Avatar: 3D Edition

James Cameron's stereoscopic game-changer is finally available to buy on 3D Blu-ray

Back in 2010, Avatar was the hottest film around and home cinema enthusiasts couldn't wait to get their hands on a copy of the film in its native 3D.

But - thanks in part to an exclusivity deal with Panasonic - it's taken more than two years for the stereoscopic version to finally hit shop shelves. Was it really worth the wait? There's only one way to find out. So let's head back to Pandora one last time...

Picture: While the past few years have seen no shortage of excellent 3D encodes on Blu-ray, Avatar's MVC 1.78:1 1080p transfer still blows them all out of the water when it comes to volumetrics, stability, clarity, detailing and colour saturation in a stereoscopic presentation.

Whatever complaints you might have about James Cameron's writing (we certainly have a few), there's no doubt that he really knows his stuff when it comes to shooting with the extra dimension. There's not a single shot in his sci-fi mega-smash that doesn't draw you into its alien world through a convincing sense of depth and scale. Avatar has clearly been conceived with 3D in mind, right down to the holographic maps and curved computer displays in the command centre (check them out in Chapter 4).

So, more than two years into the development of the 3D Blu-ray format, there's still only a handful of titles (such as Prometheus) that measure up to the quality of this film's 3D encode – and even then most still lack the sheer impact of Cameron's staggeringly visuals. If you're looking for a perfect 3D Blu-ray, then you need look no further.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Both previous Avatar Blu-ray releases have delivered reference-quality audio mixes – and there's no change with this 3D incarnation's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. While it does all of the things you'd expect from a sci-fi blockbuster (booming bass, a multitude of positional effects, etc), it's the overall precision of the audio and the way in which it balances all the disparate elements that makes it such a grin-inducing experience. Home cinema audio very rarely gets better than this.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: There's nothing at all in the way of extras on either the 3D Blu-ray platter or the bonus DVD copy of the film that accompanies it. And it's also worth noting that both discs only include the 162-minute theatrical cut of the film.

In other words, if you want the 'complete' Avatar experience, then you're going to have to keep hold of your three-disc Extended Blu-ray Collector's Edition as well as this new 3D version. Pah.
Extras rating: 0/5

We say: Want to get the very best out of your 3D cinema system? Then you simply have to own this disc!

20th Century Fox, All-region BD/ R2 DVD, £28 Approx, On sale now