Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
There's everything you've ever known about adventure, and then there's The Abyss.
A civilian oil rig crew is recruited to conduct a search and rescue effort when a nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks. One diver soon finds himself on a spectacular odyssey 25,000 feet below the ocean's surface where he confronts a mysterious force that has the power to change the world or destroy it.
From the director of The Terminator & Aliens, The Abyss is an ambitious, daring & harrowing work of underwater production that explores oceanic life unlike any other example before it, is significant for bringing several technological breakthroughs when it comes to underwater shooting & visual effects, makes clever use of its claustrophobic setting to create suspense, only to throw it all away with its dumb, ridiculous & frustrating final act.
Set at the height of the Cold War, the story of The Abyss concerns an underwater oil drilling platform crew which is tasked with a new assignment; to help a team of Navy SEALs locate an American submarine which drowned in the ocean under mysterious circumstances & to also investigate the cause of its crash.…
Top notch Sci-fi Thriller that captivated my imagination one minute then zapped me with an electric cattle prod the next minute! Talk about Claustrophobic! It toyed with me without mercy hitting on all my deepest, innermost fears! The tension was so thick I could cut it with a knife! I'm still coming down from the heavy duty adrenalin rush that ultimately overcame me!
Other moments I was wide eyed and enthralled with the beauty and serenity of the ocean depths! The great cast of characters drew me in right from the get go! Outstanding performance by all! But hats off to Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio for electrifying performances that made my heart skip a beat or two!
Through the first two acts of James Cameron's The Abyss I kept thinking DAMN, this is a fantastic looking film and all but I'm not sure about the focus. I felt Cameron was spending too much time on the squabbling humans and not enough on the extraterrestrial life they discovered deep in the ocean. A good portion of the film is spent on a side story involving an increasingly paranoid Navy SEAL officer and a nuclear warhead. I was more interested in other aspects of the story and Cameron just took awhile to deliver them. By the end I was fine though as the third act brought everything home nicely.
The Abyss is the story of a civilian diving team…
Clearly Cameron’s attempt to make a Spielberg film (Face-reaction shots; Close Encounters similarities about in the mise-en-scene, alien design, and that finale), but also distinctly a Cameron film.* Opening submarine sequence is hardened, masculine, filled with specialty military lingo that he perfectly communicates through the shots, and the director’s bravado specialty of creating an intense physical reality—that rushing water looks truly authentic in a way CGI could never pull off. Those guys actually look like they are getting smacked around before plummeting to a watery grave. Also a perfect Cameron entrance shot: an army platoon empties out of a helicopter with the shot focused on each of their boots until a pair of high heels emerges revealing Mary Mastrantonio (totally…
This isn't a four and a half star movie. Four, perhaps. But research into the effort, work and risks taken during this movie and you have to appreciate it in a whole different light. I'm not fucking kidding.
Ed Harris and Mary Mastrantonio flat out refuse to even talk about this movie. They claim "The Abyss was a lot of things. Fun to make was not one of them." Harris very almost drown in one scene and Mastrantonio says the experience was "traumatic". One can only imagine what it must be like filming at an underwater set filled with 7 million gallons of water.…
Trading the coldness of space for the depths of the oceans allows Cameron to once again showcase his technical skills as a director. Here he creates a universe that is recognisable , yet still feels alien.
I have always admired Cameron for his ability to entertain. A lot can be said about his films, but they are never boring. Apart from the fact that his films are always technically far ahead of their time, there always seems to be something to take from his films. The Abyss is no different. The underwater vistas look amazing and contrast beautifully with the sometimes claustrophobic confines of the underwater station. Everything is shot with incredible attention to detail, the CGI and practical effects…
Not quite the movie I was expecting. I think it would have been better served if the entire alien element had been ignored. It didn't add anything essential to the story in my opinion, and felt like an after thought in order to maintain James Cameron's sci-fi cred.
And Spielbergianly silly.
technically impressive for '89 and a solid thriller for the first two thirds.
gets a bit hammy when they milk more than one protagonists imminent death for like 10 mins, love saves the day over nukes and the cold war theme is obviously dated.
This is the only film I can think of that the theatrical release impresses me more than the director's cut. Cameron goes off the deep end (haha) with the uncut version. The ending is so didactic as to be intrusive. But the version I saw in theaters impressed me. Terrific suspense and action and drama.
I thought this would have been better. Didn't care for the alien angle. Thought there was a good film there without it.
The sets are brilliant, the camerawork is intense and engaging, and the imagery is powerful.
Spoilers to follow:
That being said, I had some problems with everything else. The macho soldier endangering everyone for the sake of his mission and the aliens that know better plot lines felt very default and soulless. The writing was very comfortable with giving characters sexist things to say. It was so bad that at one point I thought this going to be a commentary on sexism in the military, but no. The person putting words in these characters' mouths probably just hates women.
At one point a guy slaps his ex-wife in the face while calling her a bitch. She later apologizes for being a bitch. They get back together. I don't even know.
The results of James Cameron's seven year stint that constitutes an early part of his career, beginning with The Terminator in 1984 and ending with its sequel in 1991 still stand as some of the greatest achievements in mainstream cinema, memorable genre blends that offer food for thought rather than just pretty fireworks that make children happy. These films are the gold standard and every action-thriller director should aspire to top them. Released at the end of the 1980s The Abyss is the least violent of the films he made during this period, Cameron allowing more room for drama and adventure while telling the supernatural story set deep beneath the surface of the sea.
Like T2 and Aliens, The Abyss…
James Cameron's underwater epic is beautiful, sloppy, and dripping with passion. *I am reviewing the THEATRICAL CUT, not special edition.
Cameron, who is now one of the world's leading experts on deep sea oceanography, is clearly passionate about the subject. He puts amazing care into the underwater sets and uses some really fascinating techniques to get shots that you've never seen before and haven't seen since. Everything he's done is in a compelling way and even if you're trying not to watch the movie, it will suck you in (like some kind of abyss). There are several scenes that are an absolute joy to watch. I'd even argue some of the best filmmaking of the 1980s happens in select scenes.…
James Cameron doesn't get better than this.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…