Avatar: Extended Cut, Special Edition… which is the best of the 3 versions?

Everyone (or almost) has seen Avatarbut we must not forget that the film of james cameron has three different mounts. Which should be preferred?

One thing is certain: with AvatarJames Cameron considered a maximum of options for make the film as complete as it is accessible. Beyond accelerating the movement towards digital projection, the post-titanic has been made available in a maximum of formats (2D, 3D, IMAX, film in 2.39, digital in 1.85…).

But in addition to these technical considerations, Cameron and his teams also took time to perfect the film’s editing, ensuring both a sufficiently rich depiction of the world of Pandora, and the effectiveness of its mythological narrative. However, that didn’t stop James Cameron from taking advantage of his many ideas. to prolong the experience.

Thus, from 2010, Avatar was released in theaters in a Special Edition Re-Release (with 8 additional minutes), before a video release on DVD and Blu-Ray compiled this same version with the cinema editing and especially with the Collector’s Extended Cut, this time including 16 additional minutes. So it’s time to immerse yourself in the various versions ofAvatar, to better understand what sets them apart.

It’s time to argue

What James Cameron thinks

Whether we like the first one or not Avatar – especially with regard to the content of its screenplay – it would be dishonest not to see in it a narrative structure with little onions. Admittedly, James Cameron has developed a highly archetypal heroic journey, but this goal has always been assumed, in particular for translate a universality in direct opposition to the unique world of Pandora. Even by approaching an extraterrestrial universe, and an entirely digital environment, the spectator has the opportunity to cling to this mythological setting, which serves as a gateway.

And from this point of view, we cannot take away from the cinema editingAvatar its design, which interweaves in most of its sequences a development (even subtle) of the universe of Pandora and the evolution of its characters. In short, everything fits together organically, and we find this requirement in the keeping of the narrative arcs, worthy of the director of Terminator 2, Abyss and titanic.

Abyss: photo, Sam WorthingtonJames Cameron when he lays a “little” treatment

Moreover, James Cameron was the first to say that the cinema version ofAvatar is his “director’s cut”, as he said at the microphone of MTV :

“The director’s cut is the film that was released in theaters. But we also offer a special edition, where it is possible to select a longer version of the film, with added scenes. But this is more of a fan version than a director’s version.”

Behind the marketing ointment, we would tend to agree with Cameron, because the two long versions, although exciting, add scenes that do not always manage to fit into the overall flow of the assembly. However, upon their discovery, it is undeniable thatAvatar gains in complexity by adding information.

Avatar: photo, Sam Worthington, Sigourney WeaverWhen the drafting of Large Screen follows the 3 versions

The Special Edition Re-Release

To start with the Special Edition Re-Release, it is important to specify that most of the additions are extensions of already existing sequences, rather than new scenes. For example, Jake’s first night in the bioluminescent forest is extended, as is his arrival in the circle of the Na’vi, where a little girl stares at him before being reprimanded by her father. We can feel in this pivotal sequence the first real connection between the hero and Neytirisince he asks him for his full name, which he cannot pronounce correctly.

The same goes for the famous sex scene between the two characters, where this time we can see them connect with their braids for a total communion of their minds, which accentuates the value of the act.

avatar: pictureWe’re going to fuck this sooooo!

However, this version still has major supplements, in particular to clarify the holistic system of Pandora. When Grace has her mobile lab isolated in the floating mountains of Pandora, Jake’s voiceover intervenes to explain that a magnetic effect (due to the metal that humans seek to extract) is at the origin of this phenomenon. To be completely honest, the sublime of the scene is somewhat tainted by this very rational explanation.

Moreover, once Jake has his banshee, a sequence shows a spectacular hunt of the Omaticaya clan facing a herd of Stuurmbeasts (a mix between wildebeest and bison). For once, even if the scene is very successful (the spatialization between earth and sky is exemplary), it must be admitted that it is above all a question of a pause in the story, which makes it possible to hammer home the integration of Jack.

avatar: pictureMore western than ever

It’s the same for the death of Tsu’teh (the future clan leader promised to Neytiri) at the end of the film. Machine-gunned while he is aboard the main human ship during the climax, his fall from the sky is lengthened, and even shows that it is cushioned by the trees. Thus, we can see the character again after the final fight against Quaritch, where, dying, he names Jake new leader of the Omaticaya. The idea is beautiful and logical, and the scene heartbreaking (especially since Jake has to finish it himself), but it breaks the beauty of the previous sequence a little, when Neytiri saves Jake’s human body, and that they finally see and touch each other in their original bodily envelope.

If we are critical enough so far, there is indeed a very interesting addition. During Jake’s first expedition (just before the Thanator’s attack), he visits with Grace and Norm the ruins of the school that the scientist had set up to teach English to the Na’vi. Rays of light seep through the bullet holes, and we quickly understand that a killing has taken place, destroying in the process any form of diplomacy between the two peoples.

avatar: pictureA plan that is beautiful

The Collector’s Extended Cut

For his part, the Collector’s Extended Cut has quite a few large pieces, in addition to the supplements mentioned earlier. Beyond the sequence in the school, two other scenes between Jake and Grace allow us to learn more about the incident, like a satisfying pay-off. through a photo, we learn that Neytiri had a sister, Sylwaninkilled by humans.

Thereafter, while Jake comes out of his avatar body, Grace forces him to eat before sleeping, which allows the budding friendship between them to be soberly weaved (one of the shortcomings of the cinema version). In the course of their discussion, we understand that Sylwanin’s death took place in the school of the scientist, while the young Na’vi sought refuge after having attacked a human truck.

The moving story is above all a magnificent bridge to deepen the spiritual dimension ofAvatar, and the trouble experienced by these characters who navigate from one body to another. It’s hard not to dwell on this meaningful line spoken by Grace: “A pain like this catches you beyond the binding [neuronale]”.

avatar: pictureSigourney Weaver’s Best Scene

But the major addition of this version is its prologuewhich presents the state of the Earth and especially that of Jake, lost in this gray city with neon lights straight out of blade runner. To reinforce his self-destructive nature, the hero is featured in a bar where he preys on a man despite his disability. Once thrown out, he is approached by two agents, who take him to see his brother’s corpse.

In addition to being rather simplistic in the characterization of its protagonist, this introduction diminishes the strength of the off-screen of the original film. While Cameron wants to immerse us directly in his universe and his technological prowess, this slow transition is like a somewhat clumsy attempt at acclimatization. Admittedly, we will remember this masterful shot where the incinerated face of Jake’s brother becomes that of the hero in his cryogenic chamber (again, a transfer of bodies and minds), but Avatar really benefits from the immediacy of its introduction.

avatar: pictureIn the future, we will all have shitty looks

If you only had to keep one

Long versions ofAvatar mainly have the merit of confirming the extent to which editing for cinemas avoids the slightest bit of fat. However, some additions (especially those with Grace and the relationship to school) manage to bring additional emotion, in addition to confirming the difficulty of the dialogue between humans and Na’vis. If the Special Edition Re-Release has its share of more or less harmless details, the Collector’s Extended Cut is on its side weighed down by its revised introduction.

The movie version ofAvatar remains the best (in our humble opinion), but fans of the film should still try their hand at Collector’s Extended Cut to deepen their knowledge of the universe as much as possible (especially before Avatar: The Waterway).

Avatar: Extended Cut, Special Edition… which is the best of the 3 versions?