The Abyss (One-Disc Edition) [DVD] 
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A civilian oil-rig crew confront a mysterious force that either has the power to change the world or destroy it.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
To try and improve the viewing experience a little i have just purchased the region 2 version....again non anamorphic, but the extra PAL quality should help, not seen it yet so watch this space.
To veer onto another film for a moment, namely '2010', the 2001 sequel, both the region 1 and 2 dvds are again non anamorphic but watching the R1 version on a 40inch LCD screen i was very pleased with the quality and although a 16x9 would obviously be better, this didn't detract from the enjoyment. The region 2 dvd however looked very grainy and soft by comparison, reminding me of the vhs days of ntsc to pal transfers.
Back to the Abyss, and the dvd is not the disaster many reviews are saying, but you do have to accept the drop in quality on a really big screen.
Still a great buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this film the first time I saw it years ago and still loved it when I watched it yesterday! Yes the letter box type view is annoying but after watching this film for about 10... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Steph81
Why would you not watch this film? It's a sci-fi classic with a really quite poignant message about man's tendency to profligacy and aggression borne of fear and mistrust which is... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Steve