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The Abyss

Van Ling

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138 replies to this topic

#1 of 139 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted July 23 2008 - 11:45 AM

Any chance we may see "The Abyss" on BD anytime soon?

This is one title in desperate need of remastering for 16:9 screens.

#2 of 139 OFFLINE   Van Ling

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Posted July 23 2008 - 04:51 PM

We're all in agreement on that, Todd! In fact it HAS been remastered for 16x9, but is awaiting Jim Cameron's review and approval. Until that happens, no movement on doing the BD.

In the meantime, what features would you folks like to see on a BD version?

V

#3 of 139 OFFLINE   Ken N.

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Posted July 23 2008 - 05:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
In the meantime, what features would you folks like to see on a BD version?
1080p transfer and dts-Master Audio are an absolute must.

The original Special Edition DVD was pretty exhaustive with regard to extra features (nice job Van), the only one that I could think of that I'd want would be an Audio Commentary from Cameron and maybe Ed Harris or one of the other actors.

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#4 of 139 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted July 23 2008 - 09:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
We're all in agreement on that, Todd! In fact it HAS been remastered for 16x9, but is awaiting Jim Cameron's review and approval.

Great news! Posted Image I really like the film.

Yes, 1080p, lossless audio and both versions of the film. I would like to see all the old extras ported (let´s put it in this way; I want to finally get rid of that non-Anamorphic disc.. Posted Image ).

What comes to new extras, audio commentary with Cameron would be great and perhaps a "new" featurette/documentary.

#5 of 139 OFFLINE   EnricoE

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Posted July 23 2008 - 11:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
In the meantime, what features would you folks like to see on a BD version?

all the trailers in glorious hd, if possible in oar too Posted Image

how about a new documentary about the films failing at the box office and it's success on home video? this could be interesting how mr. cameron, the cast, the studio and others involved in the making of the film think about it today.

#6 of 139 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted July 23 2008 - 11:52 PM

Oh, but it HAS to have the doc thats on the DVD too! Thats one of the best ever made.

I think it should also have both versions of the film, theatrical, and extended. But, if we only got one version, the extended cut is the one i would want.

#7 of 139 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted July 24 2008 - 01:45 AM

a second a featurette or something in celebration of the 20th anniversary (next year) of the movie.. maybe have cameron or other cast members do a commentary track. I would think that once cameron is done with the new movie that he could do something with it? same with true lies? those are the only two films left that need some work/proper dvd/bluray edition?

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#8 of 139 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 24 2008 - 02:02 AM

I'll give another vote for a Cameron audio commentary and porting over all the laserdisc/DVD supplements too.

#9 of 139 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted July 24 2008 - 04:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Ling
In the meantime, what features would you folks like to see on a BD version?

At the very minimum, most if not all of the features from the 2-disc DVD ported over.

I have been very disappointed with catalog titles on BD that have little to no special features, especially when a full-blown special edition was released on DVD, in many cases only a few months prior to the BD release.

Fox and MGM have been especially guilty of this practice (Kingdom of Heaven, Man On Fire, Robocop, etc.).

#10 of 139 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted July 24 2008 - 05:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Oh, but it HAS to have the doc thats on the DVD too! Thats one of the best ever made.

I think it should also have both versions of the film, theatrical, and extended. But, if we only got one version, the extended cut is the one i would want.

Ditto. I would also like both versions, but I definitely prefer the extended cut (with some type of lossless audio obviously). I would also like to see most if not all of the features from the 2-disc DVD (great set BTW). If there was something new produced in HD for the disc that would be great, but it is not essential to me. It is more important to me to have the other features so that don't have to keep both.

#11 of 139 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted July 24 2008 - 11:04 AM

For a new "feature", can we have a 3rd(!) cut of the film w/ a better, maybe completely different ending? Posted Image Like just about everyone else, I also prefer the extended director's cut, except for the ending, which I found utterly contrived and basically a cheat. If it has to be that ending, maybe there should be more foreshadowing toward it (if at all possible w/ additional material), especially considering the length (and pacing) of the film.

Hmmm... Hope I don't need a flame-suit for voicing that opinion. Posted Image

And oh yes, a belated welcome from me, Van Ling. Can't wait to see more of your work particularly on BD.

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#12 of 139 OFFLINE   Van Ling

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Posted July 24 2008 - 03:15 PM

No flame suit required, Man... ;-)

The real question is, why does the ending not work for you and what better ending would you expect to see? Does the ending not work narratively, or just visually, or both? If it's just that the NTI Ark looks incongruous in daytime on the surface with the ethereal light ship we see at the bottom (my main problem), that can be addressed. If the problem for you is that the whole NTI angle seems to come out of nowhere for many people, that's a much bigger problem.

Interestingly, there is foreshadowing throughout the film, and the NTIs do NOT come out of nowhere... they inadvertently cause the inciting incident in the film (the sinking of the Montana), they are present throughout the story, and also motivate Coffey to send the nuke down into the abyss... and we see on the newsfeed before the crash that the world has gone to the brink of war over the incident.

What is most interesting to me is that I think the reason people feel that the NTIs come out of nowhere is that by the final third of the film, we've had such a powerful HUMAN drama with Lindsey's drowning and resuscitation and Bud's deep dive that we forget that the NTIs are down there... so when they come back into the story, they feel kind of deux ex machina, if you know what I mean, even though narratively they were present throughout the film.

My issue during production was that once Bud defuses the nuke and meets the NTIs, the climax with the wave has no active human choice involved... Bud's just along for the ride. The NTIs make the threat and then hold off because they see by Bud's transmission to his wife that human beings are capable of more than just war. I think the goal was a "Day the Earth Stood Still" theme, but without any big speech by the aliens since having them speak English would have been even more ludicrous. I think I pointed out to JC at one point during the production that it's the same theme as "Plan Nine From Outer Space" ("You human beings are stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!")... and I have the scars to prove it... ;-)

Of course, The Fifth Element (which I liked a lot) used the same gag... after watching all those war videos, Leeloo feels mankind isn't worth saving and plans to let the planet get annihilated until Dallas plants one on her.

My thought was to have the NTIs save Bud and basically tell him that since he saved them by disarming the nuke, they'll save him and his crew on Deepcore from the Terminator-style Judgment Day that's about to go down on the surface... they're all going to be safe from the nuclear exchange and fallout in the abyss... but Bud has to convince the NTIs to try to stop the impending WW3... he has to make the case that if one human being can show selfless compassion, ALL of them have the capacity to do so and shouldn't be wiped out because of some paranoid, warmongering minority. And he succeeds, and proactively gets them to send the wave as a warning to the world.

The main narrative problem with this ending of mine (as JC pointed out to me during production) is that it involves coming up with a way for Bud and the NTIs to communicate on a more literal level than having them play back video clips (which was already done for comic effect in "Joe Dante's Explorers"), and at this point in the film we neither have time nor tone to introduce an entire new level of character interaction.

All of this is moot, mind you --I'm pretty sure Jim ain't gonna change anything-- but narratively it's an interesting discussion nonetheless!

V

#13 of 139 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted July 24 2008 - 11:39 PM

I cant remember if its Aliens, or the Abyss, but i read the effects for the extended cut were rendered in standard resolution. They would not be up to snuff for the big screen, or Blu-ray, i would assume. How would this be addressed Van?

Oh, and my thoughts on the ending, theatrical or extended... To be honest, i always hated the ending of the movie. It felt like another movie was about to start, and then it ends. I have learned to live with the ending, cause the other 95% of the movie is so good!

#14 of 139 OFFLINE   Van Ling

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Posted July 25 2008 - 03:08 AM

The VFX for The Abyss were completed on film, since the Special Edition version of the movie had a limited theatrical release in 1993.

The VFX for Aliens was mostly completed on film, but some composites were completed only in standard-def during online... although this may have been corrected in the last decade or so. This is why you've never been able to see the Special Edition of Aliens in a theatre (unless it was video projection).

V

#15 of 139 OFFLINE   Scott D S

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Posted July 25 2008 - 10:46 AM

I echo the sentiments of most of the people in this thread. A new commentary is a must, or possibly even two: one with Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd; the other with the various FX supervisors (Bruno, Muren, Yeatman, the Skotaks).

Input from cast/crew members who aren't featured heavily on the LD/DVD. I'm thinking specifically of production designer Leslie Dilley, costume designer Deborah Everton, the editors, and composer Alan Silvestri.

I sincerely hope that all the still-frame LD supplements are retained somehow.

And keep the trivia track. It's still one of the best of its kind!

#16 of 139 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted July 25 2008 - 11:53 AM

Hmmm... Maybe simply a bit more foreshadowing is not quite what's needed. I guess the crux of the problem for me (and probably for RickER and to some extent maybe even you, Van, judging from your own take) is that the whole NTI angle just didn't seem well developed and played out, and the ending was just too abrupt.

Not sure what could be done w/ that short of shooting a new extended 3rd Act. Posted Image

OTOH, maybe I do need to revisit the film again since I haven't seen it in ages. Like RickER, I hated the ending, but unlike him, I ended up selling the DVD partly because of it, so I'll need to give it a rent if I want to see it again. Maybe I won't hate it as much now. Posted Image

RE: the comparison to other films like T5E, while it's true the "gag" is used in many other films, the problem is those other films (when it works well enough) don't carry the same pretense (and weight) as The Abyss. By the time we get to the ending, we're -- well, I am anyway -- led to expect a serious, well conceived and developed, conclusion, and the ending certainly attempts to give us a serious (if perhaps a bit overwrought) one, but it fails in the well conceived/developed department. Like RickER said, it just feels like there should be a lot more -- perhaps a 4th Act. Posted Image

In any case, Van, I greatly appreciate your followup (and insights) on this topic (and others too, of course). Posted Image

_Man_
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#17 of 139 OFFLINE   Geoff_D

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Posted July 26 2008 - 08:28 AM

Van, that's some great insight about the ending of The Abyss. I really do like this flick, but the initial novelty of the wave sequence has worn thin for me.

As you say, there's this wonderfully powerful human element to the story that thrives in the dank, claustrophobic environment of Deepcore, and as soon as we cut to a giant wave on a sunny beach it loses me. In a funny way the extended version exacerbates this feeling even more, as we've spent yet more time with Bud and co. only for a giant wave to show up that has no immediate bearing on these characters.

Yes, the aliens are the ones who kick off the story by fooling with the submarine, but what do they then do in the remainder of the film apart from pull CG faces? There's no sense of them actually driving the story along, only popping up occasionally to make Coffee a little crazier, so when they do decide to reveal themselves it does indeed feel like a giant deus ex machina in either version.

Here's hoping that we see the anamorphic version real soon. Posted Image

Regarding Aliens:SE, the DVD version looks to have been put together on film. The minor alterations made for the initial video edit are gone (e.g. the fixed effects shots by the Skotaks and the corrected flamethrower/pulse rifle inserts as Ripley pulls them off the rack when she gets tooled up to search for Newt), so surely it must've been finally finished on film?

'preciate your time.

#18 of 139 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted August 10 2008 - 02:15 PM

I brought this up in the Terminator thread, but does Blu-ray technology allow for an easier way to navigate something like the extensive text supplements that were featured on titles like The Abyss?
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#19 of 139 OFFLINE   Van Ling

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Posted August 11 2008 - 05:45 PM

Ray, Blu-ray can absolutely allow for easier navigation... it all comes down to design and layout. I've been working on that kind of thing in theory, and am just waiting for a good opportunity to implement it... so I'm hoping that we can move forward on "The Abyss" on Blu-ray one of these days...

V

#20 of 139 OFFLINE   Greg Mariotti

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Posted August 13 2008 - 11:32 AM

Van. What's the hold up with Jim? We've been waiting years for an anamorphic version. Can't we tie him down for a few hours to give the transfer his blessing? Posted Image

This is my favorite movie of all time (yes, it really is!)...I need to see this done right on BD and soon!

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