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on 13 May 2015
This review is based on this specific release, not the film itself.
Basically, all Universal have done is repackage the existing WATERWORLD blu-ray. I mean, it is exactly the same. There is no additional content, it's not got the Extended Cut, there is nothing to distinguish this from the existing release - the menus are the same even the product coding on the discs: exactly the same!
Calling this a 20th Anniversary Special Edition is an utter FARCE. All you're getting is a different (and not as good) cover.
Sham, do not purchase.
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VINE VOICEon 2 February 2007
I honestly don't understand what all the fuss is about. Why do people hate Waterworld? Why was it instantly disregarded before it was even released? When you really think about it, how much different IS Waterworld from the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies? They are quite similar if you think about it. Waterworld also cost $75 million less than the average PotC budget. But because those movies have Johnny Depp in mascara the whole world loves it! Hypocrisy!

With a lot of behind the scenes trouble (director Kevin Reynolds walked off the film and Costner had to finish the final third of filming himself) and negative pre-release buzz, everyone expected Waterworld to fail. Boasting a budget of £175 million (the most expensive ever until Titanic 2 years later) it was sure to be a flop, especially with the snooty public and critics blasting it before its release. Then, the unthinkable happened. Upon release, Waterworld actually managed to prove critic expectation wrong and be a good movie, receiving good (albeit ignored) reviews and finally earning a grand total of $255 million at the Box Office. This is before video, laserdisc, TV, DVD and Blu Ray sales. Does that sound like a flop to you?

The plot is far-fetched. Yes, but so is a plot involving fish-men, giant squids and Orlando Bloom as anything remotely masculine. But you accepted that quite easily. So just, for a minute, believe that if the polar ice caps DID melt that the world WOULD be covered in water. Set hundreds of years after this particular cataclysm, Waterworld follows the journey of The Mariner (Kevin Costner, who is only referred to a few times but never actually named), a man who is one step beyond human as he has the ability to breathe underwater and has webbed feet.

Early on in the movie, The Mariner comes across an Atoll, a floating small town complete with its own Waterbillies. When the Atoll is seized by crazed madman baddie boss Dennis Hopper as The Duke of the Deez (as in Exxon Valdeez), The Mariner escapes with Enola, a little girl who may hold the secret of Dryland and her guardian Helen (the totally gorgeous Jeanne Tripplehorn). Not happy with anyone leaving the party The Duke sends his army of filthy smokers to catch The Mariner and discover Dryland for himself.

Waterworld has a lot going for it. It's everything an action/sci-fi movie should be. There is so much escapism in the stunning seascapes and tropical feel. James Newton Howard's exotic score (replacing a rejected score by Mark Isham) is breathtaking and I seriously recommend you hunt down Waterworld (Original Score). The action is almost entirely special effects and stuntwork and it's brilliantly done. The editing is also quite impressive as is the amazing sound design. Waterworld is far superior to many, more expensive action films but still carries this burden of negative, unfair public opinion.

I have only ever seen the 136-minute cut of Waterworld that was released into cinemas and subsequent VHS etc. But a Director's Cut of 176 minutes has been shown on TV in America several times. This version apparently restores several scenes that tie up loose ends and answers a lot of questions about how the this particular watery future works as well as revealing that Dryland is actually Mount Everest. Other than TV airings, this version has never made available to the public (the extended DVD was still cut and had censored swearing). The Blu Ray was a chance to put it right, but Universal fumbled the ball and have had a terrible track record with their catalog movies. Never say never though.

Don't have prejudices against this movie. Think different and see for yourself how good it is.

I've often wondered why Waterworld was filmed flat. Surely a film of this size and ambition should be made in Panavision or some other equivalent. But no, 1.85:1 is it and the 1080p transfer looks brilliant. Suntans come off as deep and brown, water shots have lots of previously unseen detail and fire is bright and...er...firey. You'll know what I mean if you watch it. A few shots though, particularly some CGI shots, can come across a heavily grainy. But I think that this is probably just a production problem rather than a mastering error. A huge step up from the standard definition DVD.

Regarding the Academy Award-nominated sound design you're in for a sonic assault. Waterworld sounds incredible in DTS HD-MA, and you'll love it. Sound effects and explosions come through clear as a bell and with plenty of base and James Newton Howard's lush score will make you feel all warm or thrill you to bits, depending on the scene.

No extras through. A tragedy. Especially since there has to be so much behind the scenes material. No commentary. No deleted scenes. Nothing! A very poor effort on Universal's part.
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on 23 September 2015
I guess Universal still havn't learnt their lesson from the last Waterworld blu-ray release
what else is new with them
big insult to advertise this new blu-ray as 20th Anniversary edition
when there is no Extended cut version, no new special features either
all you get is the usual Theatrical cut with the original Trailer as an extra
even the U.S. blu-ray version has the same content, no extended cut version
is that insulting or what
Good new for fans thou who have no problem with the theatrical cut
bad news for Hardcore fans who prefer the extended cut than the typical Theatrical cut
Disgusting effort by Universal you think they would learn the second time around, obviously not
what Universal should've done is include both versions with new HD transfers & new 5.1 master mixes
if they can't be bothered with getting new extras than at least add both versions to the one Disc
and leave it to the fans to decide which version to watch, it's plain common sense, very pathetic decision
who knows if there ever will be a blu-ray release with both versions
so for the fans who love the extended cut, keep the old 2 Disc dvd set
this blu-ray is worth nothing
1 star i gave it, 5 stars for the film, 1 star for this new blu-ray
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VINE VOICEon 15 August 2012
Never before has a film been so undeserving of hate. I honestly don't understand what all the fuss is about. Why do people hate Waterworld? Why was it instantly disregarded before it was even released? When you really think about it, how much different IS Waterworld from the more recent Pirates of Caribbean films? They are quite similar if you think about it. Waterworld also cost $75 million less than the average POTC budget. But because it has Johnny Depp in mascara the whole world loves it! Hypocrisy! With a lot of behind the scenes trouble (Reynolds walked off the film and Costner had to finish the final third of filming himself) and negative pre-release buzz, everyone expected Waterworld to fail. Boasting a budget of £175 million (the most expensive ever until Titanic 2 years later) it was sure to be a flop, especially with the snooty public and critics blasting it before its release. Then...the unthinkable happened.

Upon release, Waterworld actually managed to prove critic expectation wrong and be a good movie, receiving good (albeit ignored) reviews and finally earning a grand total of $255 million at the Box Office. This is before video, laserdisc, TV, DVD, HD-DVD and Blu Ray sales as well as all of the merchandise and the huge show at Universal Studios Japan. Does THAT sound like a flop to you? The plot is far-fetched. Yes, but so are the POTC plots involving fish-men, giant squids and Orlando Bloom as anything remotely masculine. But you accepted that quite easily. So just, for a minute, believe that if the polar ice caps DID melt that the world WOULD be covered in water. Set hundreds of years after this particular cataclysm, Waterworld follows the journey of The Mariner (Kevin Costner, who is only referred to a few times but never actually named), a man who is one step beyond human as he has the ability to breathe underwater and has webbed feet.

Early on in the movie, The Mariner comes across an Atoll, a floating small town complete with its own hill...er Waterbillies. When the Atoll is seized by crazed madman baddie boss Dennis Hopper as The Duke of the Deez (as in Exxon Valdeez), The Mariner escapes with Enola, a little girl who may hold the secret of Dryland and her guardian Helen (the totally gorgeous Jeanne Tripplehorn). Not happy with anyone leaving the party The Duke sends his army of filthy smokers to catch The Mariner and discover Dryland for himself.

Waterworld has a lot going for it. It's everything an action/sci-fi movie should be. There is so much escapism in the stunning seascapes and tropical feel. James Newton Howard's exotic score (replacing a rejected score by Mark Isham) is breathtaking and I seriously recommend you hunt down the soundtrack CD. The action is almost entirely special effects and stunt-work and it's brilliantly done. The editing is also quite impressive as is the amazing sound design. Waterworld is far superior to many, more expensive action films but still carries this burden of negative, unfair public opinion. Yes, there are logical errors, such as minor characters having gold fillings, Dennis Hopper referring to a flushing toilet, and present day localized accents, but...it's a movie!

I have only ever seen the 136-minute cut of Waterworld that was released into cinemas and subsequent VHS etc. But a Director's Cut of 176 minutes has been shown on TV in America several times. This version apparently restores several scenes that tie up loose ends and answers a lot of questions about how the this particular watery future works as well as revealing that Dryland is actually Mount Everest. Other than TV airings, this version has never made available to the public. Which is quite annoying as there is a huge fanbase for it. This new Blu-ray edition features the theatrical edition only, sadly, but it comes in a nice package. However, the slip-case isn't tight enough and the case falls out, plus the shrink-wrap was far too tight and permanently skewed the slip-case. Thankfully, it doesn't come in an dreaded eco-case. The BD itself is presented in 1.85:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. The only extra is a trailer.

Don't have prejudices against this movie. Think different and see for yourself how cool it is.
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on 30 April 2002
It was only after I'd seen the film that I was told how dreadful it was. I wish somebody had told me earlier - I feel dirty..and used. I realise now that I have thoroughly enjoyed this movie under false pretences.
I remember the days when a young(ish) Clint Eastwood grimaced his way through a whole bunch of dollars - more or less giving birth to the anti-hero - what a shot in the arm for the genre that was. So....imagine the same character with flippers and you're halfway there. Mind you, there's more than a referential nod to Errol Flynn, there's more swashing, buckling and derring do than anyone called Kevin really has a right to participate in, but he pulls it off with more aplomb than most. What's more, you never feel as though he's taking liberties - he plays the whole thing straight - which is quite something when you consider the size of the holes in the plot and the infernal nit-picking that ensued as a result. And as for Mr Hopper, yes he's a cartoon villain - that's pretty much what I paid my dollar for - he may not be an American Psycho, but he's got an eyepatch and that's good enough for me. Anyway, why are you looking at him when you've got Ms Tripplehorn on screen ?
All in all it's hardly a a work of high art, but if you're the type that thinks poor reviews are a plus point, then you'll buy it anyway - and you'll have a great couple of hours.
Anyway - what do I know - I loved the Postman too.
Ignore the tiresome little typewriter tappers.
They need to get over it.
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on 22 April 2016
One thing I don't quite understand is anyone who is not a fan of Kevin Costner. He has made some truly great films such as The Untouchables, Field Of Dreams, Prince Of Thieves, Dances With Wolves, A Perfect World, Open Range and Mr Brooks. Not to mention his brilliant TV mini series, Hatfields And McCoys. Quite a stunning CV really. And yes, he has also made some crap, but so has everyone except Clint Eastwwod. WaterWorld is a bit of a different story, so please read on. It's pretty good film overall and I do enjoy it but there is some rather propostrious action scenes they make no sense and are impossible to comprehend. The story it pretty solid though and the movie still holds up well today.

The polar ice caps have melted and the earth is now covered in water. Humans have had to adapt to the new enviroment, some so more than others having to cope with mutation. Kev's charecter has formed slighty webbed feet which would make people who interbreed jealous. He also has gills behind his ears. Well I say gills, but they look more like p*** flaps! While I'm on a rant about the things that are stupid, I'll go through the ridiculous action scenes I mentioned. Brace yourself because what I'm about to describe is so silly it makes the idea of golf or camping seem reasonable.....

Aboard ear mindge's boat is a reel of rope on the back that he uses to swim deep and lower his little one man capsule submarine type thing. Sounds reasonable enough. But when he decides to take a human with him in the form of Jeanne Tripplehorn (whos ears don't resemble vagina's), to the city below to show her what the earth looked like before the water flooded everything, it becomes a bit far fetched. They go so so deep into to the city below, and then even further from the top of sky scrapers and then have a butchers around the drowned city. It would have been miles and miles deep and there is absolutely no way the rope would have long enough. And the presure at that depth would be impossible to take. But our charecters seem to cope with no problems when the brains of others would be crushed to a pulp and explode.

Back to the story.....right, yes where was I...The earth now sodden, but with humans still clinging to hope to find dry land. The key to this is a little girl who has the map to dry land tattooed on her back. Costner ends up rescuing her from the sadistic grips of folks who want to carve the map off her and will stop at nothing to get to the land of the dry. And by that I don't mean a nuns clundge!

The other far fetched scenes are when the baddies called "smokers" led by Dennis Hopper manage to row an oil tanker! What!!!!!! How in the name in all thats holy could this happen????? And when Costner does a bungee style jump from an air balloon to rescue the young girl in the sea as she is about be run over by a jet ski. Except he uses a normal rope which would have torn his leg clean off rather that bounce back up to the balloon basket above. Also the jet ski's the smokers use see to have had their engines replaced with Harley Davidson blocks, even though it's been hundreds of years since a Harley would have been around. Utter b*****ks! But rest assure, there is some excellent action moments that are executed very well indeed.

Oh, and before I forget, old Costner and Tripplehorn manage a quick shag after his boat has been destroyed and a little girl is kidnapped by the smokers! Surely they could have waited. But on the other hand its Tripplehorn so I would have been up it like a rat up a drain pipe. And while we are on the subject of Tripplehorn, you get to see her stark naked from behind when she drops her gruds in desperation. It had me grabbing for the box of Kleenex!

On the whole Waterworld is a guilty pleasure to watch and is as enjoyable today as it was when it was released. Get the Bluray because it looks brilliant in HD. Before I sign off I forgot to mention Costners other epics. JFK and Wyatt Earp. Ive just ordered some classic Costner, No Way Out and Revenge. Never seen em myself so got those to look after. If you don't enjoy any of those movies then seek an urgent mental health assessment.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 September 2015
Waterworld is a highly entertaining SF action adventure movie set a century or more in the future when the melting of the polar ice-caps has resulted in a catastrophe of biblical proportions. The few remnants of the human race exist on board ships or atolls made from scrap metal bartering scarce resources while a small number of traders survive by sailing the vast oceans which make up most of the planet’s surface. One of these traders is Kevin Costner’s mutant mariner, a self-sufficient outcast with functional gills and webbed feet content with his solitary life abroad an impressive tripled-hulled catamaran. However, when he rescues a young girl his life is put in danger as they are pursued by a vicious gang whose leader is convinced that the girl has knowledge of how to reach the fabled “dry land”. Although the film received considerable negative criticism when it was first released there is much to enjoy – the spectacular attack on the water fort (very little CGI here), the makeshift nuclear family scenes on Costner’s boat, the OTT pantomime villain performance by Dennis Hopper and especially (for me) the poignancy of the existence of ruined cities beneath the sea. I was reminded of Jack Deth exploring the submerged city of Los Angeles in the brilliant low-budget 1980s SF movie Trancers. The movie achieves a good balance of exciting action and wry humour (Joe Hazelwood and the Exxon Valdez anyone?), marvellous cinematography, stirring film score and overall sound acting performances, in particular a standout performance from Tina Majorino as Enola, the young girl.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 June 2012
Something of an oddity here and in my mind, Waterworld doesn't suffer by comparison either to action adventure movies or those in the post apocalyptic genre. Costner continues to offer us the difference between an actor and a star, to me he's the former and his projects are better because of it. As a leading man, the Mariner is more of an outcast than many before or since and not just becuase he's part fish! He's rude and distant, his actions and mannerisms are just a few steps from being feral and I believe this turned off critics during early viewings. The fact that the human side of the Mariner becomes far more prevelant didn't warm critics to him and it was left to the public to decide; they ignored the critics and the film made money, the notion that it was a flop is not born out by a glance at the published figures. The threat of global warming and knowlege of a distant ice age serve as an enabler to suspend disbelief when viewing a world covered by water, not that it's necessary, you know you're watching a SCI fI movie. The changes in language, the customary trade between drifters offers the viewer something of a backstory to how citizens of the new world have developed. Of course in any movie like this there has to be a bad guy and we get a tanker ship full of them. Dennis Hopper is, in equal parts villian and jester chewing scenery and hamming it up with the best of them. The action set pieces are vast and impressive, the musical score has a haunting depth to it and the troubled productions controversial sets are majestic. I enjoyed this so much I even bought the novelisation.
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on 19 July 2010
One more film, you may say, about the end of the world when the icecap is melted. You might be wrong. Apart from the fact that some mutations will appear and be selected, like gills, most human beings will die and the world will at once be divided into the good ones and the bad ones. The bad ones will be some kind of conquerors who will loot, raid and kill in order to find the way to dry land, and survive during that time. They are called the smokers because they smoke, and don't ask where they have such reserves of brand name cigarettes. The good ones are not much better. They organize a highly selective and segregative life in some artificial "islands" in the middle of this watery nowhere. They will refuse the mutants of course and recycle them, they will organize their self defense, but they will practice survival economy: everything has a price and shortages make these prices go up. The mutant is the main hero then because he is autonomous by being able to breathe under water. Yet he is also the one who has some morals, ethics and it is to save a girl that he will get out of his way and in tremendous dangers after he escapes by pure luck from the death the good ones had planned for him, because of the self survival interest of a woman with whom that girl is, to destroy the smokers and follow his nose to dry land where he will deliver the few humans with whom he has been travelling at the end of his journey, but he will move on back on the sea because that is his fate. The film is highly simple as for this division of the world in two after the big catastrophe. The rest is nothing but survival. Yet on one side there is no ethics and on the other side there might be some, they might be slightly more human than the beasts they look like. It is then a going home film, and yet home is not the same for everyone and we should think about that, even in an extreme situation.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
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*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 'HD-DVD' and 'BLU RAY' VERSIONS ***

Thoroughly despised and ridiculed on release by serious-minded critics and costing more than my weekly wages (I work in a second-hand record shop) - "Waterworld" was nonetheless embraced as a B-movie classic by moviegoers all over the world both at the box office and then on DVD reissue a few years later. And in my opinion - rightly so.

Then with the advent of the HD-DVD and BLU RAY formats - "Waterworld" was the kind of movie that virtually screamed "...will look great in Hi Def!" However - I was told by a movie business-insider that the transfer on this film was a little "soft" - disappointing even. I'd like to concentrate on that, because I absolutely don't agree.

I have both a Sony Blu Ray player and a Toshiba HD-DVD player and with a quality HDMI interconnect for both - and I was astonished by the clarity of "Waterworld". It's beautifully transferred and defaulted to automatically fill your entire screen - so you get the full whack and impact. It didn't look this good in the cinema, I can assure you.

Ok, it's not the 'extended cut' that was issued in the USA on DVD and is preferred by some fans - but man does this it look good. It's clean and revelatory in almost every frame and because very little CGI was used, the sets are all real, so nothing looks dated or added on in post-production. So many things now stand out - the floating oil-tanker the 'Deez' - the water bikes and cigarette-smoking loons who drive them - Dennis Hopper's mad eye - the clothing of the crazed inmates on the floating Atoll who notice 'gills' behind Kevin Costner's ears (title above) - it's all good...

I've now acquired the BLU RAY version just recently (Dec 2012) and the picture quality on that is superlative as well, but the really disappointing news is that there are no extras whatsoever. So you can't help but feel that this 'bare bones' issue on BR is being put out there as a stop gap - a filler - and the bells 'n' whistles "Ultimate Edition" will surely be with us a few years down the line.

To sum up - whether you like the film or not - it looks the absolute business on BLU RAY. And even though it's a lazy reissue without any extras - I'd say if you see it cheap enough - go for this version of the boat - even if the full 'catamaran' is due later.
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