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Two iconic James Cameron movies are set to receive High Frame Rate remasters

Avatar and Titanic director James Cameron on set of Avatar 2 The Way of Water
(Image credit: Disney)

Filmmaking pioneer James Cameron is set to remaster two of his most iconic titles. Both Titanic and Avatar are set to be released in 4K HDR with High Frame Rate (HFR), with a full theatrical run to accompany the remastered titles. 

Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company owned by Cameron, is utilising Pixelworks’ TrueCut Motion platform to achieve these visual upgrades, although no specifications have been released as to what higher refresh rate we could see for these titles. With the standard cinematic refresh rate sitting at 24fps, this higher refresh rate could either refer to 48fps, notably used by Peter Jackson for The Hobbit trilogy, 60fps, or even 120fps, most recently used in Ang Lee’s Gemini Man.

HFR has its benefits when it comes to visual fidelity, helping to reduce judder and provide smoother motion to subjects on the screen. What's more, HDR can accentuate juddery subjects, and with practically every TV worth buying coming with HDR as standard these days, HFR might have some unexplored benefits when it comes to home cinema use. Pixelworks’ TrueCut Motion allows filmmakers to adjust their films at a granular level, changing motion blur and frame rates on a scene-by-scene basis; this should hopefully enhance the cinematic experience without opening the door to the dreaded soap opera effect.

With Avatar: The Way of Water finally releasing this year, over 13 years after the original Avatar, this could be the perfect excuse to rewatch the first movie in preparation for the long awaited sequel. It was (and still is) a revolution in visual effects so it's exciting to see where it can be taken further; although it is worth noting that high refresh rate films often receive mixed reactions due to how audiences respond to faster and smoother motion. 

Titanic is also on the cusp of a major milestone, celebrating its 25th anniversary next year so we can hazard a guess that his new remastered version may release to coincide with that. While Avatar’s fast paced action may suit a higher refresh rate, it will certainly be interesting to see if the slower pace of Titanic will work for these visual enhancements. 

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Lewis Empson
Lewis Empson

Staff Writer Lewis is the newest addition to the What Hi-Fi? editorial team. Previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. In his down time he enjoys gaming and regular cinema trips.

  • Darth Plagueis
    Damn, I got all excited then.... thought for one second that James Cameron was finally going to release The Abyss and True Lies on Blu-ray!
    Reply
  • 12th Monkey
    They are both available on blu ray, the former in 4k too...

    Although a quick look at Amazon & eBay suggests that should be 'were', not 'are'.
    Reply
  • Darth Plagueis
    12th Monkey said:
    They are both available on blu ray, the former in 4k too...

    Although a quick look at Amazon & eBay suggests that should be 'were', not 'are'.

    I'm pretty sure that neither were "official". There are "unofficial" BD copies of True Lies, but these are nothing more than the censored HD TV version that people have created using BD recorders (probably out of desperation for the real thing). James Cameron has been teasing both movies for official HD releases for years now. Back in 2018, he claimed in an interview with Empire Magazine to be working on True Lies. He also said in an interview last year, 2021, that he'd finished overseeing the HD remaster of The Abyss. But, so far, the only way to get official un-cut physical copies of both, is still on DVD. Worst still, the DVD release of The Abyss isn't even anamorphic widescreen.
    Reply
  • 12th Monkey
    True Lies: Blu-ray.com - Search

    The Abyss: Blu-ray.com - Search
    Reply
  • Darth Plagueis
    That's exactly my point. If you look at either of those links, all the information (codec, audio, etc) is just lists "TBC",. The entries on Bluray.com exist, but there's never been any actually official releases.

    More info can be found here:

    https://www.filmstories.co.uk/features/true-lies-the-abyss-and-the-blu-ray-4k-problem/
    Reply
  • 12th Monkey
    Right, I see. Hadn't delved!
    Reply
  • Pyronaut
    Awesome, can't wait! This will definitely get me back to the cinema to watch Avatar again. I hope it's the extended cut, and that they also release a UHD Blu-Ray HFR version for home purchase.
    Reply