Not since (ironically) 1917 has a film immersed me to the extent that it is nigh-impossible to tell what is a visual effect and what isn’t. Sure, it may be obvious that a tank rolling over numerous people through the trenches (among other war atrocities) is CGI, but it’s so well-assimilated into the world that All Quiet creates that it’s easy to believe the verity of everything you’re seeing…as awful as it is.
Avatar revolutionized digital filmmaking in 2009, and nothing less was expected from its blockbuster sequel. I wrote in my review that “it would be hearsay to claim that Avatar: The Way of Water is not incredibly beautiful to look at. Every frame is rendered meticulously, and because most of what we’re seeing on-screen is composed entirely of visual effects, it’s unequivocally awe-inspiring. I also had the opportunity to see it in 3D, a medium I’m not always the biggest fan of — in fact, I was worried about subjecting myself to it for the three and a half hours this movie runs — but it seemed effortless more than anything else, like the 3D is a natural part of the world that Cameron has created.”