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A few words about...™ - Avatar & Avatar The Way of Water -- in 4k UHD (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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With the recent discussions of Around the World in 80 Days in these pages, the concept of the Event Film is an important discussion.

Usually, they're road shows, sometimes not.

And similar to 80 Days, Avatar and Way of Water are in their own way - Event Films.

Strangely, while I admire them both for their technical wizardry, I'm only a fan of the first. The second never drew me in to it's world.

Fox / Disney has released a new set, presumably meant as Christmas gifts for one's favorite cinephile, with all three versions of Avatar, branched on the same disc, and strangely Dolby Atmos only for the original theatrical cut (162 minutes). We also receive the SE Re-release version which runs 170 minutes, and for those who can't get enough the Collector's Extended, which runs around three hours, and has been re-edited in major ways, which I won't get into.

What has me wondering is that Disney released Avatar in 4k on June 20th of this year, along with Way of Water.

These were basic packages with attractive slipcovers, and three (as opposed to four) discs in each. Theatrical version in 4k, on Blu-ray and the third special features disc.

These were beautiful packages.

Now, precisely six months later, we have the Collector's Editions, each with four discs.

For Avatar, it's all three versions on disc 1 in 4k, in Blu-ray on disc 2, All new special features on disc 3, and 4th disc with the original special features.

Way of Water follows the same concept with only a single version.

One must presume that anyone desirous of owning these films in 4k, has already made their purchase in the past six months, and while Way of Water offers new special features, as does Avatar, possibly the concept of all three cuts for Avatar is the selling point.

I'm not certain, but I've got to presume that it's the hard core fans that will go for these, along with the gift concept.

They both look as they did way back in June, which is absolute reference quality, and a great reason for some to pull the 4k trigger.

Packaging is interesting, and I'm not a fan.

It's quite beautiful. Hard, heavy paper board covered in embossed and metallic artwork. It's quite heavy. Four discs in an inner folder held together magnetically is a quality affair, however....

I hate the packaging, as it goes in the direction of the Hitchcock boxed sets, in which the discs are contained within a heavy paper page, and (at least to me) are absolutely impossible to extract without separating the two layers, and trying to grab the disc on both sides. I left fingerprints on the discs, but don't believe I damaged them.

Basically, the packaging is a totally pain to deal with. Whomever designed it, can probably trace their family history back to the Spanish inquisition. Pain is in their blood.

Interestingly, once you do have a disc out, and go to replace it, it snaps back into place with satisfying sound that lets you know that it's fully inserted. I tried to look inside, and did notice some artwork, but couldn't detect the holding mechanism.

Possibly there's a secret to this, and one can find instructions on the web.

I'm reminded that I mentioned Event films.

These fit into that category, but unlike 80 Days, they're quality films that will probably nicely stand the test of time, where 80 Days also survives as a major technological achievement.

But aside from the cameos, and most people today couldn't identify the majority of the players, it does not stand the test of time. Actually, as much as I applaud the Todd-AO technology and want see it reconstructed and restored, it just isn't a good film.

I'm slightly befuddled by this release, especially coming six months after the first.

Another recent discussion surrounds Titanic and the new re-imaged 4k. I surmise that Avatar is what the techs behind Titanic were going for, and were at least moderately successful.

Image – 10 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 10 (Dolby Atmos / DTS-HD MA 5.1) - Avatar - version dependent

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 10

Worth your attention - 10 (Avatar) / 7.5 (Way of Water)

Slipcover rating - Beauty - 10 / Functionality - 0

Highly Recommended

RAH



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Robert Crawford

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I see no reason to purchase Way of Water again on 4K/UHD. The first film I guess you can rationalize another 4K/UHD purchase. If I do buy it for the second time on 4K/UHD, I’ll most likely wait until sometime next year with hopefully a more discounted price.
 

SD_Brian

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I see no reason to purchase Way of Water again on 4K/UHD. The first film I guess you can rationalize another 4K/UHD purchase. If I do buy it for the second time on 4K/UHD, I’ll most likely wait until sometime next year with hopefully a more discounted price.
I find the making of the Avatar movies to be much more interesting than the actual movies. The bonus features already released have been terrific, so I'm essentially getting the new editions just for the additional bonus material.
 

Mark McSherry

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The previous 4Ks released back in June were only HDR while these are Dolby Vision capable. And I agree about the extreme hassle extracting the discs from the sleeves.
 

RichMurphy

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With the recent discussions of Around the World in 80 Days in these pages, the concept of the Event Film is an important discussion.
...
These fit into that category, but unlike 80 Days, they're quality films that will probably nicely stand the test of time, where 80 Days also survives as a major technological achievement.
...
But aside from the cameos, and most people today couldn't identify the majority of the players, it does not stand the test of time. Actually, as much as I applaud the Todd-AO technology and want see it reconstructed and restored, it just isn't a good film.
...
RAH
I agree that 80 Days isn't a good film, at least in the normal definition of a movie, but I find it to be good entertainment. It's a cross between the technical achievement you mention (indeed, the widening of the screen at the rocket lift-off is as impressive as the roller coaster scene in "This is Cinerama") and a spot-the-star epic, like "The Greatest Story Ever Told", another film that is also more impressive as an A/V extravaganza than as a film.

Sorry about this off-topic aside about a different film, but HE started it. LOL
 

Jeff Cooper

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You mention Dolby Atmos is only on the theatrical version of Avatar, what is used for the extended cuts?

Also if someone would like to go into what the major edits are to the super extended cut, I would love to know that as well.
 
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Robert Harris

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You mention Dolby Atmos is only on the theatrical version of Avatar, what is used for the extended cuts?

Also if someone would like to go into what the major edits are to the super extended cut, I would love to know that as well.
DTS-HA MA 5.1

Edits, new footage has been covered elsewhere.
 
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Jeff Cooper

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Edits, new footage has been covered elsewhere.

Ah ok, I thought there were only 2 versions, not 3. I see that the 'Special Edition' is the same as the 'Collector's Edition' without the opening on Earth. I didn't know this existed. I thought it was just the Theatrical Edition and the Collector's Edition.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Ah ok, I thought there were only 2 versions, not 3. I see that the 'Special Edition' is the same as the 'Collector's Edition' without the opening on Earth. I didn't know this existed. I thought it was just the Theatrical Edition and the Collector's Edition.
So did I.
 

dpippel

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The three versions of the film on this 4K release are identical to the three versions previously available on the "Extended Blu-ray Collector's Edition" 3-disc set that came out in November 2010:

IMG_0169.jpg
 

Tino

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The three versions of the film on this 4K release are identical to the three versions previously available on the "Extended Blu-ray Collector's Edition" 3-disc set that came out in November 2010:

View attachment 207021
I have this set. Also have it digitally on iTunes for years with all the same extras.
 

Todd Erwin

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The other difference between the 4K releases six months ago and these new "Collector's Editions" is that the movies are now in Dolby Vision in addition to HDR10.

My more detailed reviews of these discs are forthcoming very soon!
 

Robert Harris

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The other difference between the 4K releases six months ago and these new "Collector's Editions" is that the movies are now in Dolby Vision in addition to HDR10.

My more detailed reviews of these discs are forthcoming very soon!
I don’t give a great deal of thought to Dolby Vision, as I review on a projector.
 

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