Fat Guy Kevin Carr reviews the Blu-ray of Avatar.
What it’s about: James Cameron sends Sam Worthington into space 150 years in the future to become a ten-foot-tall blue alien and kick a hella lot of motion-controlled and CGI ass over humans intent on raping the planet of Pandora.
The movie: Rocks! – When Avatar came out this past Christmas, I was one of the few critics out there that dished out the love for the film before it was clear it was going to break almost every record in the books. It was a fantastic adventure, even if the plot elements had been recycled from everything from Pocahontas to Cameron’s own previous films like Aliens. The effects were brilliant, and the action was jaw-dropping. Plus, the digital environment was one of the best we have seen ever. To truly experience Avatar, one must see it in IMAX 3D, and I know there are plenty of 3D haters out there who will disagree with me. But this was a groundbreaking film, and all silly story elements and goofy “unobtainium” names aside, Avatar was a ride of pure digital awesome.
The bonus material: Sucks! – I know James Cameron wasn’t beholden on anyone to put bonus material on this disc at all. But it would have been nice to have had something else to click on when the credits finished rolling. There is nothing on this disc other than a descriptive audio track for the visually impaired. Perhaps this was Cameron proving to the world that people will still shell out a shit-ton of money for a movie with no special features. I personally think this just shows that Cameron and FOX are going to make a shit-ton more money when they come out with the crap-your-pants-awesome double-disc edition just in time for Christmas.
Notes on the Blu-ray experience: If you haven’t invested in a Blu-ray player yet, you just might want to pick one up for this movie alone. The Blu-ray comes bundled with the DVD, which is nice if you want to have a copy for your kids or something to take with you on the road. It also serves as a fine back-up copy and looks pretty decent played on a Blu-ray player through an HDMI cable. But if you must experience Avatar at home, the hi-def image and uncompressed audio is the way to go. The transfer looks brilliant, and the colors pop as much as they did in the theaters. There are moments where the motion control effects and CGI elements break down, and they are more noticeable on the relatively small screen (compared to the 70-foot IMAX screen, at least). But Avatar ends up being as breathtaking in its Blu-ray presentation as it was in its 3D glory this past Christmas.