Though originally released in 2003, I did not get a chance to watch Ghosts of the Abyss until this past week when Disney released it as a Blu-Ray/DVD/3D Combo pack. I can sum up my entire review of the film with one word.
Ghosts of the Abyss hit every single beat that a good documentary should: a fascinating story, amazing visuals, and a few moments that tug at the old heart strings.
In 2001, a few years after directing the wildly successful movie Titanic (perhaps you’ve heard of it?), James Cameron decided that he wanted to learn more about the famous sunken ship. This time, he brings along friend and actor Bill Paxton (also appeared in the film), who also serves as the narrator for this journey.
Let me be very clear here: This is an extremely well-done documentary. Say what you will about Cameron’s latest filmmaking efforts, but that man certainly knows how to make a compelling film from all this documentary footage.
The film follows Cameron, Paxton, and a crew of scientists as they travel down to the depths of the ocean to visit the Titanic. In case you haven’t seen this film before, yes, you did read that correctly. James Cameron and Bill Paxton actually go down to see the Titanic with their own eyes.
I was a little put off by this at first, thinking it nothing more than a gimmick to get famous Hollywood folks shoehorned into a story, but it became clear that both Cameron and Paxton are extremely interested in the story of the ship. I also found it pretty amusing how scared Paxton was when first descending to the ocean floor.
In any event, the film shows us sights that have not been seen since the ship was fully functional. With the help of specially made robotic camera (lovingly named Elwood and Jake), we get to see some amazing things.
While we’re on the subject of Elwood and Jake, I don’t think I’ve ever been on the edge of my seat before while worrying about the well-being of a robot. But I was. I won’t ruin it for you, but toward the end of the film, you’ll be biting your nails too.
While I didn’t watch the film in 3D, you could still get a sense of the depth of the ship while watching the standard Blu-Ray. The picture, while not perfect underwater (and hey, when you’re over 3,000 feet down, that’s to be expected), looks very crisp in most of the other scenes.
All in all, this is one of Disney’s finest documentary efforts. While they only distributed the film, I’m certainly glad someone had the foresight to buy it.
By Jeff Heimbuch
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
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You’re invited . . .
Many of you know that George Taylor and Jeff Heimbuch are hosting a 30th anniversary celebration for Epcot. Unfortunately tickets have completely sold out. HOWEVER, some of MiceChat’s finest have created two new events with plenty of room for everyone . . . a FREE scavenger hunt at Epcot and a Food and Wine Festival event. We’d love to see you!
Epcot 30th Anniversary FREE MiceQuest – Sept 29, 2012
Join MiceChat’s Kevin Yee and the Communicore Weekly crew for a FREE fun-filled scavenger hunt game celebrating Epcot’s 30th Anniversary. The Quest, designed by Kevin Yee, is fun for the whole family and will take place on the Mexico side of World Showcase from 3:30pm until 6:30pm on September 29th, 2012. Create a team of 1-4 people, and compete for the title of biggest Epcot geek. Fun prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Sip and Nibble at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival – Sept 30, 2012
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around World Showcase with your favorite MiceChatters, sampling the food and wine offerings of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival along the way. You will be given a lanyard with a marker attached so that you can record your progress as you tour the world of food and drink! Guests who desire to partake of the adult beverages will also be given a small glass to conveniently share “sips” during our journey. Come spend some quality time with other foodies and the best online Disney community on Earth! To reserve your place at this year’s Sip & Nibble event purchase your ticket today for just $3.99. Please click through for full event details.