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Deep Blue Sea

review by Ren C.

 

 

Rated R

Studio: Warner Bros.

Running Time: 105 Minutes

Starring: Thomas Jane, LL Cool J, Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson

Written by: Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers and Wayne Powers

Directed by: Renny Harlin

Retail Price: $24.98

Features: Commentary, Trailer, Documentaries, Deleted Scenes, Stills Gallery

Specs: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles

This is one of those great action movies where the plot is completely secondary to the action sequences. The plot is established merely as a reason to move the action along. "Deep Blue Sea's" plot, tenuous at best, is that the scientists in the underwater lab Aquatica are attempting to harness the gray matter of sharks in order to create cures for humanity's debilitating mental diseases, such as Alzheimer's. The reason for this is that sharks never show age, and never suffer from ailments like Alzheimer's.

These scientists are genetically altering the sharks in order to enlarge their brains, thereby giving them more material to work with. There is a side effect to this, howeverÉthe sharks are getting smarter. With ultra-smart, ultra-strong sharks, you can guarantee that someone is going to wind up shark chow. The problem is complicated even further when a major storm shuts down Aquatica, and forces the scientists into a man versus nature battle with the sharks.

Among the shark fodder is a surprisingly large group of talented actors. Among the actors are Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard, and the man himself Samuel L. Jackson. While this is not a movie that will ever be remembered for its great acting, the actors do the most with what they have. The real star of the movie is, of course, the action. That does not disappoint at all, providing several edge of your seat shocks, and many twists and turns throughout the course of the movie.

While many people have bashed the movie for being contrived, it's not supposed to be a classic, it's supposed to be a fun ride, and it definitely does that.

 

The movie was just released last year, and as such, it looks really good. This is a movie where most of the action takes place underwater and in dark places, so the blacks and blues look very rich and full. The picture is crystal clear, with no signs of grain or artifacts. Great transfer, overall.

Again, the movie definitely shines here. As an action movie, there is definitely going to be something for your sound system to play with. Loud explosions, thunderclaps and fast moving sharks all sound fantastic on this disc.

Warner Brothers has gone all-out on this disc, providing basically everything that a fan of the movie would want. We start with a commentary from director Renny Harlin and Samuel L. Jackson. Harlin is very technical, taking the viewer through which sharks were animatronic, and which were CGI, and things of that nature. Jackson on the other hand seems to realize the nature in which the movie is intended and spends his time cracking on things that are on the screen, up to and including him. Very entertaining.

Next is a documentary called "When Sharks Attack!" which is the HBO making-of documentary. Not really all that informative, leaning toward promoting the movie rather than giving information about how the movie was made. As such, the other documentary "The Sharks of Deep Blue Sea" is more appreciated. This one goes in-depth into the making of the sharks, and how they were used in the movie.

Also included are several deleted scenes, both with and without commentary from Harlin. Harlin makes an excellent point about these scenes, stating that they were cut because the audience for a movie like this wants to see more action than plot. The scenes were all right, but they would have made the movie longer without really adding anything.

A stills gallery is included with-amazingly, photos from the making of the film. Not terribly exciting, but a nice inclusion nonetheless. The final supplements are the fairly standard cast and crew bios, and the theatrical trailer.

There are also some DVD-ROM features included which, according to the package, include genre essays, sampler trailers, and access to an exclusive website. The only complaint I have with the features is that there was a video by LL Cool J for the song "Deepest Bluest", played over the end credits. Unless it is a hidden feature that I didn't find, the video is not here. It would have been a nice extra piece to the puzzle, as would have been the MTV "Making the Video" that was made for it. Overall, though, a nice set of features.

The movie is definitely never going to be regarded as a classic. It's one of those feel-good, no thinking movies that we all love, and it's definitely been done justice here. Warner Brothers has put together a nice package, with great video, great audio and a good set of features. High recommendation.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(4/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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