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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Avatar -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The original purpose of "A few words..." was to allow consumers a concise overview of what they're buying experience was going to bring them -- or not.

    The newly minted Blu-ray of James Cameron's Avatar makes this almost too easy.

    From an entertainment perspective, Avatar is a masterpiece and a modern classic. It is a technological marvel against which other films will now be judged. I don't mean that lightly. To place the technologies of this production in perspective, with the perfect blending of the analogue and digital worlds, can easily allow it to be compared to Abel Gance's now 83 year old Napoleon - a masterpiece from another era, but which in its own way broadened the art form and changed the language of the cinema. I believe it was Kevin Brownlow who commented, "D.W. Griffith created the language of cinema. Abel Gance gave it wings."

    I've now viewed Avatar in several technological states, inclusive of standard definition DVD.

    The SD of Avatar was probably the most technically perfect SD that I've yet viewed, and when one takes the source into perspective, it should be.

    Much has been made of the use of the third dimension in Avatar, but as created and brought to Blu-ray, depth is viscerally apparent even in only two dimensions. We'll take another step when 3-D arrives. However, I'm not at all certain that within the viewing experience that 3-D won't take away as much as it will offer. Right here, right now, I'm liking what I'm seeing.

    As a Blu-ray, with six times the resolution of SD, Avatar takes another leap forward, with absolute and undeniable aural and visual perfection. On Blu-ray, it will be the one to beat as true reference for high end systems. But within the parameters of the Blu-ray system, it may well be unbeatable. Until we're all projecting true 4-4-4 2k in our home theaters, I don't see how anything can better this release.

    As entertainment, using modern technology to its fullest, Avatar is a technological force of nature, and an absolutely perfect Blu-ray experience.

    Is there anything negative at all to say about this release? Just a single point. If one is attempting to make a point of helping our planet, it might have been well to do without the paper slipcover, which BTW is quite beautifully done.

    Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    I'm glad I wasn't seeing things when I said this was one of the best blu-ray transfers yet.

    Nice to see that you agree with me Mr. Harris.
     
  3. TheBat

    TheBat Well-Known Member

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    I got the blu ray last night. The only version I saw in the theatre was the 3D. It was pretty impressive. I must say that I have noticed more things watching the regular 2D version. I do wonder if the demo of this movie.. will hender the 3D path. you see it in the regular 2D and not really missing the 3D aspect of it. I wonder if other feel the same way?

    Jacob
     
  4. lowdefref

    lowdefref New Member

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    I am actually hesitant to buy it on BR or DVD. Watching Avatar in Imax 3D was literally one of the best experiences of my life. I don't know if watching it in 2D not Imax will change my feelings about that experience. Oh and btw I just heard Cameron is re-releasing Avatar this summer with 6 extra minutes of footage... Yay!
     
  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Quote:Originally Posted by TheBat

    I got the blu ray last night. The only version I saw in the theatre was the 3D. It was pretty impressive. I must say that I have noticed more things watching the regular 2D version. I do wonder if the demo of this movie.. will hender the 3D path. you see it in the regular 2D and not really missing the 3D aspect of it. I wonder if other feel the same way?

    Personally I feel that SCALE is very important to the success of 3D. IMO the small size of most consumer displays simply won't translate into the kind of immersive, engaging, and satisfying 3D experience that can be presented on a full-scale theater or IMAX screen.

    But I don't want to derail Mr. Harris' thread. My copy of Avatar is being delivered today and I'm looking forward to screening it at home this evening. The accolades coming in from all directions about the quality of the video presentation have me chomping at the bit to take a look for myself.
     
  6. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Well-Known Member

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    If it's any consolation, some copies (including mine that I just picked up) are in those Eco-cases:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Mine is delayed by the vulcano dust.

    But planes are flying again now here, and I trust it will arrive soon.


    Cees
     
  8. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered about this, seeing Avatar in 2D. 3D is a distracting experience, or rather a different experience, and I'm glad others have seen more detail or noticed more in 2D. I discovered how an element of film can change the viewing experience if being left out, like turning the color out of Gone With the Wind and watching it in b/w - you hear, or pay attention, to dialogue you've never noticed before. Not that GWTW should be watched in b/w, but the experiment is fascinating.
     
  9. Brett_M

    Brett_M Well-Known Member

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    An excellent point to be sure but more and more people are buying bigger displays these days. I'd bet that Avatar will make a lot of people spring for a new set, just to experience it like they did at the theater.
     
  10. TheBat

    TheBat Well-Known Member

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    my HDTV is a fine size. its not imax.. I think of it more.. like theatre and home viewing differntly. I will always prefer the theatre. that is a given. but the home theatre is also a nice way to watch movies as well. I saw it in imax. I did notice details and stuff not in the regular 3D. however I think it will work fine on the home video front.
    the whole 3D opens alot of worms. I think I prefer watching 3D in the theatre more then home video. I was surprise on good the PQ was on avatar.. specially with the 2D version. hopefully cameron will pay close attention to detail when he works on true lies and the abyss for blu ray.

    Doug:
    you are in for a treat. its truly looks great in bluray.

    Jacob
     
  11. Cory S.

    Cory S. Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I feel this is easily Cameron's worse film by a mile but even I can't bemoan the fact that this blu ray is technically perfect. PERFECT. I'm not running a high end system at all. I have a properly calibrated 40' LCD with an average sound system. This damn disc makes me want to upgrade everything. It's that damn great.

    I know it's going to be hard but I hope the future release of Star Wars on Blu will look this good. It'll be hard for the originals but it should be interesting with at least Episodes II and III.

    Still, while I don't think it's the game changer, this particular disc might actually be for home video.
     
  12. TheBat

    TheBat Well-Known Member

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    interesting that you find avatar to be his worse movie. I guess everyone has their own taste. good to see that you knowlege that its a great bluray. I have the star wars films in HD from the hbo recordings. they look fine.

    Jacob

    1) avatar
    2) the abyss
    3) terminator
    4) t2
    5) titanic
    6) aliens
    7 true lies
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    I read RAH's post before watching the disc and I was worried that it might have gotten my expectations for the disc up too high but it met and exceeded them. Everyone involved with this disc did a great job!
     
  14. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Well-Known Member

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    Just finished watching the Blu-Ray version and both picture and sound seem near perfect to me. I am watching on 8 ft Firehawk screen with Marantz VP-15 projector.
     
  15. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    I viewed the first half-hour of the film this afternoon (wanted to make sure that my Panny BD-601 would play the movie w/o a firmware update); and I have to say that it looked and sounded *fantastic* on my Optoma HD-65 system!

    If we're going to rate Cameron films here, then here's mine:
    1. Titanic
    2. Aliens
    3. T2
    4. Avatar
    5. Terminator
    6. True Lies
    7. The Abyss

    But I'll hasten to add that 1-5 are all "Four Star" movies as far as I'm concerned; so we're just talking about degrees of greatness!
     
  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The video and audio presentation of Avatar on this Blu-ray is PHENOMENAL! Superb. I can't imagine 1080P HD getting much better than this.
     
  17. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I just read something interesting about Avatar from the producer Jon Landau. The film makers didn't watch the film in 3D until December 5th, 10 days before the release of the film. Man thats going on faith!

    Doug
     
  18. Flemming.K

    Flemming.K Well-Known Member

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    If a movie is recorded in 3D, then you watch 2 times 2D pictures, one for each eye, giving you the illusion of watching it from the center. But now that it is in 2D, what picture do one really watch? The right or left eye picture and ... thus you will feel slightly adjusted to the left or right?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Quote:
    While I have no direct information re: Avatar, those 3-D productions released in the 1950s were generally projected in 2-D via the left eye.

    RAH
     
  20. FreyTheater

    FreyTheater Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I had a big scare with my Oppo BDP-83 player last night... I picked up the Avatar BD yesterday over my lunch hour at work, and had 10 people scheduled to come for an Avatar Movie Night last night to see it... Got home and popped it into my Oppo, and lo and behold, it wouldn't play... I only had about a half-hour to dig up a 30 foot ethernet cable and hook it up from the player to my router, and then download the 3 latest firmware updates from the internet (it installs them in succession), before everyone started arriving - but it was finally able to play the disc. I just hadn't had any issues with any other BD discs that I had to do a firmware upgrade before this, so I was a few versions behind. phew!

    I suppose I'm one of those Avatar fanatics, since I saw the movie 6 times in IMAX 3D (lol!); and I have to say, that format was totally immersive - best virtual reality experience I've ever witnessed. I thought I was right in the movie with the rest of the actors. But I can also say I will definitely appreciate home 3D in my movie theater - once 1080p 3D projectors ever hit the market and become affordable - as I have a 120" projection screen but sit only 8 feet from the screen in the front row seats (I prefer it close like that). So, I actually will have a similar full-field view for 3D there as I did in the IMAX theater... bring it on!
     

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