GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS: DVD
James Cameron assembles a team of scientists, documentarians, and actor-narrator Bill Paxton to descend 12,000 feet to the wreckage of the Titanic, following two submersible vehicles. A visibly nervous Paxton takes his first trip to the wreckage, and muses on the historical and scientific importance of their journey. Two mini robotic cameras are launched to explore the nooks and crannies of the ship, with director Cameron superimposing shots of actors playing out scenes that may have occurred in the final hours of the dying ship.
Review by Louise Keller:
There's something very eerie about descending 12,000 feet below the surface to see the ghostly remains of the Titanic, the once luxurious liner that dreams were made of. And although there may be other vessels in this day and age that are technically far more advanced than Titanic, we are told that there has never been one to match its luxury. The story of the Titanic has become an obsession with director James Cameron, and he is a credible fellow-passenger, as we join the crew of historians and scientists on this extraordinary trip to the bottom of the ocean. Paxton humanises the experience - we can relate to his concern at the claustrophobic conditions in the small capsule-like vessel that catapults them deeper than deep and far beyond any sea-life.
Although remotely operated vehicles had previously explored the wreck, technology and design limited the results, and by creating new self-contained vehicles with high-density battery and fiber optics, giving unprecedented freedom to move and explore. But technical achievements aside, Ghosts of the Abyss is an emotional trip, and one which allows us to get a sense of life on the Titanic as-it-was, with its ghostly superimposed figures and striking design.
We are never allowed to forget that the gloomy surrounds that we can see before us behind the split screens - and that are almost close enough to touch - are of the real thing. Nor can we forget, that we are watching history in the making. This is a gripping and thrilling film made personal by Cameron's involvement, coupled with the references to the real passengers onboard such as Molly Brown, the remains of her brass bedhead can be seen. We can also clearly see the intricacy of the beautifully crafted windows and there is even a water jug and glass still standing in a cupboard in one of the staterooms.
There's previously unseen footage on the DVD, interviews with Cameron, Paxton and the crew, plus a multi-angle feature in which we can choose from different cameras as you dive to the ocean's floor and see the grand staircase from any view you want.
Published October 20, 2005
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GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS: DVD (PG)
CAST: Documentary featuring Bill Paxton, Dr. Lori Johnston, Charles Pellegrino, Don Lynch, Ken Marschall, James Cameron, Mike Cameron
PRODUCER: James Cameron, Chuck Comisky, Janace Tashjian, Andrew Wight
DIRECTOR: James Cameron
SCRIPT: James Cameron
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Vince Pace
EDITOR: Ed W. Marsh, Sven Pape, John Refoua
MUSIC: Joel McNeely
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Martin Laing
RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes
PRESENTATION: Aspect ratio 16x9
SPECIAL FEATURES: Reflections from the Deep, The MIR experience.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: MRA
DVD RELEASE: October 3, 2005