Avatar Rerelease Review

Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water is on the horizon and Twentieth Century Studios is getting moviegoers ready with the rerelease of Avatar, the megablockbuster hit from director James Cameron that grossed over $2.7 billion at the worldwide box office. The film has been remastered in 4K with high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos sound. The sound is even more impactful, and Pandora is still a visual treat despite some minor image quality concerns.

The story is set in the future on Pandora, an Earth-like moon far, far away. It follows Jake Sully, a paraplegic and former marine with the opportunity to become a Na’vi, the natives on the moon. Thanks to a costly program, he can become the locals, who are tall, strong and agile. Jake is able to use his legs again, and with the help of a Na’vi tribe, he’ll be able to adapt to the harsh environments of Pandora.

The 3D for the rerelease of Avatar is still a visual feast. The world of Pandora is very immersive, whether it’s the plants and environments encircling your peripheral or the depths of the characters and their backgrounds. It’s remastered in 4K and it can look breathtaking, but it can also be lackluster when showing some of the details of the ships. During an early scene, I noticed aliasing issues for a few of the vehicles, and the 4K makes the jagged edges more apparent on some of the ships. Of course, this isn’t for all the CG scenes, and many are still outstanding including the Na’vi and their motion capture, making the emotions and the movements more impactful.

Avatar was a 3D sensation when it was released back in 2009, which prompted studios to release many of their films in 3D soon after. The 3D is back, and it still is stellar after all these years from the foliage of the trees to the ikran flying across the skies.

In addition to HDR and 4K remaster, it offers high framerate. For me, the high framerate feels too weird for films, and this is coming from someone who loves having the highest frame rates in video games. It also feels inconsistent at times as if it switches from 24 frames per second to 48 frames per second, and that can feel jarring.

The remastered audio is loud and one can feel the power behind it. The jungle of Pandora feels alive with the sound of nature surrounding us. Animals can be heard at night, and the sound of Jake playing with the different plants is like music to my ears.

Final Reaction

Avatar (rerelease) brings audiences back into the world of Pandora in 4K HDR and HFR. It’s a beautiful presentation with the audio mix standing out, and the nighttime scenes are vibrant and breathtaking. There are a few nitpicks since the remaster has made a few of the CG scenes more apparent.

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