Available on June 20, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water will be available for home viewing on 4K and Ultra Blu-ray. Probably the most amazing undertaking in film, this is the sequel to Cameron 2009 Avatar that received 9 Oscar nominations and receiving 3 wins. The film’s wins were for Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Visual Arts. His work did not go unnoticed receiving nominations for Sound, Best Motion Picture of the Year, and Production Design, and Visual Effects that honored the movie an Oscar. But, the best was yet to come with a worldwide box office take of nearly 2 and a half BILLION dollars. Quite a fete as if you combine his 2009 Box Office, the franchise took in over 5 Billion dollars.
It’s been sometime since the war for control of Pandora by the Earthlings and we find Jake Sully (Sam Worthinton) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) enjoying life on the moon planet with their two teenage sons Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) and Neteyan (James Flatters) adopted son Spider (Jack Champion) and daughters Tuk (Trinity JoLi Bliss) and Tsireya (Bailey Bass). The Na’vi nation’s children are the focus here and they are on a constant adventure exploring the wild life of Pandora. But, just when everything seems normal, things get turned upside down with the return of the avatar evil invaders. They have come back to mine for the valuable Unabtanium that is needed to supply efficient energy superconductors on Earth. They are also there to assess possibility of colonization.
But, still disturbed from their loss in the last visit and wanting revenge on the Na’vi, Earth avatar Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) has now set foot on the planet. This is Director James Cameron’s best cinematic and script effort with the now continued storyline. He spares no expense and brings a budget of over 350 million dollars to make the film, and it shows with the amazing CGI, cinematography and massive cast and crew. I for one was blown away by the continuous surprises involving the adventures of the Na’vi and the Metkayina people, a new tribe of oceanic people.
Now on 4K the film dazzles on large screen home entertainment systems. Absolutely clear and seamless, the movie has the power to bring the experience into the home setting. With 4K sound systems the chills, spills and high energy are extremely good. That said, even the most reasonable projection systems deliver the adventure expected from the film.
Bonus Features Include:
”Memories from Avatar” – Producer Jon Landau leads a spirited conversation with cast members, Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling warm memories from production and reflecting on the extraordinary success of Avatar.
“Avatar: A Look Back” – In this retrospective, cast and filmmakers reflect on their extraordinary journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create an unparalleled cinematic experience, and the profound effect the film had on audiences worldwide.
“Capturing Avatar” – Journey with James Cameron and crew in this feature-length documentary, as they embark on a film the likes of which the world had never seen.
“Part One “– After years of testing, research and design, James Cameron’s tackled Avatar, “the most complex film” in his storied career.
“Part Two” – Actors and technology are pushed to the limit as James Cameron pushes the boundaries of a groundbreaking, new filmmaking paradigm.
“Part Three” – James Cameron used ground-breaking technology to merge the virtual and live-action elements of his film
“Part Four” – The edit room became ground zero as music, sound and visual effects were finalized in order to make the film’s release date.
“Sculpting Avatar” – Explore how clay maquettes were sculpted to help bring Avatar’s characters and creatures to life
“Creating the Banshee” – Discover all that went into designing the Banshees, high-flying predators of the Pandoran sky
“Creating the Thanator”– James Cameron and team reveal how the most terrifying beast in the Pandoran rain forest was brought to the screen
“The AMP Suit” – Explore the design of the AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) and discover why it was the perfect weapon for Colonel Quaritch
“Flying Vehicles” – Explore the design of the RDA’s gunships and how they helped ground the story in a realistic world audiences could connect to
“Na’vi Costumes” – Discover the costumes of Avatar and why it was essential to create real-world costumes for characters that were seen only in a virtual world
“Speaking Na’vi” – Delve into the complex Na’vi language created for Avatar, and the challenging task for the cast who had to speak it
“Pandora Flora” – Explore the science behind the Pandoran rainforest, including the exotic plants and bioluminescence
“Stunts” – James Cameron and Avatar’s stunt coordinators discuss how they learned to move like a Na’vi, ride a Leonopteryx, and more
“Performance Capture” – Discover how the actors’ actions, emotions and spirit were captured in performance and transferred to a virtual character
“Virtual Camera” – Discover the virtual camera system that allowed James Cameron to apply camera angles, lighting and movement to his scenes long after the performance capture phase was completed
“The 3D Fusion Camera” – Explore the newly designed 3D Fusion camera system which enabled the filmmakers to create an immersive stereographic experience
“The Simul-Cam” – See how the newly created Simul-Cam seamlessly integrated the virtual world with the live action camera, allowing Jake’s avatar to appear in a scene with real-world actors
“Editing Avatar” – James Cameron and the film’s editors reveal the unique challenges they faced editing Avatar, and the benefits of “learning as you go
“Scoring Avatar” – Composer James Horner and James Cameron discuss how Avatar’s score was grounded in the familiar while evoking a breathtaking new world
“Sound Design” – Explore the sounds of Pandora, including the Banshee, Direhorse and Thanator, as well as the near-future engineering sounds of the Dragon, Scorpion and more
“The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand” – On the final day of production, the New Zealand stuntmen honored James Cameron with a traditional Haka dance
If there is a downside to the film, it’s the world of water where James Cameron spends a lot of time doing what he does best, that’s showing the fantasy wonders of the sea in graphic detail and long stretches of glorious filming. If you are watching the film for the “Action” there’s a lot of it in the beginning and you will become totally immersive in the final chapters. Otherwise, for those of you who like the action drama mixed in with massive visual undersea scenes, you win big time.
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet
Directed and co-written by: James Cameron
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language
Running Time: 3 hrs. 12 min.
Video Release Date: June 20, 2023
Reviewed Format: 4K Digital
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles: English SDH, and many more
Distributed by: 20tgh Century Home Entertainment
Released on: 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D