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Big Blue [Blu-ray]
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Audio Options French French with English Subtitles (DTS HD master Audio 2.0)
A hit in Europe but a flop in the US--where it was trimmed, rescored, and given a new ending--Luc Besson's The Big Blue has endured as a minor cult classic for its gorgeous photography (both on land and underwater) and dreamy ambiance. Jean-Marc Barr is a sweet and sensitive but passive presence as Jacques, a diver with a unique connection to the sea. He has the astounding ability to slow his heartbeat and his circulation on deep dives, "a phenomenon that's only been observed in whales and dolphins until now," remarks one scientist. Kooky New York insurance adjuster Joanna (Rosanna Arquette at her most delightfully flustered and endearingly sexy best) melts after falling into his innocent baby blues, and she follows him to Italy, where he's continuing a lifelong competition with boyhood rival Enzo (Jean Reno in a performance both comic and touching).
Besson's first English-language production looks more European than Hollywood, and it suffers from a tin ear for the language. At times it feels more like an IMAX undersea documentary than a drama about free divers, but the lush and lovely images create a fairy tale dimension to Jacques's story, a veritable Little Merman. More dolphin than man, he's so torn between earthly love and aquatic paradise that even his dreams call him to the sea (in a sequence more eloquent than any speech).
Besson has expanded the film by 50 minutes for his director's cut, which adds little story but slows the contemplative pace until it practically floats in time, and has restored Eric Serra's synthesizer-heavy score, a slice of 1980s pop that at times borders on disco kitsch. Most importantly, he has restored his original ending, which echoes the fairy tale he tells Joanna earlier in the film and leaves the story floating in the inky blackness of ambiguity. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The disc includes both the original and director's cut versions of the film, with a choice of English (LPCM) and French (DTS 2.0) soundtracks for both. The uncompressed English track, while stereo only rather than surround, sounds superb - switching between it and the French track shows a noticeable improvement in quality on the PCM over the DTS version. The picture quality is excellent - The Big Blue finally gets the presentation it deserves, and the transfer to BD is pin-sharp and gorgeous to look at. On a quick flick through, the lipsync errors that plague the DVD versions of this film seem to have been fixed, which is excellent news. The only remaining niggle is that the picture is still from the French print - the captions for place names etc are still the French versions (Sicile as opposed to Sicily, for example) - but that hardly detracts from what has been turned from a disaster into a compulsory purchase for Besson fans.
Well done to Optimum for doing the decent thing - I never believed it would happen!
First off, the visuals are superb - Big Blue is entirely about the visuals, rather than the (rather thin) story, and Besson's stunning cinematography is very well served by the high-def transfer.
However, there is a major problem with the sound. Besson is a French director, but Big Blue was the first film he shot in English. It was later dubbed into French, but the actors all spoke English in the original version. So what soundtrack has been applied to the BD? The dubbed French one. The original English track isn't even available as an option - if you buy this disc, you will be watching a film shot in English, dubbed back into French, with subtitles.
Whoever is responsible for this decision should be taken out and shot. (Or forced to watch "Joan Of Arc - The Messenger" for the rest of eternity...) I'm not sure I can even bear to watch Big Blue like this - I may just send it back. The other Besson BDs, such as "Nikita" and "Subway", are great with the French soundtracks - that's how they were intended to be seen. But Big Blue was meant to be seen in English, and this BD has been ruined. What a crying shame, and a waste of the BD format.
The film won several awards for the underwater photography which is absolutely breathtaking and also for Eric Serra's dreamy music which gives the movie a whole new feel and puts your right in the action.
The story becomes even more tragic when you know that the real life Jacques Mayol committed suicide recently, at the age of 74, after suffering from depression. He was a great diver, and a real inspiration to many who free dive today. If you haven't seen the film, and have a passion for the water, watch it as soon as you can!
it really is an amazing film, dreamy is the right word, one of bessons best together with nikita and leon (especially leon, great but not as unique). music and cinematography are oscar worthy, acting is sublime, photography breathtaking.. story maybe slightly frivolous but touching at same time. a drama with a few drops of comedy here and there, on a subject that was never touched before or after this film came out.
if u generally love the sea and never seen this film just go buy it, u will be enthralled..& if u are indifferent on the sea subject, but u think u can still appreciate a stunningly beautiful film then still go buy it. 6 stars ........
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the director's first English language film. The version Love Film rented me only has the French dub - there is no English track. This is nonsense. Read morePublished 22 days ago by James
Be aware of this English dubbed bluray.
The English dubbeld version is only two channel pcm version and French DTS is mono. Read more
A special film that means something special to me as I watched it many times with a special personPublished 2 months ago by Christopher Reynolds
One of the best movies ever produced. Amazing quality on the Blue Ray. I have this movie in VHS, then in CD, dvd and now Blue-ray :-)Published 3 months ago by D.Dekel