“Avatar: Special Edition” Movie Review

     This weeks movie choices left much to be desired. What with a C Level heist film and another exorcism rip off, where could one go for entertainment? The answer of course, was simple. Time for another trip to Pandora! Yes, I just couldn't resist the urge to satisfy my James Cameron man crush and see "Avatar : Special Edition" on a big IMAX 3D screen and I must say this is a trip worth taking again and again.  Some films just don't translate well to your television set and Avatar is certainly one of them.  If your a fan of the film, this is just too great of an opportunity to pass up.

     James Cameron is no stranger to giving "Special Edition" treatment to his films.  Both "Aliens" and "The Abyss" had 30 plus minutes added to their running times in various home video releases, so it came as no surprise Cameron tinkered with Avatar.  The results are excellent and I wondered throughout why these additional scenes were cut in the first place.  The film still runs smoothly and goes very fast even at a now 170 minute run time.  The new scenes add a lot of depth to several characters and explain why they make some of the decisions they make later in the film.  Unlike the Aliens and Abyss Special Editions where entirely new subplots were added, the new scenes in Avatar only enhance the existing story and I think this serves the film well.

     One of the first scenes is a visit by Jake and Dr. Augustine to the now closed school she previously ran to teach the Na’vi English and human customs.  This was only mentioned in the original cut, but brought to life here and it explained the emotional attachment Dr. Augustine has for the Na’vi.  There are several new scenes which show Jake and Neytiri and their blossoming relationship.  One excellent new action sequence has Jake narrating his hunting exploits he dubs "Death from Above" where he swoops in and kills giant beasts with his bow.  A pivotal scene shows the Na’vi and their destruction of several bulldozers, workers, and soldiers in retaliation of their ruining one of the Nav'is sacred forests. It is this scene which is now used to help Quaritch convince Parker to attack the Hometree.  There is also a key element added to Jake and Neytiri's love scene, as well as an emotional death scene added at the end.

    If you miss Avatar: Special Edition on the big screen, it's due out on Blue Ray in November and is sure to be a welcome addition to any fan's collection.  I, for one, think Avatar is a very special film that will stand the test of time and will entertain audiences for decades to come.  If you feel the same way, take advantage of this opportunity and see Avatar again, the way it was meant to be seen.  Save your television for “Friends” reruns.  GRADE: A+