Surprisingly, in this particular movie, the best 3D experience is in a regular theater with HFR projector. Premium theaters offer an inconsistent experience, except for the sound. The image at a regular HFR projector looks sharper than Dolby or IMAX and with a homogenous look across all the movie without any issues.
UPDATE 3: in a Dolby Theater, you see more appreciable definition than IMAX in scenes with double frame rate. You can note if a scene is filmed at double frame rate, and not because of the movement, but for the definition it transmits. This means usually action scenes are more impactful at Dolby, unless the action occurs very close to the eyes, then IMAX is more impactful. Dark scenes at the end of the movie gain a lot in Dolby Theater, and they get more emotional. As in IMAX, there are slight stuttering sometimes (never on action scenes), but less noticeable. Sound is also very powerful, using the subwoofer a lot, but not as aggressively as IMAX, it is more balanced and realistic, but also a bit less impressive (only a bit).
UPDATE 2: in IMAX the 3D is even stronger in close-ups, the distant ones don’t seem so flat, but in other shots there are depth flaws that go unnoticed in other theaters, on the other hand, our IMAX theater works at less definition than in a regular theater (2K instead of 4K). There are problems with the projector and the HFR, sometimes it slows down as if it could not cope with processing so much information (luckily, it happened only twice, and not in action scenes), maybe for that reason they have to lower the resolution to 2K instead of projecting it at 4K as in the rest of the theaters.
But the biggest change we noticed is the sound, which changes completely, from being quite discreet to having the subwoofer constantly throwing forceful sounds. The positioning is different from other theaters, but equally good.
UPDATE: The 3D aspect varies too much depending on whether you watch the movie on a projector with or without HFR. So we have reviewed both versions.
3D (with HFR): This is the movie with the sharpest resolution we have ever seen (both in 2d or 3D), and we have watched it in an average screen of a regular cinema. The 3D is totally natural, this means that you hardly perceive depth in shots of distant subjects, as in reality, therefore, compared to other excellent 3D films, these scenes may disappoint. But in close-ups… Oh, what close-ups! It’s a marvel of technique, with many occasions where things happen in front of your eyes, in spite of this you don’t see any double image in the whole movie. We still can’t figure out how they managed to have such a strong effect in many shots without any hint of ghosting.
The transition from scenes recorded at regular 24fps speed to scenes with more frame rate is very natural and organic, if you don’t look specifically you don’t notice if a quiet scene is at 24 or more fps. TrueCut Motion is a technical marvel that we want to see in all big movies from now on. It also has another side effect, an apparent increase in definition, if the film itself looks much, much better than any other 4K movie; And when it comes to action scenes is another level, accustomed to other films that have to blur the movements of subjects or camera so that viewers don’t notice annoying jumps between frames, this is no longer necessary. This feeling of super definition is further heightened by the aforementioned total absence of ghosting. Any tiny object such as a leaf, a fish or even small particles that appear on the screen have no ghosting: All objects -no matter how far or close they are- look totally solider, sharper and realer than ever.
The first movie was very good, but was not the best 3D movie, there were some issues with 3D at some scenes, so a lot of converted movies of the last decade are even better than the original Avatar, but now with Avatar 2 there’s no any single defect at all, not even minimal. The bar has been clearly smashed to new heights.
Thanks to True Cut Motion (available only with HFR projectors) these are the best 3D images that nobody has ever seen. Watching this movie in 2d or without HDR shouldn’t be allowed.
regular 3D (without HFR): Foreground still looks nice, but without HFR, images aren’t as impactful. Like the HFR version, backgrounds are mostly plain. But as now it doesn’t have vivid colors, and brightness is lower, it lost all the Pandora’s vividness, and definitively doesn’t appear as having much definition of the James Cameron’s new 3D system he wants to feature in this movie: neither in foreground very close objects. What fortunately it still preserves from True Cut Motion version is the lack of any ghosting. By all these reasons, watching this movie in a projector without HFR capabilities is a loss of almost all the things made this movie far superior to previous 3D movies, it is under the level of the first Avatar. Without HFR this movie loses so much that most movies of the last years are clearly superior.
Score for regular 3D without HFR is: Background depth: 65 instead 91 (it loses vividness and definition); Foreground depth: 92 instead 100 (strong and lack of ghosting); Pop outs & other 3D effects: 88 instead 100 (strong 3D in pop outs). So, final score is 8.2 instead 9.7.
4DX: Even being a quiet movie, you’re constantly moving because on most scenes you’re floating on the air or the water. There are a lot of effects across all the movie, including fire, but at the beginning there’s one important scene with fire without the corresponding 4DX effect. Of course, in this movie, there are a lot of water effects. Fights are intense and well represented. There are no odor effects. Recommended watching in 4DX… But only if the projector also have HFR capabilities to see the True Cut Motion montage.
Positional sound: The movie makes use of some positional sounds, like the rain above us, but the position varies between theaters, also, depending on the theater there are different scenes with directional sounds that go unnoticed on the others. But we miss the sound of water surrounding us in underwater scenes on all of them. Not strong use of subwoofer on regular theaters, which makes the movie less impactful, that turns to the opposite at premium theaters.