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Waterworld Blu-ray Review

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“Waterworld” remains an ambitious Hollywood film.

The polar ice caps have melted and the Earth is now covered in water, but humans have managed to survive on the water via atolls and boats. However, one such survivor is not a man but a mutant. His name: The Mariner. He’s a lone wolf survivalist who trades and scavengers. He spends the majority of his time on his trusty boat. One day while stopping off at an atoll, he gets caught up in a heap of trouble with the locals and later the invading Smokers gang. The Smokers, as it turns out, are after a young girl named Enola who apparently possesses a map to the fabled dry land. Miraculously, The Mariner manages to escape along with Enola and her caretaker Helen, but the Smokers continue to pursue them. Is there actually a Dry Land? Who will find it first?

Back in the 90’s, I had a fondness for director Kevin Reynolds’ big budget ambitious original IP that is “Waterworld” and was curious to see if it held up. While it’s certainly far from perfect (I’ll get to that in a bit), it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer scope of this post-apocalyptic adventure. The giant floating sets, the wild costumes, the huge practically done action set pieces, and the majority of the film being shot on water make for a real visual feast. You just don’t see this kind of risky movie anymore let alone one done in a non-CGI fashion.

Cast wise, Kevin Costner isn’t quite up to his usual standards here as The Mariner. I think it was a mistake to make him overly aggressive and a bit of a jerk. Sure, he has a heart and eventually comes around to showing it, but some of his actions don’t come across well in this day and age. Jeanne Tripplehorn gives the best performance here as Helen and a young Tina Majorino shines as Enola. Dennis Hopper chews up every bit of scenery as the baddie Deacon. Lastly, there are some truly eccentric characters to look out for that are played by Kim Coates, Jack Black and Michael Jeter. They’re all ultra bizarre but fascinating to watch.

On the downside, the script by David Twohy and Peter Rader is a bit lacking. The dialogue can come off as dopey every now and then and the story leaves you wanting more. It would have been nice to see more world building here as it feels like it only scraped the surface. Granted, they could only do so much given the already inflated budget, but still.

Note: In this new 2 disc set from Arrow Video, viewers are able to watch the theatrical cut and a 178 minute extended edition dubbed The Ulysses Cut. Admittedly, I don’t notice a ton of changes with the extended cut other than it fleshed some things out and added some things that probably didn’t need to be there.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? From the detailed sets to the glittering water, this is a nice crisp transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Neither track disappoints.

Extras:
* Visual effects image gallery
* Original teaser, trailer and TV spots
* “Global Warnings”- Film critic Glenn Kenny talks about post-apocalyptic/end of the world cinema
* “Dances With Waves”- An old school featurette about the production.
* “Maelstrom: The Odyssey Of Waterworld”- A new 102 minute documentary with film clips, interviews, original concept ideas, production stories and so much more.

December 27, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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