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Ghosts Of The Abyss (3D/2D) (2003) Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2012
Image“Titanic” was and is the biggest blockbuster of all-time.  Its grossing numbers are staggering.  While the film takes a lot of flack for its runtime and the sappy love story, that is from the jealous viewers that wish they could have created such a project.  The film is legendary.

About five years after the initial theatrical release of “Titanic” and about eight years after the initial dives to the wreckage of Titanic, James Cameron put together another crew to revisit the wreckage.  This was done in September of 2001.  IN fact the film makes note of the crews hearing of the news of 9/11 after emerging from the submersibles.

Bill Paxton was invited by Cameron to join the crew.  Abernathy was also present on the dive.  Once again the Keldish traveled to the North Atlantic and visited the resting place of Titanic, two and one half miles below the surface.

The film is haunting for some and a simple documentary for others.  I fell somewhere in-between.  The opening is a little rugged.  But once the dives to the wreckage begin and the CG overlays show up on cue, the documentary is quite breathtaking.  There isn’t really any new information in the documentary, but there is some great underwater footage. This Blu-ray package comes with a Blu-ray 3D disc, Blu-ray 2D disc and a DVD copy.  The material, with the exception of the mini submersibles’ footage is in native 3D.  There are also some neat 3D effects in the documentary.  The best pop-out effect I have seen arrives in this release.  When the robot claw arm extends toward you, you will try and shake its hand.  This occurs in the opening minutes.  Aside from that, most of the 3D’s impressive nature lays in the depth.  The underwater wreckage footage is incredible to begin with.  But when the CG overlays are placed on the footage it really brings the wreckage to life.  You can almost imagine walking on the decks of Titanic.

The video quality of the 3D Blu-ray disc is vastly superior to the Blu-ray 2D disc.  Just goes to show you that it isn’t as simple as overlaying two stereoscopic images to derive the 2D image.  The 3D image contains better details, less noise and surprisingly better color and brightness.  There are few moments of softness here and there.  But anything that creeps into the image is pretty much attributed to limitations in filming 2.5 miles below the surface.

The audio is primarily dialogue with built soundscapes around it.  The dialogue unfortunately is the one weak point of the release.  It is prioritized a bit too low in the mix.  Aside from that, the release contains quite an immersive 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track.  The above water sequences are dialogue and foley.  The underwater sequences are where the true genius comes in.  The music is trademark “Titanic” style.  The silence becomes creepy.  The two work together to create a rather unique enveloping experience.  The roar of the ocean during the first submersible rise is rather violent.  You might actually get seasick, if you are prone to it.

The three-disc package contains all bonus materials on the Blu-ray 2D disc.  The Blu-ray 2D disc contains a 90-minute extended version of the film.  Note: the Blu-ray 3D disc only contains the original 60-minute feature.  The other bonus material is the inclusion of “Reflections of the Deep.”  This is a 30-minute documentary on the CG effects and expeditions as presented by the cast and crew.

“Ghosts Of The Abyss” is an interesting release, timed nicely with the actually “Titanic” film Blu-ray release.  However, I can’t decide if the price tag is actually worth it.  Fans will no doubt want to add this Blu-ray release to their collection, especially if they have 3D capabilities.

Director: James Cameron

Cast: James Cameron, Bill Paxton, Lori Johnston, Lewis Abernathy

Release Date: 2012
Main Feature Resolution: 1080p
Bonus Features Resolution: 480p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
MPAA Rating: G
Runtime: 60 mins.; 90 mins.
Languages: English DTS-HD MA 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH; French

Bonus Materials: “Reflections Of The Deep” Documentary

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