INTRO: (AVATAR Re-Release Review)
James Cameron’s original Avatar film has returned to theatres in the buildup to the release of Avatar: The Way of Water this December, and it was clear that the director wanted to remind audiences of Pandora and the story that unfolded there over a decade ago, which went on to become the highest grossing film of all time, and still is to this day. This IMAX 3D remaster brought back the sci-fi adventure in 4K High Dynamic Range with high frame rate scenes and a further 9.1 sound mix, making it a good reason to head back to theatres not just to catch up on the story but to watch the film in its highest format yet. In this article, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on this new remaster of the film and also briefly reviewing the original story and themes for the first time as I’ve never had the chance to before. This also marks the first article in my Road to AVATAR 2 series where I will be doing articles on the original film, the films of James Cameron, and The Way Of Water itself in the buildup to its release this December. Before I get into it though, if you want to keep up to date on any of my future content surrounding the Avatar sequels and other sci-fi series such as Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, then don’t forget to support this upload by giving it a like rating, subscribing to the channel, turning on your notifications and following me on social media via the links in the description. But without further ado let’s dive into my review of the new Avatar Re-Release.
AVATAR RE-RELEASE REVIEW: (AVATAR Re-Release Review)
So back in 2009, James Cameron released Avatar, a science fiction film that would revolutionize just how far you could go with digital technology to capture a story on the biggest of screens. Of course, he was a filmmaker that previously broke heights using practical technology and pushed it to its limits in films like Terminator 2 and Titanic, but it was with Avatar that he would take digital tech and make that look stunning as well. With Avatar, he showed that you could take a story and present it almost entirely with computer technology, yet still do so with extreme detail and motion capture techniques to make the big blue Navi look all that more authentic onscreen. It’s a world that sucks you away for almost 3 hours and convinces you that technology can be taken beyond what it is now. And this is made especially clear after watching this remaster because we’ve seen over the last decade how Hollywood has overused digital technology to a point where many of the blockbusters today rely on simpler and less impressive outcomes using VFX. Not just that but many films have tried to replicate the way Avatar uses mostly VFX and just haven’t managed to even come close to the way Cameron’s film did so. Take much of the recent comic book movies that almost totally shoot on green screens and don’t put the effort in to add some sort of added authenticity into the frame. Heck, it gets to the point where tony stark’s head is the only thing that’s real, and even that looks horribly composed and badly lit. It’s these examples that don’t call for a long-lasting image in cinema, which Cameron himself has displayed multiple times with both practical and digital technology. You know that I’m someone who admires practicality more than digital, but when a filmmaker goes the extra mile using digital to show that they care about what they are putting to screen and how they are doing that, then it shows they care about the medium and what the audience is ultimately watching. Cinema tells great stories but it also presents those stories in a visual and audio art form, one that can last decades via that very principle. Take Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example, a film that I still look back on today and wonder, how could a filmmaker make a film look this good back in the 1960s? Sure comparing Avatar to that is a bit of a stretch, but it comes into conversation when watching a remaster that looks so good all these years later. And while Avatar isn’t the most mindbending story nor the most original put to screen, James Cameron showed that you could digitally make a world feel authentic, and as I say, after rewatching this re-release in IMAX 3D, it holds up more than most. Unlike a lot of heavy digital releases today, James Cameron took a long time to make sure that Avatar would look the way he wanted it to, instead of rushing the post-production stages. And with him now putting extra care into remastering the image and sound quality and presenting a classic film in a further High Frame Rate format, Pandora has never looked as vibrant or astonishing on the big screen before.
THE AVATAR RE-RELEASE IS VISUALLY STUNNING: (AVATAR Re-Release Review)
Coming to that High Frame rate technology, it has to be said that after a bit of adjustment, I was surprised with how good this looks. James Cameron had the 48fps tech integrated into the original film’s re-release and we also saw that this tech is going to be present in the sequel later this year. From my viewing experience in IMAX 3D, it seems like the filmmaker has placed a high frame rate in specific moments of the film that it worked best in, rather than just plopping it all through the entire film. There were a few scenes towards the beginning of the feature that looked quite jarring, creating motion sickness and making me wonder whether this would ruin the image of the film. But after a good 10 minutes of adjusting to the format, I’m happy to say that it looked stunning during the remainder of the film. I was shocked over how this format could elevate it that much more and make the flight sequences and the vibrant nighttime scenes look more special than they did originally. And I can’t forget to mention that they also showed a brief scene from Avatar 2 during the mid-credits, and the HFR format looked incredible in the underwater segments of that. It seems like Cameron has opted to shoot the above-the-water images using the traditional 24fps and then with the underwater ones we get 48fps, making it more of awakening not just for the character, but also for the audience who goes into the ocean with them. The extra scene itself was just a taste of the visual capabilities of this and seeing one of Jake Sully’s Navi children bind and save a sea creature added the extra emotional quality to this 5-minute scene. It was a stunning addition that showcases Cameron’s total care towards upgrading the experience and making it the best possible one for the viewers. It’s just a taste of what’s to come, and just through transitioning to a mid-credits scene from the new movie, were we able to see the true difference between that added frame rate format that the first film wasn’t shot with. Overall, from a visual sense, the Avatar Re-Release delivered and it once again reminded me, that for 2009 this was stunning and it still makes me feel that way today. So I still can’t quite understand the comments from those who say it looks bad or it doesn’t hold up, because that just wasn’t my experience yesterday in an IMAX theatre.
THE STORYTELLING OF AVATAR IS IMPORTANT ALL THESE YEARS LATER: (AVATAR Re-Release Review)
But a question you may be asking does this new improved version of Avatar still move the audience and deliver with its storytelling. Well, from a thematic sense the movie’s ecological and planetary messages have aged quite well, with our current real-world situation involving mostly issues on our own hands. Seeing humans by force go into unknown territory and take what they want, and then watching the natives fight to save what is their land, is something that has become even more relevant today, making Avatar all the more important as a piece of storytelling all these years later. A corporation destroying lives to increase profits, a community threatened with extinction, and scientists being ignored when making the facts clear, make it a perfect time to remaster and re-release this globally celebrated feature. Now sure, are the story beats quite a cliche, and have they been done better in older and more artistic endeavors? Yes. But it’s still a compelling story that gets important messages across and even for those who don’t consider the wider themes, they can have a great time watching the action and be moved by the events that take place. At the end of the day, it’s a crowd pleaser as much as it is a thoughtful presentation of relevant planetary subjects and it further taps into the prominent and successful theme in a lot of James Cameron’s previous work. And that is the idea of humans vs nature. Cameron has played with this in different ways, in different stories, and different genres, and it’s resulted in multiple 2 billion dollar films and two of the most iconic ships in both Terminator and Aliens respectively. As a filmmaker, he knows how to relate to and attract the audience using important subjects we all relate to. Avatar is the purest manifestation of that idea even if it’s not his best storytelling example of it, because it integrates that very notion into a universal story made for everyone. It’s one part an action adventure, one part a love story where different people from different worlds connect, and one part a reflection of the problems we increasingly deal with on earth. Again, while I find the story quite conventional compared to others, I can’t lie in saying that I wasn’t moved nor transported to this world, so on that part, James Cameron did his job and it holds up all these years later. It will be interesting to see whether the Way Of Water can infuse the growing plot with a more original sensibility, but as long as it moves me and tells its storytelling compellingly like the first one, then at the end of the day, I will be satisfied. What’s key to note before ending this review is that the filmmaker did add an alternate ending scene to this new version, reworking one of the final scenes from the original to set up the unfinished war with RDA. Parker from the original film speaks to Jake Sully before getting on the ship to head back to earth and tells the main protagonist that this war is not over. Now it’s hard to tell whether this additional line felt natural or quite weird as an addition, but I guess with this opportunity, Cameron wanted to make it feel even more so like the upcoming sequels stem from that original film. I didn’t mind it but it did feel weird seeing it in there after watching the traditional version multiple times in the past. But again, it can work as a nice setup for what’s to come, and as a complete experience, the Avatar re-release has raised my excitement for the upcoming sequels. But that was my article discussing the re-release of the original Avatar. After watching this 4k remaster, I have to say that it makes me more confident that James Cameron can bring back the large audience we saw for the first film. From my perspective, his attention to detail through Pandora’s worldbuilding and the visual language with which that is represented still thrills and moves me all these years later. Yes, of course, Avatar doesn’t have the most original story ever and it does borrow a lot of ideas from previous landmarks in the science fiction genre and other ones too. But like every great story, it’s still an inspired one that can move, amaze and exhilarate the audience in its way using the very images and score it presents, which is the main goal of the film medium. Taking a decent story and presenting it in a way that is identical and brings it to life on the big screen. I wasn’t sure that watching Avatar all these years later would hold up, but Cameron’s remastered version of the film with High Frate Technology has shown that the groundbreaking filmmaker is ready to do that all over again for a new generation. Whether that can be pulled off or not will be answered later this year, but for now, my revisit of the original Avatar in IMAX 3D did help me reconnect with the stunning world of Pandora, its characters, and the work that Cameron intended to be seen on the big screen. Say what you will about its story, but during those 3 hours, the experience can take you out of the real world and fully transport you to the remarkable digital world that he created. It gets me excited for The Way Of Water and the fact that Cameron recently came out and said that the sequel is even more emotional than the first, leaves me expecting big things. We’ll have to see, but for now, the Avatar Re-Release is an experience that I’d recommend taking on over the next two weeks, while it’s back in theatres. I’m giving the Avatar Re-Release a rating of 8.5 out of 10. But let me know down below in the comments section whether you enjoyed the Avatar Re-release as much as I did and also, what were your thoughts on the presentation of the end credits scene for Avatar: The Way Of Water. For much more articles in this Road to AVATAR 2 series, including article essays on James Cameron’s previous films and coverage of the Way Of Water. Also if you enjoyed this article remember to leave a like rating and follow me on social media. But anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it.
avatar remastered review avatar 2 avatar 3d 2022 re release avatar remastered release date avatar remastered blu ray avatar remastered tickets avatar remastered disney plus avatar remastered box office don t worry darling avatar imdb avatar 3 imdb avatar 2 release date avatar 2 imdb avatar 2 rotten tomatoes avatar 2 budget avatar 2 trailer avatar 2 runtime