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A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and encounter an alien aquatic species.

"James Cameron captures a wonderful mood in this underwater sci-fi adventure with spectacular elements. It's a human drama, a love story and a science fiction thriller at its most captivating. What stands out in this extraordinary achievement is that incredible feeling of claustrophobia and aquatic mystery. The look of the film is amazing, but most importantly, we are engaged and moved by the characters and their story, as they explore the depths of the abyss.

This 2-disc set, stylishly packaged in a cleverly designed slimline, sleek case, contains not only the theatrical version of the film, but also the special edition which contains an additional 31 minutes of footage. Which film to watch first? Now, there's a decision to be made.

With all the gee-whizz elements of great menus that give the feeling of being underwater, it's it's easy to make your selection of the special features. I started with the 10 minute featurette, giving a good overview of the project and a concise summary of some of the technical elements. It's rather unnerving to see Jim Cameron talking to us underwater, while wearing full underwater gear. He sets the scene and says that although there's a lot of action, it's not about action; although there's a lot of hardware, it's not about hardware. It's about people, and the journey they take into the abyss to find out what is there.

Stars Ed Harris and Michael Biehn talk about their roles, and producer Gale Anne Hurd describes the huge challenge that was undertaken with this project that was mostly shot underwater. We learn more in the 59 minute 'making of' feature about the detail of the steel tank from the abandoned nuclear power project in South Carolina which was filled with 11 million gallons of water. The security issues, the training, the huge scale engineering work when you hear the details, you realise the enormity of the project. Working in a medium 800 times denser than air provided many challenges, and the solution to mask the sun shining through the water is an interesting and surprising one.

State of the art underwater helmets and backpacks were designed especially for the film: the helmets allow the faces of the actors to be clearly seen. Watching Cameron directing underwater where the communication was only one way (he could talk, but crew could only signal), is absolutely extraordinary.

Gripping, thrilling and always intriguing, The Abyss on DVD is a treat."
Louise Keller

Published: December 7, 2000

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michel Biehn

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

RUNNING TIME: 171 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 1, 2000

Disc 1
Special Edition version with 28 minutes original footage

Disc 2
Original screenplay
Special effects feature
Behind the scenes
Time Lapse segment
Photo gallery
DVD Rom games

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