Deep End Of The Ocean
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 21, 2000
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In Short: Slow mess of a drama gets another terrific Tristar effort for DVD.

The Movie:
Michelle Pfeiffer stars in "Deep End Of The Ocean", based on the bestselling novel about a woman who loses her child only to find him again years later. The performances are really the only good thing about this muted, slow-moving adapation that provides little in the way of material for good actors. It's one of those films where I know I should be involved and even moved by a tale like this, but I simply wasn't able to share the emotions that the characters had in a film like this, where the audience feels removed from the events.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays, as previously mentioned, a woman who loses her child at a class reunion, only to find him again(living in her neighborhood, no less), 9 years later. I don't want to give away the details of the film or how the child ends up in the same neighborhood, but, like the much of the rest of the film, I found it all rather unconvincing.

The film feels edited(there were rumored fights between Michelle Pfeiffer and the director Ulu Grosbard) and awkward- awkward especially when the boy is introduced back into the household, becoming part of the family in oddly staged events that try for drama and get somewhere around the level of mush. The film needs details to convince that it just doesn't have, like when the boy is found, the film doesn't really go through a lot of the legal proceedures, or any of that kind of thing. It just seems to skip over the cracks without much thought.

The film certainly has its share of good actors, but nothing to give them except for TV-movie dialogue with a combination of slow pacing. I have not read the best-selling novel, but what finally ended up on-screen certainly isn't a good effort.

The DVD VIDEO: I only expect the best in quality from Tristar's DVD product and this is no exception. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is consistently sharp, clear and clean looking, providing for a richly detailed "film-like" image that's pleasing to watch throughout. The film uses a rather muted color palette and that original intent is portrayed well here.

Both interior and exterior shots look fine; sharp, detailed and well-lit. There are no instances of any noticable artifacts. There are some especially nice instances of fall colors in the trees during a basketball game towards the last part of the picture. The print used is excellent, without any blemishes and there are no instances of pixelization or artifacts. Flesh tones are accurate and wonderfully natural throughout.

Not only is Tristar releasing what seems to be a DVD every other week, they're doing the same sort of high quality on each and every effort. The amount of energy and effort that they devote to each release, no matter if the film is a 150 million dollar hit or a 1 million dollar indie, makes them really the current kings of DVD.

SOUND: "Deep End Of The Ocean" is really a dialogue-based film almost completely, with slight touches of score. I really enjoyed the score on this film, it's not terribly over-emotional and manipulative like a lot of similar films. It sounds fine here, but it only appears every so often. Dialogue is fine throughout, clear and never sounding thin or compressed. The sound mix here does it's job fine, presenting the film's dialogue clearly.

MENUS:Basic film-themed menus based around the poster art.

EXTRAS:The trailer, a short "Making-Of" featurette with cast and crew interviews and also, cast biographies.

Final thoughts: Personally, I didn't care for the movie itself, but I think that again, Tristar has done a very nice job on the quality of this DVD.



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