I finally got around to seeing Avatar this week. I saw it in 3d in a normal theater but the next time I see it, I'm going to try to see it in IMAX.
Avatar is set in the year 2150. Humans have gobbled up all of the resources on Earth and are mining a distant planet called Pandora for a substance far more valuable than oil or gold. The planet is inhabited by the N'Avi people, who are connected to the earth and not overly fond of having their planet destroyed. In order to connect with the N'Avi, the humans take on these "Avatars" in the form of a N'Avi that lets the humans interact with them. The idea is that if you get them to vacate their land freely, then the military won't have to roll in and destroy everything.
Obviously this movie carries the message that we have to be careful of this is where we will end up. I also believe it is a commentary on terrorism and the war on terror.
Yet I didn't really enjoy the movie for the story so much as I enjoyed it for the visual effects, which are stunning to say the least. I had always wondered when they were going to make a movie that was over 90% digital effects and I believe this movie is a huge step forward in that regard.
The 3D imagery is also stunning. There are lots of scenes in the forest that are simply amazing, especially at night when the forest lights up. You have to wear glasses for the entire movie and that may be annoying to some. My only other 3D complaint is that the movie maker decides what is going to be in focus. This means that you can't really look at details in the background or explore the "shot" too much. However this isn't a huge issue because there is so much to look at that is in focus.
Overall, I'd have to say this a movie you have to see in the theater and you should try your best to see it in 3D. It will look great at home but do yourself a favor and get to the theater.