3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Avatar

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.

     

     

     

     


    avatar_3d_blu-ray_box_art_01.jpg

    Avatar 3D

     

     

    Studio: Fox

    Product Release: December 1, 2010

    Ratio: 1.78:1

    Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English, French, Portugese & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

    Running Time: 162 Minutes

    Rating: PG-13

     

    3dsmall.jpg

    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

    3D Separation: 5

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 1

     

     

    Utter 3D Perfection that will be difficult to surpass

     

     

    It's certainly not news to everyone that Avatar has become the

    highest-grossing domestic box office film to date, earning well

    over $760 million.

     

    It has always been my opinion that when you strip Avatar down

    to its basics, it never breaks any new ground with its all-too-familiar

    story and uninspired dialogue.  However, when considering the

    film's groundbreaking effects work enhanced in glorious 3D,

    nobody can argue that Avatar is a technological achievement --

    and that's enough to credit its director, James Cameron, on 

    a job well done.

     

    After all, one of James Cameron's goals was to change

    the face of cinema forever by selling audiences on new

    3D technology that promised more realistic image quality

    than they have ever experienced before.  That gamble

    turned into a huge success as theaters raced to embrace

    the new technology.  Long gone are the red and green

    cardboard glasses which have been replaced with more

    elaborate polarising eyewear.  Studios are rolling out

    more 3D fare than ever before and consumers are now

    able to bring that experience to the home with enhanced

    displays that effectively recreate the theatrical 3D experience.  

    One can't help but wonder how successful 3D would be right

    now if not for Avatar leading the resurgence.

     

     

    With Avatar, Cameron has created a world unlike anything

    we have seen before thanks to the advances of motion 

    capture technology and CGI animation.  The technology 

    disappears within itself to the point that the viewer easily

    accepts everything they are watching as real.  I was 

    instantly reminded of all this upon my viewing this evening.

     

    Let me stop for a moment and remind everyone that the

    3D Blu-ray of Avatar is only available with the purchase

    of a 3D Panasonic television.  In fact, James Cameron

    worked closely with the manufacturer to incorporate his

    personal picture settings into the display.   I have always

    been a fan of Panasonic displays since in my opinion, 

    they exhibit the best 3D with less crosstalk than any of the

    other brands currently available.

     

    That being said, I ended up winning a 3D LG display this

    year in a raffle.  My dreams of owning a Panasonic are

    on hold for a bit longer.   I was actually a little worried that

    I would get less than stellar picture quality viewing Avatar

    on my LG.  Those worries were immediately put to rest.

     

    Back in November I had the opportunity to hear Avatar

    Producer John Landau talk about his expectations of 

    watching his film in the home vs. the theater.  He 

    predicted that the home experience would be superior

    thanks to displays being better tuned for 3D than theaters,

    allowing better brightness levels when using polarised

    glasses that dim the picture.   

     

    Mr. Landau was absolutely correct.  Watching Avatar

    in the home exceeds the theatrical experience.  And let

    me tell you, I sat in in Mann's Chinese Theater at the

    Hollywood Premier of this film on December 16, 2009

    and it pales in comparison to the viewing I just had in

    my home theater.

     

     

    Even when wearing 3D eyewear not a detail within

    this 1080p transfer has been lost. The image is razor

    sharp with no indication of compression or noise reduction

    to be found.  Skin tones are lifelike and colors within

    the human world look very natural and "spot on."    With 

    the enhancement of 3D, you become engrossed in 

    Pandora's colorful surroundings bursting in vivid purple,

    deep blues and lush greens.  Most spectacular here are

    the night forrest scenes with its piercing neon colored

    florals and bioluminescence within the Tree of Voices.

     

    Shot and choreographed specifically for 3D there is

    a wondrous sense of depth that never loses its focus

    when the camera pans back to add more landscape.

    Easily, with all the camera movement that goes on 

    there's great potential for blurring but I'll be darned if

    I saw any.  Cameron was careful not to use any 

    gimmicky 3D shots, but one would be surprised how

    effective the process works within the confines of

    the screen itself. Most to all of the forest area was 

    computer generated and within its vastness it's 

    amazing to find that you focus on the smallest of

    objects such as fireflies and and various insects

    that entice the viewer's eyes to follow.  Things like 

    dirt kicking back from the feet of a running Na'vi or 

    fire embers falling to the forrest floor really take 

    advantage of the 3D process.  Of course, one of

     

  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Thank you so much for the informative review, Ron. Having watched the film several times for the purposes of reviewing the two different 2D releases, I can just imagine how incredible the images are in 3D.


    And have you seen the outrageous sums the 3D Avatar is going for on Ebay? I understand Fox wants to wait for more 3D sets to make their ways into homes, but this film in 3D would surely be a prime draw for people to invest in the format. A continuing shame about these exclusivity deals.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Thanks for the review Ron. I haven't watched the entire film in 3D yet. I am hoping to do it this weekend.

    In the off the record conversations I have had with people I was told general release won't be until 4th Quarter 2013. Good news is it will most likely be the extended cut.
     
  4. AlexS2

    AlexS2 Stunt Coordinator

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    4th Quarter 2013?


    Looks like they will be using the 3D blu general release to kick start the lead up to Avatar 2 then.
     
  5. Hank

    Hank Guest

    Great review Ron. Go back now and watch some of those scenes in 2D. The movie just falls flat, the Na'vi look very unrealistic and cartoonish. I use the word 'pasty looking'. The 3D is truly incredible. My wife and I felt the same watching the 3D version as you and enjoyed it more than the theatrical experience. I can not wait to have my Panasonic 50VT25 ISF calibrated at the end of this month by Gregg Loewen!
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Hi Hank!


    I have to admit, as a 2D movie I find it difficult to
    watch this film. It just doesn't have the same
    impact for me as it does in 3D.


    Absolutely love this disc. It really makes the

    viewer feel that the investment they made into

    upgrading their display was a sound one.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I admit I don't have a 3D TV, but I watched Avatar multiple times in 3D Imax and I was surprised and happy about how much I enjoyed watching Avatar at home in 2D. Yes I would love to have the panny and Avatar3D, but I still plan on enjoying it in 2D multiple times this year. The movie does not fall flat for me.
     
  8. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    panasonic is now selling a 3D panasonic blu ray player where you can get a free copy of avatar in 3D with it.


    Jacob



    http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/detail-page/AvatarMail-InForm_BDT100._V175015680_.pdf
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jacob,


    That is incredible news. Very affordable for everyone

    to obtain their own copy of AVATAR without buying a

    $2-4k display.


    Hope Panasonic makes this offering with the purchase

    of their new upcoming 2011 Blu-ray models.
     
  10. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    i saw avatar in 3D many times. both regular 3D and imax 3D. I enjoyed it. I think I liked the imax version better. less contrast problems. I also enjoyed watching it in 2D on the small screen as well. I dont know if any of you have watched the collectors edition with an extra 20 minutes. I have the same attutide that others have about the lotr:EE. that the longer cut is better. it feels more complete specially with the alternate opening. i would highly recommend it. I look forward to the ee cut in 3D hopefully someday.


    its great news that people can buy the panasonic player to get a free copy of avatar.


    Jacob
     
  11. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    The IMAX version of Avatar without a doubt was superior to the general run Real-D version.


    No phasing artifacts. Double the brightness. Less ghosting.
     
  12. AlexS2

    AlexS2 Stunt Coordinator

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    The traditional IMAX opening night 3D screening of Avatar easily ranks as one of my best theater going experiences of the last decade (you could practically hear the sense of awe emanating from the entire audience), alongside seeing Fellowship of the Ring on opening night back in 01 (that would probably be my number 1 of all time movie going experience)


    that said, 2D Avatar still offers a magnificent experience imo, especially at home on a nice HD setup. The 2D picture still offers a tremendous sense of depth, and there is much more opportunity to take in all the details than there is in the 3D version of the film.
     
  13. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I picked this disc up from eBay along with Ice Age 3, for a reasonable Buy It Now price. It came from China, the packaging is mostly in Chinese, but the movie is in Englush (DTS-HD Master Audio) and English subtitles during the Na'vi-speak. This is the best 3D I've seen, both theatrically and now at home. It makes me glad I invested in 3D when my old RPTV died.
     

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