Monday, November 12, 2012

The History Of Movies from A-Z: The Abyss

This is a semi-regular piece where I review my DVD collection in alphabetical order.    
This will take me approximately 38 years to get through.  Today, we look at The Abyss.

Where I bought this movie: Picked this one up in my Boston days.  Its one of those rare double DVD’s that came in a twice the width box.   What a waste of space.

* Why Own It?: This was James Cameron’s first attempt at showing his love affair of the ocean and what lies beneath (the second being Titanic).  Besides hearing it has a decent story, it was mainly for the cool sequence at the end where the water alien creatures take the shape of the crew’s faces.  I’m reading this last line back to myself and its no wonder cocaine was HUGE in the 80’s with screen writers coming up with ideas like that.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Twice (the last being in 2004), but the movie is so long that I forgot a lot of the minor details and subplots…which are actually pretty good.

* Time collecting dust: 12 years.

* What I thought of the movie: A very very good movie.  I don’t know what to call it…it’s a drama, but based on science fiction, so it’s a sci-fi drama I guess.  Since almost the entire movie takes place under water, it’s amazing how they filmed a lot of it.  It does make you think...the ocean is a HUGE untapped area so why not assume there are some alien creatures watching us from the deep below.  Of course all they see us doing is dropping bombs on each other so they decide to drop a few tidal waves around the Earth.

And the cast:   Great cast here.  Ed Harris is in his cranky prime as the leader of the crew trapped below.  Just a great performance (though his name Bud is a little corny).  Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (too long of a name if you ask me) is good too as the love interest and does her best to act like another James Cameron mainstay, Ellen Ripley from Aliens.  My favorite though is Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese in Terminator).  I love this guy and the character he plays (a guy slowly going insane) is awesome.  I’m a sucker for guys who slowly become ill or go insane and he pulls it off convincingly. There are some other memorable minor characters as well but those are the people you’d know.

Favorite Scenes:  1.)  Michael Biehn’s death scene (lots of pressure down there in the bottom of the ocean). 2.) The gooey pink liquid that Ed Harris has to ingest so he can breathe underwater.  3.) The entire CPR scene where Ed Harris tries to save his ex-wife…its riveting and I almost…ALMOST shed a tear.

Recommended?:   Yes.  This is James Cameron’s underrated movie.  Yes, it’s long but it’s worth the payoff at the end.  The special effects are very good and you can see some primitive ideas that he used later in Terminator 2 and The Titanic. 

Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity:  Yes, but it’s not very titillating.  You get to see Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s boobs but it’s only because they are trying to shock her back to life after she nearly drowns.  She has nice cold looking boobs though.

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