Avatar: An IMAX 3D experience

December 21, 2009 at 11:41 am (Movies, Reviews)

This weekend I made my first trip to the brand new (and only) IMAX theater in Romania, for James Cameron’s Avatar. It was well worth it – but not the perfect, mind-blowing experience I was expecting.

Let’s start with the good things. Surprisingly, the first thing that comes to mind is the movie. Avatar is solid throughout. A compelling story with interesting characters, great visual effects and plenty of awesome action scenes – definitely the kind of movie you could enjoy on any format, anywhere. This doesn’t mean you should see it at home – because the 3D experience still adds a brand new level to an already great film.

The visuals are breathtaking, and the 3D is integrated seamlessly into the story, without the useless gimmicks of “throwing” things at the audience to get the desired effect. It all feels perfectly natural, and that’s entirely Cameron’s merit. The IMAX screen is really as big as advertised, and the picture quality was as great as expected, and as colorful as expected (despite the shady glasses).

However. I’ve seen many “normal” 3D movies lately (the RealD format), and I can tell you this: the image quality isn’t a lot better on IMAX. Actually, the only big (and obvious) improvement is the size of the screen. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a crystal clear image, it’s just not such a noticeable difference from RealD 3D. Even more: the frame rate was annoyingly low for some of the more intense action sequences. Frame rate issues also appear in RealD 3D, but I’ve never been so bothered by them (maybe because of the screen size).

…And another rant, this time completely unrelated to Avatar. The Samsung IMAX theater, as new and modern as it is, does NOT have cup holders of any kind. You’re pretty much stuck with your jacket, your Coke and your nachos in your lap the whole time, which makes everything, of course, very uncomfortable.

All in all, Avatar is a movie that you HAVE to see. It’s a great movie on its own, and an even better movie in 3D. It doesn’t even matter if it’s IMAX or not – just make sure you see it in a theater.


  1. the dude said,

    stupid popcorn generation. is this your real problem that IMAX doesn’t have cup holders? omg, grow up

    • Ina said,

      dude, so of all this review this is what you chose to pick on as the “real problem”? although it was placed at the end and introduced by “another rant, completely unrelated”? and this entitles you to invent a social category and to call it stupid? and he needs to grow up?

  2. cristane said,

    Nachos, not popcorn. Nachos. šŸ™‚ Seriously now – this had nothing to do with the movie, that I really enjoyed. However, from a state-of-the-art new theater, I think it’s normal to expect certain amenities, to make your stay a bit more comfortable. Plus – by the end of the film, half the audience threw their cups on the floor. Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

  3. razzv said,

    maybe “the dude” enjoys holding on to the popcorn and juice and stuff but i can see how it can be annoying to stay with the nachos and stuff in your hands.Though the fact that everyone threw the cups on the ground is not because the cinema doesn’t have cup holders, it’s because they are a bunch of rednecks that don’t give a f***. A normal person would’ve walked outside with the cup and would’ve thrown it in the first garbage bin. anyway … we don’t have that kinda problem here in bv, guess why, cause we don’t have cinemas haha

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