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Meant to be seen on the big screen

Remastered 'Avatar' hits PH cinemas ahead of 'The Way of Water' release in December

By NICK GARCIA Published Sep 22, 2022 5:00 pm

The remastered version of the 2009 epic sci-fi Avatar—which, aside from being the highest grossing film ever, is critically acclaimed for its absorbing visuals deemed as ahead of its time—is having a limited run on Philippine theaters starting Sept. 21.

Avatar follows the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-Marine dispatched on a mission to explore Pandora, an Earth-like extrasolar moon inhabited by the Na'vi, an indigenous tribe of blue humanoids living in harmony with nature.

Scientists are planning to take resources from Pandora after humankind depleted Earth's very own. They're using avatars, Na'vi-like vessels where they can transfer their consciousness in order to interact with the locals—as accompanied by the brutal military.

The plot thickens when Jake falls for the female Na'vi named Neytiri.

The remastered version has 4K resolution (4096 by 2160 pixels), high-dynamic range (which allows for more vibrance, depth, and "pop" on-screen), and  9.1 sound (9 speakers and 1 subwoofer).

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) in Avatar (2009).

Viewers who saw Avatar in cinemas 13 years ago or on their computer and television screens in the succeeding years will be be transported to Pandora anew, feasting their eyes further on its lush, vibrant environment, as well as its astonishing flora and fauna.

It's also an opportunity that first-time viewers ought not to pass, since the movie will be available in 2D and especially 3D. As director and writer James Cameron argues, Avatar was always meant to be seen on the big screen.

"Ever since I was a kid going to the movies, there was nothing like the cinema experience," Cameron said in a video message. "When we made Avatar, we set out to push the limits of that experience."

Avatar's comeback serves as preparation for its much-awaited sequel subtitled The Way of Water, which hits theaters in December.

The Way of Water follows Jake Sully, already permanently transferred to his avatar, starting a family with Neytiri.

Jake rides the Great Leonopteryx Toruk in Avatar (2009).

"Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na'vi race to protect their planet," the synopsis reads.

As the sequel's title suggests, its official trailer released last May 9 gave viewers a glimpse of Pandora's aquatic ecosystem that weren't much explored in the first installment.

The remastered Avatar also has a postcredits scene, i.e., a The Way of Water  excerpt featuring a new Na'vi character interacting with a gargantuan whale-like creature, whose flipper was shot with a harpoon.

Not to be outdone by its predecessor, the clear skies and underwater were a sight for sore eyes. The details of the new characters, especially the marine creature, are also hyperrealistic.

Neytiri and Jake in Avatar (2009).

The main cast from the first installment will be reprising their roles in The Way of Water, including Sam Worthington (Jake) and Zoe Saldaña (Neytiri). The star of Cameron-led Alien franchise Sigourney Weaver, who portrayed the scientist Grace Augustine, will also return but will portray a new character.

The Way of Water will be introducing new cast members, including Michelle Yeoh of Everywhere, Everything All at Once and Kate Winslet of Titanic.