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 Post subject: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2012, 02:02 
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Abyss, The: Extended Version (1996) [0896885]
The Movie:
I've always held a great deal of respect for James Cameron's film, and while I may not feel the same in a post Titanic-Avatar world, generally anything he's directed before and including True Lies is absolutely brilliant and serves as a constantly escalating form of brilliant cinematic action combined with groundbreaking special effects work. His 1989 paranoia injected-deep sea adventure film The Abyss is no exception to that rule.

Note: I have never viewed the theatrical cut of The Abyss, so all points forward are based on the 1993 cut of the film, which is identical to the 1996 Laserdisc's cut.

This is a movie quite unlike anything James Cameron had ever done, and has ever done since. This may be the only movie he's ever made that truly takes its time and features a slightly slower pace than his usual film. In its elongated 171 minute form, The Abyss tackles themes such as isolation, paranoia, and surprisingly, the idea of how an honest working man would tackle first contact with an alien species.
Shortly after an American submarine is attacked by an unknown element of an extremely destructive nature, a military team repossesses an underwater oil rig in order to assess the situation present under the seas. With the help of the oil riggers, they hope to investigate exactly what happened. However, as any situation involving short tempered oil riggers(this seems like it's almost a stereotype - like in Armageddon) and military agents, everything goes wrong from the get go. Tensions arise, and an authority crisis arises between the two lead men - played brilliantly by Ed Harris and Michael Biehn lead to a break down in civility that's only worsened by an oncoming hurricane. Matters become even worse when Harris's character's wife returns.
Without spoiling too much more of the story, it tends to follow the motions in a way that only James Cameron can - brilliantly. When paranoia sets in and madness breaks out, it feels natural and frightening. When confronted with an unknown species, they act how I feel a normal group of people would. Even the science involved is something wildly inventive feeling even though it had already existed and adds a layer of credibility to the complex adventure story.
I will warn you however, it takes more than one viewing of the Abyss to truly enjoy what it brings to the table. I almost dismissed it after my first viewing as an overly preachy, drawn out special effects ride. Boy was I wrong. It took me a year to revisit it, but I'm sure glad that I did. I'm giving this one my highest recommendations to those who haven't seen it, and to those who have, perhaps it's time to revisit this classic again.

Video:
Coming from great depths onto Laserdisc once more after the 1990 theatrical cut as well as the 1993 CAV Special Edition box set, The Abyss is presented in its original 2.35:1 letterboxed aspect ratio. Photographed in the Super 35 format, The Abyss general looks clean and consistent through its run time. The print used is in fantastic shape and looks as if it was transferred from the original camera negative. Aside from a few soft shots that are most likely inherent to the original camera footage, The Abyss looks stellar and is one of the finest THX certified Laserdiscs that has ever graced my collection. Light signal noise is omnipresent in the image, but what Laserdisc is ever totally noise free?

Audio:
Coming to Laserdisc for the first time with a 6 channel AC-3 soundtrack, The Abyss sounds adequate. Derived from what I believe to be the 6 track magnetic sound master used for the 70mm blow up prints in 1989, The Abyss generally has a rather reserved feel to it. Most of the film is located in the front sound stage, with the surround generally giving off an ambient feel around the room with sound effects and the occasional bit of score. LFE feels balanced, never becoming overwhelming when there is heavy action on screen. Overall, it feels natural to the design and feel of the film.

Overall:
With a stellar video transfer, and what I assume is a faithful to the original magnetic masters sound representation, The Abyss: Extended Edition is a Laserdisc worthy of any collection. It doesn't help that it's James Cameron's most intelligently designed and thought provoking film either though, which helps propel it into legacy for generations to come. Fox Video has done it again ladies and gentleman - The Abyss gets my highest regard.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2012, 06:42 
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Video image is what bothers me with all The Abyss transfers from VHS to Laserdisc to DVD its hopeless the colour balance is screwed up so am I trust this one is perfect? I bought this pressing hoping, hoping it was like the TV version I saw on channel4 sometime around early 2000's. It was like want I saw at the cinema but, as to who did the colouring on the video for consumer versions, needs to see an optician.

http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/00878/156 ... -The-(1989)
Image

I also have R2 DVD double 2 disc set first pressing when it came out around early 2000's?

Does the floodlights on the opening first (wet for wet scene) when you see the divers moving towards the bubble dome with Bud, Ed Harris looking out does the floodlights have bright green all around the outsides of it?

The water has blue like colour and the whites of the floodlights should only appear as white! But they don't do they! So it can't be a perfect transfer its an okay transfer but its far form being perfect. I saw the film 3 times when it came out fantastic!

I'd doubt the bluray will ever get it perfect and I'm seriously not holding my breath, I don't care if it gets a bluray release not until James Cameron hires someone who knows what to look for and do it right!

True Lies is mess! :thumbdown:
T2 is a mess! :thumbdown:
Titanic was slight mess!
Aliens a little bit noticeable on the opening with ALIENS title when it goes bright white but has it boasted so damn high I see green around it.

There is a conspiracy here and I'm biting they're waiting for someone to say GET THIS DONE RIGHT! I'm fed up spending money on a less than perfect transfer, when it can be done right first time and every time. ;)

Anyhow I'm sorry about making a drama out of this, :) but you need to watch it again and look out for what I mentioned and its not the first time I've mentioned this issue with it.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2012, 11:21 
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Thanks, flcr, for that review.

I am relieved to see someone sticking up for The Abyss. It generally gets a massive kicking, which leaves me totally bewildered.

Whether it was because of or despite James Cameron, the result was a tremendous display of ensemble acting. Harris, Mastrantonio and Biehn are all marvelous, but everyone else seems to fit in perfectly too. If only there were a team ethic at my own workplace to match that on board Deepcore! The additions to the Special Edition helped to strengthen that too. I particularly like the longer version of the Linda Ronstadt number that Bud, One Night and Hippy belt out. Lindsey's fury when Bud discovers the truth "Advice to the lovelorn from 300 fathoms!" and her death scene are lodged in my mind forever.

In fact, ever since then, I've sought out films featuring Mastrantonio or Harris and they are nearly always very satisfying. In contrast, every Cameron film bar T2 has been a crushing disappointment, especially Smurfs in Space.

I once attended a question and answer session with Ed Harris at what was then the National Film Theatre in London, and they were obviously briefed to avoid mentioning The Abyss since it never came up, despite it having been by far his film with the most screen time. However, I met him briefly afterwards and asked him to sign my Abyss laserdisc, which he did with good grace. Since sold that one though, alas.

My present copy is this one Abyss, The: Special Edition (1989) (Uncut) [1988-80]. It lacks the AC3 track, but I like it for the pan and scan. There is a nothing in there that makes the edges of the picture that important, and the improved resolution enhances the emotion of the piece. I see there's one with both. That's a wishlist item then...
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2019, 03:48 
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Looks like there's still no BD for this.

I agree with the original poster and the third that this is a very high quality to be so widely ignored. Also, with the second (cat avatar) that the transfers' chroma always looked a bit off. Contrast boosting perhaps?
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2019, 15:39 
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one of the favorite films of my childhood, i have both of the two initial U.S. LD editions;


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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2019, 16:35 
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I think there are six US versions of this.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2019, 00:03 
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I have that set. And glad I got it.
About time to watch it again.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2019, 07:12 
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I need to rewatch it again.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2019, 09:24 
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Still yet to watch this flick
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2019, 14:18 
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it IS a GREAT film, YMMV...
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2019, 17:25 
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I don’t have any problem with it. In fact I’m amazed I can still stand anything from James Cameron but I actually really like this one. We weren’t tired of his marine fetish at all yet, although if I could make my own version of this movie I’d cut them out as much as possible.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 05:23 
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snipesbackhand wrote:
Looks like there's still no BD for this.


We got a teaser few months ago that a 4K release was on the way...

https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/abyss-4k-blu-ray-step-closer/

Fingers crossed!

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 08:57 
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admin wrote:
snipesbackhand wrote:
Looks like there's still no BD for this.


We got a teaser few months ago that a 4K release was on the way...

https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/abyss-4k-blu-ray-step-closer/

Fingers crossed!

Julien


I might wait for that to drop to view.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 22:00 
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For the LD some of the elements used to make the Extended version were pretty rough. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blu-ray will be Extended at all and if so what they manage to pull off. I guess these days one can pretty much restore anything from anything.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 22:22 
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Great, now I can pickup the DVD for a buck :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:24 
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The dvd is non-anamorphic widescreen, and looks worse than the LD imho. "the abyss" is the entire reason i pulled my LDs and player out of the basement about 5 years ago, and led me to find this site (surprise, it wasn't "Star Wars"). My original player from ~1995 (504) broke as soon as i tried to use it.

According to a note for this disc "disclord" commented that it is superntsc. I would bet that this one is too: Abyss, The: Extended Version (1989) [0896880]

What is interesting with this movie, is that some scenes of the P&S show *more* picture, not less. Instead of cropping the 2.35:1 to 4:3, they use the entire 35mm image.

Attachment:
File comment: super quick pics with my cell phone, sorry for the bad quality.
1440xcombined2.jpg.jpg
1440xcombined2.jpg.jpg [ 61.48 KiB | Viewed 203 times ]


left=LB, right=PS
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:26 
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signofzeta wrote:
For the LD some of the elements used to make the Extended version were pretty rough. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blu-ray will be Extended at all and if so what they manage to pull off. I guess these days one can pretty much restore anything from anything.


Pretty sure that applies to the UK extended cut only. They censored out part of the film, and replaced it with lower grade cuts (the rat scene). I have the version being reviewed here, and the quality looks pretty consistent throughout.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 00:03 
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Thanks for bringing this thread back....

Gonna revive this in the memory banks. Been a long while since viewing.

I really enjoyed the opening scene suspense when the sub had the collision with the wall.
Great one liners throughout that film.

Cheers mates
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 00:11 
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9954tony wrote:
The dvd is non-anamorphic widescreen, and looks worse than the LD imho. "the abyss" is the entire reason i pulled my LDs and player out of the basement about 5 years ago, and led me to find this site (surprise, it wasn't "Star Wars"). My original player from ~1995 (504) broke as soon as i tried to use it.

According to a note for this disc "disclord" commented that it is superntsc. I would bet that this one is too: Abyss, The: Extended Version (1989) [0896880]

What is interesting with this movie, is that some scenes of the P&S show *more* picture, not less. Instead of cropping the 2.35:1 to 4:3, they use the entire 35mm image.

Attachment:
1440xcombined2.jpg.jpg


left=LB, right=PS

Yeah, that's Super 35. Other movies like Terminator 2 and True Lies are like that too - coincidentally, also made by James Cameron. Top Gun is probably one of the few that isn't.
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 Post subject: Re: The Abyss: Extended Version(1996) [0896885] LBX/AC3/THX
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 00:40 
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9954tony wrote:
The dvd is non-anamorphic widescreen, and looks worse than the LD imho.



Yes this is why I'll only pay a buck.
Saw a copy at GW but it was 3 bucks and wasn't half off day.
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