First of all, I think movie prices are just plain atrocious. Greenhills theater charged P300 for a seat, which includes popcorn and drinks. Because moviehouses nowadays tend to be smaller than, say, 20 years ago, I guess they have to charge more per seat. No wonder piracy is so high. Hard to blame people sometimes because its so expensive to get entertained nowadays especially with the recent disasters in the country.
I have watched "3D" movies in the past. Usually, there is only a certain portion that is "3D" while the rest of the movie is in regular "2D" (eg. Spy Kids 3D). I was surprised that Avatar is actually 3D all throughout. While the characters don't really leap out of the screen, there were a couple of scenes where the depth of field were pretty amazing.
The cast were pretty good. Sigourney Weaver is back in a James Cameron alien movie. Last time out, she was the main character as Ripley in Aliens. Zoe Saldana did not really appear as herself, but as the voice of the alien. She was in Star Trek last year as the young Uhura. Michelle Rodriguez looked pretty hot in some scenes (even though I'm sure she's a lesbian).
The animation and special effects are definitely top notch. No wonder it cost $500M to make. But the returns have been fantastic for the producers. Avatar has already surpassed the previous box office record holder -- Titanic, also another movie by James Cameron. Of course, they just base it on box office receipts. I wonder if they were to actually adjust the dollar amount to take into account inflation and the cost of movie before and today, whether Titanic would still be considered a bigger movie.