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The Abyss (Special Edition)

4.3 out of 5 stars 610 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Abyss (Special Edition) [DVD] [1989] ...

Special Features

  • Multi-Story Option: Consumer can select original theatrical release (145 min.) or special edition release with 28 minutes of added footage
  • Video Subscripture Version: Viewers can read pop-up captions throughout the film explaning how the special effects were created
  • Documentary: Under pressure: Making The Abyss (60 min.) with cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Comprehensive film analysis from storyboards and concept art to final release

Product Details

  • Actors: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester, Todd Graff
  • Directors: James Cameron
  • Writers: James Cameron
  • Producers: Gale Anne Hurd, Van Ling
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Special Edition, THX, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 171 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (610 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003Q438
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Abyss (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"The Abyss" is one of the most intriguing Sci-Fi/action movies to have ever been made. From the very beginning of this exceptional movie to the end, for the first time viewer or for those that have watched it many times, it is a highly inventive and an ultimately captivating movie. Although there have been many movies made about events under the surface of the ocean, few can match up to the intensity that "The Abyss" is laden with.
One of the more intriguing aspects about the edition of "The Abyss" that I'm reviewing today or any other version that contains both the original theatrical release and the Special Edition with twenty eight minutes of additional footage is how the whole tone of the conclusion of the film changes between the two. This is not something that I wish to go in to in great detail; suffice it to say that the Special Edition gives a whole new meaning to this classic movie.
From Ed Harris to Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio to Michael Biehn and all of the other marvelous actors that performed in this film, they all deserve high praise for their collective efforts in creating this Science Fiction classic. It isn't too often that Ed Harris or Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio gets the lead roles in films but in the case of "The Abyss," they both proved that they were quite ready for such roles.
In 1984 first time director, James Cameron gave millions of movies fans just the first taste of his directing talents when he burst on the scene with "The Terminator" which started a run of extraordinarily successful movies culminating in "Titanic" which is one of the highest grossing films of all times.
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10 Comments 122 of 135 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Great Story! 5 Stars
Great Actors! 5 Stars
Great Director! 5 Stars
Great Sci-Fi Movie! 5 Stars
Great on DVD? NO, NO, NO!!! Zero Stars!!! Non-Anamorphic, Non-16x9 Widescreen, Very Poor Video Transfer onto DVD, and Not on Blu-Ray yet? What the #$%*! We are living in an age of HD 16x9 TV's and this, one of the great emotionally moving Sci-Fi movies of our time is placed on DVD that is formatted for a 4x3 Standard Definition TV's? You have got to be kidding me.

Hey James Cameron and Paramount or whoever is involved in the process of bringing this great movie to DVD, WE WANT THIS MOVIE IN 16x9 HD Format OR if you won't do that, how about a regular DVD in 16x9 Format/Anamorphic and why don't you throw in a remastered video transfer while you're at it so WE CAN ALL enjoy this movie on our 16x9 Widescreen Plasma, LCD, and LED TV's and Projectors!!!

What a shame.
11 Comments 94 of 104 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Dazed and confused!!!!! I feel like I am in the Abyss!!!!! What happened to the Anamorphic? The box cover even states anamorphic? What is Fox up to? I was so excited that all of the advertising for this edition stated anamorphic, but I was left so violated when I discovered that I had yet spent more money for the same version that I had on the 5 star edition. Fox please have someone check this stuff before you fool the public!
6 Comments 128 of 147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
So disappointing! I thought this would FINALLY be the anamorphic dvd we've been waiting for, but... NO! Strange that so many "different" versions of this film have been released on dvd without the anamorphic addition. A HUGE amount of dvd buyers now own hd tv's and home theater projectors... the anamorphic aspect of a dvd is of significant importance to us!! I love this movie... what a total shame.
15 Comments 121 of 139 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
For those of you who loved this movie despite the corny, rather confusing ending or those who just couldn't get past the ending, the special edition finally brings justice to a fantastic film.
The special edition includes 28 minutes sliced from the theatrical version to keep the movie within a Studio accepted length. A significant portion of the additional footage comes towards the end. It explains the motivations of the NTIs (non-terrestrial intelligence), creating a much more powerful finale to the film.
In addition to the special edition film, the two discs takes full advantage of the wonders of DVD technology. A fascinating documentary takes the viewer through the extraordinary trials and tribulations encountered in the making of the film. I truly was amazed by the dedication of Cameron, the crew, and the actors to bring this film to life. Furthermore, a wealth of information is provided in storyboards, pictures, etc that would make any film student drool.
I own "The Abyss" on VHS and it pales in comparison to the DVD version. I only wish all my favorite films on DVD contained the thrilling additions this one does.
Comment 13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Few other "Special Edition" discs get you as intimately familiar with a film and the film-making process as this new DVD does, though the laser disc collector's edition of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY comes awful close. Now you fortunate DVD-player owners can get for about $30-$40 dollars what we laser disc owners shelled out $100 for years ago, plus more. A heart-pounding movie, beautifully and intricately shot under nearly impossible circumstances (it wasn't nicknamed "The toughest shoot in film history" for nothing). Part military action thriller, part love story, and all impressive, THE ABYSS SPECIAL EDITION on DVD gives you both the theatrical version and expanded version of the movie (even the laser disc only had a one-version option), documentaries (the longer one is not to be missed), and enough bonus features to monopolize your entire day. It can really take the whole afternoon and evening to see it ALL. Granted, at 171 minutes the expanded version is a bit cumbersome at times, but by then you are so engrossed you don't mind. We've all seen good-looking special effects movies undermined by a so-so script or lame acting. But THE ABYSS delivers where it counts -- solid performances and an often tense script. This is the version to own. All other versions and formats of this film pale in comparison - even the expensive laser disc version. For what you'll pay for this disc you get much more than your money's worth. This collection sets a new standard for discs with bonus features. And if you enjoyed THE MATRIX for how it took full advantage of your surround-sound system, this disc will also please. Make sure your subwoofer is turned on.
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Great film..But is this release finally going to be anamorphic widescreen?
Don't be a fool like me and find out the hard way. This title is NOT in Anamorphic Widescreen. To add insult to injury Dobly Digital 5.1 sound is not even offered, only Dolby Surround. Talk about feeling stupid. I already own the original 2 disc special edition version of this title which... Read More
Jun 5, 2007 by C. Davis |  See all 23 posts
widescreen format of upcoming blu-ray disc?
I have been looking forward to having the extended version of The Abyss on Blu Ray for far too long. It was rumored to be coming out in the fall of 2013 and yet no BR is forthcoming. Are there any 'insiders' who might actually know?
Jan 29, 2014 by Steve Douglas |  See all 3 posts
"special edition" VERY MISLEADING-where is the 2nd disc?
There are two previous releases of 2-disc sets of The Abyss.

The original 2-disc set (The Abyss (Special Edition) released in 2000) is here:
http://www.amazon.com/Abyss-Special-Ed-Harris/dp/B00003Q438/

This is the one I have, and yes the extras are worth it!

Another 2-disc set (The... Read More
Nov 3, 2007 by Grayovac |  See all 3 posts
How I do to watch the movie in theatrical version?
The DVD comes with both versions through seamless branching.
Jan 26, 2009 by Mark J. Hinnegan |  See all 2 posts
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No THX mastering for this 2-disc version? Be the first to reply
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