- 1.78:1 ratio.
- DTS-HD Master Audio
- Region B Reviewed, Coded for both A and B regions.
Is there anybody out there who wants to see Avatar but hasn't yet? It's doubtful and for this reason, and the fact it has been discussed to death elsewhere, this review will not go into great detail on the merits of the film.
However, there is a very important point to be made before looking at the disc. When I saw Avatar in 3D at the cinema, I didn't enjoy it, but I did enjoy the Blu-ray. Obviously it's the same film, with the same cast, the same effects and the same story, and I disliked Avatar on all but one of those things, as the effects are astonishing. So why should my opinion change? The answer is clear, the 3D did nothing but distract me.
As the halfway mark approached in the cinema, I was restless and a bit bored but at home, I was captivated throughout despite knowing what was to come - even the story and the acting seemed to have improved without the 3D! With nothing floating around, poking out or rushing towards your face, the film became less like a technical demonstration and more like a movie. It could be compared with experiencing the fairground ride first, then watching the film it was based on.
It's also interesting to note that the image is still filled with depth, plus the film has so much size and scale, that never once to do think that what you're seeing would be better appreciated with another dimension added on. It's simply superfluous.
If you were like me and disliked Avatar when you saw it in 3D, or were even just indifferent towards it, get yourself a copy of the Blu-ray and give it another try. The film still has its flaws - it's too long, unoriginal, poorly scripted and not very well acted - and is no Aliens or even The Abyss, but it is a considerably more enjoyable sci-fi experience without the 3D distraction.
The Audio and Video.
James Cameron made many statements regarding how the Blu-ray of Avatar would look and sound amazing, as they had used all the available space on the disc to make it so. While I don't agree with his words on 3D being the future of cinema, I do agree with Avatar on Blu-ray looking superb! The image quality simply has to be seen to be believed, it's so beautifully sharp and filled with colour and detail that you'll return to key scenes just to make sure you were right - as if it couldn't possibly have looked so good.
Well, it does, and there isn't one problem on display throughout the film. This excellent quality shows off the amount of work which went into create the CGI characters and landscapes too, from the wealth of detail on the Na'Vi's faces to Pandora itself, seemingly rendered one blade of grass at a time.
If this isn't playing on every Blu-ray player and on every HD TV in your local electronics retailer, they're missing a trick, as this is the movie that will silence doubters when they say they can't see any difference between DVD and Blu-ray.
The audio experience is similarly awesome. For a start, it's nice to have clear dialogue throughout the movie. No one mumbles their lines and the centre speaker projects each voice with authority, even when the going gets noisy; and it gets very noisy indeed! Here is a scenario: the film has been on for ten minutes or so and as the massive starship approaching Pandora, the smaller ship breaks away to take Jake to the surface. As it penetrates the atmosphere there is SO MUCH BASS you'll think it's coming in to land just outside! This isn't fluffy bass either, this is punchy bass that makes the sofa vibrate, and it's just fantastic. This is the way the film carries on, with wonderful separation, immersive surrounds and stonking bass.
Please follow the link to read our final thoughts and see some pictures of the gorgeous Steelbook packaging.