Given the fact that "modern" 3-D has really only become a full-fledged phenomenon since the release of Avatar, I was surprised that my first reaction to the new Blu-ray was that it felt weirder to watch the film in a traditional 2-D format than when wearing a pair of polarized glasses. Because James Cameron's game-changer really did redefine the possibilities for high-quality theatrical exhibition overnight, and I admit I still find it difficult to think about the film in less than three dimensions. And yet, the fact that its story is resolutely two-dimensional makes that particular transition significantly easier, turning a blockbuster of historic proportions into something slightly more manageable as it arrives on home video.

Newly released in a bare-bones set that offers spectacular presentation of Cameron and company's groundbreaking technical virtuosity but no details how those selfsame visuals were achieved, the Avatar Blu-ray feels mostly like a chance to reconnect with, or even reconsider the film itself while whetting appetites for the eventual bells-and-whistles multi-disc release that is due later this year.
categories Features, Cinematical