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The Abyss (Special Edition) [Import]
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A civilian oil rig crew is recruited to conduct a search and rescue effort when a nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks. One diver (Ed Harris) soon finds himself on a spectacular odyssey 25,000 feet below the ocean's surface where he confronts a mysterious force that has the power to change the world or destroy it. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn co-star.
Meticulously crafted but also ponderous and predictable, James Cameron's 1989 deep-sea close-encounter epic reaffirms one of the oldest first principles of cinema: everything moves a lot more slowly underwater. Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some "issues" to work out, are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL (Michael Biehn) with a top- secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on earth, and the petro-techies have the only submersible craft capable of diving down that far. Every image and every performance is painstakingly sharp and detailed (and the computerised water creatures are lovely) but the movie's lumbering pace is ultimately lethal. It's the audience that ends up feeling waterlogged. For a guy who likes guns as much as Cameron (his next film after all, was the body-count masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgment Day), it's interesting that the moral balance here is weighted heavily in favour of the can-do engineers; the military types are end-justifies-the-means amoralists, just like the weasely government bureaucrats in Aliens. --David Chute --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In particular, the "drowning" sequence, the fight between the underwater submarines, the trip to the downed Navy sub, and the visually stunning "trip to the bottom of the sea" sequence, all work exceptionally well, and are quite memorable.
But other things don't work so well. Witness the preachy, silly sequence in which the undersea creatures are going to destroy the world because us silly humans can't get along. Cameron doesn't answer a simple question: why would they care? Humans are no threat to them, and quite frankly, any race that threatens genocide against another isn't much of a race to be admired in my book.
And while Cameron is to be admired for putting so much character development into what is essentially a summer blockbuster, the characters are actually OVER-developed. The relationship between Ed Harris' and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's characters, for example, is shown in such painful detail up front that you just KNOW they'll get back together. Personally, I thought it would have been more satisfying for them to learn to get along before they fell back in love. And instead of having Harris and Mastrantonio hook up at the end, why not have the aliens give us a clue as to why they saved us from destruction?
Overall, "The Abyss" is worth watching for the brilliant, groundbreaking visuals, but ultimately, the preachy, kissy-kissy ending and overdeveloped Harris/Mastrantonio relationship really detract from what could have been a VERY wondrous film experience.
Note on the DVD: because of the excellent sound/picture quality, and all the extras that come with it, this is a good choice if you're starting your collection.
The story is about an underwater oilrig crew that is teamed up with a small Navy SEAL unit on a search and recover mission for a US Naval submarine that has mysteriously disappeared in a deep canyon. Within this deep canyon beholds an amazing secret. Ed Harris is Bud Brigman the oilrig's chief, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as his estranged wife Lindsey and head engineer for the underwater rig. Both are terrific as the couple who are brought back together under extreme circumstances. Michael Biehn is the Navy SEAL leader who develops HPNS and endangers everybody involved. Leo Bermeister, Todd Graff and Kimberly Scott are standouts as Bud's crew members.
The story itself is dramatic, exciting and filled with surprises. The visual effects are amazing and among the earliest to use computer generated effects. Alan Silvestri's score is both mysterious and majestic. While James Cameron alienated a lot of the crew during the rigerous filming, he delivered one really exciting film. You might call it a Sci-fi romantic adventure film.
This DVD release incorporates footage that was edited from it's intial theatrical release. While it lengthens the film a bit, the missing scenes are significant to the film's exciting climax and help clarify the story further. The extras that are included are plenty and take you behind the making one of James Cameron's best films.
Most recent customer reviews
i love this dvd since many years and i dont regret to buy this dvd.Published 4 months ago by denisddddd
GREAT film MARRED by "pencil thin" widescreen viewing area (viewing quality is good though). Got it on the cheap and got what I paid for. Live and learn.Published 6 months ago by Ricky J.
good action and fantasy sic-fi worth a watch. the theatrical version is best in my humble opinion.Published 15 months ago by ali
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