Customer Reviews: Crimson Tide [Blu-ray]
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on May 17, 2006
The original DVD release of Crimson Tide occurred at a time before the trends of including cut scenes, commentary, and animated menus. While it makes sense to re-release the film with what we now considered the standard features, missing from the original, I found the overall experience somewhat disappointing.

For die-hard fans of Crimson Tide, this DVD is worth getting just to see the 7 minutes or so (Original release was 116 minutes, this version is supposed to be 123) of exra footage. The title menu is much nicer than before, and the addition of the documentary is a great bonus. But under deleted scenes, we're shown only three very short "scenes": an extra line of dialogue onboard the crew bus, a longer version of Radchenko's speech to the reporter, and a half-minute long nearly silent waiting scene before the panel at the end of the movie. All three are shown as raw footage, without any cleaning, or explanation.

All of the content in the deleted scenes is in the primary feature, in a cleaned-up and nearly seamless state. None of the new footage is more than a few seconds in length, but it's clear that all of it consists of short pieces of dialogue removed either for time constraints or clarity. What this means is that throughout the movie we're treated to bursts of extraneous dialogue that the editor had originally removed, usually for a reason. It's interesting from the point of view of a film student, but as a consumer release I think it degrades from the experience ever so slightly. Crimson Tide is all about suspense, and anything that distracts the focus of the audience is consequently lowering the quality of the movie. None of it is very overt, but there's enough of it that it might harm the experience of a first-time viewer of the film.

Overall, the extras contained in this release make it a must-have for previous fans, but for new buyers I would still recommend the original DVD cut.
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on June 16, 2006
I gave this movie 3 stars because ultimately, I was entertained. The acting (for the most part) was outstanding, and the tension that was created could be cut with a Knife.

That being said, Let me put some peoples mind at ease, and relate some of the inaccuracies of the movie.

1. No Animals on Board. Period. Lose the Dog and the Fish Tank. An aquarium would be a terrible missile hazzard, and a dog crapping and pissing onboard, not a chance.

2. The supply officer (James Gandolfini) would never be allowed near control. Nor would he have the ability to force a seaman or petty officer to do push ups onboard a bus. The Supply Officer is a "restricted" officer, which means they can not participate in "command" of the vessel. The "Chop" would simply be in charge of the ships stores and the galley, nothing else.

3. There is no countermanding a launch command. Period. If the CIC (The Prez) issues a launch, the birds are flown. All the fail-safe measures (authenticating the flash traffic) are pretty much spot on, yet when word comes down to launch, you launch. The Navy asks it's young submariners to be prepared to do the unthinkable, and are trained as such. As long as there exists the slight possibility that a valid order may be later recinded, you take away the confidence of the crew in it's orders. The safe guards regarding authorization and two person concurrance is designed to prevent a single officer from launching weapons.

However, once a properly formatted, and authentic order is received, it is expected that it will be carried out. To do otherwise would always give crew members a moment of pause, wondering when the order to stand down would occur. This hesitation can not exist. Thus once the birds are ordered to fly, they will fly, as certain as if the president had pulled the trigger himself.

4. While some submariners have been on the heavy side, the number of obese people seen on the boat is not consistant with a real crew. And I have never seen ANYONE as obese as the COB was in this movie.

5. There are no secret "crawl spaces" in which people can move around in. The boat is not that big. Thus, Hunter and crew would have had to navigate actual passageways to get to control, and would have run into whatever guards were stationed.

6. The "submarine" diving in the exterior shots was not a trident ballistic missile boat, but rather a Los Angeles Class attack boat out of Hawaii. I was in Pearl Harbor when the filming took place, and Pearl is strictly a Fast Attack sub base, with Tridents only coming once in awhile for a stop over after the end of a patrol. The boat shown in the dive footage was actually an LA attack boat, and not a boomer.

7. While boat commanders frequently run multiple casualty drills, there would never be a "weapons drill" run just after a potentially fatal fire. The boat commander is ultimately responsible for the boat, crew, and it's payload. No commander would brush off such a large conflageration and "run a drill" until the fire had been fully extinguished and the reflash watch reported no possibility of reflash existed.

8. Enlisted Submariners by nature are picked for their maturity and intelligence. Submariners, especially Nuclear Trained, are encouraged to "question" orders. The safety of the boat and the crew depends on each person being able to accurately determine if an order given is "lawful". The "boys" on board Alabama showed none of those traits. The fact that the "chop" could bully his way into the Captain's Quarters by simply yelling is a testament to the poor opinion the film makers had of enlisted men.

In a "real" boat, the "chop" would have been staring down the barrel of a .45 caliber handgun, and would have been wrestled to the deck while a "security violation" was reported over the ship and "away the security alert team" was sounded. Security on board a sub is so crucial, that there is a story in which a seaman actually ordered Admiral Rickover to kiss the deck face down because the admiral while wearing full dress whites, refused to show the deck watch his military ID. He was spot promoted to Petty Officer by Rickover himself.

So while my Sailor side has issues with all the inaccuracies and fairly poor treatment the military gets with this movie, I do find the movie suspensful, entertaining, and sometimes too close to comfort (the flooding sequence is a nightmare all sailors share)

So kudos to the film makers for making a slick, taunt, thriller, but thankfully, that would and could NEVER happen.
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Wow! This is one that is sure to raise your blood pressure and get the old heart pounding! The movie is set in the near future, during a time of extreme instability and potential military adventurism in the crumbling Russian republics. As a result of all that is going on, old cold-war tensions are revived, igniting a heightened military readiness in the USA and sending an anxious submarine crew venturing on patrol into position to potentially launch its inventory of ICBMs at Russia if ordered. Under these circumstance, and based on contradictory information coming in piecemeal from the outside world, a mutiny occurs between the eccentric and stern authoritarian skipper, played brilliantly by Gene Hackman, and his executive officer, also played extremely well by Denzel Washington.
The story line leading to the mutiny, and what happens as a result of it is all quite plausible, and given the fact that the submarine has enough missile power to destroy most of industrial Russia as we know it, it is quite a believable and cautionary tale. The drama is well scripted and well acted, and one is hard-pressed to know who is right and wrong regarding the decisions made and actions taken. I was at the edge of my easy chair throughout the movie, and at times it was intense enough to be what I call "white-knuckle time". It is a movie I both enjoyed and learned from, and it should soften even the hardest hearts among us as to the dangers of having fully armed weapon systems like nuclear missile submarines in the hands of fallible human beings, who no matter how well trained and disciplined, are still frail and vulnerable people just like us. Enjoy!
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on January 21, 2014
The chemistry between Hackman and Washington is what makes this movie. Both are great actors and the peronalities they portray is really what this movie is all about. It's a common theme ... chain of command setting, idealogue vs man of action . Also a classic power struggle. The reason I did not give it 45 stars is simply because it had too much of a Star Trek "I only have 5 minutes to fix this and I'll do it in 4 minutes and 59 seconds" feel to it. Hey I love Star Trek and this movie did have great suspense, but it was bordering on sci fi caliber. This was supposed to be a plausible situation. That said, it's an exciting movie with alot of good actors and believable action. I recommend it.
PS what made me think about this movie was the fact that I had just watched "Flight" and loved Denzel Washington in that too. He really is a good actor and has only gotten better with age.
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on February 11, 2008
Blu-Ray has been releasing some great looking titles as of late. Sure there were exceptions last year. Even a few uneventful releases this year too. But, this title is sure to please. First off, I viewed this movie on my 40" Sony XBR4 LCD. Calibrated with the Digital Video Essentials disk. Using Monster HDMI cables. Audio was through a Sony 910, 7.1 receiver. Speakers were Bose Acoustamass 16 series 2. I used a Sony PS3 for playback. So with that said, this is a great flick. Very good cast. Hackman and Denzel play a great goodguy vs badguy. Or should I say old school vs new school. Hackman is the old guard. Denzel is the new guy. Tons of action. Just as you would expect from director Tony Scott. He also directed Top Gun, True Romance, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, and Day's of Thunder to name a few. So if you like his action adventure style. This will surely please.

The picture is Very, Very clean. No visible dirt, scratches, blemeshis. No edge enhancement of note. It truely appears to be reference quality. Details are very sharp. This is a dark movie. Shot entirely under water. The blacks are very, very black and true. There is not much color in this movie to talk about. Submarine movies are not a tropical paradise. But a beautiful film none the less.

Next is the sound. Very clear voices. Clean through and through. Battle scenes have great base. Once again, reference quality. Your subwoofer will hit hard several times. No crackling at all. My sound system is not a " Huge " setup. So for all you audiofiles out there. You will get more out of it than I did.

So.... Overall the picture is an A. Sound an A also. So, buy and enjoy!!!!
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on April 10, 2015
Yes little ducks, that's a line from one of the opening shots of the movie when Gene Hackman who plays Captain Frank Ramsey of the USS ALABAMA nuclear missile sub is addressing the crew before they start their mission. The mission is to set sail and be on the ready to launch their nuclear payload toward Russia if worse comes to worse and the rebel force that suddenly took control of several russian subs and a russian nuke base tries to launch their missiles against America. This movie was released in 1995, had a 53 million dollar estimated budget and Tony Scott was the director. Who the heck's Tony Scott????? He was/is the brother of Ridley Scott who did a little space movie called Alien. I say was because he's no longer with us (suicide, 2012). Tony also did another fairly popular movie you might know called Top Gun, another military themed movie that made the American Navy and their fighter pilots look the badazzes that they are (again going up against the russians). In this movie you have Denzel Washington playing Lt. Commander Ron Hunter the Alabama's new XO (executive officer) who's well educated but relatively inexperienced in actual combat as compared to Gene Hackman's character Captain Frank Ramsey the old school, self made, well seasoned boats commander who's seen it all done it all. The action starts off with news clips of things going haywire in Russia (kinda like now...) with a rebel force gaining control of some Russian military hardware namely some nuclear missiles and subs and they just happen to be lead by a fanatical dissident hellbent on blowing the crap outta anybody who even thinks of attacking him. This kinda puts America in a rough position and the military is put on alert. The Alabama is ordered to put to sea as a precautionary measure just in case the crazy Russian rebel decides to try something. Captain Ramsey seems to have only three things on his mind 1, the safety of his boat and crew, 2 carrying out any orders he receives from the commander in chief up to and including launching his nuclear payload and 3 his dog Bear his only real friend in the world (it's lonely at the top). I don't know if Bear had his sag card or how long he was in the business but he put in a good performance as the captain's loyal doggie friend. Another notable performance from a little known actor who became America's favorite mobster hitman Tony Soprano was delivered by James Gandolfini (passed away in 2013, heart attack). He played Lt. Bobby Dougherty who was in charge of stores and one of the main ring leaders who leads a group to reinstate Captain Ramsey after Hunter had him locked in his stateroom. Viggo Mortensen plays Lt. Peter 'weps' Ince who is in charge of weapons launch/control. He gets tugged between Denzel and Gene's characters as they fight each other for control. The mission starts off smoothly with Hunter and Ramsey setting sail and seemingly getting along well then there's a fire in the galley which leads to the death of a crewman (not from fire but from a stress induced heart attack from being over weight). During the fire Captain Ramsey decides to run a missile drill. Hunter doesn't think this is a good idea for he's afraid the fire could reignite and cause more problems. Ramsey and Hunter then begin to but heads. An emergency action message comes in notifying the boat that the Russian rebels may be fueling their nukes to launch against the U S and the boat is ordered to launch a preemptive strike to take them out. Matters are made worse when they encounter a Russian sub that may or may not be under the control of the rebels. Another message comes in but is cut off during their evading of the Russian sub, Hunter wants to confirm the order to launch but Ramsey is like NO SIR, we have orders in hand and we're gonna carry them out! In an effort to re-establish radio contact the Alabama's position is given away and the Russian sub attacks. The communications antennae is severed and Ramsey winds up being relieved of command by Hunter who wants to take the sub shallow to get the EAM. Control goes back and fourth between the two with Ramsey being relieved of command by Hunter then Hunter being ousted by Ramsey. It all boils down to the radio man vossler being able to fix the radio and get the vital EAM so they can find out if Ramsey was right and they should've launched or if Hunter was right and the launch called off. Turns out there was a counter order to the launch cause the rebels were deposed and lucky for everyone Captain Ramsey wasn't able to launch his birds. The movie ends with both of them and the other senior officers at a military hearing about what went on in the sub pertaining to the order of release of nuclear weapons. Hunter and Ramsey are on the steps of the courthouse afterwards and Ramsey tells Hunter that he (Hunter) was right... The more I watch this movie the more interesting the story line actually becomes to me. Think about it, you have the old captain hellbent on following his orders and launching his nukes and you have the younger officer saying wait a minute, we should check this out every way from sunday before we launch. The principal actors all deliver good performances, some of the newbies are borderline so so but still in the tollerable range. I wasn't left with a feeling of "oh my lord why did I buy this PIECE OF CR*P" . Viggo went on to do the Lord of the Rings trilogy, his career has more or less been on a low simmer since then. This dvd has captions, an on the set of clip and a making of featurette, no director commentary, the blu-ray is crisp and clean and will provide nice viewing and if you don't like my review please keep it to yourself cause I have a fragile ego. So little ducks my advice to you is get this movie and a big greasy tub of popcorn, plop down in front of the seventy inch widescreen and let Gene and Denzel take you into the amazing, fantastic world of underwater politics on a nuclear sub.
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on November 19, 2014
This is one of my best all time movies. When i am under stress or have to make a difficult decison, I this movie. It makes anything that i had to face look minor by comparison. Some times you have to choose which hill you are prepared to die on and this movie is a good demonstration of that. This movie is a classic if I must say so myself.
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on March 15, 2000
After experienceing Crimson Tide for the 15th time, I believe this is my favorite movie of all time. From the very beginning of the movie you are swept into a very plausible scenario: Russian rebels have captured nuclear missle silo's and are threatening to launch at the U.S.. The USS Alabama has been deployed to launch a preemptive strike against Russia. This movie has what DVD owners are looking for: Excellent visuals, bass thumping sound, and great acting. Denzel Washington gives the best performance of his career as Lt. Commander Hunter. His character's by-the-book style is at direct odds with Captain Ramsey's (Gene Hackman) old-school ways. The result is an incredible clash of wills that results in mutiny and the near destruction of the world in a nuclear holocaust. The tension is thick in this drama, and the movie has emotional moments and moments of extreme joy. You will be on the edge of your seat rooting for either Capt. Ramsey or Commander Hunter throughout the movie. This is a must-see movie!
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on January 6, 2007
Crimson Tide is one of my favorite films, and I have watched it numerous times on my old VHS copy. Although I read some of the Amazon reviews before buying the new "unrated and extended edition", I did not want to believe that it wasnt worth buying. Well, I wish I had bought the original. The added scenes diminish the tightness of the original and add no needed content. The one bonus is that you can see the talent of the editor who was responsible for the first version.
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on June 10, 2013
I have always enjoyed Denzel Washington's acting abilities and he is great in this film. (as usual) Good special effects, and activities, and based upon actual events. How accurate the film is I do not know but any of you that have volunteered for the sub service will have better knowledge. I good film to watch and enjoy.
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