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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

4K Digital Review: The Marvels

 



Picking up right after the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel ends off, comes The Marvels. We get three superheroes, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) who find their powers intertwined by Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). Dar-Benn has found the second quantum band and is using it to destroy planets so she can save hers. Our superheroes have to learn to work together to stop Dar-Benn.

The chemistry between the three superheroes is fantastic and really moves the movie along. Sadly, the movie suffers from another one-dimensional villain. And we get a very entertaining film that not a lot of people came out to see in theaters.  


Video:

The streaming 4K video is another fantastic effort from Disney. The colors are bright and bold with inky blacks. Details are excellent, from clothing textures, to Goose's fur, to skin tones. 


Audio:

The Dolby Atmos audio mix is solid! Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout the movie. Surrounds are very active, especially with the sounds of explosions during action sequences and the soundtrack.

Bonus Features:


FEATURETTES

·       Entangled - Take a cosmic trip behind the scenes on The Marvels with the cast and crew of the film. Learn how director Nia DaCosta and the team took on such a vast production, and dive deeper with more details about Marvel’s first ever musical number.

·       The Production Diaries – Experience the lively, upbeat set of The Marvels as cast and crew recall candid and heartwarming moments, along with hilarious anecdotes.

 

DELETED SCENES

·       Captain-in-Residence – Kamala finds herself in Carol's ship after an unexpected switch and incredulously picks up a call from Valkyrie.

·       It's Under Control – Carol, Kamala, and Monica find themselves brainstorming for solutions on Aladna.

Space Yoga – Muneeba teaches yoga while an exasperated Nick Fury looks on.

·       The Chase – Chaos ensues as Ty-Rone chases Kamala in a tension-filled scene.

 

GAG REEL

·       Watch some hilarious outtakes on set with the cast and crew of The Marvels.

 

AUDIO COMMENTARY

·       Listen to co-writer/director Nia DaCosta and VFX Supervisor Tara DeMarco talk about the film.



Conclusion:

A fun, entertaining film with a lot of bonus features. A welcomed addition to your library! 

The Marvel is available on digital, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD now!

*The review copy was sent by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the purpose of review and the review is strictly my own opinion*

      


Monday, February 19, 2024

Marvel Animation’s “X-Men ‘97” Streams on Disney+ Beginning March 20

 


A trailer and teaser poster are now available to celebrate the upcoming Disney+ debut of Marvel Animation’s “X-Men ’97.” The all-new series, which features 10 episodes, begins streaming March 20. 

 

“X-Men’97” revisits the iconic era of the 1990s as The X-Men, a band of mutants who use their uncanny gifts to protect a world that hates and fears them, are challenged like never before, forced to face a dangerous and unexpected new future. The voice cast includes Ray Chase as Cyclops, Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey, Alison Sealy-Smith as Storm, Cal Dodd as Wolverine, JP Karliak as Morph, Lenore Zann as Rogue, George Buza as Beast, AJ LoCascio as Gambit, Holly Chou as Jubilee, Isaac Robinson-Smith as Bishop, Matthew Waterson as Magneto and Adrian Hough as Nightcrawler. Beau DeMayo serves as head writer; episodes are directed by Jake Castorena, Chase Conley and Emi Yonemura. Featuring music by The Newton Brothers, the series is executive produced by Brad Winderbaum, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and DeMayo.




Sunday, February 11, 2024

MARVEL STUDIOS DEBUTS FIRST TRAILER & POSTER FOR “DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE” DURING BIG GAME

 


Today during the Big Game, Marvel Studios released the first trailer for the highly anticipated “DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE.” The trailer, poster and trailer stills are all available now to share with your readers.

 

Shawn Levy directs “DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE” which stars Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, and Matthew Macfadyen.

 

Kevin Feige, Ryan Reynolds, Shawn Levy and Lauren Shuler Donner produce with Louis D’Esposito, Wendy Jacobson, Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, George Dewey, Simon Kinberg and Jonathon Komack Martin serving as executive producers. “DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE” is written by Ryan Reynolds & Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick & Zeb Wells & Shawn Levy.

 

Marvel Studios’ “DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE” opens in U.S. & Canadian movie theaters on July 26, and will be available in IMAX, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, 4DX, Cinemark XD and premium screens everywhere.


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

“THE MANDALORIAN & GROGU” JOURNEYS TO THE BIG SCREEN

 


The Mandalorian and Grogu are embarking on a new adventure—to movie theaters. Directed by Jon Favreau, and produced by Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy and Dave Filoni, this new chapter in the Mandalorian and Grogu’s journey will go into production in 2024.  

“I have loved telling stories set in the rich world that George Lucas created. The prospect of bringing the Mandalorian and his apprentice Grogu to the big screen is extremely exciting,” Favreau shared.  

Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, added, “Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have ushered into Star Wars two new and beloved characters, and this new story is a perfect fit for the big screen.” 

“The Mandalorian & Grogu” will lead Lucasfilm’s ongoing feature-development slate, which includes films helmed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, James Mangold and Dave Filoni, who is also currently developing “Ahsoka” Season 2, among those in the works.

This news was first announced on www.starwars.com.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

4K Digital Review of Avatar: The Way of Water Collector's Edition

 


Avatar: The Way of Water is set 15 years after the events of the first film. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) along with their kids find themselves leaving their home in the forest after the humans have returned to strip the planet of its natural resources. The family finds itself seeking shelter with the water Metkayina clan. 

All of this against the breathtaking backdrop of Pandora, where audiences are introduced to new Na’vi cultures and a range of exotic sea creatures that populate the majestic oceans. 

Nominated for numerous Academy Awards® including Best Picture, the James Cameron-directed film became the third highest-grossing box office film of all-time and set a new benchmark for visual effects. Produced by Cameron and his longtime partner Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. Joining the illustrious adult cast are talented newcomers Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Bailey Bass and Jack Champion.

Video:

The digital 4K UHD transfer is stunning and your TV screen or projection screen will leap to life in the world of Pandora. The colors just simple pop off the screen. The film looks its very best in 3D but the digital download is in 2D only. Hopefully there will be a Blu-Ray 3D version since 4K UHD has no 3D option and so far there are no streaming services that support 4K 3D. 

Audio:

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack takes full advantage of your speakers. The dialogue is crisp and clear. Environmental effects such as wind and rain sound like they are coming overhead, gun shots ricochet from every direction and explosions create debris that flies all around us. The soundtrack is glorious and deserves to be heard in surround sound.  

Bonus Features

NEW:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau – Join Jon Landau as he takes you behind the scenes of the making of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER and discover the groundbreaking techniques used to bring audiences back to Pandora.
  • Memories from AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER – Producer Jon Landau joins Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang in a conversation about their experiences and insights coming back to Pandora 13 years later in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.
  • Production Design Panel Hosted by Jon Landau – Uncover the inspiration behind the new designs of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER with the award-winning Production Design team in this conversation hosted by Jon Landau.
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes – Check out these scenes that didn't make the final cut.
  • User's Guide for Viewing AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER Deleted Scenes and Extended Cuts with Unfinished Shots
    • Date Night (Extended Cut)
    • Crashed Samson Tiltrotor (Extended Cut)
    • Goodbye Mo’at
    • Neytiri Rides an Ilu
    • Spider Mocks the Recoms
    • Neytiri Spearfishes
    • Learning Montage
    • Ardmore and Quaritch Discuss Jake (Extended Cut)
    • Ta’unui Village (Extended Cut)
    • The Tulkun Hunt (Extended Cut)
    • Scoresby and Garvin Rescued
    • Parents from Hell and Standoff (Extended Cut)

Scene Deconstruction – View these scenes in various production stages: final with picture-in-picture reference, template and performance capture.

  • Quaritch Wakes Up in His New Body
  • The Return to High Camp
  • High Camp Biolab
  • Quaritch and Ardmore Discuss Their Mission
  • Jake and Neytiri Argue
  • First Swim
  • Lo’ak Meets Payakan
  • Jake and Kiri Dock Talk
  • Death Rock
  • Spider Finds Quaritch Underwater and Saves Him
  • Spider Drags Quaritch to Land but Leaves Him

Production Materials

  • “One Meal a Day” – James Cameron discusses the on-set initiative to eat one vegan meal a day.
  • Editing – Learn, step by step, how the editing team transformed reference camera footage into the compelling narrative of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.
  • 3D Technology – Learn how the production team pushed 3D technology to new depths in this behind-the-scenes featurette.
  • Virtual Camera – Join Richard Baneham, Oscar®-winning visual effects supervisor, and the visual effects team as they discuss the virtual camera's role in the production process.
  • Bringing the RDA to Life – Join James Cameron, Jon Landau, David Vickery and the ILM team for a look at the visual effects created for the opening sequences of the film.
  • Tank Timelapse – Watch the building of the underwater performance capture tank in this timelapse video.
  • Wētā Reel – VFX breakdown of shots by Wētā Effects.
  • ILM Reel – VFX breakdown of shots by ILM.
  • CJ Jones Sign Language Guide – Learn the basics of the Metkayina sign language from creator CJ Jones.
  • JackCam – Join Jack Champion ("Spider") as he interviews cast and crew on the set of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.
  • Shaman Blessing – A Brazilian shaman blesses the production of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.
  • Cliff Curtis Blessings – Actor Cliff Curtis gives Maori blessings for the cast and crew of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.

Beyond the Big Screen

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Discover the story behind the artistry and imagination of Pandora – the World of AVATAR at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
  • Crew Movie – AVATAR – The Way of the Jimverse – Join producer Jon Landau on an animated adventure across the Jimverse to restore order and save the world of Pandora.
  • James Cameron and Jon Landau Hand and Footprint Ceremony – See James Cameron and Jon Landau honored with a hand and footprint ceremony in front of the world-famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA.
  • “Scene at the Academy” – Check out this Academy featurette for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, diving into a key moment from the film.

Archives: Script, Artwork, Marketing

  • Monday Night Football TV Spot – Watch the TV spot broadcast exclusively during ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

Archives: Script, Artwork, Marketing – Dive into the AVATAR Archives with these exclusive behind-the- scenes production assets.

ADDITIONAL BONUS:

Inside Pandora's Box – A series of featurettes on the challenges facing cast and crew as filmmakers devise new technologies to push the limits of cinema.

  • Building the World of Pandora – James Cameron and a team of talented artists combine years of research with their design skills to build the world of Pandora with new characters, creatures, indigenous clans, underwater environments and the take-no-prisoners hard-tech world of the RDA.
  • Capturing Pandora – James Cameron’s approach to performance capture has the cast performing in a volume rigged with infrared cameras to capture their movement, and head rig cameras to capture emotion on their faces with only the boundaries of imagination to limit them.
  • The Undersea World of Pandora – Co-production designer Dylan Cole and his team conceive of the marine creatures required for Avatar: The Way of Water while James Cameron and his stunt team devise extraordinary means to bring those creatures to life in a performance capture tank.
  • The Challenges of Pandora's Waters – James Cameron tackles the “non-trivial challenge” of performance capture above and below the water’s surface, utilizing a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions, and underwater vehicles to replicate creature movement.
  • Pandora’s Returning Characters – James Cameron reunites with his returning cast – Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Together they discuss the amazing evolution of their characters in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Pandora’s Next Generation – Meet the talented young newcomers who have been cast as the next generation of Na’vi and follow them through the adventure of making Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Spider's Web – James Cameron introduced the human character of Spider into the fabric of Pandora – thus creating a host of technological challenges on set…and an incredible journey for the young actor, Jack Champion.
  • Becoming Na’vi – The Avatar cast is immersed in the culture of the indigenous Na’vi, living off the land in the Hawaiian rainforest and training in a multitude of disciplines in preparation for their roles.
  • The Reef People of Pandora – In true James Cameron-style, the Metkayina reef clan has been developed with great attention to detail, bearing unique evolutionary traits and a culture – with new dwellings, new clothes and different way of life – all a result of living off the ocean.
  • Bringing Pandora to Life – Once James Cameron completes his virtual production process, every sequence is turned over to Wētā FX to bring Pandora to life – with unprecedented advancements in facial performance, environments and making CG water look real.
  • The RDA Returns to Pandora – Co-production designer Ben Procter and his team present an armada of new vehicles and human technologies that the RDA brings to Pandora – in concept design and with practical builds.
  • The New Characters of Pandora – Meet the important new characters of the Avatar saga played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell and Jemaine Clement.
  • The Sounds of Pandora – Hear how James Cameron worked with composer Simon Franglen to create the distinctive music of The Way of Water while building on James Horner’s brilliant score for Avatar, and learn how Chris Boyes created the immersive sounds of Pandora.
  • New Zealand – Pandora’s Home – The production of the Avatar sequels is so thoroughly ensconced in New Zealand that James Cameron considers The Way of Water a “New Zealand film.” Hear reflections from the cast and crew, including the remarkable New Zealand crew, on making the film.

More from Pandora's Box – Additional featurettes that highlight special teams within the production

  • Casting – Discover the screen tests that won the talented young cast their roles in Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • Stunts – The Avatar stunt team isn’t just creating breathtaking action, they’re driving the story. From racing underwater on ilus, flying the skies on ikrans, to maneuvering RDA speed boats, the stunt team leaves you breathless and wanting more.
  • The Lab – Explore the Lightstorm Lab, the backbone of virtual production for the Avatar films. Comprised of specialized teams, the Lab builds & supports every aspect of the production – environments, motion edit, Kabuki, sequence, post-viz and software development.
  • The Troupe – Avatar’s Troupe is the Swiss Army Knife of acting, while playing dozens of roles on set, in the performance capture volume and on live-action sets, they bring life to Na’vi clans and RDA Recoms. They also play Na’vi-scale puppets on the live-action sets.

Marketing Materials & Music Video – Marketing materials used to build audience awareness of the film

  • Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) Music Video – Multi Grammy-winning, music superstar, The Weeknd, performs his emotionally packed end title song in the official music video for the smash hit “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength).”
  • Theatrical Trailers 1 & 2 – Avatar: The Way of Water used two theatrical trailers to engage the audience. The first was a teaser trailer released 7 months before the film. The second was a standard trailer that premiered 5 weeks before the film’s release.
Conclusion:

Avatar: The Way of Water is a feast for the senses. The action, adventure and special effects make this a film where James Cameron is at his very best. The video and audio quality are flawless. The wealth of bonus features is exceptional here. A must have for your library. Avatar: The Way of Water is available for digital download and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray now.

*The digital code was offered for review by Walt Disney Home Entertainment and the review is strictly my opinion.*

4K Digital Review of Avatar: Collector's Edition

 


When Avatar came out in theaters in 2009, it was an evolutionary leap forward in motion-capture technology, 3D presentation and seamlessly blending live action and CGI. In this Collector's Edition, you get three versions of the film, the theatrical cut, the special edition cut and the collector's extended cut. For this review I will only be taking a look at the collector's extended version.

Set in the distant future, humans have set out to explore space to find resources for Earth. Strip-mining the planet Pandora, the native people called the Na'vi do not take kindly to what is happening to their planet. This is where Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) enters. He is a disabled Marine who had a twin brother who was suppose to go Pandora on a scientific mission in a Na'vi avatar designed just for him. Since Jake has the same DNA as his now deceased brother, he can link to the avatar and joins as security for Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver). Jake catches the eye of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) who wants Jake to spy on the Na'vi to learn their weaknesses. But Jack falls in love with the way of life of the Na'vi and with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), daughter of the leader of the Omaticaya clan.    


Video:

The 4K upscale and remastering is simply breathtaking. Each frame is a work of art. The details in such things as fabrics and facial textures will make you think they originally filmed this in 4K (it was originally shot in 2K). Colors are bright and bold.  

Audio:

The Dolby Atmos audio mix is wonderful. Dialogue is crisp and clear here. The surround channels are very active as the sounds move around the room, immersing you into the world of Pandora.


Bonus Features:

NEW:

  • Behind-The-Scenes Presentation Hosted by Jon Landau – Join Jon Landau as he unlocks the cinematic secrets behind the making of AVATAR.
  • Colonel Miles Quaritch RDA Promos – Get an inside look into the RDA with these in-universe promos hosted by Colonel Miles Quaritch.
  • New Still Gallery – Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña Special Shoot

ADDITIONAL BONUS:

  • English Family Audio Track Theatrical and Special Edition Release – 5.1 Dolby Digital

Direct Access to New/Additional Scenes – Special Edition

  • Herd – As they fly over Pandora in Trudy’s gunship, Jake, Grace and Norm get a closer look at some of Pandora’s creatures 
  • The Schoolhouse – Entering an abandoned schoolhouse in the jungle with Grace and Norm to retrieve supplies, Jake makes a grim discovery.
  • Purple Moss – Jake follows Neytiri after his rescue, and delights in the bioluminescent moss that glows beneath his feet with every step.
  • I Don’t Even Know Your Name – Newly tasked with teaching Jake the Na'vi ways, Neytiri brings him to dinner with the entire clan.
  • What Does Hold Them Up? – The avatar team lands at their new base camp in the Hallelujah Mountains, and Jake and Norm marvel at the floating mountains.
  • Extended Montage – Jake learns the ways of the Pandoran forest under Neytiri’s tutelage, and the gulf between his two worlds grows ever wider.
  • Neytiri’s Flyby – As Tsu'tey, Jake and two other young hunters travel across suspended vines to dizzying heights, Neytiri sails past on her banshee.
  • Sturmbeest Hunt – Omaticayan hunters on direhorses attack a massive herd of sturmbeests, while Jake takes aim from atop his banshee.
  • Extended Love Scene – Jake and Neytiri confess their feelings for one another and bond together for life under the Tree of Voices in this extended scene.
  • Drums of War – The morning after the military’s attack on the Tree of Voices, Parker and Quaritch get some bad news from the reconnaissance team.
  • Tsu’tey’s Fall – In the RDA assault, Tsu'tey fights fiercely after boarding the Valkyrie shuttle. But the soldiers counter with a hail of bullets.
  • Sturmbeest Attack – Sturmbeests charge to the rescue when Neytiri is cornered by RDA soldiers in AMP suits.
  • Extended Thanator Fight – Neytiri and her fearsome thanator battle Colonel Quaritch in his AMP suit in this extended sequence.
  • The Last Shadow – When Neytiri and Jake find Tsu'tey mortally wounded, he passes leadership of the Omaticaya to Jake, with one last request of him.

Direct Access to New/Additional Scenes – Collector’s Extended Cut

  • Earth – Jake navigates a bleak, dystopian Earth before tragic news offers an escape.
  • Herd – As they fly over Pandora in Trudy’s gunship, Jake, Grace and Norm get a closer look at some of Pandora’s creatures 
  • The Schoolhouse – Entering an abandoned schoolhouse in the jungle with Grace and Norm to retrieve supplies, Jake makes a grim discovery.
  • Purple Moss – Jake follows Neytiri after his rescue, and delights in the bioluminescent moss that glows beneath his feet with every step.
  • I Don’t Even Know Your Name – Newly tasked with teaching Jake the Na'vi ways, Neytiri brings him to dinner with the entire clan.
  • Sylwanin – Norm spars with Jake, who proceeds to one-up him. But Jake’s mention of Neytiri dredges up painful memories for Grace.
  • What Does Hold Them Up? – The avatar team lands at their new base camp in the Hallelujah Mountains, and Jake and Norm marvel at the floating mountains.
  • Alternate Montage with Grace’s Story – As Jake learns the Na'vi ways, the gulf between his two worlds grows wider, and Grace shares the tragic tale of Neytiri’s sister.
  • Neytiri’s Flyby – As Tsu'tey, Jake and two other young hunters travel across suspended vines to dizzying heights, Neytiri sails past on her banshee.
  • Sturmbeest Hunt – Omaticayan hunters on direhorses attack a massive herd of sturmbeests, while Jake takes aim from atop his banshee.
  • Extended Love Scene – Jake and Neytiri confess their feelings for one another and bond together for life under the Tree of Voices in this extended scene.
  • Drums of War – The morning after the military’s attack on the Tree of Voices, Parker and Quaritch get some bad news from the reconnaissance team.
  • They Bulldozed a Sacred Site – Grace and Jake suspect that the RDA forces are plotting to provoke a Na'vi attack, as Trudy brings alarming news.
  • Tsu’tey’s Fall – In the RDA assault, Tsu'tey fights fiercely after boarding the Valkyrie shuttle. But the soldiers counter with a hail of bullets.
  • Strumbeest Attack – Sturmbeests charge to the rescue when Neytiri is cornered by RDA soldiers in AMP suits.
  • Extended Thanator Fight – Neytiri and her fearsome thanator battle Colonel Quaritch in his AMP suit in this extended sequence.
  • The Last Shadow – When Neytiri and Jake find Tsu'tey mortally wounded, he passes leadership of the Omaticaya to Jake, with one last request of him.

    Memories from Avatar – Producer Jon Landau leads a spirited conversation with cast members, Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, recalling warm memories from production and reflecting on the extraordinary success of Avatar.

    Avatar: A Look Back – In this retrospective, cast and filmmakers reflect on their extraordinary journey making Avatar, the groundbreaking technologies they used to create an unparalleled cinematic experience, and the profound effect the film had on audiences worldwide.

    Capturing Avatar – Journey with James Cameron and crew in this feature-length documentary, as they embark on a film the likes of which the world had never seen.

    • Part One – After years of testing, research and design, James Cameron’s tackled Avatar, "the most complex film" in his storied career.
    • Part Two – Actors and technology are pushed to the limit as James Cameron pushes the boundaries of a groundbreaking, new filmmaking paradigm.
    • Part Three – James Cameron used ground-breaking technology to merge the virtual and live-action elements of his film.
    • Part Four – The edit room became ground zero as music, sound and visual effects were finalized in order to make the film’s release date.
    • Featurettes – Take a closer look at the creation of Pandora and the making of Avatar with featurettes on key aspects of production design, performance capture, and the post-production process.

      • Sculpting Avatar – Explore how clay maquettes were sculpted to help bring Avatar’s characters and creatures to life.
      • Creating the Banshee – Discover all that went into designing the Banshees, high-flying predators of the Pandoran sky.
      • Creating the Thanator – James Cameron and team reveal how the most terrifying beast in the Pandoran rain forest was brought to the screen.
      • The AMP Suit – Explore the design of the AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) and discover why it was the perfect weapon for Colonel Quaritch.
      • Flying Vehicles – Explore the design of the RDA’s gunships and how they helped ground the story in a realistic world audiences could connect to.
      • Na’vi Costumes – Discover the costumes of Avatar and why it was essential to create real-world costumes for characters that were seen only in a virtual world.
      • Speaking Na’vi – Delve into the complex Na'vi language created for Avatar, and the challenging task for the cast who had to speak it.
      • Pandora Flora – Explore the science behind the Pandoran rainforest, including the exotic plants and bioluminescence.
      • Stunts – James Cameron and Avatar’s stunt coordinators discuss how they learned to move like a Na’vi, ride a Leonopteryx, and more.
      • Performance Capture – Discover how the actors' actions, emotions and spirit were captured in performance and transferred to a virtual character.
      • Virtual Camera – Discover the virtual camera system that allowed James Cameron to apply camera angles, lighting and movement to his scenes long after the performance capture phase was completed.
      • The 3D Fusion Camera – Explore the newly designed 3D Fusion camera system which enabled the filmmakers to create an immersive stereographic experience.
      • The Simul-Cam – See how the newly created Simul-Cam seamlessly integrated the virtual world with the live action camera, allowing Jake’s avatar to appear in a scene with real-world actors.
      • Editing Avatar – James Cameron and the film’s editors reveal the unique challenges they faced editing Avatar, and the benefits of "learning as you go”.
      • Scoring Avatar – Composer James Horner and James Cameron discuss how Avatar’s score was grounded in the familiar while evoking a breathtaking new world.
      • Sound Design – Explore the sounds of Pandora, including the Banshee, Direhorse and Thanator, as well as the near-future engineering sounds of the Dragon, Scorpion and more.
      • The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand – On the final day of production, the New Zealand stuntmen honored James Cameron with a traditional Haka dance.

        Production Materials

        • The 2006 Art Reel – Explore a video montage of striking artwork that inspired the movie’s look and feel, accompanied by temp dialogue and score.
        • Brother Termite Test – Watch footage created by James Cameron’s production company for a science-fiction movie that was ultimately never produced.
        • THE ILM Prototype with Motion Capture Reference – View a VFX test of the scene in which Jake and Neytiri meet, with performance capture reference.
        • The ILM Prototype without Motion Capture Reference – View a VFX test of the scene in which Jake and Neytiri meet, without performance capture reference.
        • Screen Test - Sam Worthington (Raw Footage) – This raw screen-test footage shows Sam Worthington nailing the part of Jake Sully in AVATAR.
        • Screen Test - Zoe Saldaña (Raw Footage) – Zoe Saldaña tackles three scenes: Neytiri meeting Jake, their first visit to the Tree of Voices, and her learning of his deceit.
        • Zoe's Life Cast (Raw Footage) – Zoe Saldaña undergoes the all-encompassing process of creating the life cast that will transform her into Neytiri.
        • James Cameron Speech: Beginning of Live Action Filming (Raw Footage) – Director James Cameron inspires and gives thanks to the crew on the first day of live-action filming in New Zealand.
        • ILM VFX Progression – Break down the layers of effects in a series of shots that showcase AVATAR’s battles, vehicles and explosions.
        • Framestore VFX Progression – This reel opens a window into the art of worldbuilding through visual effects, highlighting Jake’s arrival on Pandora and more.
        • [HY·DRAU"LX] VFX Progression – Examine the layers of effects in shots such as the interior of Trudy’s gunner, the shuttle bringing Jake to Pandora, and more.
        • Hybride VFX Progression – Experience how the layering of effects in various shots from AVATAR helps bring these scenes to life on screen.
        • Prime Focus VFX Progression – See the effects layered into the base’s control room where Jake tells the Colonel and Selfridge about Hometree, and more.
        • Look Effects, Inc. VFX Progression – Unpeel the effects in various shots from the base and mountain camps.
        • Crew Film: The Volume – AVATAR cast and crew members appear in a spoof about a mo- cap actor.

          A Message from Pandora – See how James Cameron’s lifelong quest to protect the environment led him to fight for the Amazon and its indigenous peoples

          Deleted Scenes – Check out scenes that didn't make the final cut.

          • User's Guide for Viewing AVATAR Scenes with Unfinished Shots – A tutorial on the different types of unfinished shots seen throughout the deleted material.
            • Stingbat Attack 
            • Pandora Rules
            • Jake Meets Norm (First Cut)
            • Jake Sees Decanted Avatars
            • Norm Is a Living God
            • Breakfast with the Scientists 
            • You're in My World Now 
            • Grandma's Teylu
            • Pied Piper
            • Going to the Mountains
            • Interspecies Booty Call
            • Norm's Attitude Improves 
            • Learning Montage Section Early Cut
            • We're Buying Time 
            • Hunt Festival 
            • Driving Range 
            • The Dreamhunt 
            • The Challenge
            • The Drums of War (Full Version)
            • Escape
            • The Eye of Eywa
            • You're a Long Way from Earth
            • Battle Camp 
            • Kick Some Blue Ass
            • Wainfleet Kills Norm 
            • Neytiri Kills Wainfleet (Alt Wainfleet Death)
            • The Avatars Attack
            • New Life

              Scene Deconstruction – View these scenes in various production stages: final with picture-in- picture reference, template and performance capture.

              • Welcome to Your New Body
              • First Run
              • First Sortie
              • Night on Pandora
              • Shahaylu
              • Seyzey
              • You're Mine
              • First Flight 
              • Toruk Macto 
              • You Are Omaticaya Now
              • I Am One of You
              • I Trusted You
              • The Aftermath 
              • I See You 
              • Fly with Me
              • You Chose Me for Something
              • Eywa Has Heard You
              • Archives: Script, Artwork, Marketing

                • Theatrical Trailer 
                • Teaser Trailer 
                • AVATAR: The Original Scriptment 
                • AVATAR: Screenplay Written by James Cameron 
                • The Art of AVATAR
                  • The World of Pandora 
                  • The Creatures 
                  • Pandora Flora 
                  • Pandora Bioluminescence 
                  • The Na'vi 
                  • The Avatars 
                  • Maquettes 
                  • Na'vi Weapons 
                  • Na'vi Props 
                  • Na'vi Musical Instruments 
                  • RDA Designs 
                  • Flying Vehicles 
                    • AMP Suit 
                    • Human Weapons 
                    • Land Vehicles 
                  • AVATAR: The Songs 
                  • Pandorapedia
                  • Still Galleries

                    • Pandora - The World of AVATAR – Go behind the scenes with James Cameron and Disney's Imagineers to discover what it took to bring the breathtaking world of AVATAR to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

                    Raw Footage Production Elements

                    • Screen Test - Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña/Raw Footage – In their dual test, the chemistry between Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña lights up the screen.
                    • Screen Test - Stephen Lang/Raw Footage – Stephen Lang fully inhabits the role of Colonel Miles Quaritch in this series of scenes.
                    • Screen Test - Giovanni Ribisi/Raw Footage – Watch Parker Selfridge, Administrator of the RDA, come to life in Giovanni Ribisi’s performance.
                    • Screen Test - Joel David Moore/Raw Footage – Joel David Moore pivots from one scene to another, fully invested in the character of Norm Spellman.
                    • Screen Test - CCH Pounder/Raw Footage – CCH Pounder controls the room with her regal, imposing presence as Mo'at.
                    • Screen Test - Laz Alonso/Raw Footage – As the fierce warrior Tsu'tey, Laz Alonso commands attention in this riveting performance.
                    • Speaking Na'vi (Rehearsal/Raw Footage) – The AVATAR actors make the Na'vi language their own in a series of clips that shows them learning how to speak it
                    • Wētā Workshop: Walk & Talk Presentation/Raw Footage – Go behind the scenes on a guided tour with Richard Taylor, who breaks down the workings of a series of props.
                    • Crew Short: The Night Before AVATAR – In this animated short, producer Jon Landau has an unexpected adventure in the lead-up to AVATAR’s opening.

                      Pandora Discovered – Sigourney Weaver narrates this first look at the world of Pandora.

Conclusion:

Having three versions of this film in 4K is fantastic along with near perfect video and audio. A wealth of bonus material that will take you through the film process and more. A welcome addition to your library.

Avatar: Collector's Edition is available on digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

*The film was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the purpose of review and the review is strictly my opinion*

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

4K Digital Review: The Abyss

 


A nuclear submarine has crashed in a deep trench on the ocean floor after an encounter with an unidentified object. A team of Marines are sent to an underwater research station to mount a savage operation.

Captain Bud Brigman (Ed Harris) isn't thrilled to have a bunch of Marines onboard his station and even less thrilled when the company sends his ex-wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to oversee the operation. They find the submarine and all is well until Lindsey sees the unidentified object. Once everyone is convinced that it indeed extraterrestrial and not Russian, tension rises as both sides want to handle the situation differently. 

The Abyss is a pure adventure of exploring the deep ocean and the fear and then joy of meeting extraterrestrial life for the first time. The film is one of my favorites and is just as thrilling today as it was when it first came out in the 1980s.


Video:

The 4K upgrade is fantastic here. Fine details such as facial shots are crisp and clean. The grain is definitely reduced and at times things look too smooth. But for a film that is 34 years old, the transfer looks great. 


Audio:

The Dolby Atmos audio mix is also fantastic here. The dialogue is front and center and crystal clear. The surround channels create the claustrophobic feel of being deep underwater. The sounds of the metal underwater station straining against the pressure of the water to the sounds of the roar of the water rushing in and people being overwhelmed by it with envelope you. 

BONUS FEATURES (NEW):

  • Deep Dive: A Conversation with James Cameron – An exclusive new sit-down with James Cameron as he revisits the origin of the project and addresses some of the myths behind the production.
  • The Legacy of The Abyss – Discover the lasting legacy of The Abyss with stories from James Cameron and the crew about how and why the film continues to have an impact on filmmaking today.

ADDITIONAL BONUS:

  • Under Pressure: Making The Abyss – The original documentary about the infamous production of The Abyss, with candid commentary by the actors and crew.
  • Archives
    • Deepcore Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the Deepcore set being created.
    • Videomatics Montage – Watch a montage of behind-the-scenes production videomatics.
    • Montana Bridge Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the Montana bridge flooding.
    • Engine Room Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the engine room flooding.
    • Surface Shoot Montage – Watch a behind-the-scenes montage of the surface shoot.
    • Crane Crash Shoot – Check out behind-the-scenes footage of the crane crashing sequence.
    • Visual Effects Reel – Watch a reel of visual effects progressions to see how they were developed for the film.
    • Miniature Rear-Projection – Watch behind-the-scenes footage of how production used rear-projection techniques on miniatures.
    • Motion Control Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the motion control technology being used.
    • Teaser Trailer
    • Main Trailer
    • Reviews Trailer
    • Still Gallery – Presented here are extras as they appeared in the “Imaging Station" on the Special Edition DVD release of The Abyss, along with the trailers. Since their original presentation has been preserved, resolution and clarity will vary from element to element.
Conclusion:

The Abyss is one of my favorite adventure films and it is finally available in a beautiful 4K release. The video and audio are fantastic. The wealth of bonus material is nearly overwhelming. A solid addition to your library.

The Abyss is available on digital and will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 12, 2024.

*The movie was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of review and the review is strictly my own opinion*