We finally saw Avatar today. Because we dallied, our only options were 3D (digital or IMAX). To see the plain old 2D version we would have had to head off to the wilds of Bridgeville or Tarentum or the like.
Consensus on the Google-indexed parts of the Internet suggested the the odds were better than 50-50 of the glasses for digital 3D fitting over my glasses, so we opted for that. (Almost everyone agrees that you can wear the 3D glasses over glasses; they'd be crazy not to consider that need. But my glasses are thick and I didn't know if there'd be enough room.) This concern was easy to mitigate; we asked to try out the glasses at the ticket counter before buying. The other unknown for me was whether the 3D effect would work for me: do my eyes work together well enough, or would I just see a blurry movie? Only one way to find out. (The cheapo red/blue 3D glasses of yore never worked on me, at least for 3D comic books. I've never seen a 3D movie before.)
I could in fact see the 3D effects, yay. The glasses would have been annoying if they'd had any weight to them; on the ears they were perched on top of my regular ones, and there wasn't a lot of room on my nose to support them. Since they were made of light-weight plastic that was ok; I just sort of wedged them in place, and I'm not sure to what extent they were even in contact with my nose. If they'd been heavier that wouldn't have worked.
As for the movie itself...
The point of the movie was clearly the visual effects, which were generally well-done. It was a pretty movie. Some of the 3D effects seemed gratuitous to me but none were annoying and some were very nice, so I'm glad we saw the 3D version (even if they did jack up the ticket price substantially for that). In terms of the 3D, I thought they did better with the slower-moving delicate effects, like those floating things that looked sort of like dandelions in seed, than they did with the bigger effects (like large animals running toward you). A few times the 3D-ness was disorienting, like seeing computer screens in the foreground. Yeah, ok, you can do that, but it didn't add for me.
The plot and characters were not very 3D, though that didn't surprise me. The writers played fair in that they never pulled something out of their hat; every significant plot point that hinged on something about this world or these people was set up in advance. They were set up pretty blatantly, though, so I was never surprised; in fact, during most of the set-ups I found myself thinking "ok, set-up; this probably means that..." and I was right. This isn't a point against the movie; it's just a different kind of storytelling than some others. Think of this movie not as a conventional plot that might have some surprises but rather as a morality play where everyone knows the point that's going to be made up front, and you'll be fine.
Because this movie is really about the special effects and not the plot, I suspect it won't age well. In five years it'll probably be passe, having long since been superseded. We'll see.
I noticed that there was a credit for the language and that the name had a "PhD" in front of it. Linguist, I assume? Neat to see if so. I wonder how a linguist goes about landing such a gig. And while I wasn't paying a lot of attention to details of the language during the movie, at the end I found myself wondering: was that an ungendered language? I don't think I heard any differences in pronouns between male and female objects. (I'm thinking in particular of the pair of group-chant scenes, which I'm trying not to spoil for the three people reading this who haven't seen the movie yet.)