When the "Avatar" teaser trailer went online on Thursday, August 20, it was welcomed with mixed responses as some began comparing the movie to 2008 animated flop "Delgo". But, when the free 16-minute preview was screened in theaters around the world on Friday, August 21, positive reviews came rushing in with most viewers giving their "awesome" and "epic" reactions.
Associated Press reported that fans at the film's IMAX screening in Los Angeles were astounded by the 3-D footage. "It was almost a sensory overload," Ohio State University student Ryan Moore gushed. "You have to be in the moment wearing the (3-D) glasses to really appreciate it." 21-year-old film student Derek Nunn chimed in, "I think it's going to be one of the greatest movies this decade."
Dwayne Smith of Venice, who was disappointed with the trailer, was astonished by what he has seen at the free screening. "It looked very real, especially the aliens. It looked amazingly real. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, actually," he praised the digital effects. "The trailer does not represent the movie properly. The trailer short-sells it."
Positive reviews did not come only from the North American area, fans from around the world were also amazed by the film's visual splendor. USA Today quoted Hong Kong viewer, Jason Poon, as he tweeted that it was "probably the best CG and 3-D I've ever seen." Londoner James Hilder said it was "mega impressive."
The 16-minute footage was said to be the extension of what have been shown during 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International. The preview was basically the spoiler-free version of the Comic Con footage and focused almost entirely on its visual effects. It took a peek at Pandora where Jake Sully joins a group of humans who have their brains linked to their avatars, and at the scene wherein Sully befriends young Na'vi alien, Neytiri.
First conceived by director/producer/writer James Cameron 14 years ago, "Avatar" underwent four years of actual production work. It promises to deliver a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film, disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.
It stars Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana as Neytiri, Sigourney Weaver as botanist Dr. Grace Augustine, Michelle Rodriguez as retired Marine pilot Trudy Chacon, Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge and Stephen Lang as Marine Corps colonel Quaritch. December 18 will be the date it hits U.S. theaters.