'Ultimate' Avatar Blu-ray lands, but not 3D yet

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

The "ultimate" 2D version of Avatar will be released on November 24 but fans will have a longer wait until the 3D edition officially hits stores.

While the Avatar 3D Blu-ray is available as part of a bundle with Panasonic 3D televisions a date has yet to be set for the retail version.

"We really have to see how 3D televisions take hold in the home. We don't want to be the chicken before the egg. We need the television to be the egg and then we'll be there", Avatar producer Jon Landau said.

Boasting an extra 16 minutes of additional scenes and hours of behind-the-scenes footage, the 2D Avatar Extended Collector's Edition Blu-ray will be available in November.

"I told our team — let's do the ultimate box set of Avatar, with everything in it the fans could possibly want", said director James Cameron in a press release.

virtual camera avatar

The virtual camera enables the operator to "shoot" animated footage in real time (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CBS Interactive)

The Extended Edition Blu-ray is the second release of the movie after the theatrical-only version was released in April.

Despite lacking the third dimension, Landau said the 2D Blu-ray is enjoyable in its own right.

"I know people who've seen it and seen it in the theatres and they say they see more in their Blu-ray than they ever do in the theatres", said Jon Landau

The set comes with three different versions of the US$2.7 billion grossing film with the original theatrical release, a special edition re-release, and new collector's extended cut with 16 minutes of additional footage including a new creature: the Sturmbeast.

Owners can watch the entire film and toggle between three stages of production: from the performance capture stage, the barebones 'template' animation, or the 'final' mix. The 'template' view resembles the on-the-fly animation that director James Cameron saw when using a 'virtual camera' on set.

Landau said the extensive documentaries also captured moments of humour from director James "Jim" Cameron.

"There's some great behind the scenes footage of Jim with a red stick in his hand pretending to be the Thanator", Jon Landau said as he waved his hands around imitating the sound of the virtual monster.

For a comprehensive photo gallery of each step of the process in making Avatar Extended Collector's Edition — from motion capture through to the finished product — click through to Avatar: behind the scenes at Weta Digital.

Ty Pendlebury flew to Wellington as a guest of 20th Century Fox.

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Al posted a comment   

Got the Panasonic package 3D version of the original movie, although bloody great 3D effect (much better than the cinema), wish it was the extended version as I have that on 2D but after 3D it is a bit of a let down :(


Australia Asian Sensation posted a comment   

Panasonic 3D TV from Havrey Norman is giving out offical 3D Avatar DVD as they have exclusive rights, but you are right it is all money.


baz posted a comment   

What! Why can't they provide multiple formats. If they can provide a DVD version,a computer version that can be put on a ipod/ipad and blueray in a case then why not the 3D version as well. This sound like a money making effort. I am avoiding purchasing any movies until they start distributing 3D as eventually I will get irritated I have a only movies that I cannot watch in 3D on a 3D setup. People already have 3D TV's so they are talking **** So great just because America is broke we have to put up with it not worth them bothering.

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