Avatar (2009)

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Drama / Science Fiction
Fox || PG13 - 162 minutes - $29.98 || April 22, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-26


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: 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

.:: 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:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Surround 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Surround 2.0), French (Dolby Surround 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::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::.

Nope, nothing to be had here. Sorry to get your hopes up.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The non-HD transfer doesnít provide the breathtaking visuals that the high-def version does, but all in all this is still a fine looking transfer. Colors are bright and flesh tones are of appropriate color, but they just donít strike me as much as the HD version did. Plus, I didnít notice any scene in particular that was demo material in terms of visual quality which is a shame to write. Donít get me wrong here, as though the DVD has some amazing scenes in it, mainly most of the outdoor/action sequences, but they just fail in comparison to the Blu-Ray counterpart. There were also many scenes that had some grain and noise in them, which as usual is disappointing to write about.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track isnít anywhere near the quality of the HD track either, but in all honesty the track isnít that bad. In fact, the track is better than 99.99 percent of DVDís that I watch, which is a pleasure to actually write about in 2010. The surround sound is properly engaged throughout the film and the action sequences sound awesome. The problem I have is that the dialogue for the flick tends to overlap on the background noise and vice versa throughout some of the scenes, and I also struggled to hear dialogue. The dialogue also didnít have much of ďoomphĒ to it either so that also caused me to deduct some points from this track.



.::OVERALL::.

Avatar on DVD is nowhere near the knockout that the high-def version has but in all honesty thatís nothing to scoff at. The film was great the first time around and despite the fact I didnít enjoy the flick as much the second and third time I was still enthralled at the great scenery and special effects. The technical package is a step down from the Blu-Ray yet still manages to captivate viewers but the lack of any special features is a huge misstep from Fox. I would probably rent the film first and then make a purchase based on that decision, as though Pandora is a fairly long ride that you may not want to take multiple times.