37:37 PM

Awesome visuals, but the story and plotline was shit.  I guess I'm in the minority as a weak story line was total distraction for me. I was rolling my eyes at some of the dialog.  Anytime, I'm rolling my eyes at the movie something is wrong

I don't see the story as weak.  Extremely basic?  Reused?  Check on both, however I think it was executed well. 

Spoiler for Hiden:
The one area I see complaints could be the big battle, however he didn't pull the traditional deus ex machina by having the environment just rise up, instead he built that into he plot over the movie.  I think what could have been (and usually is) a trite mechanic was deftly handled in this case.  In this situation I think the question is could environmental causes bring down those machines?  I think the answer is yes - birds can take down planes, and some of those beasts were as big as the machines they were attacking, and there were a LOT of them.   This isn't an ewok attack here.

He builds the plot, executes it well, however doesn't let it get in the way of the visuals he wants to show. This movie is about the combination of story and visuals, building them both throughout the movie without one overshadowing the other.
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« Reply #171 on: December 23, 2009, 11:12:27 PM »

Quote from: Bob on December 23, 2009, 04:20:57 PM

Most of the normal human shots were real humans.  They did do some on location stuff in New Zealand (I think.)

All the Na'vi stuff was animated via motion capture.

Aww too bad. I was hoping that we had finally managed to overcome that 'uncanny valley' syndrome. Not just yet I guess.
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rittchard
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« Reply #172 on: December 24, 2009, 01:20:59 AM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 22, 2009, 07:37:37 PM

Awesome visuals, but the story and plotline was shit.  I guess I'm in the minority as a weak story line was total distraction for me. I was rolling my eyes at some of the dialog.  Anytime, I'm rolling my eyes at the movie something is wrong

I very much felt the same way, so even though we're in the minority, you're not alone.  Even being pretty much on the left politically, I found the plot irritatingly preachy and some of the references just too obvious and in your face.  Antagonists that could have been interesting and nuanced such as Ribisi (compare to Paul Reiser in Aliens) and Lang are made into simple caricatures.  Ditto on the motivation for the humans, just some subtle changes to the scripting would have done wonders for me.  Plot "twists" felt telegraphed, and the combined effect was I also felt distracted, so much so that I couldn't enjoy the effects as much as I would have liked to.  Normally I am the type that is perfectly happy to shut my brain off and enjoy the ride when I see a movie, but Avatar seemed to keep slapping me in the face so that I would effectively have to roll my eyes, similar to Soul.

It's so weird, this movie the more I think or talk about the plot and characters, the more irritated I become.  And yet at the same time I can't wait to go see the movie again in an IMAX theater.  My hope is that without the expectations on storyline, I can relax more and enjoy the visuals.
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« Reply #173 on: December 24, 2009, 03:20:06 AM »

I seen it today on at an IMAX and i must say I came away a bit disappointed in the 3D. I was expecting much better quality. We got there early so got some great seats directly in the middle, halfway between top and middle row. I was also disappointed we got issued the standard polorized glasses, expecting the shutter glasses that we used the last time we went (a long time ago).  Most everything out of the "primary" depth seemed extremely blurry (and not blurry as in its meant to be blurry to simulate focused vision) to me and the wife, and we both felt it really detracted from a lot of the action scenes as we couldnt make heads or tails as to what was going on. While there were some good scenes where it was not that bad, a majority of the film suffered from it in our opinion. Color me not impressed with the 3D aspect of the movie.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #174 on: December 24, 2009, 03:44:29 AM »

Quote from: Toe on December 24, 2009, 03:20:06 AM

I seen it today on at an IMAX and i must say I came away a bit disappointed in the 3D. I was expecting much better quality. We got there early so got some great seats directly in the middle, halfway between top and middle row. I was also disappointed we got issued the standard polorized glasses, expecting the shutter glasses that we used the last time we went (a long time ago).  Most everything out of the "primary" depth seemed extremely blurry (and not blurry as in its meant to be blurry to simulate focused vision) to me and the wife, and we both felt it really detracted from a lot of the action scenes as we couldnt make heads or tails as to what was going on. While there were some good scenes where it was not that bad, a majority of the film suffered from it in our opinion. Color me not impressed with the 3D aspect of the movie.


FWIW, I saw the movie in Real-D (different 3D format than Imax 3D) and had none of those problems.
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« Reply #175 on: December 24, 2009, 06:29:37 AM »

i saw Avatar in IMAX 3D tonight and was absolutely blown away by the experience...so far beyond anything i've experienced in a theater before that it's almost beyond description.  i thought the 3D was very effective, never had any issues with image focus, and didn't have any problems with wearing the glass for almost three hours.  in my opinion, the 3D added a very real depth to the image without ever seeming forced or overdone.  there were few shots where Cameron took advantage of the new perspective and played some tricks, but most of the time it just added a layer of realism that is missing from a 'flat' image.  after the first few minutes, i was totally sucked in to the film...the 3D effect was great and the rest of the world was so realistically portrayed that i can't say i really remember any moment where poor effects ever pulled me out of the experience.

as for the story, it may not be the most original, but i think it is told so well that it really didn't matter to me.  the plot was interesting despite its predictability, and the pacing of the whole film was just about perfect.   i can't remember another 2+ hour movie that seemed to pass so quickly.  Cameron managed to give the Na'vi such natural movement and emotion that you really do start to view them as real very early in the film, overcoming that detachment that is so common in other CG-heavy movies, and i think that is one of the reasons Avatar succeeds where others have failed. i could continue gushing about how awesome i think Avatar is all night, but suffice it to say that it's one of the most incredible film-going experiences i can remember...awesome in just about every regard icon_cool
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 06:38:05 AM by disarm » Logged

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« Reply #176 on: December 24, 2009, 07:04:46 AM »

Quote from: kratz on December 21, 2009, 06:57:14 PM

I went last night... first 3d movie I've seen.

The script and plot were pretty much totally ridiculous - another white man's race fantasy movie like Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai... really it was just a Dances rehash with the added gimmick of the white man being a parapalegic driving a 10 ft tall blue Brendan Fraser.  Everything was over the top, characters were caricatures, the dialog was generally wince worthy... visually it was obviously quite an accomplishment, though it lacked the grit of the CGI in something like LOTR, and was overall less convincing, it was still impressive.

I'm not sure what I think of the 3d technology... it was sort of distracting, and I think interfered with my ability to connect with the film, which you would imagine would be the opposite of what they really wanted to be doing with it.

This is exactly what I'm expecting, but I suppose I should see it anyway. Are all versions 3D, or do I need to make sure the theatre I go to is 3D?

Ale
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« Reply #177 on: December 24, 2009, 07:30:55 AM »

I can't imagine not being absolutely floored by the 3D used.  I didn't see it in IMAX so I don't know what's different, but it was so godly, my head wanted to explode.
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« Reply #178 on: December 24, 2009, 07:33:57 AM »

Quote from: Toe on December 24, 2009, 03:20:06 AM

I seen it today on at an IMAX and i must say I came away a bit disappointed in the 3D. I was expecting much better quality. We got there early so got some great seats directly in the middle, halfway between top and middle row. I was also disappointed we got issued the standard polorized glasses, expecting the shutter glasses that we used the last time we went (a long time ago).  Most everything out of the "primary" depth seemed extremely blurry (and not blurry as in its meant to be blurry to simulate focused vision) to me and the wife, and we both felt it really detracted from a lot of the action scenes as we couldnt make heads or tails as to what was going on. While there were some good scenes where it was not that bad, a majority of the film suffered from it in our opinion. Color me not impressed with the 3D aspect of the movie.


I had problems with focussing - it didn't detract from the experience but I found I had to refocus a number of times to get my vision back - hard to describe, if you're over 40 you're know what I mean smile
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« Reply #179 on: December 24, 2009, 01:00:41 PM »

Quote from: Alefroth on December 24, 2009, 07:04:46 AM

This is exactly what I'm expecting, but I suppose I should see it anyway. Are all versions 3D, or do I need to make sure the theatre I go to is 3D?

Ale

You need to make sure the theater you go to is 3D.
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Alefroth
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« Reply #180 on: December 24, 2009, 09:03:19 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on December 24, 2009, 01:00:41 PM

Quote from: Alefroth on December 24, 2009, 07:04:46 AM

This is exactly what I'm expecting, but I suppose I should see it anyway. Are all versions 3D, or do I need to make sure the theatre I go to is 3D?

Ale

You need to make sure the theater you go to is 3D.

Thanks.  thumbsup

Ale
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« Reply #181 on: December 25, 2009, 02:32:08 PM »

I saw this in IMAX 3D the other day and I was absolutely floored with the visuals. And yes, as stated, Cameron didn't use the 3D effect as a gimmick - it was just woven into the visuals, as if you were looking at the movie through someone else's eyes the entire time. And it made it amazing to look at. The CG effects were utterly amazing (I can't imagine the rendering time that was used to create the entire movie, frame by frame) and the Na'vi were totally real looking and acting (partly in due to the camera 'system' that Cameron used for the actors).

This was by far the fastest 2:45 movie I've ever seen. Never felt it in the slightest.

Only one issue - I'm so in love with the 3D effect (because it feels like it should always be seen that way), how is this going to affect DVD sales? There's exactly how many TVs out there that offer 3D capabilities?
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« Reply #182 on: December 25, 2009, 02:40:05 PM »

Hasn't bluray just approved it's 3d standard? Presumably red green 3d could Be done but not sure about others. Wouldn't capture the incedible colours if only red green but I suspect we will go with that if its the only 3d option
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 02:51:07 PM by Tals » Logged

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« Reply #183 on: December 25, 2009, 04:04:28 PM »

So Avatar was beaten this week by Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.  Discuss.
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leo8877
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« Reply #184 on: December 25, 2009, 04:09:00 PM »

You mean beat on one day?
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« Reply #185 on: December 25, 2009, 05:19:44 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on December 25, 2009, 04:09:00 PM

You mean beat on one day?

For Wednesday.  http://www.examiner.com/x-15166-Dallas-Comedy-Examiner~y2009m12d24-SHOCKER-Alvin-and-The-Chipmunks-The-Squeekquel-topples-Avatar-at-the-box-office

I think Avatar will have really long legs, though.  3D TVs aren't common, so people are going to want to see it in the theater.  "Alvin" might win a battle, but Avatar will win the war.
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« Reply #186 on: December 25, 2009, 05:54:29 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 25, 2009, 05:19:44 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on December 25, 2009, 04:09:00 PM

You mean beat on one day?

For Wednesday.  http://www.examiner.com/x-15166-Dallas-Comedy-Examiner~y2009m12d24-SHOCKER-Alvin-and-The-Chipmunks-The-Squeekquel-topples-Avatar-at-the-box-office

I think Avatar will have really long legs, though.  3D TVs aren't common, so people are going to want to see it in the theater.  "Alvin" might win a battle, but Avatar will win the war.

Much like Titanic, which didn't have a huge opening weekend...but it kept going with no dropoff every week as people going back to see it. I don't think Avatar will have those kind of legs, but it almost certainly will have long ones.
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« Reply #187 on: December 26, 2009, 03:00:36 AM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 25, 2009, 04:04:28 PM

So Avatar was beaten this week by Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.  Discuss.

Avatar's weekday numbers are phenomenal.  Anyone trying to play up being beat by the Chipmunks as bad doesn't know jack about the box office.  Avatar's wednesday number was the 3rd highest non-opening Wednesday ever which is amazing for a movie that had something like the 28th highest opening weekend ever.  That Chipmunks got off to an insane start doesn't detract from the weekday numbers Avatar has been doing. 
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« Reply #188 on: December 26, 2009, 06:55:45 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on December 25, 2009, 02:32:08 PM

I saw this in IMAX 3D the other day and I was absolutely floored with the visuals. And yes, as stated, Cameron didn't use the 3D effect as a gimmick - it was just woven into the visuals, as if you were looking at the movie through someone else's eyes the entire time. And it made it amazing to look at. The CG effects were utterly amazing (I can't imagine the rendering time that was used to create the entire movie, frame by frame) and the Na'vi were totally real looking and acting (partly in due to the camera 'system' that Cameron used for the actors).

This was by far the fastest 2:45 movie I've ever seen. Never felt it in the slightest.

Only one issue - I'm so in love with the 3D effect (because it feels like it should always be seen that way), how is this going to affect DVD sales? There's exactly how many TVs out there that offer 3D capabilities?

I've seen it 2D and 3D IMAX. Trust me, it looks absolutely fantastic without the 3D.  The 3D and huge screen (and sound) just add that something that is hard to replicate at home.  A friend and I were talking about how movies needed that something that was different from home theater to justify the effort, crowd & price and 3D is definitely it.

I was floored by the 3D, especially since the last 3D movie I saw was in the mid '80s.
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« Reply #189 on: December 26, 2009, 10:27:21 PM »

i just got back from seeing this in 3D,first film i have seen in 3D as well...and like a few others have said,some of the 3D seem to put me off from what was happening,not really in a rush to see another film in 3D TBH


as for the movie the effects were amazing,story was above par..decent enough film all round,solid 7 out of 10,maybe 8....


Quote from: Destructor on December 25, 2009, 02:32:08 PM




Only one issue - I'm so in love with the 3D effect (because it feels like it should always be seen that way), how is this going to affect DVD sales? There's exactly how many TVs out there that offer 3D capabilities?


well i saw an commercial the other day for Final Destination 71 or whatever number they are up to on Blu-ray,and it included 2D and 3D versions,it came with 3D glasses as well...so i am guessing the picture on your TV for the 3D version looks a little blurred..i mean the cinema i went to today to see Avatar,usually just has normal 2D movies,without the glasses it was blurred,same crap i guess...not the old Green and Red stuff anymore icon_lol



EDIT:just found this

Quote
In early 2006, Cameron developed the script, the language, and the culture of Pandora. He has stated that if Avatar is successful, two sequels to the film are planned.

Quote
The film was released in traditional 2-D and 3-D formats, along with an IMAX 3D release in selected theaters. Avatar is officially budgeted at $237 million;other estimates put the cost at $280 $310 million to produce and an estimated $150 million for marketing.


Quote
Worldwide, the film grossed an estimated $232,180,000 on its opening weekend, the ninth-largest opening-weekend gross of all time, and the largest for a non-franchise, non-sequel and original film.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 10:49:21 PM by metallicorphan » Logged

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« Reply #190 on: December 27, 2009, 12:10:39 AM »

Metal, the 3d version that they'll release on DVD/BR will probably be just like all the other 3d movies they've released on home video, which is using either red/blue or red/green glasses, which is nowhere near as good as the polarized light version that they use in the movie theaters.  The problem is that TVs aren't able to put out light at different polarities, so you can't use that method.  I think the standard that just got...standardized relies on shutter glasses where you wear glasses that are synched to the TV and the lenses quickly open and shut in time with the different images on the screen.  I could be wrong about that, but the bottom line is that the 3d you saw in the theater is way beyond what you're going to get at home in the near future.

The really funny thing about the new wave of movie 3d is that it's being used for the exact same reason that 3d was originally used back in the 50s: to get people back into the theater with a new technology that wasn't available at home. 
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« Reply #191 on: December 27, 2009, 02:10:18 AM »

I just came back from it.  Hated it.  Lazy, lazy story.
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« Reply #192 on: December 27, 2009, 05:15:55 AM »

Just saw it it Real 3D.  Loved it. 

The story is basically Dances With Wolves on an alien world.  But the alien world is presented so well that the I am willing to look past all of the cliches and obvious plot twists.  This is the first time in a long time that I am considering going to see a movie in the theater for a second time.
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« Reply #193 on: December 30, 2009, 04:29:51 PM »

Saw my third showing last night, this time in real-D in a digital theatre, and for the only time of the three there was some of the blurriness and ghosting that some people have complained about.  Certain scenes were much more jittery than the first two times I saw it, and even subtle things like the captioning at the bottom of the screen had faint ghosting.  Not sure if this is a difference between the real-D films and their counterparts in IMAX and whatever the other one is, but it definitely was a distraction.  The first two times were much superior - although even with that blur in the peripheral vision, the movie looks phenomenal.
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« Reply #194 on: December 30, 2009, 05:09:15 PM »

I saw a 3D showing last night and, while I liked it and thought the creature effects were astounding (it's like 3D roto-scoping), I agree with Eel that the story is extremely lazy.
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« Reply #195 on: December 30, 2009, 06:59:47 PM »

I might see this tonight (lines willing -- apparently the lines for this and Sherlock Holmes remained out of control last night).

Has anyone here who wears eyeglasses seen the 3-D version?

I've read a couple of articles by folks who wear glasses who complain about distortion, blurring and other visual artifacts when trying to watch the film with the 3-D glasses on top of their regular glasses. Though I've also seen comments threads where people say that wasn't their experience, and that it maybe depends on how close/far you are from the screen.

Of course, if we get stuck in the front row, maybe I can put away my Coke-bottle lenses and just wear the 3-D stuff (I'm horribly near-sighted).  icon_smile

I think the last 3-D movie I saw that required 3-D glasses was the horrifically boring Jaws 3-D in 1983. Anyway, just interested in any thoughts from fellow eyeglasses wearers who saw this in 3-D.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 07:02:32 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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denoginizer
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« Reply #196 on: December 30, 2009, 07:24:32 PM »

I wear glasses and saw it in Real 3D at a Cinemark.  I could not use the 3D glasses over my regular eyeglasses and had to take my regular glasses off.  My eyesight without the glasses isn't that bad so I didn't have a problem, but if you absolutely need your glasses to see, you may want to reconsider seeing the movie in Real 3D.

We sat dead center in the theater about 40 feet from the screen.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 07:26:16 PM by denoginizer » Logged

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Wargus
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« Reply #197 on: December 30, 2009, 07:35:25 PM »

If you anticipate seeing other movies 3D you can buy polarized clip ons (about 2/3 the way down the page). There were a number of google hits searching  3D polarized clip on glasses.

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« Reply #198 on: December 30, 2009, 07:37:28 PM »

I went to Imax and had no problems with their 3D glasses at all over my own eyeglasses. It got a little annoying with the extra weight on my nose after a long while, but other than that I experienced no ghosting or other issues because of it.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #199 on: December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM »

Uuuuuuuh... while I'm seeing it in 3-D, I don't think it's truly an IMAX theater per se. I think that's the Real 3D (this would be either an AMC or Regal Cinemas theater). The Regal Cinemas theater also has it in regular (non 3-D) format.

There's one "real" AMC IMAX 3-D theater we could go to, but it doesn't look like the showtime would work for us and I bet it would be sold out. But I'll keep the feedback in mind, thanks.  icon_smile

Deno, did you mean the glasses wouldn't fit well enough over your regular eyeglasses? Or did it give you visual problems when you wore them over them? Just checking.

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

The clip-ons seem like a good investment if 3-D becomes a regular option. I don't think I can snag a pair in time for tonight though.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 07:58:06 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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