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Monday, May 3, 2010

Avatar Blu-ray Impression

Avatar Blu-ray
Awards, records, praise from numerous media outlets. All this and more belongs to Avatar, James Cameron’s latest theatrical epic during its run in theatres, in 3D, but how does the home experience measure up? With so many amazing visual effects surely a blu-ray release would be packed with features, hours and hours of features on how Cameron’s team pulled off such an amazing visual feast … right? The answer is a mysterious, dollar driven, no. Does this mean blu-ray owners should take a pass? Let’s take a look. (If you are a die-hard Avatar fan no need to read, you already own the disc.)

To Buy
– The blu-ray release features 2 disc. One of Avatar in HD, the second in SD. There are no special features, no making-of or interviews … not even a game trailer. Even an Earth Day related message would have been nice since the movie released on this date for a reason. That being said there are many viewers who will never watch 1 minute of a special feature no matter how many hours there are and it’s for these viewers that this disc is perfect. The tale of Pandora, the world is amazing in HD and even with a lack of 3D its well worth the purchase as it warrants multiple watches to appreciate the level of detail. If you are a viewer who cares little for special features and just about a great movie then this first blu-ray release is for you.

Or Not to Buy
– Seen the movie, not impressed or happy with the first viewing in theatres, then don’t buy. Are you a movie collector that loves and lives for special features? Don’t buy this release. Making an Earth Day timeframe is nice but with the level of detail in these visuals there is bound to be a future blu-ray only, no DVD included, that contains the hours of features missing in this release. It’s that simple, if you are a movie watcher who wants special features this release is not for you.

The Wild Card
– For those who own a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 doing a digital download, rental, is much cheaper and provides the movie experience as seen on blu-ray. Since there are zero special features the only item lacking is the disc and really how many times will you watch the flick?

Bottom line
is the movie is amazing visually and while its story is predictable, in HD it amazes in ways few movies can. Knowing the amount of space on a blu-ray disc it’s a shame nothing made it into this release. The inclusion of a DVD with a blu-ray makes little sense unless you are going to let someone borrow the DVD. You have a blu-ray so why have a DVD too? If Avatar did not receive all the praise it has would its blu-ray release have been so light? Ponder this question if you are on the fence to buy Avatar and know there will be, there must be, another blu-ray packed with features … right?

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