I saw James Cameron's Avatar in 3-D twice in the first three days of its release. I saw it opening day at the Arclight Cinemas Cineramadome using the XpanD 3D system and at the Regal Cinemas Alhambra Renaissance 14 in RealD 3D. I'll probably see it one more time, in 2-D to compare.
I should note that I can probably count on one hand the number of films I have seen multiple times in the theaters (Star Wars, Aliens, Tell No One, Finding Nemo). Avatar belongs on this list. It is an incredible cinematic experience, not just because of the immersive aspects of the 3-D film experience but due to the complexity and intensity of the storytelling.
The star of Avatar is the "It" boy of the moment, Sam Worthington, who plays Jake Sully, a paralyzed Marine who fills in for his recently murdered brother on a mercenary interplanetary mission to assist in the exploration and exploitation of an eden-like moon called Pandora which is rich with vast natural resources which humanity has only begun to understand. Sigourney Weaver a favorite of Cameron's from the Aliens franchise plays the head of the ecological team interacting with the 10-foot-tall, bright blue, cat-eyed alien natives called the Na'vi via the use of genetically engineered avatars. Zoe Saldana, who plays the lead alien native Neyitri captures Worthington while in avatar form and the story deepens from there. I really don't want to say any more about the explicit details of the story.
The central messages of the film are surprisingly pro-environmental and anti-militaristic and contain explicit depiction of native/tribal religio-cultural expression.
The visual impact of the film can not be overstated.
Running Time: 2 hours, 41 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 [See Full Rating]
Director: James Cameron.
OVERALL GRADE: A+.