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on 15 April 2010
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a film that seems to have had a bit of a voyage itself in terms of perception: taken fairly seriously in 1961, regarded as cheesy ever since the TV series hit syndication but now suddenly looking somewhat pertinent again as its take on global warming no longer seems quite so fanciful even if it is not terribly convincingly thought through. It's also interesting to note that Michael Ansara's explorer turned religious fanatic after a bad case of sunburn who threatens the mission is a far more convincing character than his equivalent in Danny Boyle's relatively recent supposedly profound but ultimately very cheesy indeed Sunshine. For the most part it ambles along relying on the banks of flashing lights and studio tank shots of its impracticably stylish submarine to distract you from the predictable plotting - probably just as well considering how unintentionally amusing Walter Pidgeon's "You goldbricking little pipsqueak!" Patton moment in the sickbay is - before throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the last 15 minutes as if suddenly remembering all the stuff they meant to put in the picture earlier. Yet it's strangely impossible to dislike: this is the movie equivalent of comfort food, safe, undemanding, not really good for you but easy to consume, especially if you're in a lazy mood.
While the original UK and US DVDs only included a trailer as extra, Fox's special edition Region 1 US NTSC DVD is a much better bet, with an audio commentary, interview with co-star Babara Eden, a featurette, stills and production art galleries and trailer, all of which - except the still gallery - have been carried over to the Blu-ray release, though it's a pity the UK release has such a bland cover while the US one uses the original poster art.