A Return Trip to Pandora Continued to Please

So this is less of a review and more of an extended note, with absolutely no spoilers, regarding the newly released Special Edition of James Cameron’s Avatar (maybe some of you have heard of it) playing exclusively on 3D and IMAX screens now.  My actual review of the film can be found here, while the opinions of my fellow reviewers here at Why So Blu can also be found here, here and here.

In December of 2009, James Cameron released Avatar to the world.  It was of course met with massive amounts of praise from both the critics and audiences, and went on to become, financially, the most successful film ever made.  Success for this film would continue as it managed to garner many awards, including a lot of Oscar and Golden Globe recognition, and would later become the biggest selling Blu-Ray of all time.  Now, the film has been re-released on to IMAX screens all over as a Special Edition, adding nine new minutes of footage.

After having viewed the film again on the giant IMAX (which is truly the best way to see this film), I can safely say that the extended version will be my preferred version to watch.  As with other James Cameron films that have had Director’s Cut versions or additional footage inserted into the film, the added sequences function to expand on a few story beats in a number of ways.  First off, a new action scene is inserted into the film, which actually aids a sequence that follows it.  We also get to learn more about Pandora, as some new creatures are introduced and we are given an explanation to how it is that the Hallelujah Mountains can float so high in the sky.  Most importantly, some additional character development and an expansion of some story aspects occur, which, while slight, benefit the film quite well.

This Special Edition expands the film to 171 minutes, which is quite long, but as far as I’m concerned, the movie is still very watchable.  The upcoming release of the Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray for this film will have a version of the film that is even longer, with a total of 16 minutes added to the original running time.  This includes the deleted sequence on earth, which originally opened the film.  I am aware that everyone may not be a fan of the film’s length as it is, but I am certainly looking forward to continue to see how James Cameron can expand his vision of Pandora.


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

12 Responses to “A Return Trip to Pandora Continued to Please”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    I’m looking forward to the uber edition in November. That one will have 16 minutes of restored footage.

  2. Brian White

    I hate to sound like a pervert, but isn’t there an extended intercourse scene with like 40 more seconds somewhere in there too? I thought I remembered reading that.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    @Gerard, I did mention the uber edition and its 16 minutes of restored footage.

    @Brian, yes that is here as well and they shove their hair in all kinds of places!

  4. Gerard Iribe

    hahahahaha @Brian

    @Aaron that’s the one I want, so I won’t be catching this edition in theaters. I’ll just wait until the extended-extended edition hits blu-ray.

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, I understand. I just haven’t seen this film in anything but on a giant screen in 3-D, so I’ll have a hard time considering the former option, regardless of the capabilities of the blu-ray on my big TV. However, I do want to watch all the special features about how Cameron made the film.

    Oh, and Brian – you did sound like a pervert. Shame on you 🙂

  6. Brian White

    Ha ha…I knew I should not have opened up my big mouth 🙂 It’s my Birthday!

  7. Sean Ferguson

    I know that I’m in the minority on this, but I didn’t love this as much as everyone else seemed to. The special effects were amazing but I just couldn’t get into a story about 8 foot tree-hugging cats having tail sex.

  8. Brian White

    What? How do you do it then Sean?


    Just kidding!

  9. Sean Ferguson

    Haha…just wait till the sequel where there is a planet of 8 foot dogs that circle each other and sniff each others asses. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget everyone is fighting for something called unobtainium. Really?! Is that the best you could come up with Cameron? How about notavailablum? I think a crap flinging monkey could have written a better script. It’s a shame that all of that effort, a great cast, and some fantastic special effects were used to bring this terrible script to life.

  10. Aaron Neuwirth

    Apparently you’re not familiar with Unobtainium (it’s not something Cameron came up with).


    I’m fine with speaking in generalities about the plot of this movie, because no, it’s not a great story in terms of originality, but it’s pretty insulting to say that a monkey could have done a better job. While it follows a pretty rigid formula, the fact is that he adapted it for this film and managed to create a lot of other elements.

    The world building is a great place to come at this film from. Can you not look past just the story to acknowledge the other interesting elements at play here? As you said – the effects, the cast, even the use of 3D; let alone the creatures, the world of pandora, the technology present in this universe (the concept of plugging your hair into other creatures is incredibly fascinating to me), the film’s direction, etc.

    I understand where you’re coming from and anyone can think what they want (I have Piranha 3D and The A-Team in a top ten list), but in a world where things like Vampires Suck and The Last Airbender exist, lets not overstep things too much.

  11. Brian White

    I can agree with Sean that the script was not perfect. However, I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of this film. When I watch this film, time does not exist. That’s how i know I love something. While I won’t be partaking in the screening of this Special Cut theatrically, I’m sure like a sucker, Cameron will get my dollars on the double dip Blu-ray of this title regardless of his bashing of Piranha 3D 🙁

  12. Sean Ferguson

    I stand corrected on the unobtanium (it still is a stupid name though) and like I said, I know that I’m in the minority on my opinion of this film. When it’s the #1 movie of all time it must have pleased a lot of people. Yes Cameron did a lot of world building and it all looked incredible but the story didn’t work for me. I think Aliens is a far better movie. I liked Titanic better too. Maybe if it had some key roles recast I would have liked it more but any movie that casts Michelle Rodriquez loses points off the bat for me. At least she won’t be in the sequel! Hahaha! And instead of Sam Worthington it should have been Michael Biehn. Although I think the movie is way overrated, James Cameron is an exceptional director and he made a lot of it work but he should let someone else write the next one. He is definitely a futurist and I love his sci-fi movies so perhaps my expectations were too high for the movie. I’m glad that you loved the movie and I know Brian will love Michelle playing the same role in every movie so don’t let me bring you down. This is just my humble opinion. I think the sequel should be called Avatar 2 – Revenge of the Thundercats!