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DVD Recommendations

Genre: Scifi/Action/Adventure

Year: 1989

Run Time (Theatrical version): NTSC 143min/ PAL 139min

Run Time (Special Edition): NTSC 171min/ PAL 163min

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn

An american nuclear submarine sinks down into the atlantic ocean in strange circumstances and a team of underwater oil rig is called in for rescue. they are joined by an elite navy sEALS group and the rig's original designer but trouble arises as the rig suffers damage caused by the storm above and the sEAL leader begins to show signs of HPNS, High Pressure Nervous Syndrome. But thats not all because outside the rig, deep down in the abyss, lies a world full of mysteries...

I remember watching Abyss for the first at my friends place when we rented it on vhs. that was like six or seven years ago. Ive always been a sucker for underwater monster flicks like Leviathan and of course I was expecting Abyss to be something like that. Also it was directed by James Cameron who did Aliens three years earlier and since that had scary monsters, nothing was holding my expectations. Boy was I dissapointed back then.

Then I started collecting Biehn-movies and this was one of the first DVDs I ever bought. Learning from the last time I saw it, I was able to view it from another angle. And I really liked what I saw. Great setting (unbelievable how they managed to do this), great story and even greater characters. And Michael kicking ass, giving the best performance of his career at that point and perhaps, ever.

Maybe I just grew up mentally during those six years but this time I understood what was happening on screen. I cared about the story not just the effects. Im just happy I stumbled across this title again and got a second chance.

As I stated before, I think Lt. Coffey is possibly the best role Michael has done in his career. Well Ringo comes pretty close but the difference is that in The Abyss Michael really outshines the rest of the cast in his scenes. Tombstone then again was filled with amazing performances and no one with the exception of Val Kilmer, rising above others.

I believe that many who weren't even biased would agree with me that Biehn is better here than Harris or Mastrantonio. In bad guy roles (in The Abyss, actually a good guy who becames a bad guy because of the situation) Michael never fails. He plays Coffey's descent into madness perfectly. All the little shakes of his hands & body, quick movements of the eyes and other facial expressions adds to the credibility. In the end he becomes rather sad figure. He doesn't wanna be bad but because of the sickness he loses sense of reality and sees threats all around him.

Lt. Coffey is indeed the role Michael should've been given the oscar for. Wonderful role!

Rating 7.5/10


Distributor 20th Century Fox
Video 2.35:1
  • english 5.1DD/2.0
  • french 2.0
Subtitles english, spanish
Special Features
  • Theatrical Version
  • Special Edition with 28 minutes of additional footage
  • Commentary for both versions (Text only!)
  • Collector's edition 12 page booklet
  • Cast & Crew Biographies
  • DVD-ROM content
  • 60-minute documentary - "Under Pressure: Making the Abyss"
  • James Cameron's complete screenplay
  • Multi-angles of pseudopod sequence
  • 3 DVD-ROM games
  • Extensive storyboards
  • Original concept art
  • Trailers & TV-spots
Packaging Digipack with slipcase


While there's little if any differences to Special Editions released in other regions, this R1-release comes in a digipack with a slipcase. All in white, which separates it nicely from other releases:). Michael is inteviewed in the 60-minute documentary and there's a biography section of him.

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