The Abyss 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score5
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Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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145 / 171
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James Cameron
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"The Abyss" is an underwater sci-fi adventure written and directed by James Cameron. When a nuclear sub mysteriously sinks a private oil rig crew, led by foreman Bud Brigman (Ed Harris), is recruited to join a team of Navy SEALs on a search and rescue effort. The group soon finds themselves on a spectacular life-and-death odyssey 25,000 feet below the ocean's surface, where they find a mysterious force that could either change the world ó or destroy it. (Gary Reber)

Both the theatrical version (02:20:16) and the extended version (02:51:01) are available. Special features include the documentary "Under Pressure: Making The Abyss" (HD 59:37), the featurettes "Deep Dive: A Conversation With James Cameron" (HD 32:23) and "The Legacy Of The Abyss" (HD 23:39), nine archival montages, still gallery, trailers and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photograph on Eastman film stock in Super Panavision 70, VistaVision, and Super 35 using the Arriflex 35 BL3, Arriflex 35-IIC, and Panavision camera systems and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. Grain is is virtually absent throughout, despite film captured, and renders the picture more digital in appearance. The restored picture exhibits realism throughout with superb resolution. Fine detail is exhibited in facial pores, lines, hair, beard stubble and bears and other features, as well as clothing and uniforms, and object textures revealed in the submissive vessels and even in the dirt particles stirred up on the bottom of the sea. Closeup of facial features, whether above or below the sea exhibit incredible detail. The water scenes look amazing in their turbulence and utter power as in for instance during the flooding of various underwater vessels. Explosions and lighting are all dramatically realistic. HDR contrast is excellent with natural black levels, revealing shadows and realistic white levels. Color fidelity is natural throughout with no exaggeration. Hues are vivid with fine gradations in hue shading exhibited. This is a wonderful and beautifully detailed picture which exhibits stunning realism. (Gary Reber)

The repurposed Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack for the original 6-channel elements is dynamic sounding with fine nuances and loud extremes in the form of explosions and structural collapses in underwater vessels. Water effects are a constant. The sound effects are bolstered with powerful, but never exaggerated, deep bass that can extend to sub-25 Hz frequencies. Atmospherics project close quarters in the vessels and sound perfect realistic. Foley sound effect are executed well and in perfect sync with picture. The orchestral/choral score is dynamic with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the side and back surround channels. Surround energy is strong with aggressive envelopment. At times, sound effects are directionalized in the front stage. Dialogue is intelligible with good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of an extension of the music, occasional sound effects having to do with water, alarms and hatch openings and closings, as well as some dialogue extension. Overall, there are some very effective height layer enhancements to the dimensional envelopment, but the film offered much more opportunities that were not addressed.

This is an undersea adventure like no other with its realistic depiction of an underwater disaster. Fidelity is excellent in this holosonicģ soundtrack.