Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) 4K Review

4 Min Read

I cannot overstate the fact that Cameron and his crew have gone beyond movie-making and have, with Avatar, created a living breathing universe.

In 1982 a low-budget film called Piranha 2: The Spawning was pretty much ignored by moviegoers and critics alike. 

(Unless you're like myself, where low-brow is often applauded as high art) 

However, less than 2 years later, another small film named The Terminator would catapult the same Director into cinema history.

Of course, that Director is now a household name. James Cameron was and continues to be a man with a mission: To build worlds and movie-going experiences. 

Fast forward more than 40 years later and we are treated to the Cinematic experience that is The Avatar franchise.

 James Cameron's groundbreaking science fiction epic "Avatar" took the world by storm when it first hit theaters in 2009. Now, more than a decade later, "Avatar: The Way of Water" makes a triumphant return with its 4K Blu-ray release. This visually stunning masterpiece takes full advantage of the format's capabilities, immersing viewers in the vibrant and mesmerizing world of Pandora like never before. Packed with bonus features, this release offers fans a comprehensive exploration of the film's creation and behind-the-scenes magic.

Avatar: The Way of Water reaches new heights and explores undiscovered depths as James Cameron returns to the world of Pandora in this emotionally packed action adventure. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water launches the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. 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...

Presented in 4K UHD from Disney/Buena Vista and 20th Century Studios, with HEVC 2160p Transfer in 1.85:1. This is the only way to see this film, at home.

The 4K transfer of "Avatar: The Way of Water" is a true spectacle to behold. The film's already awe-inspiring visuals receive a noticeable boost in detail, color reproduction, and overall clarity. The lush jungles, bioluminescent creatures, and breathtaking landscapes of Pandora truly come alive in a way that only 4K can deliver. Every frame is a work of art, showcasing the meticulous attention to detail that went into creating this otherworldly environment.

The HDR (High Dynamic Range) implementation adds depth and richness to the already vibrant color palette, making the film even more visually immersive. The contrast levels are exceptional, with deep blacks and radiant highlights that heighten the sense of realism. Whether it's the intricate facial expressions of the Na'vi or the rich blue hues of the Pandora ecosystem, the 4K Blu-ray transfer brings out the film's visual splendor in its full glory.

"Avatar: The Way of Water" boasts a powerful audio experience as well, that complements its stunning visuals. The Dolby Atmos track takes full advantage of the home theater setup, enveloping viewers in a three-dimensional soundscape. From the rustling leaves of the jungle to the roaring waterfalls, to massive battle scenes, the audio mix enhances the sense of being transported to the world of Pandora. The attention to detail in sound design is commendable, making every environmental element and creature come to life with incredible realism.

This 4K Blu-ray release of "Avatar: The Way of Water" is a treasure trove for fans and cinephiles alike. The included special features provide a comprehensive look into the film's creation, offering a deeper understanding of the incredible effort that went into bringing this cinematic marvel to life.

I cannot overstate the fact that Cameron and his crew have gone beyond movie-making and have, with Avatar, created a living, breathing universe. Cameron himself sets out to make a Sci-Fi Epic in the vein of The Lord of the Rings, and he has achieved that, and more.

The Special Features on this release present the distillation of years of hard work and dedication and they are simply not to be missed. 

Oftentimes I will say which feature I enjoyed the most but here, you owe it to yourself to watch them all. A nice touch is the ability to select which one you want to watch first, or simply play through them all (a 2.5-hour excursion on its own)

To paraphrase Sam Worthington's Character, Jake Sully: This Film is our Fortress!

Grade: A+

  • Inside Pandora's Box offers a compendium of often quite detailed featurettes:
    • Building the World of Pandora (HD; 9:33) looks at the rendering processes.
    • Capturing Pandora (HD; 10:47) addresses motion capture.
    • The Undersea World of Pandora (HD; 11:30) focuses on production design elements.
    • The Challenges of Pandora's Waters (HD; 11:42) centers on the challenges of all the water sequences presented to the production.
    • Pandora's Returning Characters (HD; 9:00) revisits the characters already introduced in the first film.
    • Pandora's Next Generation (HD; 10:47) does a similar introductory service for some of the newer folks.
    • Spider's Web (HD; 10:23) focuses on the character of Spider.
    • Becoming Na'vi (HD; 10:51) looks at some of the training and/or mentoring done to establish "tribal" identities.
    • The Reef People of Pandora (HD; 11:47) profiles one of the tribal communities in the film.
    • Bringing Pandora to Life (HD; 14:40) focuses on visual effects.
    • The RDA Returns to Pandora (HD; 13:34) looks at the bad guys.
    • The New Characters of Pandora (HD; 9:38) is another look at some of the new characters.
    • The Sounds of Pandora (HD; 13:32) offers an overview of the score and starts with a sweet remembrance of the late, great James Horner.
    • New Zealand - Pandora's Home (HD; 4:24) offers some scenery only slightly less lustrous than Pandora's, though the focus is on the New Zealand crew.
    • Note: There is a Play All option for all of the above content.
  • More From Pandora's Box
    • Casting (HD; 10:01) features screen tests.
    • Stunts (HD; 5:42) has some fun behind-the-scenes footage of how stunts were created.
    • The Lab (HD; 6:43) is the nickname for the various virtual production departments.
    • The Troupe (HD; 5:38) offers a look at the ensemble.
    • Note: There is a Play All option for all of the above content.
  • Marketing Materials and Music Video
    • Nothing is Lost (You Give Me Strength) Music Video (HD; 4:42)
    • Theatrical Trailer 1 (HD; 1:39)
    • Theatrical Trailer 2 (HD; 2:29)

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 192 minutes
Distributed By: 20th Century Studios

Purchase Avatar: The Way of Water from the iTunes store.
Watch on Apple TV

For more information about Avatar: The Way of Water visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Leonard Buccellato please click here.

Avatar: The Way of Water images are courtesy of 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Leonard   Buccellato

Leonard's lifelong passion for movies began at a young age with his fascination for the horror classic Blacula. This love of movies has inspired him to explore his creative interests, resulting in his writing of short stories and co-producing a web series. Currently, he is developing a horror novel, showcasing his love of storytelling. His diverse interests, including his enjoyment of Dungeons and Dragons, make him a multifaceted individual committed to exploring new ideas and experiences through movies and literature.

Read More Avatar: The Way of Water Reviews

Movie / Film Review
Cameron was right to wait so long to release this second Avatar film, until the technology had time to advance enough to properly portray his vision.
Full Review | Grade: B


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