Blu-ray Alert: April 28-May 4

The movie-only Blu-ray of Avatar goes on sale Wednesday, with the promise of a special edition with “immersive bonus materials” in November and a 3D version early next year.

Its release last week in the US broke Blu-ray records by selling 1.5 million copies on its first day, and in its first four days fans bought 6.7 million Blu-rays and DVDs.

Unusually, the Blu-ray doesn’t feature even a menu because producer Jon Landau says the filmmakers wanted to maximise disc space to create “the best presentation of any film in the history of the Blu-ray and DVD formats”.

Ironically, however, that doesn’t extend to preserving the movie’s theatrical ratio – director James Cameron has opted to frame the triple-Oscar winner at 1.78:1 rather than 2.35:1, as was done for its IMAX presentation.

In one of the first US reviews, The Digital Bits called the transfer “very, very, VERY good” but not perfect and concluded there wasn’t enough on the release to justify paying full retail.

Although bereft of extras, each Blu-ray and DVD has a unique code for registering at www.avatarmovie.com, where fans can interact with an “immersive trailer” and turn themselves into a Na’vi avatar.

There’s also Pandorama, where visitors with webcams can insert themselves into different locations from the movie.

Also new to Blu this week are Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, the supernatural sensation, Paranormal Activity, the indie comedy, Away We Go, the direct-to-Blu-ray Franklyn, Sleepwalking and Three Kingdoms, One Night Only: Barbra Streisand and Celine: Through the Eyes of the World.

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2 Responses to “Blu-ray Alert: April 28-May 4”

  1. In the US this is released as a two disk set of DVD and Blu-ray. Wonder if we will be so lucky here or will we be price gouged with a one disk version?? US$19.99 at Amazon for two disk set..

  2. Quite right, I’m afraid, Paul. The US Avatar Blu-ray comes with a digital copy on DVD whereas ours will be as bare-bones as the format can get.

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