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9 Superfans on 9 Extra Avatar Minutes

Avatar made its way back into theaters this weekend with nine extra minutes, including a steamy Na’vi sex scene. See what the movie’s biggest fans had to say about the James Cameron’s bonus blue moments.

08.29.10 11:00 PM ET

Avatar made its way back into theaters this weekend with nine extra minutes, including steamy Na’vi sex scene. See what the movie’s biggest fans had to say about the James Cameron’s bonus blue moments.

Like George Lucas did with the Star Wars trilogy more than a decade ago, James Cameron attempted to lure Avatar's biggest fans back to the box office this weekend with a re-release featuring nine additional minutes of blue-filled footage. Unfortunately for Cameron, Avatar: Special Edition did not crack the top 10, grossing just $4 million. Still, with a total of $753.8 million at the domestic box office since its original December 2009 release, Avatar is certainly no loser. "I think making money is called good business. At least, in this country it still is,” Cameron told Reuters of the re-release. “And two, it's a side effect of giving people what they want. If we're correct and this is what people want, then we've done a humanitarian service." Humanitarians, take heart. We rounded up nine Avatar fanatics; here's what they thought of those nine additional minutes Cameron used to hook them back to planet Pandora.

Drawn Into Cameron’s World Again
By Diana Waldier of NaviBlue.com

“With breathless anticipation I settled into my theater seat. I knew the script and what was missing from the original movie, but how much did they put back? The lights went down, the previews were over—and then it began. Out of the darkness we heard a haunting, wild call; the screen lightened and we were flying over trees shrouded in mist. Once again I was drawn into the world of Avatar.”

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Still Not Enough Na’vi
By Orick Zavanda of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums

“The connecting of Jake and Neytiri’s queues and the interlacing of their tendrils was just as how I imagined it in my head. The few shots after they connected were great, but like many people, it left me wanting to see more!”

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Re-Release Re-Opens Pandora’s Box
By Mark Picirilli of CollectAvatar.com

“If you are, however, a fan who painted yourself blue, bought collectibles, saw the film several times, and are fluent in Na’vi, then you may want to head back for the mere fact to see it once again on the big screen.”

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Not For the Faint of Avatar Hearts
By Thomas Powell of AvatarMovieZone.com 

“As far as the sex scene between Neytiri and Jake, any attention it has received is pure hype. It is simply inconsequential and a bit of a mystery to me why it was omitted in the original release. What was revealed is what everyone expected: They “hooked up.””

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11th Time’s a Charm
By Abigail Morgan of NaviBlue.com

“I don’t remember the exact date that I saw Avatar for the first time, but I do remember being hooked on it from the beginning. There I was, in a huge IMAX theater with the 60-foot screen above me and suddenly I heard this tribal beat and a haunting note which transports us high above a rainforest. I have flown that path at least 10 times since and each time, I find something I didn’t see before. Seeing it this time, with the nine additional minutes, I definitely saw things I didn’t see before.”

MORE >>


 

Cameron’s “Cringe-Worthy” Love Scenes
By Jacob Friedman of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums 

“The additions to the film provide little in the way of added exposition or value to people who've already seen Avatar, beyond providing them with an excuse to stare at the stunning visuals for another three hours. Is that alone worth the $15+ price of admission?”

MORE >>


 

Not Living Up to the Hype
By Matías Arana of Avatar Wiki

“I’ve been waiting for the Avatar re-release for months now. My expectations were very high, as I heard that the new scenes would be vital for the original movie… Having only nine new minutes was frustrating, but nevertheless, it’s worth it.”

MORE >>


 

Not Left “High and Dry” on Pandora
By Daniel R. Levy of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums

“Unfortunately, not all is perfect with the re-release. It appears that the added scenes haven’t been as accurately rendered as the rest of the film. The difference is slight, but definitely noticeable, and takes away from the viewers’ ability to immerse themselves into Pandora’s incredible world.”

MORE >>


 

A True Alien Love Story
By Aaron Hudson-Cook of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums 

“As well-choreographed as everything is, the romance is the most beautiful and elegant thing in the movie, as it shows what the most important thing in life is: love. And as silly as it sounds (i.e. two alien blue people falling in love), Cameron makes it feel right to watch this love on-screen even though it is a completely made-up race.”

MORE >>


 

Drawn Into Cameron’s World Again By: Diana Waldier of NaviBlue.com

Rating: 10/10

With breathless anticipation I settled into my theater seat. I knew the script and what was missing from the original movie, but how much did they put back? The lights went down, the previews were over—and then it began. Out of the darkness we heard a haunting, wild call; the screen lightened and we were flying over trees shrouded in mist. Once again I was drawn into the world of Avatar.

One of the great challenges of adding shots to an already excellent movie is making sure they are meaningful and add to the story. I believe James Cameron has done just that.

While nine minutes does not seem like much, several of the additional scenes gave characters more depth and the environment more beauty. It also helped to explain why the Na’vi no longer trusted the humans. We are shown how the Na’vi actually responded to the destruction of their Tree of Voices and how the humans used that as an excuse to destroy the Na’vi Hometree. We were shown new Pandoran species, the Stingbat and the Sturmbeest and see more of the funny fan lizards. We see the emotional reaction of tsahaylu (bonding) between Jake and Neytiri and we cry at the deaths of two Na’vi leaders. Once again, Avatar sends us on a roller coaster of emotions.

For those who have seen the movie before, it’s a bit better and more complete. The new scenes did not adversely affect the film’s pacing amd the ending is more fulfilling and emotional. Now we look forward to the November release of the DVD/BluRay with all of the extras and even more additional footage.

And for or those who are seeing the film for the first time, welcome to the amazing world of Avatar.

Still Not Enough Na’vi

By: Orick Zavanda of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums 

Rating: 9/10

I’ve seen re-released movies with additional footage in the past, but those extra minutes rarely improve the storyline or character development. When I left, I felt the same way about the movie, despite the new footage. That said, Avatar: Special Edition was different; all the additional scenes improved film in more ways than one and resolved issues the original film did not.

The new school scene answered many of my questions. Yet it also created new ones such as: Why are there bullet holes in a school wall? I guess things were great for a while, and then something tragic must have happened.

The new scene about the Na’vi-created bulldozer fires made me understand why the conflict between the two was so great. I was also astounded how much damage the Na’vi did to the RDA’s equipment in this scene.

Some new scenes, including Tsu’tey’s death and the early additional footage of the nightly clan meetings, gave me new information on Na’vi culture as far as how others are treated. I still cannot believe that Tsu’tey had Jake put him to rest. That was a very emotionally powerful scene.

But perhaps the most emotionally powerful scene was the new footage under the Tree of Voices. The connecting of Jake and Neytiri’s queues and the interlacing of their tendrils was just as how I imagined it in my head. The few shots after they connected were great, but like many people, it left me wanting to see more!

On a different note, the new creatures, which were the Stingbat and the Sturmbeest, were satisfactory, though I wish there were more new creatures added. The Stingbat received all of two seconds of airtime, but the Sturmbeest hunt made up for it—it was epic!

Re-Release Re-Opens Pandora’s Box

By: Mark Picirilli of CollectAvatar.com

Rating: 6/10

Is the nine added minutes worth seeing Avatar again on the big screen? For casual fans that enjoyed the movie the one time they saw it in the theater, the extra footage does not merit a return trip. If you are, however, a fan who painted yourself blue, bought collectibles, saw the film several times, and are fluent in Na’vi, then you may want to head back for the mere fact to see it once again on the big screen. 

Expectations, however, should be kept in check. The heavily rumored “love” scene last for only a few seconds, and is easily forgettable. The movie’s ending provides a strange send off to a character that we didn't see before, and viewers get more of Pandora’s imagery with some extra hunting, as well as and a bit more face time for the Colonel. All in all, the new version doesn’t have enough added to keep casual fans from passing on this one.

Not For the Faint of Avatar Hearts

By: Thomas Powell of AvatarMovieZone.com 

Rating: 8/10

After viewing the Avatar: Special Edition, I wondered if the casual fan would make the assumption that they would see an additional nine minute segment of film—instead, what viewers get is a basket full of 30 second cinema packets. While the extra footage would likely be welcomed by the dedicated fans of Avatar, a perfunctory audience may receive these fleeting passages of visuals as insignificant.  Clearly, James Cameron (and studio) released this special edition aimed at the followers of his new fictional universe.

A few of the excerpts are so minute that some viewers may actually miss them, unless they have taken in the film multiple times before—from glimpses of an extra smile or new facial expression from one of the main characters. That's not to say the special edition is completely devoid of plot relevance. The training school scene reveals information about the Na'vi, granted you eventually learn this plot element later in the original release, but at least the special edition plants this seed early on in the film. The scene with Tsu'tey towards the end added more emotional impact to the freshly fought battle. Personally, I would consider it the MVP of the added footage.  The scene had no special effects or wowing us with other visuals, simply a great emotional punch to the drama.

As far as the sex scene between Neytiri and Jake, any attention it has received is pure hype. It is simply inconsequential and a bit of a mystery to me why it was omitted in the original release. What was revealed is what everyone expected: they “hooked up.”

All in all, the casual fan should enjoy a revisit with this special edition for the obvious new visuals and a chance to see it on the big 3D screen one more time.  The dedicated followers will get a real treat, catching the stealth additions others will likely miss.  My only regret, as I watched the end credits roll off, I was kind of hoping to see a cameo of Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury pop in with a one-liner.

11th Time’s A Charm

By: Abigail Morgan of NaviBlue.com

Rating: 9/10

I don’t remember the exact date that I saw Avatar for the first time, but I do remember being hooked on it from the beginning. There I was, in a huge IMAX theater with the 60-foot screen above me and suddenly I heard this tribal beat and a haunting note which transports us high above a rainforest. I have flown that path at least 10 times since and each time, I find something I didn’t see before.

Seeing it this time, with the nine additional minutes, I definitely saw things I didn’t see before. Watching Jake’s awkward first night with the Na’vi transform into his intense connection to Neytiri was only the tip of the iceberg. I was waiting to see the school where Grace Augustine taught the Na’vi and where a horrible tragedy occurred. We see the ruins of a dream of peace and the start of war.

Now, most people are talking about the added time to the love scene between the movie’s leads; Jake and Neytiri, which I did appreciate. The inclusion of a hunt of Sturmbeest (a buffalo-like creature) was a great high-packed action sequence that really showed off the advancements in technology this movie brought to the industry.

If you have seen Avatar before and are on the fence about seeing it just for the extra nine minutes, do it. If you are new to the world of Pandora, this is a great introduction. If you let yourself get lost in the world you’ll want to go back again and again. As we wait until the November DVD release with all its behind the scenes features, James Cameron has given us a little piece of Pandora to tide us over.

Cameron’s “Cringe-Worthy” Love Scenes

By: Jacob Friedman of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums 

Rating: 3/10

The special edition re-release of Avatar reeks of a cash grab by 20th Century Fox. By repackaging the film with some exclusive footage cut from the original theatrical version, Fox has hoped to bring viewers back to the theaters to experience the film again.

However, the much-vaunted additions to the film ("Nine New Minutes!" as the re-release's ads proclaim) add little, if anything, to the original product. With the exception of a single scene at the end of the film, little in the way of substantive detail has been added to the film. Indeed, the additions largely range from mundane (a brief shot of a buffalo-like animal called the Sturmbeest, which plays a minor role in the film's new scenes) to quirky (an aside about the chemical properties of the film's floating mountains), to cringe-worthy (the film's heavily-hyped Na'vi foreplay). That's not to say that all of the added footage belonged on the cutting room floor. Some of the additions flesh out certain elements of the plot left unexplained by the original, while others add dashes of action to the mix.

What it comes down to, however, is the value second-time viewers will get from the additions. The film grossed $750 million domestically, meaning that pretty much everyone who wanted to see it did. For a first-time viewer, the additions make the movie a more cohesive whole, without saddling them with too much information. However, the additions to the film provide little in the way of added exposition or value to people who've already seen Avatar, beyond providing them with an excuse to stare at the stunning visuals for another three hours. Is that alone worth the $15+ price of admission? It wasn't for me.

Not Living Up to the Hype

By: Matías Arana of Avatar Wiki

Rating: 9/10

I’ve been waiting for the Avatar re-release for months now. My expectations were very high, as I heard that the new scenes would be vital for the original movie. Unfortunately, each scene lasted for about 30 to 40 seconds each; so don’t expect long draw-out additions. Having only nine new minutes was frustrating, but nevertheless, it’s worth it.

Each scene was beautiful. The most amazing one was the Sturmbeest hunt. It had energy, amazing CGI and emotion. It was the longest additional scene, being that it was a completely new, and I loved it. The others were just continuations of the story, but they fit perfectly. As short as they were, they added a new feeling to the movie. The Na’vi destroying the bulldozer added the element of revenge. The mating scene did not live up to the media hype, but still, it was a very delicate and touching scene. The scenes with Grace’s old school and the fan lizards were short but important to ease the pace of the original movie. And finally, one scene that I’ve been waiting to see for a long time, since an image of it was released long ago: Tsu’tey’s death. It was a strong moment in the film as he gives Jake the role of leader and asks him to end his pain.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with this special edition. The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been event more scenes. I was disappointed when the film started and we didn’t see the Earth scene. Also, I was disappointed that the Dream Hunt scene was not included as well. I guess we’ll have to wait until November for those when the 3D Blu-Ray is released. All of that aside, I was very satisfied. The effects, new scenes, and music are all something you need to see again in cinemas.

Not Left “High and Dry” on Pandora

By: Daniel R. Levy of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums

Rating: 8/10

James Cameron has definitely made it clear that Avatar is here to stay. And, thanks to the theatrical re-release of Avatar’s special edition, fans haven’t been left “high and dry” during the requisite wait for Cameron’s highly anticipated sequel. Within this special edition are various additional scenes, some merely a few seconds long, others much more substantial.

The scenes involving the new Sturmbeests (in Na’vi Talioang) are especially impressive. Grace first introduces us to these massive creatures, and we later learn more about the Na’vi culture through their Sturmbeest hunt – an additional scene that is incredibly well done.

Something that needed slightly more emphasis during the original film’s cut was the emotional impact of the actions occurring on Pandora. The shorter additions in the re-release achieve exactly that.

Neytiri’s introduction is made much more meaningful, making Jake and Neytiri’s relationship more substantial. There is also an extended version of Jake and Neytiri’s intimate bonding scene, which is very tastefully done.

Another interesting change is how the RDA’s enlisted mercenaries are shown in a different light, through their inspection of damage and emphasis on the loss of human life (not merely Na’vi). Tsu’tey’s death is given much more gravity, and the combat scenes seem more intense. Most importantly, however, is the expanded journey into Grace’s abandoned Na’vi , bullet-riddled school.

Unfortunately, not all is perfect with the re-release. It appears that the added scenes haven’t been as accurately rendered as the rest of the film. The difference is slight, but definitely noticeable, and takes away from the viewers’ ability to immerse themselves into Pandora’s incredible world. Nitpicking aside, the additional footage is definitely welcome, and I am most amazed at how small additions have changed the overall tone of the film.

A True Alien Love Story

By: Aaron Hudson-Cook of James Cameron’s Avatar Community Fan Forums 

Rating: 10/10

When James Cameron, “the King of the World,” returned from the  incredibly successful Titanic to concentrate on Avatar, he and his team were able to create one of the most epic films of all time. The opening of the movie shows a rapid shots of a massive jungle as the words “Sooner or later, you always have to wake up,” echoes through the speakers. This alone sets the tone of the movie, as viewers later find that people’s minds are transformed into an avatar body of the culture Na’vi, a race that live on the planet Pandora.

The technology and visuals in this film are most definitely flawless and utterly incredibly (and you don't need a critic to point that out). But what lies behind the picture is what means the most and what stands out in my mind of this phenomenon.

An incredibly important aspect of film is the ability to capture beautiful and touching moments, and Avatar does this in every way you could possibly imagine. A soundtrack in film is something that makes it spring to life and tells the audience things without actually saying anything. The music in this film completely sets the mood for something and it heightens the phenomenal visuals to have even more of a meaning.

Lets be honest… Avatar is an easy watch and fairly simple to understand,  but it doesn't mean that it lacks any intelligence. The plot is nothing that sounds completely jaw-dropping by any means, but what happens along the way just puts you into a completely different dimension and-- especially if you are watching it in 3D-- transports you into another world, making you feel like you are walking along the Na'vi kind.

As well-choreographed as everything is, the romance is the most beautiful and elegant thing in the movie, as it shows what the most important thing in life is: love. And as silly as it sounds (i.e. two alien blue people falling in love), Cameron makes it feel right to watch this love on-screen even though it is a completely made-up race.  Most love stories are often heartbreaking and incredibly sweet, but this one feels just that bit extra special.

The movie is almost guaranteed to blow you away and if it doesn’t, then I suggest finding out what the messages are and what the movie really means, not just to what it displays. I guarantee that if you take this walking trip on Pandora, you will want to take it again...and again...and again.

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