Avatar leaves some ill, but nausea at films nothing new
Wed, 13 Jan 2010 2:01p.m.
A minority of viewers worldwide have experienced discomfort while watching 3D screenings of the film, with symptoms including nausea and sweating, international media have reported.
But moviegoers were no more likely to suffer motion sickness at Avatar than any other film, Associate Professor Robert Jacobs at Auckland University's optometry department said.
"The 3D movies have been around for a long time -- there's nothing specific about Avatar," he told NZPA.
Motion sickness was caused by a conflict between the senses, and even traditional 2D movies had the potential to make people feel ill, he said.
"You think the environment's moving because so much of what you're seeing is moving, but in fact the rest of your senses, your balance, says you're not moving."
Some people were more prone to motion sickness than others, but there was little they could do to prevent it, he said.
"Certainly closing one eye or getting rid of the glasses isn't going to change things."
Auckland couple Tania and Raymond Lorenzen are among those who have fallen ill at a 3D screening of Avatar.
Mrs Lorenzen said she started to feel nauseous about 10 minutes into the film and had to close her eyes, while Mr Lorenzen later had to rush from the cinema to throw up in the bathroom, The Dominion Post reported.
Thousands have flocked to Avatar since its release five weeks ago, but New Zealand's largest theatre chain, SkyCity Cinemas, has not yet received any reports of moviegoers falling ill.
Over 36,000 people had seen the film at the IMAX 3D theatre in Auckland, but so far none had made a formal complaint, SkyCity marketing manager Lisa Chambers said.
"Its pretty full-on in 3D, and people are walking out going `wow', but we actually haven't had any formal reports of anyone being sick," she said.
"It could be that someone has, but they certainly haven't expressed it to us. We have staff who collect the glasses at the end, and certainly they haven't had any reports themselves, either."
Most people had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the film, with some returning to see it two or three times.
"It's huge. We were just looking at the numbers and they're still selling out.
"If you want to see Avatar at the moment you have to book a couple of days in advance still, which is quite phenomenal within week five of its release. It's still got a huge amount of steam in it."
Moviegoers who had to leave early due to motion sickness would get a full refund, she said.
"If they came out part-way through the film, absolutely. But if they watch the film all the way through to the end and then decide they'd like a refund, I'm not sure about that. Realistically they've still experienced the entire film."
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9/02/2010 10:38:05 p.m.
Ursel Free wrote:
The special effects were splendid but apart from this the story was predictable and repetitive and FAR too long
8/02/2010 2:39:15 a.m.
I have to agree with Kate. Although it looked amazing, it was derivative and cliched. That doesn't mean it didn't make me cry. I can be manipulated even knowing I'm being manipulated. And, yes, I did get sick, about the time Sully was being introduced to the rest of the Navi. I stuck it out though, and listened. What I heard -- before and after my nausea set in -- were some clunkers in dialogue, seasoned actors who should have risen above that (or a director who should have), and plot elements that were derived from Ferngully, Pocahontas, Lion King, Land Before Time, and Dances with Wolves, among others. It also owes a huge debt to Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was sure the Ents were going to come to the rescue at a couple of points.
However, it was an enjoyable movie overall and a real tear jerker, but I can't understand the hyperbole from people who say it was "the best movie they've ever seen" with a shake in their voice.
7/02/2010 1:03:53 p.m.
it spreads old stereotypes, shows poor acting and repetitious scenes.Three hours of same-o-same-o. Even if I had not gotten sick with the glasses, I would have been sick over the movie itself.
Can we come up with a different plot with out stereotypes?
27/01/2010 2:25:20 a.m.
I saw this film at an Imax centre last night and knew nothing of possible side-effects. Pretty bad nausea started about 10 minutes into the film and continued throughout and for about an hour afterwards. My husband, however, was fine. I don't usually get motion sickness or suffer from vertigo. I do however, wear glasses and maybe this was a factor. I think this side-effect should be taken more seriously as although I enjoyed the film, the experience was spoilt by the awful nausea it seemed to induce. Maybe the experts need to reconsider their views.
23/01/2010 4:38:26 a.m.
I was nauseated during much of Avatar, which was very frustrating. I was there with kids and had to hang around, plus I really wanted to enjoy it. The last 30 minutes, I took the glasses off and just sort of half watched it sometimes blurred, which decreased the feeling a little so I could drive home.
I've seen maybe a half dozen 3D films since they were reintroduced and this was the first one that made me sick, but I did feel overwhelmingly awful watching Star Trek in IMAX. I went back and saw it in a regular theater in order to enjoy it fully. I will watch more films in 3D even though I was sick at Avatar, but I won't try IMAX again. I would go see Avatar again if I could see it in 2D.
20/01/2010 9:59:32 a.m.
Tessie Diboll wrote:
Hello, I have to tell you that Avitar was an amazing movie, unfortunatley I had to leave a half hour after it started. I started to feel nausious after 10 minutes. I made my husband stay and watch it while I drank a tea in the restaurant. My husband also loved the movie. He is planning to back. I had a great friend who left the theatre to take care of me, I felt bad because we both paid for the movie and we left. I don't necessarily need my refund, but I would like to have the refund for my friend who missed it because of me.Thank-youTessie Diboll
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