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Customer Review

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why do people hate this film?, 2 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Waterworld [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I honestly don't understand what all the fuss is about. Why do people hate Waterworld? Why was it instantly disregarded before it was even released? When you really think about it, how much different IS Waterworld from the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies? They are quite similar if you think about it. Waterworld also cost $75 million less than the average PotC budget. But because those movies have Johnny Depp in mascara the whole world loves it! Hypocrisy!

With a lot of behind the scenes trouble (director Kevin Reynolds walked off the film and Costner had to finish the final third of filming himself) and negative pre-release buzz, everyone expected Waterworld to fail. Boasting a budget of £175 million (the most expensive ever until Titanic 2 years later) it was sure to be a flop, especially with the snooty public and critics blasting it before its release. Then, the unthinkable happened. Upon release, Waterworld actually managed to prove critic expectation wrong and be a good movie, receiving good (albeit ignored) reviews and finally earning a grand total of $255 million at the Box Office. This is before video, laserdisc, TV, DVD and Blu Ray sales. Does that sound like a flop to you?

The plot is far-fetched. Yes, but so is a plot involving fish-men, giant squids and Orlando Bloom as anything remotely masculine. But you accepted that quite easily. So just, for a minute, believe that if the polar ice caps DID melt that the world WOULD be covered in water. Set hundreds of years after this particular cataclysm, Waterworld follows the journey of The Mariner (Kevin Costner, who is only referred to a few times but never actually named), a man who is one step beyond human as he has the ability to breathe underwater and has webbed feet.

Early on in the movie, The Mariner comes across an Atoll, a floating small town complete with its own Waterbillies. When the Atoll is seized by crazed madman baddie boss Dennis Hopper as The Duke of the Deez (as in Exxon Valdeez), The Mariner escapes with Enola, a little girl who may hold the secret of Dryland and her guardian Helen (the totally gorgeous Jeanne Tripplehorn). Not happy with anyone leaving the party The Duke sends his army of filthy smokers to catch The Mariner and discover Dryland for himself.

Waterworld has a lot going for it. It's everything an action/sci-fi movie should be. There is so much escapism in the stunning seascapes and tropical feel. James Newton Howard's exotic score (replacing a rejected score by Mark Isham) is breathtaking and I seriously recommend you hunt down Waterworld (Original Score). The action is almost entirely special effects and stuntwork and it's brilliantly done. The editing is also quite impressive as is the amazing sound design. Waterworld is far superior to many, more expensive action films but still carries this burden of negative, unfair public opinion.

I have only ever seen the 136-minute cut of Waterworld that was released into cinemas and subsequent VHS etc. But a Director's Cut of 176 minutes has been shown on TV in America several times. This version apparently restores several scenes that tie up loose ends and answers a lot of questions about how the this particular watery future works as well as revealing that Dryland is actually Mount Everest. Other than TV airings, this version has never made available to the public (the extended DVD was still cut and had censored swearing). The Blu Ray was a chance to put it right, but Universal fumbled the ball and have had a terrible track record with their catalog movies. Never say never though.

Don't have prejudices against this movie. Think different and see for yourself how good it is.

I've often wondered why Waterworld was filmed flat. Surely a film of this size and ambition should be made in Panavision or some other equivalent. But no, 1.85:1 is it and the 1080p transfer looks brilliant. Suntans come off as deep and brown, water shots have lots of previously unseen detail and fire is bright and...er...firey. You'll know what I mean if you watch it. A few shots though, particularly some CGI shots, can come across a heavily grainy. But I think that this is probably just a production problem rather than a mastering error. A huge step up from the standard definition DVD.

Regarding the Academy Award-nominated sound design you're in for a sonic assault. Waterworld sounds incredible in DTS HD-MA, and you'll love it. Sound effects and explosions come through clear as a bell and with plenty of base and James Newton Howard's lush score will make you feel all warm or thrill you to bits, depending on the scene.

No extras through. A tragedy. Especially since there has to be so much behind the scenes material. No commentary. No deleted scenes. Nothing! A very poor effort on Universal's part.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Mar 2011, 13:10:40 GMT
Ste says:
Boss review mate, ive been waiting for ages for someone to write a proper review of waterworld on blu ray to see if it would be worth buying,judging by what you said i think i will,i also agree with you about the soundtrack, it one of the best,in particular the track (Swimming}the most most beautiful piece of music i ever did hear.

Posted on 16 Mar 2011, 13:11:12 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Mar 2011, 13:11:27 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2013, 19:17:36 BST
yes very good review..the bluray is good..but universal should do the film the proper justice on blu

Posted on 4 Nov 2014, 18:13:43 GMT
tunmut says:
In 1995 cutthroat island was also flopped and that one was really similar to the pirates of the Caribbean . However both waterworld and cutthroat island lacked loveable , quirky and love to hate sort of characters.neither of them has a character like captan jack sparrow . I think that makes the difference

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2014, 19:05:05 GMT
You are entitled to your opinion, but I completely disagree.

Posted on 20 Dec 2014, 14:19:45 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2014, 14:25:20 GMT
Noon says:
So let me get this right...you're saying that turning into a fish is one step 'beyond' human? is that right? if so, where do you get that idea from, it needs a bit more explanation for us lowly humans who aren't turning into fish.?You also say...'The plot is far-fetched. Yes, but so is a plot involving fish-men'..I'm confused... as you appear to be contradicting your complete worship of gills and webbed hands for post apocalyptic humans...or am I just turning into a low-life/high-life fish-man?

Posted on 1 Jan 2015, 14:50:46 GMT
Excellent commentary, "Inspector gadget".

In response to "Monk"; It seems perfectly logical that becoming an amphibious human can be described as `beyond human'. Such a being - as made manifest in this movie - would possess all the evolved survival flexibility of a terrestrial human, but with the extra dimension of unfettered access to an aquatic environment. This would be highly beneficial even today, where a third of the world still remains terra-firma. Such an individual would be incapable of drowning and have absolutely no need to carry cumbersome and restrictive scuba or snorkelling apparatus, whilst remaining submerged indefinitely. However; in a world where some 99% of the surface is aquatic; the capacity to function efficiently in the sea - where almost all resources, especially FOOD must be found - the adaptation would actually be of paramount survival benefit. The one tiny island that remains in this movie must quickly become over-populated if present-day human behaviour be any guide, whilst the endless seas would remain super-abundant.

Further; I find no "contradiction" whatsoever. Although the mutation possessed by the mariner would be a tremendous boon under any circumstances; it's sudden emergence as a functioning mutation is - obviously - "far-fetched", even though our ears did actually evolve from our ancient ancestors' gills. As indeed is the plot "far-fetched"; the complete dissolution of polar ice would never lead to such a complete continental inundation. But if it did - then gills would be a must-have adaptation. I hope this helps to alleviate some of your `confusion'. If not; try Darwin's "Origin of Species'.

Finally, you have only to explore Human cultural history to see how - since leaving the African savannahs - we have intimately co-existed with the seas. Even today, much of our food supplies are drawn from them. Whilst scuba diving, and snorkelling are £multi-billion international industries. As, of course, are sailing, surfing, sailboarding and so on. Indeed attempts are advanced in the development of an oxy-aphilic membrane to prosthetically endow us with The Mariner's adaptation. And believe me - that will be worth £trillions.

Posted on 28 Dec 2015, 03:04:28 GMT
My only problem with Waterworld - which is a perfectly fine post-apocalypse movie - is the insistence people have that the polar ice caps melting would create this kind of environment, which is nonsense. We'd lose a ton of coastal cities, but all land over 200 feet in elevation would still be land. A better MacGuffin might've been that deep core drilling unleashed water stored in the magma, raising the sea level by two thousand feet - then you'd truly have a Waterworld with just a few outcrops remaining. But generally, yes - it's a fun movie.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2016, 23:52:13 BST
tigger says:
Yeah its a brilliant film way ahead of its time, and pre the usual cgi rubbish. One of the great undervalued classics with too many people blinded by negative reviews to give it a fair chance.

Posted on 20 Feb 2017, 09:45:48 GMT
Skipper says:
One of my favs films is also the postman. Most underrated film ever. This has to be 2nd most.
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