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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Deep Rising
Deep Rising
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 21, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

One of the two "monster" movies that were in competition as 1998 opened, "Deep Rising" isn't anything that I'd want to pay to see in the theaters, but strangely, it's one of those movies where, if it's on cable, you find yourself sticking with it. A moderately entertaining ride at times, the film boasts some goofy performances and decent effects.

Unlike "Virus", the "other" creature film, "Deep Rising" partially redeems itself due to the film's sense of humor about the film's situations. It's certainly a dumb movie, and it seems as if its more than willing to admit it. The film stars Treat Williams as the captain of a boat crew who takes on the job of delivering a group of millitary men and their cargo.

Soon though, the boat becomes stuck and the two groups think they're stranded. Off in the distance is a cruise ship; when they get there, the place is a mess and the ship seems deserted. It turns out that they're not the only one on board when a giant squid monster makes itself known. The film then becomes the usual "shoot anything that moves" thriller.

Although the performances are not terribly good, the dialogue, which is impressively bad (a lot of lines in the general "I've got a bad feeling about this" group) doesn't help things, either. Again, though the film's sense of exactly what it is (not much) helps keep things moving. Director Stephen Sommers didn't show much promise with this film, but he eventually went on to direct "The Mummy", which is a whole lot better and definitely more fun.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Deep Rising" seems to have been part of the period where, although Disney was doing non-anamorphic transfers, the DVDs still offered moderately solid picture quality, with few major complaints. "Deep Rising" is presented in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and sharpness is actually quite good. Detail is fine, as well. Even in the darker scenes (and there are quite a few of those in this film), detail is still good. Colors are a little subdued at times, but generally have no problems and look fine. Flesh tones are generally good, but could be a little more accurate.

There are some minor problems; a sequence or two looks the slightest bit hazy, but not distractingly so. There are some minor instances of pixelation and shimmering, but those are not too noticable, either. The print used has a mark or two, but is otherwise crystal clear. The image quality from Disney on this release isn't too bad; some flaws here and there, but nothing major.

SOUND: "Deep Rising" offers a very loud, very agressive experience that actually makes the film fairly enjoyable. Like the film, the sound really isn't subtle and jumps out every chance it gets. Surround use is intense and very frequent, offering for a good sense of environment and also serves to draw the viewer in. Deep bass is also along for the trip, occasionally very powerful. The music score is also strong and nicely integrated into the rest of the chaos. Dialogue is fairly natural and always clear, as well. Appropriately thunderous audio, and better than I'd expected.

MENUS:: As with almost every early Disney disc (and most current ones), there's nothing to the main menu but the cover art. No animation.

EXTRAS: The trailer.
Final Thoughts: A bad, but watchable film that's worth a rental at most. Disney's DVD contains no extras of note, but strong audio and good video quality.

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