horror and science fiction DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
Blu-ray reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - blu-ray
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Avatar (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)) - Blu-ray / science fiction DVD / action and adventure DVD review
AVATAR (TWO-DISC BLU-RAY / DVD COMBO) Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel Moore
Director: James Cameron Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 22 April 2010 Runtime: 162 min. (2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p HD, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, Spanish, Portugese, French; Dolby Digital 2.0 - English), Subtitles (English SDH, Portugese, Spanish)

James Cameron's *Avatar (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) has been rendered a paraplegic by a spinal injury incurred in combat. His twin brother, Tommy, was a scientist scheduled to go to the planet Pandora to study the indigenous life there: the Na'vi. An avatar engineered from human and Na'vi genetic material for Tommy becomes useless when he dies unexpectedly. Rather than scrapping his avatar, Tommy's superiors ask Jake to fill in. Jake's consciousness can be patched into this lifeform, hopefully allowing him to gain some knowledge about the Na'vi way of life.

The mission is financed by "The Company" (not a dance company), an organization whose purpose on Pandora is to obtain vast quantities of Unobtanium, a valuable mineral resource plentiful on Pandora and capable of supplying energy for an Earth whose natural resources have been depleted. Jake is not entirely welcomed by the scientific team. The military presence is keen on gaining insight into the Na'vi for reasons less altruistic than pure research. Naturally, the Company wants the Na'vi to move over so that they can get at the giant core of Unobtanium lying beneath their most sacred site.

Jake stumbles (avatar form) into an opportunity to befriend the Na'vi when Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) saves his bacon from a pack of wild alien dogs. She has no respect for him, indeed blames him for the need to kill some of the dog-things to save him. When he manages to attract the favor of the sacred tree, she must nonetheless give him a chance. Neytiri takes Jake to meet her father, the leader of her clan. He is accepted into their culture, and Neytiri is tasked to train him in their ways. This works out for Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who has promised Jake the surgery that will grant him the use of his legs again if he helps to get the Na'vi off of the ore they want.

It's plain that Jake will soon be torn between the Na'vi and the promises he's made to Col. Quaritch and his beloved Corps. The story in AVATAR is not new. We've seen similar plots in film and observed them in our own history, but the setting and the execution of the plot AVATAR is excellent. I was told that I needed to see it in 3D but find that not to be true. I haven't found a 3D film yet that makes me say that it must be seen in 3D. It's good in 3D, but I don't think the added "dimension" gave it significantly more impact than it already has in 2D.

AVATAR is visually stunning. The planet of Pandora is strange and wonderful to see. The plants and terrain are different than what we're used to seeing on boring ol' Earth, and at night it gets even better: the planet is filthy with bioluminescence. Every plant glows, then glows even brighter when touched - it's like the planet is a friggin' blacklight poster. It's a wonder the Na'vi can sleep with all the glow (it's also a wonder the planet isn't lousy with potheads and the reek of incense and patchouli). It's wicked pretty. Even the Na'vi's freckle-like spots on their skin glow at night. The Blu-ray edition is gorgeous; while it's not necessary to see AVATAR in 3D, it absolutely should be seen in HD.

What really sticks in my craw with this release is the dearth of special features. There's nothing. We've learned not to hope for commentary from director James Cameron, but with a big-ass blockbuster like AVATAR, we expect to see some behind-the-scenes, some insight into how he and his cast and crew achieved this. We can pop in our old copy of Lord of the Rings and guess how much of it was done, but throw us a friggin' bone here. Certainly there will be a director's cut coming up with tons of extras, but they could have at least put a trailer on here, or an HBO Firstlook, or something. Sheesh!
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home