Ghosts of the Abyss 3D Blu-ray Review
In 1997 and 1998, TITANIC was the only movie people could talk about. Whether it was pre-teen girls swooning over Leonardo DiCaprio or James Cameron shouting “I’m the king of the world” during his Oscar acceptance speech, everyone has a favorite memory of the film and in 1998, people just couldn’t get enough TITANIC. Unfortunately, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS came out in 2003, which was about five years too late to capitalize on TITANIC’s success. That said, the short film is a nice companion piece to the film for those of you that want to revisit the doomed voyage of the Titanic.
In 2001, Bill Paxton and James Cameron teamed up with a group of deep-sea explorers to take a closer look at TITANIC, which now sits at the bottom of the ocean. At just under 60 minutes, we don’t have time to do much else, so we jump in a pod with Bill Paxton and down we go. We circle the outside of the ship and then proceed to go inside, at least as far as we can. James Cameron did well to overlap some fake footage of the Titanic on top of the shipwreck so we could understand what we were looking at. Without that help, we would have just been staring at a giant rust bucket.
As cool as it is to see a giant ship at the bottom of the sea, once the initial novelty wore off, I found myself bored, even with the short runtime. It was cool to see some of the windows still intact and some of the doors still in one piece, but that’s about as interesting as it got. The highlight was seeing Molly Brown’s brass bed, but without being told, we wouldn’t have known it was brass (or Molly’s, for that matter). I got the feeling at times that both Cameron and Paxton were fascinated by the technology they were surrounded by, but maybe felt a little disappointed with what they saw in the ship.
The momentum came to a screeching halt when it’s revealed that they’re doing the expedition on September 11th, 2001. When the crew is notified what happened, everyone gets depressed (obviously) and things take a downturn. For a film, it would have worked better to not include that and instead focus on the expedition, but I think Cameron was attempting to be respectful of the disaster and wanted to show some of the crew’s reactions. I just didn’t think it worked in the context of the film.
GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS is not a bad film by any means; it’s just a simple film about a deep sea vessel taking a look at a giant boat on the bottom of the ocean. I’m not sure people are as obsessed with TITANIC as they were in 1998, but for those still interested in seeing what the ship looks like now, this should make a nice companion piece.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
As pointless as the recent 3D conversion of TITANIC was, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS actually looked pretty great in 3D. In fact, I would recommend this over some of the 3D nature documentaries out there if you’re looking to show off your new 3D TV.
Video: GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS looks fantastic on regular Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio is just as great as the video.
There are actually three versions of the film; a 60 minute 3D, a 60 minute BD and a 90 minute BD.
Reflections from the Deep (28:58): This is broken up into six segments which cover specifics in the film. These dive a little deeper into certain scenes or aspects, such as Bill Paxton dealing with the idea of going under water and the back story on the two cameras, Jake and Elwood. All of them are pretty decent and give a nice insight into the film.
The Cheese Sandwich Prank (2:03): The crew plays a prank on James Cameron since he only likes cheese sandwiches. It’s a cute addition.