Aliens Of The Deep
Sound: B- Extras: D Feature IMAX cut: B-/Long cut: B
James Cameron still prides himself on The Abyss
(1989) as a personally favorite film and he and water mix very well, as Titanic
(1997, reviewed elsewhere on this site) proves. With Aliens Of The Deep (2005) was co-directed by Cameron
with Steve Quale and the third time is easily the charm. More than any other director of the
post-1970s action directors, Cameron actually is out there getting his hands
dirty and living the adventures he so ably puts up on screen.
The film was originally issued in the big screen 70mm IMAX
format and though it was shot in digital High Definition video, it was able to
get away with definition issues to a great extend because it was in 3-D. Unfortunately, this DVD may have both that
short version and a longer, stronger, full-length cut in 2-D only, but it is so
entertaining and terrific that you will not miss the effect until some of the shots
that surface were obviously utilizing it.
Though Cameron is on camera at the most interesting times,
the real stars are the technology, ocean itself (as it should be) and the
amazing scientists and explorers who get the credit they deserve for the
amazing work they are doing and risk they are taking. Somehow, Cameron and Quale make what would have been a serene
science documentary into something very special. These people are heroes to the world, dont seem to know it and
are getting the credit they so deserve thanks to one of the deservedly best
directors in the business.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks good;
though it is too bad the 3-D option was not available. It worked so well on the last 2 episodes of 3rd
Rock From The Sun Season Two (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that it
would not have been impossible to offer.
This looks as good as any such production in HD we have seen to date,
but that should be no surprise. The
Dolby Digital 5.1 is a nice mix to match, though with no extras, why not have a
DTS track? Either way, this is a great
exploration of the progress of underwater research that is always
entertaining. So many such programs
present themselves as feel-good science productions we should see, but Aliens
Of The Deep has edge to it and is one of the best examples of such
documentary programming in a long time.
- Nicholas Sheffo