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post #1 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
100





Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 162 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Laz Alonzo, Wes Studi, CCH Pounder
Written & Directed by: James Cameron
Music by: James Horner
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 16, 2012






"Enter the world"


Film Synopsis:

A reluctant hero. An epic journey. A choice between the life he left behind and the incredible new world he's learned to call home. Return to James Cameron's Avatar - the greatest adventure of all time.


My Take:

I have previously reviewed the original releases of Avatar on Blu-ray which included the 3D version, containing only the theatrical film cut, that was only available as part of an exclusive offer when purchasing Panasonic 3D products. That was a bitter pill for fans to swallow especially in light of the fact that it remains among the premiere if not the premiere 3D Blu-ray presentations to date. Fox has finally released it much to the joy of those who previously weren’t able to obtain a copy. This review will contain my original comments relative to the film as well as my remarks on the quality of the 3D presentation. Those interested in the quality of the 2D Blu-ray can see my review HERE.


Let’s face it James Cameron knows how to create a motion picture that seems to truly represent his vision as a filmmaker. I am probably one of the only few reading this that didn’t see Avatar in the theater. My kids saw it but my wife and I just never got around to it. I am a fan of Cameron’s and have been for years but this is a film that deep down I felt I wanted to experience for the first time in my own theater room. I wasn’t disappointed. Avatar is the name given the biologically engineered, genetically matched and remotely controlled “suits” created so that humans could interact with the indigenous humanoid Na’vi of the distant planet of Pandora. A fertile and lush world inhabited by a host of alien species and a precious material known as unobtainium, a room temperature, super-conductor for energy, which makes it very valuable. A joint military/civilian scientist outpost has been established on Pandora for the purposes of mining it however the Na’vi are not open to intruding outsiders and their colony rests on the area where the highest concentration of unobtainium is located.

Jake Sully is a former marine and paraplegic whose recently deceased twin brother was slated for the Avatar program. Because Jake is a genetic match for his brother he has been brought to Pandora to take his place. He meets with both the military and civilian personnel who both have completely different agendas. The military is employed by a corporation seeking the unobtainium and the scientists, holding the key through the Avatar program, seek to study the planet and its inhabitants. Jake is brought into the fold and quickly learns how the corporation/military want there agenda met when they instruct him to use his recently acquired relationship with Neytiri, a female of the Na’vi to gather intelligence to help supplant the tribe.

After living among the Na’vi and being instructed in their customs through Neytiri Jake begins to lose focus on the mission. He becomes enamored by their world and finds himself falling for Neytiri. Once this becomes evident the corporation instructs the military to move in forcibly which results in a standoff that leaves Jake right smack in the middle. Does he assist in the destruction of the Na’vi and the world he has grown to love or does he stand with them in defense of their home against a mightier and better prepared army?

Avatar’s premise about an undercover that becomes seduced by the world which he is infiltrating is certainly nothing new. Formulaic or not this story strikes all the requisite chords and has enough substance to keep interest from waning. Quite honestly I think that for me the real attraction here is found both in the combination of the story’s elements and the visual stimulation contained in the imaginary world created by James Cameron. I am a sucker for the good versus evil, little guy taking on the giant concept so this one lured me in early on. Being a fan of Cameron’s past works this felt like slipping on a brand new pair of shoes and already having them broken in. I can’t say that everyone will feel the same but I found Avatar to be highly entertaining and well worth an evening spent.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**




Audio: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: Detail:%20%3Cimg%20src=

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


3D Presentation: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Avatar 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

I have watched a variety of 3D high definition video both animated and live action. 3D has never truly been something that I have been drawn to however bringing it into the home in high definition intrigued me. I have always found the gimmicky nature of 3D off putting and the imagery combined with the uncomfortable glasses always seemed to give me a headache. I hoped that this implementation would prove to be an improvement which would elevate the experience. I am please to report that it is and so far the most impressive example I have seen is Avatar. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. I was mesmerized by the depth and realism of the three dimensional imagery.

The separation of objects or people in the foreground/background is incredibly lifelike which serves to visually draw you in by creating a more discerning sense of virtual space occupied by things of various sizes and shapes. This is done to superb effect and rarely resorts to the sort of gimmicks that have things shooting/protruding out of the screen in an obvious attempt to garner audience reaction. That isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with the occasional use of flying objects etc. to stimulate the senses but many times this is overused and can become fatiguing. Fidelity is intact as the film’s gorgeous array of colors, defining contrast and rich blacks bring the world of Pandora to life with startling results. If I had to describe the experience of watching Avatar in 3D I would describe it as natural and completely involving. I didn’t notice any obvious signs of ghosting or 3D related anomalies and never experienced eye strain/fatigue.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is reference quality and is sure to please those who like to play their systems loud. I had high expectations for this soundtrack and this lossless audio presentation didn’t disappoint. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and demonstrative surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose was definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The listening position is submerged into a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the senses with a combination of well placed sound effects and musical ambience.

Dialogue is supremely articulated with excellent focus, clarity and descriptive intonation. Low frequency detail can be substantial as it occasionally reaches seismic levels that will test the limits of lesser subwoofers. The extended dynamic range of the recording coupled with the inherent high resolution audio encoding renders the bombastic nature of battle with superlative high level sonics and authoritative bass transients that are deep, powerful and sometimes timber rattling. The LFE channel is mixed on the hot side which occasionally derives deep bass emphasis on sounds where it may not be necessary. Having said that I am the first to admit that I love deep, clean, powerful bass and this track delivers it in spades. I found its ability to render fine detail, and subtle nuance to be excellent. As viewers I think we sometimes miss some of the intricacies that go into the design of soundtracks such as this. Not so in this case as even seemingly inconspicuous minutia within the recording is detectable. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with this terrific soundtrack.


Bonus Features:

  • Bonus DVD – Avatar (theatrical cut)




Final Thoughts:

For the first time, every Avatar fan has the opportunity to experience it in 3D via this long awaited release from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The only thing that separates this Limited Edition from the previously released exclusive one is the addition of a bonus DVD and lenticulated 3D slipcover. I have to imagine that somewhere down the road we may see a 3D extended edition Blu-ray release but for now this will do very nicely. Here are the closing remarks from my original review: Avatar is a technical marvel that exudes the very best that we as enthusiasts have come to expect from the Blu-ray format. No matter how large your screen or how precise your audio equipment this presentation will knock your socks off.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Perfect score. Truly a technological triumph that will undoubtedly overcome my aversion to the movie itself.
...but who am I to talk. I just ran out and bought the fourth Tinkerbell movie. Can't get enough of those pretty colors.

Greetings,

You're not alone David. I have a soft spot for the Tinkerbell series too... smile.gif


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post #3 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 06:57 PM
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it should also be mentioned that the new Blu-ray is exactly the same as the Panasonic 3D exclusive version (even same menus) so anyone who currently owns that should not bother with this version unless they really need the new cover art
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post #4 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 07:28 PM
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Thanks for the fine review, Ralph! cool.gif

I've had the Panasonic 3D release for quite some time so probably will wait for the extended 3D release before buying more Avatar blu-rays, but for me this has been the best 3D HDTV release that I've seen thus far.
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post #5 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 07:56 PM
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I see bright crosstalk on the alien speech subtitles towards the end of the movie. Anyone else?
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post #6 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 09:26 PM
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This movie may be great on a technical level but on a story, structure, characterization, and originality standpoint, it is completely laughable (I laughed until it hurt when the scarface token military guy burned down the tree of life).

This review completely sums up my opinion about this horrific piece of crap movie: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/2915/avatar.html
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post #7 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 10:03 PM
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I was weirded out by this movie, but it was a 3D marvel. The lush scenery that popped out all over the place and in all directions was pretty breathtaking when I first watched it in my home theater. Good review!

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post #8 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 10:32 PM
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so is there more 3d in this then the amount of or lack of 3d in the theaters? So many scenes while I was in theaters watching the 3d that would have looked awesome in 3d and they didnt do it so Im hoping they did more 3d in the bluray release? Like for example that ship that goes to Pandora wasnt in 3d and its approach towards the screen would have looked awesome in 3d so I was just wondering if you can recall any addition 3d scenes?

Also how does this review compare the the limited edition non 3d version of Avatar released way back?

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post #9 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 11:49 PM
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No complaint about the movie, picture quality or audio quality because I think Ralph's review is spot-on but I do feel disappointed with this release. I already owned the 2D Collector's edition and when this new 3D version arrived in the mail, I thought they sent me a piece of crap. Other than a nice slip-cover, everything else feels really cheap. The plastic case is thin, light and feels very cheap like 5 buck blu-ray discs from Walmart. This release comes with absolutely no extra feature. They just got the Panasonic exclusive disc, made a lot of copies, packaged them in some cheap cases and expected us to pay again. For 30 bucks, they can't even give it a better plastic case than this flimsy one. I'm not asking for anything fancy, just a thicker, stronger and better one. Avatar deserves better than this. I guess they'll make another release sometime soon and try to squeeze every penny.

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post #10 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

so is there more 3d in this then the amount of or lack of 3d in the theaters? So many scenes while I was in theaters watching the 3d that would have looked awesome in 3d and they didnt do it so Im hoping they did more 3d in the bluray release? Like for example that ship that goes to Pandora wasnt in 3d and its approach towards the screen would have looked awesome in 3d so I was just wondering if you can recall any addition 3d scenes?
Also how does this review compare the the limited edition non 3d version of Avatar released way back?

Not sure I understand what you mean. In a 3D movie everything is in 3D. Its just with the new Blu-ray 3D most of the 3D experience is depth on the screen not so much popping out of the screen and coming at you. This is different 3D than TV shows from the 90's had with the red/blue glasses, that stuff was cheesey blu-ray 3D is much more realistic.

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post #11 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,
You're not alone David. I have a soft spot for the Tinkerbell series too... smile.gif
Regards,

Same smile.gif

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post #12 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 05:31 AM
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100% agree with this review! The experience in my home theater was better than when I saw it back in the theaters.

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post #13 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 08:04 AM
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This might be worth picking up...
I did enjoy the movie, but though it was too long, especially in a crowded theatre.
Should be more enjoyable at home!
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post #14 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 10:30 AM
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Bought it and watched it this weekend. Found it absolutely beautiful - couldn't agree with you more Ralph!

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post #15 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Bought it and watched it this weekend. Found it absolutely beautiful - couldn't agree with you more Ralph!


Greetings,

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No one else sees crosstalk on the alien speech subtitles?
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post #18 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Not sure I understand what you mean. In a 3D movie everything is in 3D. Its just with the new Blu-ray 3D most of the 3D experience is depth on the screen not so much popping out of the screen and coming at you. This is different 3D than TV shows from the 90's had with the red/blue glasses, that stuff was cheesey blu-ray 3D is much more realistic.

I dont own a 3d TV so I cant say how the 3d is on that but in the theaters I can take of the 3d glasses and see plenty of scenes that are normal and not blurry so this isnt the same for 3d tv huh? okay so that means there is better 3d effects on 3d tvs then in the theaters since the whole movie has been rendered to have 3d effects such as depth and so on?

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post #19 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 02:44 PM
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Personally love your disparaged "gimmicks" ... no 3D snob and no apologies here. My favorite 3D stuff is usually animated because you have to be jaded to not get a kick out of the flying off the screen (and sly humor) they contain. Disney's Twisted is a favorite, as is Puss-in-Boots. If there is nothing popping out in Avatar 3D, I will stick with my current blu-ray copy that has a beautiful picture on my beautiful plasma wink.gif
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post #20 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

it should also be mentioned that the new Blu-ray is exactly the same as the Panasonic 3D exclusive version (even same menus) so anyone who currently owns that should not bother with this version unless they really need the new cover art

I was just going to ask that. I've had that disc for over a year now and it was free (well, I had to buy the blu-ray player but was in the market anyway wink.gif).
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post #21 of 32 Old 10-25-2012, 10:20 AM
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I've been wondering about this.. what is so "limited" in this blu-ray release?
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post #22 of 32 Old 10-25-2012, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been wondering about this.. what is so "limited" in this blu-ray release?

Greetings,

Your guess is as good as mine but I suspect it is perhaps related to the lenticular slipcover (?)


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post #23 of 32 Old 10-25-2012, 10:29 AM
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That's the only thing I could think of myself
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,
Your guess is as good as mine but I suspect it is perhaps related to the lenticular slipcover (?)
Regards,

Ralph is the 2D version aspect ratio 2:35:1 or is that left for DVD only?

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post #25 of 32 Old 10-26-2012, 04:00 AM
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Any reason why Avatar was released in DTS-HD 5.1 audio and not 7.1? They took so long to release the flick you'd think they'd spend some time remastering it.

Ralph: what did you listen to it in, 5.1 or 7.1+ upconverted?
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post #26 of 32 Old 10-26-2012, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornSlippyZ View Post

100% agree with this review! The experience in my home theater was better than when I saw it back in the theaters.
I was thinking about this post when I was headed to the store to get Avatar.. And you are not the first person that I heard say this.. Is this only because you haven't seen it in a long time or did a lot of theaters really suck at showing this?

I've heard more people say this about Avatar then any other movie..

having said that for the amount this movie made maybe a limited steel would of been nice?
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post #27 of 32 Old 10-27-2012, 11:12 PM
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I have the 3D version that I got free with my Panny player... that's the only Avatar I'll ever have. Free was good for me since I too thought the movie was clearly the weakest attempt at a screenplay and the directing of actors Cameron has ever done... and I've seen Titanic!

Cameron has sadly become another Lucas... it's all about the technology and the story plays a distant third fiddle. However, with all its weaknesses... this is still miles better than most summer movies being created today. What does that tell you???

If you've looked at the graphs for this soundtrack, the bass has been severely rolled off below 25 Hz. If you're looking for clean, tight, loooooow bass... this is not your movie. Maybe there was a mastering error that was never fixed in the DTS-MA track?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #28 of 32 Old 10-28-2012, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruB4 View Post

I was thinking about this post when I was headed to the store to get Avatar.. And you are not the first person that I heard say this.. Is this only because you haven't seen it in a long time or did a lot of theaters really suck at showing this?
I've heard more people say this about Avatar then any other movie..
having said that for the amount this movie made maybe a limited steel would of been nice?
Well back in 2009 I saw Avatar in a crappy AMC auditorium. Picture was slightly out of focus, stains on screen and the sound was pretty weak. That was my local theater when I lived in SoCal, now my local theater here in Cincy is 180 degrees from that.

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post #29 of 32 Old 10-29-2012, 09:54 AM
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When I asked my 24 year old son how how he liked this movie (thinking it was just his kind of thing) he said flatly, "Dances with Wolves on a different planet".

I enjoyed the movie, but I can certainly see what he meant.
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post #30 of 32 Old 10-31-2012, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Ralph is the 2D version aspect ratio 2:35:1 or is that left for DVD only?

Not too worry I found out

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