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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Oceanography > Biology > Aliens Of The Deep

Aliens Of The Deep


Picture: B-     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, don’t 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.  Catch it!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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