Friday, December 31, 2010

Avatar 3D Blu-ray Review (Panasonic Exclusive)

Disc Size: 46.6 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
The Video
Avatar debuts on Blu-ray 3D (via Panasonic) with a 1080p MVC video presentation, both a 3D and 2D viewing option are included. Please note, to the view the 3D version you must have a 3D display, 3D Blu-ray player and 3D glasses. The disc will work on a regular Blu-ray player if you would like to view the film in 2D.

Going into the 3D experience I had the highest of expectations, Avatar was the defining 3D title in theaters and was surely the most anticipated release on the Blu-ray 3D format. I understand that not everyone loves the Blu-ray 3D format, some even felt the need to ‘rant’ about it on Twitter on how it won’t ever succeed and how they will NEVER buy a 3D setup (which I think will eat their words).

As for the comments regarding 3D ultimately failing? I have to say, I certainly don’t care. The 3D experiences I have had this past year have been extremely impressive, exceeding my theatrical experiences and were worth every penny of the setup investment.

Avatar 3D is stunning from beginning to end. Colors are incredible as always and detail is as sharp as the original Blu-ray release (which took up the entire disc). Avatar once again manages to make full use of the disc with the 3D and 2D presentation.

The 3D depth in the presentation is simply incredible. You are no longer watching a movie; you are looking into an open window where everything dazzles. Blu-ray 3D was made for films like Avatar to truly shine, the regular Blu-ray releases look great, but Avatar in 3D makes the 2D presentation look like a joke.

Ghosting is kept to a minimum, with only a few seconds present throughout the entire film. Depending on your display, it may not even be an issue. The only real negative aspect of Avatar on Blu-ray 3D is that it makes me want a 3D projector so much more now. 10/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The audio on this release is very impressive and has been one of my favorite mixes on the Blu-ray format. The film’s audio not only features an impressive level of clarity, but is also one of the more immersive tracks on the format.

The film’s sound design is impressive even on DVD, but everything is a drastic improvement on Blu-ray. Dialogue is always easy to understand and well balanced even during the louder action scenes. The film’s special effects pay attention to every speaker and really immerse you into the movie.

The film’s beautiful score by James Horner comes through beautifully; it actually gave me chills at times. While the mix is a bit similar to past scores from James Horner, there is no denying the beauty of the music or the quality.

Avatar on Blu-ray sounds great and is an easy improvement from DVD. There is no way one could be turned off by the quality of the mix. There are more than a few impressive mixes on Blu-ray, but that shouldn’t keep Avatar from receiving a top level score. 10/10

The Extras

Like the original Blu-ray release, there are no extras included. Expect a Blu-ray 3D release with bonus features in late 2012. 0/10

The 3D Movie
'Avatar' is back on Blu-ray with the most anticipated Blu-ray 3D release this year. It was just a month earlier when viewers were treated to the extended edition on Blu-ray, which while great, I would take the theatrical 3D experience included on this release any day.

What can I say? I love 'Avatar'. The film is often criticized and I DEFINITELY understand why not everyone embraces it the way I do, but perhaps the 3D experience makes it that much more forgivable when it comes to flaws.

The movie’s storyline isn’t very original. I’ve seen comparisons to Pocahontas, Ferngully and Dances with Wolves. That being said, I thought the movie took bits and made a great film, although I do love all the compared films. The film’s massive environments and unique locations make the movie stand out and add a very unique quality to the film.I still think the movie is awesome in every aspect and it is definitely the type of movie I am always up for watching. The film is a popcorn flick done right, not awful like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (which I have never been able to make it through).

The characters were great and the world was like nothing I have ever seen before. I do think very highly of James Cameron and I love the drastic push in technology that came with Avatar, surely affecting films to come and perhaps influencing future 3D presentations.

Perhaps the many questions left by the film will be explained in Avatar 2 and likely Avatar 3 when the time comes. Overall I think we can all admit the movie is far from perfect, but the 3D experience kicks everything up a notch and makes for one of the very best 3D film experiences this year (if not the best). 10/10

The Blu-news Summary
Avatar on Blu-ray 3D is simply incredible. The video and audio presentations are top notch, making this one of the best (if not the best) 3D experiences of 2010 and likely 2011 as well. The title is exclusive to Panasonic at the moment, but if you can get your hands on this it is definitely ‘A Must Own’ 3D release.

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