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modern marvel's Review

Created Apr 24, 2014 08:07AM PST • Edited Apr 24, 2014 08:07AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    This is my favorite film directed by James Cameron. There. i said it. It is done. I’m sure you looked at my reviews or photo and said to yourself: I bet his favorite James Cameron movie is True Lies. Sorry, because I stand by The abyss as my personal favorite film by the one and only Cameron. Famous for The first 2 terminators, Aliens (itself one of the greatest sequels ever made), and for being the man who probably makes the us mint print more money just to satiate his box office receipts everytime he releases a film these days, The Abyss seems lost in the shuffle. Which is a shame because it is a fantastic (and fanatstically long if you watch the directors cut) film about exploration, imagination, and the determination of the human spirit.

    Featuring breathtaking visuals, a wholly original story, wonderfully diverse casting (for 1990 this was a cast where the biggest name was…ummm…Mary elizabeth mastrantonio?), and a level of imagination from hollywood’s richest auteur that may not have been matched since. Why is the Abyss my favorite James Cameron film? Because i was 8 years old when it came out and it blew me away. And 25 years later it holds up remarkably well.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    I’ll stick with the two princpal cast members in this category and then glaze over everyone else. Let’s be honest this is a visual movie and while the actors do a fine job (especially considering the daunting task of acting in this film. You’ll know what I mean if you watch the documentary) with the roles and all, itsd not a movie that lives and dies by its casting. Ed Harris is a sturdy and sure foot as an actor. I don’t recall him ever “phoning one in” or simply taking a paycheck. When he shows up in a film you know that there is genuine meat to the role, and he certainly provides a good performance. Not to mention his dive in the end was tremendous. The aforementioned actress with the exceedingly long name (heretofore mentioned just as Mary because I’m not typing it everytime) plays his wife/ex/ex-wife/love interest and is also good in her role. She may have had the most difficult role in the film, playing not only a strong female but in a cast surrounded entirely by men.

    Like i mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily a movie about the actors but about the “oohs and ahhs” of the story and the special effects. the fact that you come away from the movie with a story and remembering elements of the characters and not simply the special effects is a testament to the dedication of the actors. And the fact that they are some of the most well-rounded characters Cameron has ever written.

  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Perfect 5.0

    back in 2009 i came up with a filmmaking theory alongside my brother and we referred to it as the “Cameron/Jackson” law. It hypothesizes that once becoming famous for their filmmaking, oftentimes a filmmaker becomes so inlove with his product that he can’t let go of the directors chair long enough to NOT make a 2 and a half hour-3 hours long movie. Look at Cameron after terminator: aliens runs 2:20/2:35 directors cut. The abyss is is the second film after the Terminator and is a staggering 170 minutes long with its director’s cut. don’t get me wrong, every minute of this film is a joy to behold, and the stuff left originally on the cutting room floor only adds to the world were watching and rarely fells like filler from a writer/director/king of the world in love with himself. I realize i speak from the bias of a fanboy (of the film, not Cameron in general) but this feels like such a complete story that if he one day added even more I would drink it in gleefully. The special effects are seamless (which for a 25 year old film is amazing), the storytelling is rounded, the sets are grandiose, the direction is bombastic but not overdone, and the sense of wonder is…its worth sifting through a longer cut, definitely.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.4

    I had a difficult time with this. I suppose there is an edginess to this film, there is a divorced couple slowly rekindling and there is the risk of death. People get hurt and are frightened there is a general menace lurking around every corner. But to be perfectly honest, this may be the closest to a children’s film Cameron has ever made. I like to think that part of the reason that this movie appealed to me so much as a child (aside from watching it as a child) is that is is appropriate for children! (try saying that about aliens, either terminator, or piranha 2: the spawning). Movies such as The goonies, back to the future, monster squad, stand by me, explorers, etc. were considered age appropriate for children and when I look back at this film, I realize that the reason my father never turned the channel when The Abyss came on is because with the exception of a few adult themes (that may need explanation), this is a movie rather light on edge and high in wonderment.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 3.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Supernatural 3.1

    Im going to go right down the middle of the road with this one. This is a fantasy movie grounded in realism. Once you escape the idea THAT BLUE COLLAR OIL DRILLERS were hired to explore the ocean depths for something unknown (i mean, those already got to go to space in 1998, now they get to deep sea dive? I chose the wrong profession for adventure) and that its an alien “menace” (i still get chills watching that water lift and flow through the air whilst in their ship), and that Ed Harris breathes liquid (technically in the womb he did breathe liquid, but its still a bit of a stretch), i’d say that this is a very realistic movie. I feel that part of its immersion is how layered the realism tends to be, evern rolled around the spectacular visual effects that surround it.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.1
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.1
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.1


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