Avatar: The Way of Water – Mr. Daps’ Home Entertainment Review

Avatar: The Way of Water finds Jake Sully and Ney’tiri settled with a family and living life on Pandora. However, when a threat from the sky returns to Pandora, Jake leads his family to a different part of the planet to avoid it and also keep his people safe. However, things are never as simple as they seem. In Avatar: The Way of Water, Jake and his family learn about what it is to be a family, a community, and also the way of water.

Quality

It is absolutely no surprise that Avatar: The Way of Water is a stunning film to watch and that it has equally impressive audio design. This is accompanied by a beautiful score by Simon Franglen. Overall, this makes for a colorful and beautiful movie-watching experience that continues to raise the bar on movie-making as James Cameron has done over and over again throughout his career.

Extras

Avatar: The Way of Water has an impressive collection of bonus features included with it. James Cameron and his team put just as much love and dedication into the extras as he did into making the original film. Because of this, the level of depth the extras add to the film really is incredible. I found myself completely drawn into the bonus features and really enjoyed watching them hour by hour. Where James Cameron sets the pace for the future of movie making, I also think he also shows how extras should be done as well! This is what makes purchasing this title either digitally or on disc completely worthwhile.

Bonus Features*
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.

*Bonus features vary by product and retailer

Final Thoughts

I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Avatar: The Way of Water. I think this movie broke the trend of sequels not being as good as the original. It didn’t just break this trend, however, it also reversed it. I definitely enjoyed Avatar: The Way of Water more than I enjoyed Avatar. This is a movie with lots of beautiful moments both visually and also from a storytelling perspective. It is masterfully crafted and once it finished I found myself immediately heading to the internet to try to find out more information about the next movie from James Cameron that continues the story he is telling about the residents of Pandora. It also made me really want to return to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bonus features as well and will return to watch them again. I also really enjoyed the soundtrack. I will admit that I was a bit nervous about it after the death of James Horner, who wrote the original score to Avatar. However, the music was quite lovely.

My only complaint about Avatar: The Way of Water is the length. While I was totally engaged throughout the film, I definitely have a hard time sitting still for three hours! This is definitely a film that is beautiful on the big screen but I’m very thankful to be able to watch it in my own entertainment room and be able to hit pause and stretch my legs.

Hat’s off to this movie and the home entertainment release with it. I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too!

Daps Magic received a sample product or experience for this review in exchange for an honest review. The views of the reviewer are wholly their own. Read full disclosure policy at dapsmagic.com/disclosurepolicy.

Mr. DAPs Hat Rating Scale

  • No Hat – Didn’t meet expectations
  • Hat Nod – It was ok
  • Hat Tip – It was good
  • Hat’s Off – Loved it!

Comments

One response to “Avatar: The Way of Water – Mr. Daps’ Home Entertainment Review”

  1. Plot: Jake & Ney’tiri face a new sky threat on Pandora and discover deeper family values .

    Quality: Visually stunning with top-notch audio; Simon Franglen’s score is a treat .

    Extras: Rich bonus content, including deep dives into Pandora and a track by The Weeknd .

    Final Thoughts: Outshines the original; long but worth every minute. A cinematic gem . Ready to revisit Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! .

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