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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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When Optimum released Besson's films on BD a couple of months ago, they made a huge mistake with The Big Blue, releasing a film that was originally filmed in English with only a dubbed French soundtrack. Many people, myself included, sent their copies back in disgust, and I am delighted to say that "people power" has worked for once, as Optimum have seen sense and re-released the film with the original English soundtrack.

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!
1414 comments| 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'm a huge fan of Luc Besson's work, and The Big Blue is one of my favorite films. As soon as I saw it was coming out on BD, I ordered it on the spot. The DVD version has always annoyed me because the soundtrack wanders in and out of sync with the picture, and I hoped that the BD would give me something close to a perfect copy.

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.
66 comments| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 July 2006
If you want 2 1/2 hours or so of pure escapism then this is the film for you. Besson's epic film will take you to beautiful lands (Peru, Greece, Sicily) and also to the bottom of the sea. Brilliant performances from the cruelly underatted Jean Marc Barr, Rosana Arquette who starts out as the ditzy blond but becomes much more emotional and Jean Reno who stills every scene he's in and also provides much of the humour.

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.
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on 23 August 2004
I've just finished watching this film for the first time. I loved it! As a diver and sailor, I really enjoyed Besson's portrayal of a man caught between the two worlds of land and sea, and the filmwork is superb. The original ending seems infinitely superior to the tacky US 'happy' version.
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!
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on 12 September 2009
I can not beleive that the blu ray version of the big blue has been released French dubbed.I can not watch this film shot in English dubbed back into French..Waste of money.This film is my favourite but this version is not original..I am going to send it back.
0Comment| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 January 2007
i decided to write something about big blue as it is one of my top 20 films of all time and i cant understand people who give it one star.. they really dont understand cinema do they ????
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 ........
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on 16 July 2004
PLOT: A young man (Jean-Marc Barr) with virtually no interest in human society is persuaded by a friend from his past (Jean Reno) to enter into a free-diving competition. The young misfit soon receive the tender devotion of a American girl (Rosanna Arquette) but his inability to reciprocate her love is compounded by his obsession with the sea and his gentle bond with dolphins.
THE DISC: Extras consist of a Theatrical trailer only. Very disappointing were it not for the Extended version of the film featured on this disc. The extra 50-odd minutes detract a little from the 'mysterious feel' of the theatrical version but its good to see the friendship between the Jaques and Enzo characters being further developed. The previously unseen footage in the diving-bell is a hoot!
CONCLUSION: A fantastic film! Very deep... excuse the pun. A must see for everyone who has a romantic heart and a knowledge of loss. The music is beautiful and the photography stunning. It is a film with very few equals.
WARNING: The lead actor and actress do little for the film and its' only the beautiful photography and irrepressible presence of Jean Reno that make the film stand out as it does.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 September 2009
So disappointed by this new edition, no english soundtrack, only french available, dubbed !!!!!
Do not buy it !!!
d.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 September 2009
I've been waiting for this BD for the last two months, just to discover now that it's coming with the French dubbed sound track.
They did film this movie in English, so it's really disappointment that the original English sound track is not an option.

Buyer beware!
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on 8 January 2016
Ah, the 1980's when a Director like Luc Besson could make something like this! I've not seen this since 1988 and the Blu-ray was the first time I had seen the longer Director's Cut. How much mileage you get out of the Director's Cut depends on how much to dig the film. Personally I liked it, but you need to be able to surrender yourself to the film's laid-back, slow-jazz rhythm. Arguably, Rosanna Arquette has never been cuter or more scrumptious than here.

Optimum's Blu-ray, sourced from Gaumont, is gorgeous. Shot in glorious 35mm scope by Carlo Varini, this is a sharp, detailed presentation that recreates the film image. Grain is finely resolved, contrast is strong and features sun-drenched colours, which will make you want to book a trip to Sicily immediately.

Eric Serra's classic score sounds great in lossless stereo. The track is so good that it makes you realise how good a quality stereo mix can be.
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