WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Abyss, The
Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 03 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester, Todd Graff, John Bedford Lloyd, J.C. Quinn, Kimberly Scott

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 5
Download WSR Review
Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 1561-85
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 140
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1989
(LD Release Date): 5/90
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): James Cameron
(Screenplay/Written By): James Cameron
(Story): NA
(Music): Alan Silvestri
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Leslie Dilley
(Visual Effects): Dream Quest Images & Industrial Light & Magic
(Costume Designer): Deborah Everton
(Editor): Joel Goodman
(Supervising Sound Editors): Dody Dorn
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Gale Anne Hurd

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Super 35
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.39:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.91:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby A & 70mm 6 Track Dolby
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
When a nuclear submarine crashes deep in the ocean, an undersea drilling rig is commandeered by Navy SEALs on a rescue mission. Now it’s up to the rig’s foreman (Harris) to fight the crazed Lieutenant Coffey (Biehn) who is determined to detonate a nuclear warhead. But deep in “The Abyss,” something unknown has the power to save them.

LaserDisc Picture:
Picture quality is pristine with rich and accurate color fidelity and consistent balance throughout. Everything looks very real and natural with excellent contrast and black level. Few discs measure up to this quality.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The sound is stupendous, perhaps the best spatially produced soundtrack to date. This disc defines what an aggressive Dolby Surround® presence is. Check out the scenes involving the “crane disaster” in Chapters 20 to 22 to get the adrenaline going. We put our Fosgate•Audionics Model Three Processor/THX® Controller through its paces on this sequence, both through the Dolby Pro Logic® mode and the THX Cinema Mode for a spectacular sense of envelopment. The “rock” mode produced an even more dramatic visceral experience with a discrete sense of the sound field envelopment. Such experiences are rare and thrilling.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: