Now, not that I disagree, but to quote a truly great movie, "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. "
True, just as with television, we get fed pabulum, and I often wish expectations were higher, but there are still the things that are worthwhile, and the rest can be ignored.
Hyping technology is an attempt to get butts in seats. When I was a kid, we drove in to Hollywood to see How the West Was Won at the then brand-new Cinerama Dome theater. It was spectacular, but like most things, when the novelty wore off, it wasn't worth the cost to make most movies in Cinerama, the cost and technological hassles were too much to make the theaters common, and we certainly weren't going to drive the 75 miles to go a special theater to watch them anyway!
You are so right.
TRON was a lot better, not a great movie, but not boring, even saw it at IMAX, Avatar at a regular cinema looked about 1000x better than TRON at IMAX, the 3D was really poor in TRON, Avatar looked god damn amazing, which is why it was so successful, if it wasn't in 3D I would have left half way through. Plus people grab onto and obsess over alternate reality type stuff where they can believe they're really blue on the inside.
"I saw it in IMax 3D and the entire audience seemed to be transfixed."
But how did you feel about it?
How did I feel? Well, after a hard day of real life, when I saw Avatar, I felt just like I did when I was about 8 and saw the screen go to color as Dorothy stepped into OZ. I was enjoying myself with something new. That is the best way to explain it. And now, watching the world situation and all of the wars and disasters, who can gainsay this?
This concept of interlacing is one of the most misunderstood subjects among video/film technology, but it is very easy and simple once you get it.
It is easiest to say that video is shot at 59.94 or 50 frames per second, and forget the interlacing when talking about smoothness of the motion or frame rates.
Interlacing is a primitive "compression" scheme which compromises resolution or clarity, not frame rate. There are 50/60 individual frames shot every second, it is just that they are half of the full resolution but shot every other at a different "location" so that the resolution integrates to "full" resolution in our eyes. But, a new picture is taken 50/60 times per second and that is exactly why it looks so much smoother than 24 FPS material. We can also take any of these 50 or 60 video frames and look at it. It is a complete reproduction of any taken moment. It is just half of the resolution compared to what the moving image looks like.
Unfortunately, the terminology to call individual temporal samples as "fields" and two of them as a "frame" is so misleading that 99% of people who know a bit about interlacing do misunderstand the whole concept. There are technical reasons for the terminology but from the end-result point of view it is misleading.
In fact, as film material also gains more clarity and resolution when it runs because the grains at different locations integrate in our eyes, it is somewhat similar to "interlaced" video material. If the video material was like film strip, there would be 50 or 60 frames in a second.