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"...Come To Mama!" - Deep Blue Sea on BLU RAY
on 5 August 2011
In sunny daylight a small sea-biplane heads towards a supposedly disused refuelling station for World War II submarines. The circular steel structure bobs unassumingly on the surface on a calm ocean with 8-foot titanium fencing all around its circular perimeter. On board the seaplane are Marine Biologist Dr. Susan McAllister (Saffron Burrows) and the head honcho at Chimera Pharmaceuticals - Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson). Both are trying to salvage a medical experiment (for conflicting reasons) that will be closed down in 48 hours unless it yields a commercially usable product.
Once on the AQUATICA FACILITY - Russell Franklin looks in wonder (and a little fear) at three massive Mako Sharks holed up in large pens - nicknamed by the biologists as GEN 1 and GEN 2. Dr. McAllister and Dr. Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard) have been feeding these ancient killing machines hormone therapy in order to try to find a cure to the degenerative destructiveness of Alzheimer's disease. McAlister's father died from it and she's driven to find a cure no matter what (perhaps even break a few International Laws on Gene Therapy in the process).
But something odd is happening. A shark-wrangler called Carter Blake (Thomas Jane) has noticed that the huge beasts suddenly seem smarter and are displaying behaviour that is too advanced to be normal. The three GENS are hunting in a pack, synchronizing attacks on underwater wire alleys divers use to cross from one part of the pen to the next.
Then a storm comes in overnight and an Ambulance Helicopter that is supposed to take a wounded Dr. Whitlock to safety is dragged by its winch into the facility's control tower and all Hell breaks loose as the fuel tanks topside blow. The survivors down below realize that unless they can get to the surface - they'll drown. But what if the sharks are trying to get there too?
"Deep Blue Sea" is a fabulous little thriller with shocks and nibbles a plenty. Throw in LL Cool J and his talking parrot as the comedy element - Saffron Burrows looking delicious in wet suits - and Thomas Jane looking all manly as he saves the day - and this little number rocks.
The set pieces are great - the sinking facilities - shafts filled with water - biology bays getting creamed - the stand-offs with the genetically modified munching monsters in kitchens and corridors - the threat they represent if they get out to the open sea - it's all very clever stuff and well presented. So come the end when Saffron calls out Mister Nasty and his unfeasibly large set of gnashers (dialogue above) - your nerves will have been given a good gnawing over and you'll be cancelling that snorkelling holiday to Marbella.
The BLU RAY picture quality is handsome and a big improvement on the DVD I've had all these years. It's defaulted to 2.40:1 (16 x 9) and therefore fills the screen. Even in the dark night sequences and indoor shots - the clarity is great. The mighty 5.1 surround soundtrack has huge punch - especially when crashes, bangs and wallops happen (which is a lot).
AUDIO is DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1, Dolby Digital Castellan Spanish 5.1, French 5.1 and German 5.1. SUBTITLES include English, Bulgarian, Castellan Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Korean, Latin Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian and Swedish.
The EXTRAS include a Feature-Length Commentary by Director Renny Harlin and Actor Samuel L. Jackson, two featurettes "When Sharks Attack" and "The Sharks Of Deep Blue Sea" and Deleted Scenes (with optional Director commentary).
Reasonably priced and better than a slap across the face with a wet mackerel - treat yourself to Renny Harlin's watery wonder. And stop feeding your goldfish spinach...watch Samuel L. Jackson's fate in "Deep Blue Sea" and you'll now why...