Ghosts of the Abyss 3D (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 14, 2012 by Dennis Amith
If you are interested in the historical aspect of what happened to the Titanic and how the ship looks like inside-and-out as of 2001, then “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” will appeal to you. Especially for the fact that “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” is being released in a combo pack including the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD. Definitely recommended! Especially if you have a 3D-enabled Blu-ray player and television.
TITLE: Ghosts of the Abyss 3D
FILM RELEASE: 2003
DURATION: 60 Minutes for the 3D Version and 92 Minutes for the Blu-ray/DVD extended version
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Defiition (widescreen 1:78:1), English, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
RATED: G (General Audiences)
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Directed by James Cameron
Produced by John Bruno, James Cameron, Chuck Comisky, Andrew Wight
Executive Producer: Giedra Rackauskas
Line Producer: Andrew Wight
Music by Joel McNeely, Lisa Torban
Cinematography by Vince Pace, D.J. Roller
Edited by Ed W Marsh, Sven Pape, John Refoua, David C. Cook
Casting by Tina Kerr
Production Design by Martin Laing
Art Direction by Leonard Barrit, Javier Nava
Don Lynch as Himself/Thomas Andrews
Ken Marschall as Himself/J. Bruce Ismay
Jeffrey N. Ledda
Anatoly M. Sagalevitch
For the first time on Disney Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray 2D, see the real story behind Titanic and watch this groundbreaking cinematic achievement in a beautiful new digital restoration!
Academy Award®-winning Director and master storyteller, James Cameron journey’s back to the site of his greatest inspiration – the legendary wreck of the titanic. With a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago.
Using state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never-before. With the most advanced 3D photography, moviegoers will experience the ship as if they are part of crew, right inside the dive subs. In this unprecedented motion picture event, made especially for IMAX 3D theatres and specially outfitted 35MM 3D theaters across the country, Cameron and his team bring audiences to sights not seen since the sinking 90 years ago and explore why the landmark vessel – more than any shipwreck – continues to intrigue and fascinate the public.
In 2001, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, filmmaker James Cameron (“Titanic”, “Avatar”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”) embarked in an adventure to visit the Titanic.
Accompanied by historic and marine experts and also bringing his good friend, actor Bill Paxton (“Titanic”, “Aliens”, “Apollo 13”, “Twister”), the crew returned to the Titanic using the latest in technology at that time, to explore the entire ship inside and out, 1,200 feet under the sea and chronicling their adventure.
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” was the first film to use state-of-the-art technology to film the wreckage, but it was also a film in which Cameron utilized advanced 3D photography during their dives.
“Ghosts of the Abyss” was specifically made for IMAX 3D and gave audiences a chance to see first-hand of the condition of the Titanic but also how things are inside the ship utilizing fiber optic technology.
The film also details the experience of looking at the ship up-close but also the challenges and rescue attempt to save one of the two robots that experienced a major malfunction, but also the experience of the crew to find out about the Twin Tower attacks on September 11th.
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” is a beautiful film and one of the earlier use of 3D for James Cameron but most importantly, giving audiences a first-hand look of what is inside the Titanic 90-years-later.
And over a decade since this expedition, “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” will be released on Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD on Sept. 11, 2012.
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” includes the 60 minute 3D version of the film plus the 92-minute extended version for Blu-ray and DVD.
“Ghosts of the Abyss” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). In 2001, “Ghost of the Abyss” utilized state-of-the-art 3D cameras at the time, and while the film gives you additional depth, there are some scenes where you see things coming at you, but also feel you can reach out and touch the fish or objects in front of you. That is how effective the 3D is. As for picture quality is concerned, it’s important to remember that for this film, it’s literally a documentary utilizing various sources. So, some scenes will look crystal clear, some will look like they have more noise than other scenes. But for the most part, picture quality is very good for this film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Ghosts of the Abyss” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-MA HD and French 5.1 Dolby Digital. While dialogue is clear, it’s important to note that the film really didn’t utilize the surround channels all that much, so people should not expect an immersive soundscape while watching this film. What you will hear is a good amount of LFE, as my subwoofer rumbled out in the ocean for several scenes. But for the most part, this is a dialogue-driven film with beautiful music by Joel McNeely.
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” comes with the following special features:
- Reflections from the Deep – (29:28) Featuring interviews with James Cameron, Bill Paxton and the crew about going back to the Titanic and the challenges and fear they had before going underwater.
- Cheese Sandwich Prank – (2:26) James Cameron complains of getting cheese sandwiches with no meat and too much butter. But was it intentional or was it a prank?
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” comes with a Blu-ray 3D plus a Blu-ray version and DVD version of the film.
Back in 2003, when “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” was released in IMAX 3D, I was absolutely fascinated that James Cameron would be financing an expedition to show the audiences of what is left of the Titanic.
Bare in mind that there have been documentaries on search for Titanic since the ’80s, but in 2003, “Ghosts of the Abyss” was interesting for the fact that it utilized the latest in technology and the expedition involved risky underwater diving for James Cameron, actor Bill Paxton and the crew. But after reading about James Cameron’s passion for diving and discovering what is in the ocean, which has been a big part of his life for a long time now, if one can pull off a wonderful expedition, he can.
And this 2003 film was rather interesting because it does feature James Cameron using technology but also visiting the Titanic before many underwater expeditions by other companies had taken place. Where Cameron’s main intention was to use robots to pilot underwater and see the inside rooms throughout the entire ship and give audiences a chance to see what exists at that time.
While there have been countless specials since 2003, what makes this film rather interesting is that since this film’s release, things have gotten worse as many expeditions have gone down the Titanic in order to look for items that can be sold at auctions. Because of these expeditions by certain companies, the Titanic that we see in “Ghosts of the Abyss” is not the same today, as the wreckage has had gone through unfortunate tampering and recklessness that parts of the ship were destroyed or things were taken away.
But for those interested in the historical details of the Titanic, “Ghosts of the Abyss” not only is fascinating to watch, it’s also great to see how 3D was implemented for this film at that time.
It’s also important to note that James Cameron and the crew had revisited the crash site for its 100th anniversary using new technology (much more advanced than what was used in 2003) for his National Geographic Channel special titled “Titanic: The Final World”. The film featured some of the professional group that worked with James Cameron for the 2003 expedition but for 2012, using that special to focus on how certain pieces had ended up many yards away from the actual crash site but also the disruption that the Titanic has experienced since 2003 and how it must be protected by those who continue to travel to the crash site in hopes to get more of the personal belongings or silverware that remain on the Titanic and as a sign of respect, to protect it from further damage caused by human recklessness.
Personally, I wish “Titanic: The Final World” was included with “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” as a special feature because the two James Cameron documentaries compliment each other. But most importantly, for the 2012 special, it debunks a lot of theories and using new technology and finding out how the Titanic actually sunk. So, I felt the 2012 helps complete “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” using newer technology and information since 2003 and of course what was right and what was incorrect with James Cameron’s 1998 film “Titanic”.
Quite simply, each time James Cameron revisits the Titanic, so much has evolved quickly in terms of technology. And we see first hand of how his passion for the Titanic has never waned since the making of the “Titanic” film and “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D”.
“Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” is still a fascinating release even in 2012 because of how Cameron was able to showcase the areas of the ship but also showcasing actors and a set created in the image of the actual Titanic films. So the title of “Ghosts of the Abyss” relates to how this re-enactment of how things were back in 1911, are put together with the actual footage, making it seem like ghosts are on board of wreckage of the Titanic.
Seeing the footage was amazing but also the scientific detail that went into explaining the bacteria bugs feeding on the ship and thus the look of stalactites all over the interior of the ship. But possibly one of the most interesting part of the film is when the two, very expensive robots which Cameron and another crew is controlling, swims through small openings in order to transmit video through its fiber optics tether. But to capture the footage when trouble hits the crew. What happens when one of the robots experiences a major battery malfunction and the challenge Cameron faced in trying to rescue the robot and nearly losing the other robot in the process.
I’m not entirely sure how much these two robots cost James Cameron, but I’m quite sure it was pretty expensive.
Overall, if you are interested in the historical aspect of what happened to the Titanic and how the ship looks like inside-and-out as of 2001, then “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” will appeal to you. Especially for the fact that “Ghosts of the Abyss 3D” is being released in a combo pack including the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD.
Definitely recommended! Especially if you have a 3D-enabled Blu-ray player and television.
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