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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

AVATAR Extended Collector's Edition
DVD Review by David Blackwell
DETAILS:  162 minutes/ 171 minutes/ 178 minutes, deleted scenes, additional scene access, making-of documentary
VIDEO:  1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English 2.0 DS, French 2.0 DS, Spanish 2.0, Family Audio track (all objectionable language removed)
Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish
STUDIO:  20th Century FOX/ Lightstorm Entertainment/ Dune Entertainment/ Ingenious Film Partners
RELEASE DATE:  11-16-2010


AVATAR marks James Cameron’s return to feature films since he made TITANIC in the mid-1990s.  He makes his first feature film in 3D in what some people hail (and Cameron Hopes) what will be the future of cinema.  Even if AVATAR wasn’t a 3D film, it is a visual spectacle to behold.   It is a little weak in the script department and feels like a story of the Native American frontier in the 1800s except replace it with 10 foot tall blue skinned aliens. 


The Na’vi are the blue aliens on an alien moon called Pandora which circles a gas giant in a faraway solar system.  Jake Sully is a crippled war veteran who takes a six year journey to Pandora by spaceship for a chance at a new life.  He replaces his murdered twin who was trained in controlling avatar bodies (which are part alien and part human DNA) to interact with the Na’vi.  The Na’vi think the dream walker bodies are wrong, but they take an interest in Jake due to signs from their deity.  Jake learns their ways while collecting intelligence for the corporation who want the minerals beneath the Na’vi village.  Jake falls for one of the Na’vi, Neytiri, and it helps set the stage for the conflict between him and the ones who want to take the Na’vi home away for greed.


AVATAR lives on its visuals and the battle sequence at the end.  It is a beautiful film to watch.  The 3D makes you feel like you’re in the film almost.   Watch how the monitors and subtitles seem to be closer to the viewer.   Still AVATAR is part of the trend of 3D movies that rely more on visuals instead of providing a great story to match.   3D hasn’t provided a classic film that was filmed in the format as of yet.    Still AVATAR delivers as a big screen experience even if it doesn’t match up to earlier films done by James Cameron (ALIENS, THE ABYSS, and TERMINATOR).


The first paragraphs are froma  review I wrote back in December 2009.  3D movie fall under the trend of they deliver if filmed in 3D (RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE is also fantastic in 3D) where most up-conversions from 2D to 3D suck and come off as flat.   The three-disc Extended Collector's Edition has three versions of AVATAR spread over two discs.  The Special Edition release is nine minutes longer was released in theaters back in September where the Extended Collector's Cut is 16 minutes longer than the theatrical cut and it features an alternate opening that opens up on Earth (I wish this scene was in the theatrical cut).  Three  to four other new scenes (out of many new additions) are really scenes I wish were included in the theatrical version that focus on Neytiri's dead sister and Grace's regrets over the school to teach the Na'vi.   These new scenes in the extended cut actually make AVATAR  stronger film.   AVATAR is a gamechanger for the way it has pushed motion capture and animation technology where it does prove 3D is good if yopu have the right film for it (and not the trend to upconvert 2D to 3D in an attempt to cash in on more box office).  3D is a visual medium which means action and sci-fi benefit most from the 3D cameras and anything that is really visual.



In addition to two new cuts of AVATAR, they have an audio track that removes all objectionale language for families (I'm rolling my eyes at this one).

The third disc has the special edition and extended cut scenes included on their own in addition to over an hour of deleted scenes in various stages of VFX/ animation (with a guide how to view them and each scene says what is there and what is missing).    I love the selection of scenes with a vision trip scene being my favorite.


CAPTURING AVATAR is a comprehensive 100 minute making-of documentary that chronicles the long journey to make AVATAR including interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and tests.


FINALA ANALYSIS:  The Extended Collector's Edition of AVATAR is a must-own set with plenty of extras and an extended cut that improves on the film.  The Blu-ray includes even more extras.


this DVD review is (c)11-20-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted iwthout permission.