Avatar (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Drama / Science Fiction
Fox || PG13 - 162 minutes - $39.99 || April 22, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-26


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: James Cameron
Writer(s): James Cameron (written by)
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang


Theatrical Release Date: December 18, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • DVD Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

If you had told me a year ago that Avatar would go on to be the biggest film of all time I would have laughed at you for at least ten minutes. Back when I saw the preview for the movie I looked at it and went ďhuh? This movie is going to tank horribly.Ē I was of course wrong as the film has gone on to be the number one movie at the box-office ever. Avatar truly is a monumental film; although with my third viewing of the film it does wane a little bit on me. The flick is an eye-popping, ear-grabbing, mind-altering experience that will leave you breathless though from the sheer spectacle that is a nearly three-hour long process into the world of Pandora.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is heading to Pandora as a marine to help the war against the aliens known as the Navi. The Navi are big, blue, and really tall creatures that Colonel Miles (Stephen Lang) thinks are destroying the world and also harbor secret resources that can be used for military gain. The head doctor at the facility, Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), is there to use her scientific knowledge to help the humans win the battle but also maybe install peace in the region. She has invented a machine that not only lets the humans move around freely as Navi but also become one of them through the technology.

Jake inadvertently volunteers for the assignment to be one of the human Navi, and along with his friend Norm (Joel Moore), the two become somewhat of guinea pigs to Augustine throughout the process. Jake however has no use of his legs due to an accident from years ago and is only here on the planet because he looks so much like his brother that no one ever noticed the differences between the two. Since he becomes a human Navi through the technology from the doctor, he regains the use of his ligaments and is thrilled to be able to walk again. While all the human Navi are out one day a monster attacks them and the group is split up. Most of the group gets away, except for Jake, who is lost in the woods away from his companions. He eventually meets Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) who helps him survive the upcoming days although reluctantly at first. The two bond together and he is brought into the real Navi home world, where he is met with hostility. This leaves Jake with the puzzling thought: are the Navi really as dangerous as the Colonel made them out to be, or are they a peaceful organization that is just misunderstood?

I must say that while I enjoyed Avatar immensely in theaters where it was in 3-D the movie really does lose its appeal in my entertainment center. The movie truly is gorgeous, but the big joy of watching a nearly three-hour film was the fact that the scenery was so gorgeous in 3-D and now in 2-D the joy and fun are strangely not there in mass quantities. The huge plus about watching the flick with the glasses on was how freaking nice it was to see the scenery jump out at you and the amazing special effects looked so much better on the big theater screen. Alright, sorry, Iíll stop ranting about how much better the flick was in 3-D rather than 2-D, onto the dissection.

In case you havenít heard by now, the film is incredibly long. Clocking in at 162 minutes, the flick may seem like a lifetime to some people, including me and that only makes the movie longer if you keep checking your watch every five minutes. I found myself captivated the first viewing and the subsequent second and third viewings not so much. The story itself is incredibly entertaining to watch unfold, but the replay value for the movie dwindles with each viewing or at least it did for me. The runtime aside, the entertainment here truly is great though as the story has some great twists and turns that will keep newcomers to the movie of repeat viewers astonished the entire flick, which is always a great thing for films these days to have.

The casting of the movie puzzled me at first, as though the only real actor or actress at the time this was released thatís consider a household name would be Weaver. Her role here isnít that strong or in all honesty that interesting, but she plays the doctor part well. Worthington has been getting more and more of a name for himself as his movie career progresses and Iím sure one day he will be the household name that he should be after this one. He is by far the best part of the flick with his phenomenal acting and his great dedication to the role. Heck, even Lang does an amazing evil guy portrayal, and one that I hope he portrays again in future films. It was already talked about that he would be back in the sequel, although that is still a rumor and may or may not be true.

I think that if this was my first seeing the film than it would have been an easy five-star review. However, after repeated viewings the flick has somewhat waned on me and I think that there are some problems, mainly the runtime and the slow pacing at points, that needed to be addressed.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only special feature to be had here is a DVD Copy of the film that you can do what you can give to a friend or keep for yourself.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that this Blu-Ray is reference material. The scenery is lush, gorgeous, and any other word that describes beautiful can be used here. Now, granted, it doesnít look anywhere as nice as it did in 3-D but hopefully before the end of the year that edition will come out. Colors are breathtakingly gorgeous and provide some of the best visuals Iíve ever seen on Blu-Ray in the three years that Iíve been watching movies on this format. Plus, there are few if any scenes that have grain or noise, which is also incredibly nice to write about. Thereís nothing more that I can say about this one other than the video is clear reference material for that entertainment system you no doubt spent tons of money on.

Oh, did I mention that the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is by far one of the best Iíve heard in three years too? The track is loud, engaging, bombastic, and many other words that describe just freaking awesome to listen to and will probably anger your neighbors from this one. There are so many scenes that are demo material in terms of audio quality, one in particular being the rhino-like scene about 1/3 of the way through the film, the ending is also reference material, and about fifteen other scenes. The surround sound is perfect for this flick and one that should be taken note on by other studios as to how to properly fix a track. I would be hard-pressed in a few months when the re-release hits shelves for the audio to be improved, and the only way I think that would happen is with a 7.1 track but I doubt that will ever happen.



.::OVERALL::.

Avatar is a phenomenon that surpassed everyoneís thoughts that it would be a flop and went on to be the biggest grossing film of all time. Rumors are spiraling that a sequel is soon to be shot and somehow I donít find that surprising that the film is going to be rushed. The movie was great the first time I saw it but the second time around not so much. The technical package is of course perfect but the lack of any real special features makes this one an obvious re-release later on in the year with the intended extras that should have been here. The low price of the film (almost everywhere the price is around $20) makes this one an easy purchase but donít be disappointed in a few months from now another version (and another and another) get released. Pandora ahoy!