Avatar Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 10/10
Would I, WILL I have this as a poster? Yes. It’s clearly colorful and Neytiri is powerful in every way. I like that. The menu is simple little clips from the movie with navigation. That’s good enough for me.

Features: 1/10

  • DVD Copy Of The Movie – Right, this isn’t a fair thing to toss in the calculating of the overall score. No extras means better video and audio quality so I totally understand. I’ll watch people with dots on their faces and being made into CGI characters some other time.

The Movie: 8, maybe 9/10
Seriously? I’m writing a review of Avatar after only about a gazillion people have seen it? Well, for the sake of putting my thoughts into writing for the good and wonderful Ascully.com I will recount for you my thoughts and feelings after my 3rd viewing.

1st Watch : I was so completely swept away by it all. I was there, mind and body (almost). I pretty much got over the “this is all CGI” thing pretty quickly and was captivated by the characters, their stories, the big theme.  I can’t help it, it’s awesome. The imperfections kick in upon my 3rd viewing.

2nd Watch: I took more time to just lavish my eyeballs in all the extremely beautiful details of Pandora. The scenes of flying truly sucked me through the screen onto the backs of the Ikran, gliding, diving, hunting, escaping, battling, all of it. I felt it in my gut, as much as one can feel that sort of thing from a motion picture that is. The cracks in my reaction to the actual story started to barely creep up on me. That being said I was beginning to fall more in love with Neytiri, the lead female Navi character. She’s beautifully acted by Zoe Saldana and fast forward to my 3rd watch, she truly stands out for me as my favorite element of the movie.

3rd Watch: By now I have paid enough attention to the story. I totally agree with it, am embarrassed that we humans are such jerks, greedy, selfish. It’s a thought that plagues me most of the time.  The problem with loving the movie, loving individual characters’ stories, and LOVING the visual satisfaction that my brain floats around in for the entire movie, is that those little imperfections are disheartening. I’m not being critical, as such, just that I feel a bit hammered with the them of ecology and greet, mixed with a certain personal lack of satisfaction with the depth that does not exist with the characters.
Overall I truly love this movie watching experience. I would be happy to watch it again right this moment. I would take the DVD with me and watch it randomly for that sense of escape. Pandora is beautiful. The people of this moon are captivating to watch and wonder about.

I do love to get lost in Science Fiction, or just Fiction, whatever you want to call Avatar. The idea of exploring far away planets and their moons that have floating mountains, feline peoples, trees that are alive and keeping safe the souls and beings of those who have passed on. The symbiosis with nature is a hypnotic idea for me. I imagine it often now. What would it be like to connect to my husband and truly understand why he can’t seem to close the bag of bread just right. It seems it would lead me to a better understanding and appreciation for his strange and wonderful choices in life 🙂

I am torn about the score because I do believe this movie is flash over substance and if the same story, same characters, same everything had been put in a movie with standard movie making tricks it would not have been the megaflick it has become. That’s saying something that’s not completely endearing, but close enough for me.

There is a childlike exploring heart in my aging body that would so love to jump onto the back of an Ikran and just fly fly fly, the power, the freedom…for that thought and feeling along Avatar is incredible. You can’t deny the look, so I won’t even go there. See Ascully’s notes below on video and audio. If you are one of the 12 people on the planet who have not seen it, just do it. If you turn out to be a hater, fair enough. It’s not a bad little project to have in your mind for all eternity, and that’s worth the ‘8 or 9 out of 10’ right there.

Audio & Video: 10/10
I gushed about this disc on the podcast but here I am to gush some more. Avatar on Blu-Ray disc is the best example of the format to date! Fox use a BD50 disc and dedicate its entire space to the movie. There are no commercials, a minimal menu, and that is it. This preserves James Cameron’s visual feast and makes sure the bit-rate stays insanely high throughout the almost 3 hour run time. I absolutely love this movie. It really changed the way I think about Sci-Fi and how CG scenes can look in movies. If you have not seen it yet you owe it to yourself to pick up the Blu-Ray. Fox have already hinted at a four disc special edition and a 3D version somewhere down the line but if you want the highest quality 2D version of the movie this is the edition to get.

The DTS 5.1 Master Audio track does not disappoint, Cameron has been famous for his awesome soundtrack’s since Aliens and Avatar continues this legacy. There are lots of subtle sound cues such as the creatures in the forest and the plant life creaking all around you. This track pulls you into the world of Pandora as much as the visuals do. Bass response is  amazing and the final battle scenes are full of boomy explosions that will wake up the neighbors cat. Overall Avatar is a stunning visual and audio experience that really makes use of the Blu-Ray format. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi and have not seen it yet what are you waiting for.

Value: 6/10
This movie has made enough money. Let’s get off our high horses and coat tails people. The Blu-Ray, at this point, should be about $7. There are no extras, just the DVD version as your bonus. I love it, it’s awesome, it’s not worth 20 more bucks. I paid for 4 theater tickets already 🙂

Overall Score 9/10