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4.2 out of 5 stars121
4.2 out of 5 stars
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2007
I recently re-bought this one as the original DVD I have is not formatted properly for widescreen tv's. I was hoping that this more recent edition has had this corrected but it has sadly not. As a result, when you are watching it on one of the more recent widescreen lcd's or plasmas, the picture is not "enhanced" for 16x9 so the picture sits like a small letterbox in the middle of the screen. You can zoom the image to fit the screen but the clarity is lost. Such a shame because its one of my favourite sci-fi movies of all time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Abyss is one of the those accomplished films that may have well been produced in an era gone by, for now attempts of the 'same old formula's' are chugged out right, left and centre. The Abyss, however, is completely original in it's own right. With beautiful underwater photography, fantastic camera-work that sets the tone for enclosed cabins or the vast openness of the ocean, this was surely ahead of it's time. I.L.M (Industrial Light and Magic) were in Co-Production for this movie and produced the scenes in which the computer meets real live acting; all done perfectly, I might add. They also helped produce Terminator 2, which as we all know still looks passable today.

Like a few other viewers, I've always felt the ending is somewhat 'open' and a bit blunt... This is, however, typical of any Sci-Fi/underwater film in which the producer has hundreds of options as to how to wrap up a vast story.

Their are 2 editions of this DVD; a Special Edition with 2 discs, and the Single Disc version. Both have the exact same covers so watch out and look for the edition banner on the top/bottom of the sleeve!

The ending doesn't let this film down in anyway. It always leaves me day-dreaming as to the possibilities of what lives miles down in the ocean floors... I thank James Cameron for his ability to tap into your emotions to pull that off, and for a small price, this DVD should be in anyone's collection!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2001
I have always considered this to be James Cameron's most underrated film - often overlooked, its a fine example of what Cameron does best - make really cracking, edge of the seat action movies. This is easily on a par with his more famous sci-fi efforts (Aliens,Terminator,T2) - and urguably more impressive than Titanic,because the characters are far more three dimensional and believable.
Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio are great as the estranged couple whose relationship is reconciled in the murky depths of an underwater trench,which is home to some peace-loving extra-terrestrials.
Despite the initial cuteness of the watery aliens, there is a very deep, thought provoking message in this film - especially intensified in the extended special edition version, which is way superior to the theatrical release. And how's this for value, BOTH versions are included in this box set.
Solid performances,excellent special effects and probably some of the best underwater photography you'll ever see in a movie, make this is a film that you MUST watch.
Despite excellent sound quality, and some astonishing extra features, this DVD is ruined by the fact that (like Cameron's Titanic before it), it is NOT presented in anamorphic widescreen - WHY are they STILL releasing some movies in this format?? This was a real let down for me, and I'm sure will be for other DVD buffs.
What a shame this ruins an otherwise excellent film and a great value DVD package.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2008
Just want to say that this film stands the test of time for me. It is heartwarming, the special effects really work even today and its watchable over and over again....Just one thing, do watch the directors cut, or special edition, as I think that the cuts that were made to the original movie do remove quite a lot of the message of the film and without that, you miss the point somewhat.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2006
James Cameron loves water. The Abyss in it's cinematic form suffered badly from being cut too much. The extended version adds a few storylines and broadens the appeal of the film. I would suggest reading the book first as this explains even more of what is going on. The Aliens at the end then don't seem so out of left field. The art design, acting and special effects are all top notch. ILM of course.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2010
If you have a large-screen TV then FORGET this *awful* 4:3 non-anamorphic transfer. It shows up anamorphically on terrestrial TV now and again so you might as well wait and watch it that way. Good sound, but, with such a dire pixellated picture on large displays, what's the point?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2012
I love the film but what a shame about the technical presentation this totally ruined a brilliant film after a 10 minute viewing I gave up and confined this DVD 2 the shelf where it will stay. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS VERSION!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2012
The abyss is a great film and I would happily give it five stars. Unfortunately, the reason I have given it two stars is because of the production value of the DVD itself.

I only bought the DVD version because as of when I bought it, the film wasn't available to buy on bluray. When I loaded the disc into my bluray player, the resolution of the film was so small that it barely filled a quarter of the size of my 32" TV. Even with the zoom functions engaged on both my player and the TV, I still couldn't make it bigger, and the quality of the image rapidly degraded. By playing the disc in my Xbox360 I managed to get the image a little larger, but still the quality was terrible, and made the film almost unwatchable.

There was an unexpected bonus though, as this single disc edition contains both the theatrical release and the directors cut of the movie which I was not expecting.

Conclusion: A great film, spoilt by terrible mastering to DVD. Wait for a re-release or remastered bluray.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2005
James Cameroon has directed some fine films (Terminator and Terminator 2, Aliens, Titanic) but The Abyss gives the impression of being a bit of an experimental indulgence by a director with lots of cash behind him. It's a schizophenric movie, changing direction and focus from start to finish, never quite sure if it's a thriller or action flick or simple sci-fi schlock affair. The story centres around a US submarine that goes down in deep water after an encounter with a bizarely fast underwater craft, and follows the crew of a deep sea mining rig that is subsequently taken over by the Navy to mount a rescue operation. Technically the film is fantastic with, at the time, ground-breaking underwater photography and sequences, and the director pays great detail to the physics of deep sea diving. But this technical proficency can't make up for a generally weak storyline. As you watch the ensuing events many years after the film was made you'll wonder if certain scenes were just an experiment for later work on Terminator 2 and Titanic. And that really is the problem. Although it's an accomplished film with good character development, adequate acting, thrills, spills, tension and drama it's let down by a weak ending (I STRONGLY recommend the Director's Cut version), some poor dialogue and that nagging sense that it's just trying too hard to be all things to all people. Definately worth seeing but be prepared to feel a little disappointed at the end of it all but not quite able to put your finger on why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wow, this has certainly attracted a mixed bag of reviews over time.
I had hoped this 'James Cameron' gem would have received a Blu-ray update by now.....
When a Nuclear Sub the U.S.S Montana mysteriously sinks a civilian crew are recruited
to investigate as they are the closest to the sight and have the equipment to attempt the
The Oil-Rig Team led by 'Bud' (Ed Harris) are being asked to investigate the 'sub' that
is on a ledge 2,000 feet below the surface, the team will be under the command of 'Lt
Hiram Coffey' (Michael Beihn) and are joined by 'Bud's' estranged partner 'Lindsey' (
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio)
The Oil-Rig Sub soon reaches the stricken vessel, after a search it becomes obvious that
no crew had survived.
'Lindsey' who'd followed the other mini-craft down see's strange brightly light objects moving
rapidly in the waters around her mini-sub.
What the Oil-Rig crew were not aware of is the purpose of the military presence, there are
several nuclear war-heads on -board the stricken craft.
On the surface the incident has attracted international interest especially from the Russians.
A hurricane begins to rage upon the surface , a crane being used on one of the surface vessels
to aid the work below has broken free and is hurtling toward the 'Oil-Rig' craft below, though the
main structure is spared damage to the base-sub is incurred, water rushes in casualties mount.
The base-sub has been left close to the ledge and has been disabled, may-days are relayed to
the surface, trouble is with the storm raging there is little they can do to help.
'Lindsey' takes a mini-sub to survey the damage the base-sub has suffered, she finds herself
followed by the object she'd seen before, and then a much larger version....difficult to explain.
What is it that appears to be observing them from the depths below.
Much to the horror of 'Bud's' crew the military have brought a Nuclear-Device on-board from the
stricken sub.
'Bud' sets out to tackle the Lieutenant who seems to be losing control of his actions, the Officer
after a struggle escapes in a mini-sub 'Bud' suits-up to pursue, a further struggle between the
mini-sub piloted by 'The Lieutenant' and 'Lindsey' who is now piloting another mini-sub to aid
After a tussle, 'Lieutenant Coffey' is sent hurtling toward the Abyss, while the craft piloted by 'Lindsey'
now with 'Bud' on-board has been disabled by the struggle, they are 70 yards away from the base,
a risk will have to be taken, they only have the one suit, will they both survive.
Back on the Base-Craft it is realized that a Nuclear device has fallen into the Abyss and needs to be
disabled, no one has ever dived and survived the depths.
'Bud' suits up, feeling it is his responsibility as team-leader, the pressure and ever lowering temperature
should prove too big a hurdle, the odds stacked against 'Bud'
So far, So Good, except that has taken 30 minutes to reach the device, he has but just 5 minutes of air
On the surface a giant vessel and bright lights, he decides to spend what he believes to be his last moments
gazing at the vessel not of this World.
A power beyond imagination with the power to destroy mankind if it so wished.
The film has been digitally re-mastered (special-edition) the screen size however is 4.3.
This is a truly brilliant movie spectacle that portrays all the special-effects available to 'James Cameron' back
in 1989.
The film, often tense, frequently exciting, will hold your attention throughout the 165 minute spectacle,
Special Features -
Disc One -
Interactive Menus - Original Theatrical Version - Special Edition Version (with 24 minutes of additional footage)
Text Commentary Option for Both Versions - Collectors 12 page Booklet
Disc Two -
Interactive Menus - Trailers - Behind the-scenes Footage - Documentary ..'Under Pressure' - Making the Abyss
James Cameron's Original Screen-play - Featurette - Visual Effects Reel - Photo Gallery - Cast Biographies'
Multi-Angels of Pseudopod Sequence.
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