They say it's not a double dip if you've been warned it was coming. From the minute the first, barebones edition of James Cameron's Avatar was announced, both the studio and the filmmakers let it be known that another, more extensive release was coming later in the year. And that is exactly what is hitting store shelves today: the Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition Blu-ray, with three versions of the film and a plethora of supplements.
As to the movie presentation, staff reviewer Casey Broadwater assuages fears by confirming in his review of Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition that, "despite the addition of 16-minutes of new high definition footage, the quality of the image hasn't dropped in the slightest."
Overall, Avatar fans definitely won't be disappointed. Casey sums it up saying: "Featuring the same outstanding audio/video performance as the standalone release, this new edition adds eight hours of never-before-seen bonus features, including 45-minutes' worth of deleted scenes and a production documentary that'll tell you any and everything you'd ever want to know about the making of the movie."
The only thing blatantly absent from this edition is a Blu-ray 3D version of the movie, which for the time being will only be available to buyers of Panasonic 3DTV hardware.
However, stereoscopy early adopters will find consolation in having no fewer than ten 3D Blu-ray releases coming out to retail today, evenly split among feature films and documentaries. The standout is Disney's A Christmas Carol, a Christmas tentpole that has taken a whole year to make the jump from the theaters to the home.
Staff reviewer Martin Liebman comments in his review of A Christmas Carol that the film "perfectly captures the traditional look, feel, and appeal of Charles Dickens' timeless classic while still managing to spruce it up for the 21st century with a dazzling computer-aided visual scheme that has to be seen to be believed." As to the 3D presentation, Martin says that it is "a thing of beauty" and goes as far as to proclaim the current "definitive wide-release Blu-ray 3D transfer." Blu-ray enthusiasts who still haven't made the leap to 3D (the majority, after all) need not worry, as the 2D transfer is "every bit as amazing as the accompanying 3D image." The standout among the release's special features is Behind the Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience, an "amazing supplement" that is "almost worth the price of this set alone."
In his review of Sherlock Jr. / Three Ages, staff reviewer Casey Broadwater says: "Once again, Kino-Lorber has done a fantastic job with their latest silent film release, giving Sherlock, Jr.—a nearly 90-year-old film—a 1080p transfer that, age-related scratches and flecks aside, is absolutely beautiful."
Staff reviewer Dr. Svet Atanasov considers in his review of Modern Times that this is "one of the great actor's least dated films. It is witty and funny but also incredibly sad film, in a lot of ways depicting successfully the type of world we are currently living in - obsessed with productivity and corporate profits." As to the disc itself, Svet notes that "there are absolutely no surprises, as "the presentation is very strong and the supplemental features outstanding."
Finally. I held off picking up the standalone Avatar because I knew the collector's edition was coming. I'm sure it will be worth the wait. This should be the last Avatar buy for me: not interested in getting a 3D player.
I'll also pick up the Sondheim birthday concert disc. I'll wait for Willy Wonka for the price to drop.
Spiderman 1 and 2
A Christmas Carol
Question about christmas carol, The 3D version comes with the 2D and a DVD copy as well right? I don't own a 3D TV but figure it's a safer bet to pick up the 3D version now rather then have to rebuy down the road. I just wanna make sure that the only difference between the two releases is that the 3D edition has an extra version of the movie, because for now, I will only be viewing the 2D and the DVD version
Recieved Avatar yesterday. The extra 16 minutes adds a lot more detail, and makes the bad guys less evil and more "gray" in my opinion. I think it works much better in this version. It doesn't really change the movie, but I felt it added a lot.
Avatar Collector's edition for me as well. I didn't buy the bare bones edition, and I haven't seen the film since opening weekend in IMAX 3d, so I'm looking forward to it. Don't really care about the 3D for home viewing anyway, so this is the best release for me.
@Joen - thanks for the info, i'll get the 3D version then
@Bluyoda - It makes sense to have options, I'm not a fan of digital copies, but I quite enjoy getting a DVD copy included and I like that 3D versions are also being included since i'll likely have a 3D TV set at some point. For now, yes I only really want the 2D blu, but it doesn't hurt to cover all the bases
I picked up the latest avatar collector's edition i also picked up A christmas carol BD + DVD pack at walmart for $10.00 after the $10.00 coupon they have it for 19.99 u cant beat that i was gonna get the 3D one but for that price i cant not get it. plus i wont have a 3D tv till dec.
Picked up Avatar @ Target, matching the Amazon price ($5 cheaper than BB). I bought the initial release at a discount and traded it in a couple of months ago. All in all, I ended up paying close to what a rental would have been so the double-dip isn't a biggie in this case. No 3-D for me. Also getting Twilight Zone 2 and Modern Times.
Another exciting week of Blu releases! Heading to B&N to pick up my copies of Modern Times and The Night of the Hunter, and I hope to receive Avatar Extended Collector's Edition and A Christmas Carol 3D from amazon today!
Picked up Modern Times, my favorite Chaplin film and it looks and sounds bloody amazing. Wanted to pick up the collector's edition of Avatar, but, and this will probably sound petty, it bothered me that the box is bigger than other blu ray packages.
I'm not paying $20 to $25 for a scant 16 minutes of extra footage left out of the theatrical release of Avatar. I have the bare bones Avatar which is good enough for me. If Fox wants my money, they'll have to do better than that which for me would be nothing short of a sequel or a prequel. Eight hours of extra features doesn't excite much me either.
November has been a rotten month of mostly regurgitated movie releases except for a few outstanding ones like Scott Pilgrim, Moulin Rouge!, and Alien Anthology. The rest of November isn't looking any better either. I'll save my money for when the best movies come out.
@rwojtalewicz - I get what you're saying about the added footage, but for me (and a lot of others) the real draw of the new Avatar set is all the bonus stuff. If it was jut a directors cut I wouldn't be getting it, but the directos cut plus all of the extras makes me more then happy to "double dip"
@Wdm81 - Yes, for many people who like extra features, then this Avatar release makes it worth the expense. However, I find extra features to be very boring. I have many multi-disk set releases with hours of special features that I have never fully watched, except of course for the main feature. I can't see double dipping for this release.
I'm watching how 3D develops. Now, in that case, should I ever go 3D and Avatar is available in 3D, then yes, I will double dip for the 3D version which hopefully will have the extended cut too.
I'm really surprised that so many of you are okay double dipping on Avatar! Not for nothing but this release should have the 3D version as well. Even if you can't play it now at least you might be able to in the future. So some of you are going to triple dip! If Lucas did this a LOT of you would scream bloody murder!! Just saying...Thank you Mr. Cameron, may I buy another?!