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.


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. 


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


  • 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.


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.

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.*

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