James Cameron’s latest may have been criticized for its heavy-handed message and clichéd story, but one thing all viewers agreed on was that the film was an amazing technical achievement. Advancing the motion capture technology from Lord of the Rings, Cameron developed an updated system with notable innovations like improved facial expression capture and cameras that could display CGI models in real-time with filming.
Of course, Avatar also launched a new wave of 3D and literally change our perceptions of the format by making the world of Pandora immersive. While most 3D films since have been cash grabs, there are select ones (Life of Pi) that made good use of Cameron’s new technology to craft engrossing theatrical experiences.
With the sequel set to take place underwater, there's a chance Cameron could revolutionize movies again.