I finally caved and saw it last night. Good things first: Yes, the visuals and effects were stunning and very impressive. The 3D was okay, though I think it could have been a bit more subtle in some places. It may be that I'm just not that into the whole 3D thing to begin with, though. From the movies I've seen that featured it, it didn't really add anything. One thing's for sure: this movie is definitely a game-changer in terms of how movies get made from now on. I appreciated the fact that not much time is wasted with explanation in the beginning (I really hate when movies do that). Also, all the various animals and creatures that inhabited the planet were damn cool (though some of the noises they made were blatantly copied and pasted from Jurassic Park).
Now the bad stuff. The story is predicatable, derivative tripe that would barely pass for an animated Disney movie (and in fact, it rips off several of those). The overall message is delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face, and most of the acting is mediocre at best (Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver are two notable exceptions). The main villain is so cartoonishly evil (especially towards the end) that I mostly laughed any time he was on screen. Finally, there's the whole "white guilt" subtext to the plot, which I found extremely annoying. The poor natives are helpless against their oppressors until the valiant white guy comes along to save them all. Ugh, spare me. Not only is it insulting, it's all been done a million times.
"COLONEL KLINK, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!"