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The Big Blue [Version Longue] [DVD] [1988]

3.8 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Big Blue [Version Longue] [DVD] [1988]
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  • Leon: Director's Cut [DVD] [1994]
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  • Nikita [DVD]
Total price: £14.21
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Product details

  • Actors: Rosanna Arquette, Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Paul Shenar, Sergio Castellitto
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Producers: Patrice Ledoux
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Dutch, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun. 2003
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TBSX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,453 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Extended version of Luc Besson's film about the dangers of obsession and rivalry. A lifelong rivalry between two deep sea divers (who dive without aqualungs) culminates in a series of free-diving competitions. Jacques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr) can reach unprecedented depths without breathing apparatus, while Enzo (Jean Reno) is driven to dive by obsession. Rosanna Arquette falls for Jacques when she sees him diving in Peru, where she is working. But she is unable to get in contact with him and when he returns to Italy she hatches a plot to get work to transfer her there so that she can be close to him.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 alternate DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Fascinating film about competing divers, but it does drag at times and I think it would have benefited from tighter editing - 2h 43m is a bit too long. But the film is beautiful to watch with some stunning cinematography, both above and below the waterline - just have the ffwd button handy in case you get bored ;-) Jean Reno is excellent as the older, more experienced diver, and Jean-Marc Barr is very good as his younger rival; I did find Rosanna Arquette a bit irritating as the love interest, but that didn't really detract from the film too much.

Well-worth watching, whether you're a die-hard Luc Besson fan or not. By the way, I think Amazon have mixed up the cast with the other Big Blue film from the same year (directed by Andrew Horn). David Brisbin wasn't in the Luc Besson film. I'll log an error report with them.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Best film ever made this is the best version as well diving bell scene is killer !
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By S. P. Long TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Nov. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
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!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Extremely annoyed as the webpage fails to mention this version has a dubbed French sound track with English sub titles. Why do this to a film that was made with its original soundtrack recorded in English (other than to sell to a French speaking audience....?)..... It was quickly returned.
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Format: Blu-ray
When Optimum Home Entertainment originally released this great slice of 1980's French cinema, it was in a horribly messed-up French-langauge-only version, with English subtitles. Obviously, someone at Optimum had royally screwed-up, as anyone who knows this film, (or had even watched some of the film itself), would see, the cast are predominantly speaking in English throughout the entire film. In fact, this was Luc Besson's first English-language movie.

What we have here, is the corrected re-release, with the correct English language audio track, plus a whole host of extras, more of which in a minute. (You can, of course still watch the film in dubbed-French with English subtitles, if you really want to, but I wouldn't recommend it.) I won't repeat the film's plot, as you'll either know it anyway, or a better description can be found elsewhere, than me simply trying to condense it down into a paragraph or two. No, what you all want to know, is "Is this disc worth my money"?

Teh simple answer, is YES!

In fact, what we do have here, is a collection of some really odd and unusual stuff. Fans of the film will know that THE BIG BLUE exists in two versions: the original US theatrical cut, that runs to just shy of 2 hours, (but which has a score by Bill Conti replacing Eric Serra's ethereal one), and the longer Director's Cut (or Version Integrale edition), that adds-in another 40-or so minutes of extra footage.

The Optimum Blu-Ray contains two versions, but not the two you are expecting!

You get the Director's Cut/Version Integrale edition, as the main option, and if I'm honest, this is the better version. It's more coherent, it's more entertaining, and the characters have more on-screen time that viewers can savour.
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Format: DVD
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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