Avatar ★★★★½

"I see you."

In first half of 2010, I spent my last semester of college in Los Angeles studying the thing I I loved most, film. During the best time of my college life, I had the single greatest theatrical experience of my entire life and that was seeing James Cameron's Avatar on the ArcLight Cinerama Dome, the biggest movie screen in the world at that time (it still hasn't seen the light of day since Covid took it out of commission more than two years ago). While I imagine that any single film, even the worst of the worst, would look better on this 86 foot wide screen, seeing this film on it was a Nirvana-like moment, reminding me not only why I was there in Los Angeles, studying this thing I loved, but why I had fallen head over heels in love with movies that first time I saw [Cameron's other behemoth] Titanic over a decade before it.

That experience was my third and final viewing of it on the big screen, at least until yesterday. Twelve and a half years later, I finally was able to see it again as God himself James Cameron intended, in IMAX 3D. Several watches at home had dulled me a bit to the film's look and feel, but this watch proved to me once again how much of a miracle this film is and that the only place to watch a James Cameron film is on the biggest screen you can get in front of your face with the best sound you can get inside your ears. Cameron doesn't make movies for anything other than the theatrical viewing experience, the best viewing experience. There is no other way. If you haven't seen this or any of his films on a screen larger than the one in your home, you haven't seen them the way they were meant to be seen.

So, it may have been thirteen years since this original film, but doubt James Cameron at your own peril. The Way of Water may possibly not change the cinema landscape the way this one did in 2009, but betting against the success of a filmmaker who has changed the very essence of Hollywood filmmaking on more than one occasion is not a bet I'd ever want to take.

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