I saw James Cameron’s Avatar on Friday. Story-wise, it’s a lot like Dances with Wolves, which may or may not be your cup of tea. But that aside, the work on that film was spectacular and I mean that in a literal sense. The movie was very much a spectacle. This is a film that you want to experience on the biggest possible screen you can. I saw the trailer on a small computer screen last month and it seemed kind of garish. It didn’t seem like it would work as a movie. But on the big screen, it’s completely different. It feels epic, especially in 3D.

The world feels fully real, the environments are gorgeous, and the aliens are suitably alien yet totally appealing in motion. I think there are a number of other directors that are as enamored of new technology as James Cameron. But I don’t think there are any that are as deft at using that technology to create a compelling movie. So if you want to see what motion capture can do in the right hands or see how exactly one can spend nearly $500 million to create a movie, go see Avatar. Believe me, you’ll understand when you see it.

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