Open Water: SE
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // $26.98 // December 28, 2004
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted December 27, 2004
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Despite its cerebral undertow, Lions Gate marketeers enthusiastically ballyhoo'd the human combo-meal potential of this lost-at-sea chiller's simple, even ordinary story. Ken 'n' Barbie reluctantly slap the snooze button on their money-mad careers to swill pina coladas poolside and, for extra grins, squeeze in some scuba diving. Requisite peril ensues when their tour guide's "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Gringos" headcount comes up two shy and -- UH OH! -- Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis find themselves left behind to emote their little hearts out on the open ocean. While the Sundance crowd nibbled their nails to nubs, many CineSchlockers will feel an itch to sling a chum bucket or two toward our not-so-perfect couple just to enthuse some umph into this relentlessly realistic fish story. It'd spoil things to dwell too much on our wave-bobbing thespians as they fend off fearsome jelly fish and increasingly curious sharks, so let's talk about diddling instead. An early boudoir scene showcases writer/director Chris Kentis' dogged commitment to realism over sensationalism: Ms. Ryan's sensationally nekkid! Danny eagerly hops into the sack and the two flirt with the idea of canoodling. But they're tired. Both their sunburned faces are less-than-sexily slathered with salve. And despite his encouragement, she slowly drifts "out of the mood" and it's lights out. What!?! But, but, but she's nekkid. He's nekkid. They're on vacation. That's not the way it happens in the movies. No, it's true to life and that's how the whole movie plays. Nary a sensationalistic strain right down to the final nihilistic note. The whole exercise is sorta akin to a blue-nethered date with Angelina Jolie where there's always the titillating threat of wanton, possibly blood-strewn hanky panky but only actually amounts to a goodnight nibble on the cheek. To a greater than usual degree, it's the "How'd they do that?!" story behind this micro-budget marvel that holds more prolonged interest. A generous array of extras -- including an excellent track by our pruney Jacques Cousteau washouts -- deliver all the juicy details in big ol' bites that'll keep fans, and aspiring auteurs, circling back for more. Two breasts. Brutally machete'd coconut. Rampant spazzing. Gratuitous Kevin Bacon game. Puking. Gratuitous urination. Ironic photo op. Gratuitous "Shark Week" reference. Hours adrift, Ms. Ryan whines: "I WANTED TO GO SKIING!!!"

2004, 80 mins, 1.85:1 anam, DTS 6.1 & DD 5.1 & 2.0, Filmmaker and cast commentaries, Deleted and alternate scenes [10 mins], Featurettes [20 mins], Trailer.

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.


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