A few words about…™ Waterworld — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Overall, a terrific new 4k release of a film that seems to work better today than it did a quarter century ago... 5 Stars

With a bit of time, opinions sometimes change.

At the time of release, I found the film interesting and likable, but far from greatness.

Even then, I felt that Kevin Reynolds’ 1995 Waterworld, received a bad rap by reviewers, based in no small part, to its production cost. It was that two hundred million dollar-ish cost that received publicity equal to reviews.

Seen today, especially with discussions of the overall causal concept of the film, global warming, it has taken on a new and more interesting life.

It’s not just an adventure anymore.

While I’ve not performed a comparison vs the recent Arrow Blu-ray release, the new 4k stands head and shoulders above the old Blu-ray. There’s no comparison.

As it was shot on film, I’m presuming that Universal has returned to the camera negative, and new image harvest. If not, it’s still certainly an appealing new transfer.

Pin-sharp, and rock steady, the only element that I noted that seemed momentarily odd, were a few transitions that moved just a touch toward magenta.

Audio, in DTS-X is proscenium filling, and crystal clear.

Overall, a terrific new 4k release of a film that seems to work better today than it did a quarter century ago…

Before the polar ice caps actually began to melt.

The 4k is the 136 minute cut, with the longer 176 to be found on the Blu disc.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-X)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Absolutely!

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

20 Comments

  1. This shows the continued appeal of Kevin Costner films, as both "Waterworld" and "Field of Dreams" have now made their 4K/UHD debuts within the first half of 2019. Hopefully, this bodes well for the arrivals of "Dances with Wolves", "JFK", "The Untouchables", "Open Range" and "Wyatt Earp" within this format, as well.

  2. Yup, a fun film. My only criticism is that it's like two separate films – serious (in fact downright glum) with Kevin Costner, & comedy with Dennis Hopper & The Smokers, & the baddie is far more likeable that the hero, & that can't be right, but none of that's a deal breaker, I still enjoy it.

  3. This is one of those pictures I have never been able to make it through. I recall thinking of it at the time as an attempt to do a Mad Max movie on the water and that they should have cast Mel Gibson in it. Walked out of it at the theater, turned it off several times when it was on a nearby TV. Never owned any version of it on a home format…I'm thinking I never will.

  4. “Never owned any version of it on a home format…I’m thinking I never will.”

    Good for you?

    It’s always been a movie that entertains me when very time I’ve watched it.
    The Arrow set is great.

  5. TonyD

    “Never owned any version of it on a home format…I'm thinking I never will.”

    Good for you?.

    I said that because as Mr. Harris says above, sometimes a picture plays better later than it did at the time of release, for all kinds of reasons. When a company like Arrow creates a set for a film like this I ponder watching it again. The problem is, I tried several times and could not get through the film. All that means is I could not get through it, has nothing to do with if others find it fun or entertaining. I tried to get through it, really I did, more than once. I liked the idea of a film set entirely on the water. I like Dennis Hopper. Kevin Costner can be hit or miss in stuff outside of Westerns. He played a part in two big end of the world kind of movies in this and The Postman…I find them both misfires but they have their fans. I'm fine with that.

  6. Reggie W

    He played a part in two big end of the world kind of movies in this and The Postman…I find them both misfires but they have their fans. I'm fine with that.

    I always thought of "Waterworld" as "The Road Warrior" on the water, and I always thought of "The Postman" as "Waterworld" on land, which is, of course, "The Road Warrior." That seemed like such a strange career choice to me — "The Postman" anyway. I watched "Waterworld" on 4K Blu-ray two nights ago. It's still not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it does look great.

  7. I have the Arrow Blu-ray release which is presumably based on this same 4K scan and looks great. I'd pick up the UHD, except that I much, much prefer the extended cut and don't really see myself ever watching the theatrical cut again. The extended version really is a huge improvement in this case.

    Vincent

  8. Vincent_P

    I have the Arrow Blu-ray release which is presumably based on this same 4K scan and looks great. I'd pick up the UHD, except that I much, much prefer the extended cut and don't really see myself ever watching the theatrical cut again. The extended version really is a huge improvement in this case.

    Vincent

    Same here! That's why I asked RAH the question about what versions were on the disc in 4K. I won't be buying this 4K release. I might buy it digitally, but I doubt it.

  9. Robert Crawford

    Same here! That's why I asked RAH the question about what versions were on the disc in 4K. I won't be buying this 4K release. I might buy it digitally, but I doubt it.

    Excellent, I'll just stick to the Arrow version also then.

  10. Vincent_P

    I have the Arrow Blu-ray release which is presumably based on this same 4K scan and looks great. I'd pick up the UHD, except that I much, much prefer the extended cut and don't really see myself ever watching the theatrical cut again. The extended version really is a huge improvement in this case.

    Vincent

    The Arrow release has the extended cut only? On the Amazon description it says it has the theatrical cut on disc one and the extended cut on disc two. Just looking for clarification.

    Also, is there a commentary? Amazon doesn't list one, but I'm hoping they just missed it in their listing.

    Thanks, in advance.

  11. Detour (1945)

    The Arrow release has the extended cut only? On the Amazon description it says it has the theatrical cut on disc one and the extended cut on disc two. Just looking for clarification.

    Also, is there a commentary? Amazon doesn't list one, but I'm hoping they just missed it in their listing.

    Thanks, in advance.

    Three cuts on the Arrow release. Theatrical. Extended. Ulysses. No commentary.

  12. PMF

    Hopefully, this bodes well for the arrivals of "Dances with Wolves", "JFK", "The Untouchables", "Open Range" and "Wyatt Earp" within this format, as well.

    It would be great if a Wyatt Earp 4K could include the director's cut at least on a blu-ray! I have the laser disc version. 🙂

    Vincent_P

    I have the Arrow Blu-ray release which is presumably based on this same 4K scan and looks great. I'd pick up the UHD, except that I much, much prefer the extended cut and don't really see myself ever watching the theatrical cut again. The extended version really is a huge improvement in this case.

    Vincent

    I actually have the opposite opinion. The extended cut does answer some questions, but nothing of real importance. I have great admiration for the editor that took the initial cut of this movie and cut it down to a pretty decent action-adventure movie for its theatrical release. The extended cut just has too many places where it runs out of gas for my taste.

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