Thanks for nothing, James Cameron


The movie Avatar (Canada, USA, Europe) was released on Thursday, and like countless fans I bought it on the cheap. I knew that we couldn't expect much in the way of extras and surprises, but getting absolutely nothing sort of annoyed me.

When something like 27 Dresses offers more extras and additional footage than a visual masterpiece like Avatar, you know there's something wrong with the world. And it features the gorgeous Katherine Heigl instead of the giant smurfette to boot!

If you believe I'll fork out more dough when the movie is reissued and packed with extras, you have another think coming. I might rent it, but you won't see me purchase a second copy of Pocahontas in space. . .

23 commentaires:

Joshua said...

Patience is a virtue, Pat.

It's been confirmed for weeks that neither edition (BR or DVD) of Avatar released this past week would contain any extras. If you feel you got suckered, you've only got yourself to blame on this one.

I'm holding out for the fall release.

Anonymous said...

Hell I'm not even going to buy 1 copy. I may Red Box it for a buck, and I'm not even sure about that.

Tom said...

Why didn't you read the back of the box to see if there were any features before you bought it?

Or, if you bought it online, well... there are hundreds of websites (including probably the one you bought it from) that have had the DVD's contents (or lack thereof) specified for months now.

Maurice said...

I think what Pat is saying is that he bought it without looking, because many people do so, trusting that most films, especially this one, would have some extras thrown in. Not everyone reads the back of the box.

Jens said...

I absolutely agree with Tom (in fact I was about to write a comment expressing the same thought).

If you "bought it without looking" as Maurice suggests then it's noboby's fault but yours I'm afraid...

Anonymous said...

Also, I think Cameron said somewhere that this was intentional to maximize the disc space for the movie only so it could have the highest possible bitrate, sort of like the old Superbit releases. The extras would come with the director's cut later on in a multi-disc set.

Sam said...

Having actually seen the extras, it's worth pointing out that the movie gets significantly better and more interesting when you add in a lot of what ended up on the cutting room floor. I don't have a clue what Cameron was thinking when he edited the movie.

Maurice said...

@ Jens

I mean, of course it is his fault for not looking, but it is just interesting that there is so much focus on that. I would blame someone for not looking when lets say buying a book that they've done before (look at reviews for Naomi Novak's first three books bound in one volume, which was given low reviews due to poor research), but in this day I personally feel that DVDs should come with special features. This wasn't the norm in the beginning, but now this makes the product incomplete for me.

Ed S. said...

Yeah, what they said.
Frankly without even checking I thought it obvious that this movie would go through a series of disk releases, from basic, to with extras, extended release, director's cut, the super duper whooper version, the 10 hour "everything" version, God's cut, etc. All of this is of course designed to milk the maximum amount of money from the public. I wouldn't even think about it for a couple more years until some of the other versions are out.

Fluffs said...

Pat,

You need to introduce yourself to Mr. B Torrent. ;)

C.B. said...

You 'bought it on the cheap' and got your money's worth, I'd say.

sbp said...

Double-dip discs are so good for the earth.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I knew there would be no extras on this release. I will wait for the Director's Cut. There is no real sense in owning Avatar without any extras.

.scott said...

Sigh!

Okay. For those who don't know a lot about DVD's and Blue Rays and how they work....it requires SPACE on the disc for quality. To get the highest quality possible out of both formats they have to literally FILL the disc with the film. There would be no wasted space on the DVD or Blue Ray FOR extra's. They could give you a shittier quality film and add some extras, but they didn't want to. In Fact, Cameron went on record with the news outlets that this was a bare bones disc on purpose because the production company wanted to get the film out on time to the rental public. The amount of time it takes to put together a quality two or three disc special edition with all kinds of extra bells and whistles is simply not feesible in the timeframes they had to work with.

DVD's used to only come out for rental 4 or 5 months after theatrical release, and you couldn't buy the goddamned things till 6 months AFTER the rental date because they spent all that time putting together a superior special edition.

So, having a second disc with special shit on it didn't happen right away. It will, and if you bothered to read anything about the release of the film on DVD Pat you'd know that. It was all over my local papers that this was a bare bones disc.

So yeah, as far as I am concerned you weren't paying attention when you purchased it, nor to the buzz surrounding it.

Cameron has gone on record as saying he will do up a proper set later on in the fall, once they have had the time to do it right. The rental public simply wouldn't have waited a year to rent it. End of story.

Also...wtf dude...it's about the MOVIE...not the special features. If you aren't impressed enough by the movie itself...why the hell are you buying the disc? And then you make a goddamned post complaining about it? sour Grapes dude.

I read your site all the time but sometimes you do some boneheaded things dude.

Patrick said...

It's because it's just about the movie that this edition leaves a lot to be desired. Without the 3D, all of a sudden all the plot holes and the corny stuff come to the fore, which makes you wonder why you enjoyed it so much the first time. Sadly, though it's the official release, it is no better than all the bootlegs I saw during my Southeast Asian trip.

And the excuse that it takes time to produce a quality special edition and the renting public wouldn't wait is a bucket that holds as much water as the excuse Tor came up with to split AMoL into three volumes. They elected to do that to make more money, end of story. I can live with that, sure.

But without anything else, by itself in 2D Avatar kind of leaves a lot to be desired. They could have thrown in a little something, just to entice you to want to buy the special edition when it comes out with the additional footage, and it would have made a lot of difference. The film by itself doesn't make buying this one seem worthwhile to me. Everyone who came to my place to watch it felt the same way, too. . .

.scott said...

Fair enough. If you don't think the film stands up on its own then I suppose you have a leg to stand on. ;P

That said. Two of my best friends have a Toronto based company that makes the special features for DVD's (ie. Behind the Scenes stuff, interviews) and I can tell you it does INDEED take that long to put together the extras. The sheer amount of raw on set footage they have to fiddle with is staggering.

The decision to release the bare bones disc to the renting public is not the directors, or even the producers, but the releasing film company (ie. Paramount, Fox ect.) So you can blame the fatcat suits (that no one ever hears about) for that one, not Cameron.

I'm personally gonna be patient and await a proper special edition.

Mike said...

I'm a bit surprised at the number of Pat's detractors here. I did exactly as Pat and assumed there would be extras on the disc when I bought it. That's become something of a standard for the new releases over the last few years, so it's not unreasonable to assume you're getting something when you buy a DVD or Blue-Ray.

Fortunately for myself, I have yet to open the packaging so I think I'll take a trip to the store today and return it so I can get my money's worth in the fall with the proper release.

For the record, I agree that the movie does not hold up on its own. I enjoyed it, but I just can't get over the plot holes, the "Unobtainium", the world building contradictions, etc. and say this is well done science fiction, because it isn't. It is very pretty, and the story is a good one (nothing wrong with Pocahontas in Space), it's just not done as well as it should have been.

I hope Sam is right and the extras make it better.

Doug said...

I'm just disappointed that it doesn't come with a 3D version. I bought Shrek 3D and ever since have wanted more 3D movies to watch on the 10' LCD projector screen I have at home.

I'm sure this first vanilla version is just an attempt to strike while the iron is hot and people haven't moved on to the next great thing. There will probably be 2-3 more versions to come, yeah marketing.

What I am dreading is the scads of cheap imitators, like Clash of the Titans, taking 2D movies and converting them to 3D for wider market appeal.

If this catches on, I see a bleak future where older movies are converted to 3D for reissue. Similar to what happened with colorized movies. Glad that went away.

So somebody better lock George Lucas in a dark room. Because there is no way in Hades I'm buying another version of the Star Wars Trilogy, or Indy in 3D.Though Raiders would have been a perfect for this format.

Roland said...

Excuse me, what plot holes? I'm not a demented fanboy, but I got a little fed up with all that "smurfs" and "plotholes" and "Pocahontas" crap these last few months. I am yet to read something worth reading on the subject.

And yeah, it was announced at least a month ago that this edition would be bare bones. And btw, no - it is not standard for a movie to have extras. It is common, but there ARE movies with no extras or with just some trailer.

Like others, I'm just waiting for the special edition - the same as with LotR BD.

Tristin said...

I pre-ordered it also, but its still in the plastic. Another case of buyers remorse. It will be a nice re-gift.

Pat you should get one of those plastic shrink wrap things...great for re-gifting books and movies, lol. don't tell my family.

.scott said...

To Mike,

Look up the term "Unobtanium" dude. It's a real term. James Cameron didn't just pick it out of his ass or something. It's been around a while.

Also, plot holes? Where dude...point them out to me. Point form style...cause I'm pretty sure you can't.

Roland said...

Seconded. Avatar is a 60s kind of old-school Heroes VS Evil "Adventure On An Alien Planet" kinda thing which doesn't even pretend it attempts to be original story-wise. But even so the plot is solid through and through. I once saw a "plot holes" list on imdb. Almost 90% of those were due to the author not watching carefully.

I take a supremely good classic story to half-assed attempt at originality any day btw.

Anonymous said...

Wahh Waaah I didn't check it before I bought it Waah Waah

There, fixed it for you.