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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Eight extra minutes for James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’: will you watch and do you care?

Mark the date. Or not. On August 27 of this very year, you will have the distinct honor of being able — or not — of paying your 20 bucks/15 quid or so and being graced with eight whole extra minutes of Avatar. In 3D only! Because that’s how you rack up the most box office points possible! $2.7 billion worldwide simply must not stand: we can get to $3 billion!

No, seriously: Why would James Cameron do such a thing (quoted at The Hollywood Reporter)?

Audiences repeatedly told me they wanted more of Pandora, and wished they could have stayed there longer. So we’re making that possible.

Well, now: I always want more ice cream, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a good idea. Sometimes another scoop of ice cream gives you a tummy ache. I loved visiting Pandora, and found the film to be probably the most immersive cinematic experience I’ve ever had. I’m not sure that eight more minutes could improve upon that.

What’s in the extra eight minutes? Maybe that hot ponytail psychic sex scene between Jake and Neytiri? Cameron coyly says only that the new scenes will feature “new creatures and action scenes.”

Eight extra minutes for James Cameron’s Avatar: will you watch and do you care?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Nate

    Well, now: I always want more ice cream, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a good idea. Sometimes another scoop of ice cream gives you a tummy ache.

    What kind of comparison is that? If people didn’t want to see movies multiple times we wouldn’t have DVDs.

    Personally I’m looking forward to this. No theater experience in my 21 years on this earth has ever compared to Avatar‘s, and any new footage is more than welcome.

  • RyanT

    I would probably see it if the 3D prices were on par when the movie first came out, but with the price hike that happened late in the Spring, it’s hard to justify re-watching anything much less something I had already seen in theaters AND in DVD.

    With that said, it’s still tempting. I have yet to see it on IMAX and I really really want to. The extra eight minutes isn’t a make-or-break thing for me, but more Pandora doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

  • markyd

    I see this as just another cash grab. I don’t buy the idea of them releasing it because people demanded more Pandora. That’s what a sequel is for. Or the Blu-Ray special edition in the Fall.
    I saw it once in the theater and will not go again for another 8 minutes of footage. I’ll buy the aforementioned Blu-Ray when it comes out, and that’s it.

  • Nate

    I see this as just another cash grab. I don’t buy the idea of them releasing it because people demanded more Pandora.

    Even if it is just a cash grab, can you blame Fox for doing it? They haven’t had a film break $100m since Alvin 2 and the rest of their slate this year doesn’t look all that promising.

  • doa766

    yeah, I didn’t but the bare bones blu ray edition because of the upcoming extended-3D edition

  • Paul

    DVD extras material as far as I’m concerned.

  • LuisC

    *epic yawn*

  • Erik

    Since I was one of only about a dozen people on earth who missed this in the theater, I’m actually pretty happy & excited about this. I finally saw it on DVD recently and, yes, the story was pretty thin/cliched but the visuals were stunning. After watching it I really wanted to see it in IMAX 3-D and now I will.

  • DaveTM

    This kind of thing annoys me. James Cameron and Fox are milking their audiences as badly as they did with all the different releases of Star Wars. They had this footage and it could have been released on the BluRay/DVD release but then they couldn’t have charged people to see it again in theatres and then AGAIN when they release the expanded version on BluRay/DVD. Am I way too cynical that I kind of think that this footage was cut out so that they could charge people again for adding it back in?

    The sad thing is I’m sure enough people will go and continue to pay which will just make more directors and film studios do this sort of thing.

  • Personally, I can’t understand why FlickFilosopher isn’t available in 3D. I know there’s the exciting “gray on gray” version for the Kindle (denied to us folks in Europe) but I think that the production and marketing team could be a bit more experimental.

    Recently we were treated to a behind-the-scenes shot of a crack in the FF studio ceiling. I’m hoping that this is only the start, leading to a regular “Behind the Scenes: The Making of FlickFilosopher” channel on YouTube, in turn spawning a holiday “Best of” DVD.

    Just another 8 minutes!

  • Jester

    Yeah, I’ll probably go see it, but it would have very little to do with the eight minutes. I only saw Avatar the once. It’d be fun to experience it again without the whole “this is my first 3D movie evah” thing in the way (for various reasons, it was).

    Besides, 2010 is shaping up to be a rather epic movie wasteland, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve seen more than 10 new flicks so far this year.

  • aquila6

    I’ve seen it in the theatres as many times as I need to. When they put out the Sooper-Dooper Blu-ray edition with the 8 minutes added in, I’ll probably buy it — but no more trips to the theatre.

  • MaryAnn

    I have yet to see it on IMAX and I really really want to.

    It’s actually better in non-IMAX 3D.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Fuck you, James Cameron. Fuck you very much.

  • I’m looking forward to it just so I can bring people who missed it last time. B)

  • CB

    I saw Avatar in the theater twice, and I’m pretty happy I did so, and pretty content with not seeing it again just for another 8 minutes of footage.

    It’s definitely a crappy money grab, in particular for the DVD. I mean if he wants to re-release the movie with or without extra footage, fine, whatever. Seeing a movie in a theater is an experience and if people want to do it again more power to them. But optical media is something you buy to own so you can watch it whenever you want. There’s no reason those 8 minutes couldn’t have been extras on the DVD except as a way to trick people who don’t know another version will be coming out into buying the DVD twice. That’s just shitty.

  • Erik

    Really? Well, thank you MaryAnn for saving me a few bucks as I trust your judgment.

  • History of Bubbles

    Not surprised at all by this. The hugeness and 3D-ness were integral to the experience, and anyone who wants to REALLY re-watch the movie can’t really do so on most home setups. So it’s kind of inevitable that there’d be a re-release. I always meant to see it a second time and never did, so I’ll be glad to fork over the Andrew. I’d rather they didn’t cram in an extra(neous) 8 minutes, though. Usually if it got cut the first time, there was a reason.

  • Boingo

    Personally, I can’t understand why FlickFilosopher isn’t available in 3D

    Oh Jeez-now you tell me, after I had on these stupid
    glasses all the time! I could have sworn … ??

  • Nadia

    Is anyone really going to be able to tell where does extra 8 minutes will be? The movie is a gazillion hours long,I think those 8 minutes will be lost between all the other minutes, which is not to say I don’t understand why Cameron is doing this. I have friends who didn’t go to see the movie the first time, and I hope they do go and watch it now because it’s the kind of movie you really really need to watch in the theater. I’ll probably watch it again too, so Cameron will be getting another 12€ from me.
    It’s likely that by the time the movie is complety out of the theaters Cameron will have earned enough money to buy himself a brand new planet, other famous people buy islands but he’s way past that.

  • Mimi

    I missed it in the theaters due to having a wailing newborn at the time. So I’m pretty psyched. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine I’d be interested.

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Not interested.

    I enjoyed the spectacle of it, but the story and characters were merely serviceable, so I don’t have a lot of interest in seeing it again.

    If a friend wanted to see it and invited me along, sure I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. But since we don’t have a 3d theater in this town, that’s not going to happen.

  • Didn’t see it when it came out, didn’t see it on DVD, odds are unless I’m physically forced to endure it from one of my friends, I won’t see it.

  • History of Bubbles

    @Left Wing Fox: That’s exactly the reason I DO want to rewatch it in the theater. I sure ain’t watching it for a groundbreaking, nuanced story or unique, deep characters, so I feel there’s no reason for me to watch it apart from the theatrical spectacle. I know it will be giving Cameron the satisfaction, but I don’t really care about that.

  • Maybe, because I missed it the first time and I’m thinking this is actually one that’s better on the big screen than the DVD will be.

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