The Avatar Extended Collectors Edition (available on Blu-Ray and DVD), which hit stores November 16, includes three discs and eight hours of new material. The pack includes the original film, a special edition re-release, and a new collector’s extended cut with sixteen additional minutes, as well as a documentary called “Capturing Avatar.” (And an Easter egg reveals hidden 3D footage, too.) Avatar fans are especially excited about the 45 minutes of deleted scenes. “The footage of life on Earth adds a whole new layer to the film, it gives a sense of desolation, of overpopulation and suffocation. A sense of consequence, a reason for the plunder of Pandora, and enhances the feeling of freedom that comes later for the character of Jake,” writes Screen Rant. “Unlike most deleted scenes, the footage here actually adds more texture to the characters and narrative,” writes DVD Verdict. “In this footage, executive Parker shares an arc that makes him surprisingly more three dimensional and sympathetic. Not only that, the remaining Avatar enabled scientists have their moment in an uprising, Norm and Trudy spark a romance, and Jake is put through far more stringent anthropological ringers. These scenes were obviously cut for pacing and budget early on, you'll have to view them in all their Playstation One computer animated quality, but the content will keep you glued to your seat for the bulk of their runtime.”
“The extended cut is simply a better film,” declares Hollywood Chicago. “Most notably because of the opening chapter, six minutes on Earth, before Jake (Sam Worthington) is sent to Pandora and scenes that give weight and melancholy to his character that was missing from the theatrical version. A scene where Jake pummels a guy in a bar proves that he was already a guy not only willing to fight for good but who didn’t see his handicap as something to stop him from doing so. And the ‘Blade Runner’-esque view of Earth perfectly balances the natural world of Pandora. I’ll never understand why Cameron cut it.”
Why So Blu? agrees that the opening footage is reminiscent of Blade Runner. “The people wear masks over their faces, it’s overcrowded, and the buildings tower over everyone. Industry is very much alive on this Earth. Other scenes include a Sturmbeest (buffalo) hunt. Yes, this scene really stands out, but as with the rest of the film, it is flawless in its execution. Very exhilarating. There is a scene extension in which Grace (Sigourney Weaver) tells Sam Jake that Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldana) sister was killed by humans. The rest of the footage is beautifully interwoven into the film that you probably won’t know what to look for.” And R-Views writes, “The deleted scenes offer even further plot extensions that develop the more minor characters to a very satisfying degree.
Coming out of this Blu-ray is quite a lot of respect to the Avatar creation. James Cameron has done it again, creating the ultimate home theater experience.”
What do you think - is the extended cut simply a better film than the original?