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Friday, April 30, 2010

Random Rant: Why you SHOULD NOT buy "James cameron's Avatar" on DVD/Blu-ray now


I'm sure anyone would know James Cameron's "Avatar", the all time box office record breaking blockbuster boasting the most astounding CGI special effects ever seen and a novel "stereoscopic 3D" vision that mimics the depth-of-field produced by the human eyes.

Recently it was released on DVD and Blu-ray here in singapore and i am sure people would be quick to want to own a piece of movie making history.

My advice is, DON'T!!!!
I am all for "supporting the original product" but in the case of Avatar, you would be better off downloading the movie.

Why?
1) You are not experiencing James Cameron's FULL vision of Avatar.
James Cameron has stated in many interviews that he intends Avatar to be viewed in its full stereoscopic 3D glory. As such, the movie was initially made FOR 3D, meaning that the contrast was toned down a notch so that the colors would look "normal" when viewed through the 3D glasses.The version on the blu-ray discs is the normal, non-3D version.
In other words, firstly the image is going to be a lot brighter and color saturated that what you remember. secondly, you are NOT EXPERIENCING JAMES CAMERON"S FULL VISION.
Its like watching Terminator 2 without the special effects of the morphing T-1000 liquid metal terminator. Its like watching Titanic with the scenes of the ship breaking apart being replaced with a small miniature model splintering in slow motion.
- James Cameron did not just create a movie with Avatar. He created A WORLD. And as such, it is only right that you are able to experience that world in the way that the creator intended.

2) Aside from the movie, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE on either the DVD or the blu-ray. No "behind the scenes" footage, no interviews, not even a trailer. Heck, there is even no content leaflet inside the DVD case.
Expecting this from the DVD is fine since the movie, being as long and as graphically amazing as it is, the DVD production company would have to devote all the disc space to maintaining the level of the show's pristine image quality. But on a blu-ray??
Reviews have indicated that even the blu-ray release is not perfect, citing flaws such as blurring during action scenes that should not plague a standard blu-ray release. Other blu-ray releases managed to produce the same image resolution quality and sound and they came with a cornucopia of extras unlike Avatar. - Why does someone choose a Blu-ray over a DVD? For better resolution, sound, and more extras. Avatar only offers the first 2 advantages over DVDs but compared to other blu-ray releases, fails to be anything outstanding. Merely a standard blu-ray release that is made substandard due to its lack of extra content compared to other Blu-ray releases of similar image and sound quality.

3) Its a James Cameron movie.
Any one who knows James Cameron movie, knows his pattern. His movies all have had at least 3 different DVD re-releases. I believe the most was 7 and thats Terminator 2. You had
*the theatrical release
*the 2 disc theatrical release which came with an extra disc with behind the scenes extras
*the "special edition" which featured scenes that were originally cut from the theatrical release as part of the extras
*the "digitally remastered" edition which was the special edition given a better image resolution and sound once the DVD market stabalised
*the "Ultimate" edition which featured even more(but not all) "never before seen" footage but this time incoporated into the movie itself and new behind the scenes extras
*the "Extreme" edition which had a whole new set of behind the scenes extras(which are arguably more informative than any that came before) and the movie now features ALL the scenes that were never before seen restored and incorporated into the film itself(essentially making it a "director's cut) and "cleaned up" special effects.
*the re-release of the extreme edition with a special holographic box cover to coincide with the release of Terminator Salvation.

And this is not counting the Blu-ray re-release called "the skynet edition"

Knowing Avatar, this is merely the bare bones theatrical release.
James Cameron has gone on record to say that a number of scenes were cut from the movie. As such, i would not be surprised that Avatar gets re-released in the future with extra content. Basically those that bought the previous releases were "cheated" since what they got was not a "complete" product. The same will happen with Avatar.
There would at least be a re-release later this year of Avatar featuring some restored scenes including an extended romance arc.
Knowing the production executives, there will be another re-release with behind the scenes extras, then once 3D TVs become big hits, there will be a full 3D re-release.
-Since we know it is going to be re-released anyway with additional content(the additional scenes were confirmed by James Cameron himself in an interview) why not just wait for the more "bang for your buck" re-release with more content.


Conclusion: DO NOT get the DVD or blu-ray of Avatar now. You are not going to experience James Cameron's vision as he intended and you will save yourself the trouble(and frustration) of discovering that there is more content that you "missed out" on the subsequent releases.

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