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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Waterworld [Blu-ray]


Directed by Kevin Reynolds + Kevin Costner (uncredited), 1995








Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Universal Pictures

Video: Universal Studios



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:15:11.436

Disc Size: 44,877,431,467 bytes

Feature Size: 43,701,190,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.68 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 20th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4181 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4181 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core:
5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit



English (SDH), English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none








Description: Centuries of global warming have caused the polar ice caps to melt, flooding the earth as civilization is left adrift. The inhabitants of this once-flourishing planet cling to life on incredible floating cities, their existence constantly threatened by Smokers--bands of marauding pirates who roam the featureless surface of Waterworld. For the survivors, one chance remains: a solitary hero, known only as the Mariner. Battling the Smokers and their ruthless leader, the Deacon, the Mariner sets out with a beautiful woman and a mysterious little girl on a search for a new beginning.



The Film:

Kevin Costner, admittedly not the world's greatest actor, is fine as the dour Mariner. With a greater range than Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme, and Seagal combined, Costner is more than capable of handling the limited role of an action hero. Dennis Hopper, on the other hand, serves a dual function: chief villain and comic relief. Not content with merely going over-the-top this time around, Hopper makes it obvious that nothing about Deacon is to be taken seriously -- and the approach works. There's a strand of unmistakable, completely intentional humor running through Waterworld.

A couple of the more "tender" relationships fail. The Mariner's affection for Enola comes across as forced, despite Majorino's winning performance. Aliens showed what a pseudo-parent/child bond can do for a movie, and that intensity is missing here. Also, the romance between the Mariner and Helen is perfunctory at best, and largely underdeveloped and unsatisfying.

Although the storyline isn't all that invigorating, the action is, and that's what saves Waterworld. In the tradition of the old Westerns and Mel Gibson's Road Warrior flicks, this film provides good escapist fun. Everyone behind the scenes did their part with aplomb, and the result is a feast for the eyes and ears. And, though this film may have cost Universal upwards of $175 million, the price at the box office for the average movie-goer will still be in the $7.50 range -- worth it if adventure is your kind of thing.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at located HERE



Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

It seems this 1.85:1 transfer must be a different one than on the November 2006 HD-DVD, that came out HERE, as this total disc space exceeds the capacity (30 Gig) of that now-defunct format. It also utilizes the MPEG-4 AVC encode as opposed to the VC-1 used on the older HD disc.  This Blu-ray has moments where it looks quite strong - but overall I'd say the appearance is a shade underwhelming. This is probably not the fault of the transfer process but simply that the film's visuals never looked especially brilliant. Detail is rarely pristine mostly due to the kinetic camera caused by the waves of the ocean. The feature itself takes up almost 44 Gig of space with a fairly strong video bitrate. Colors look pretty strong but contrast has inconsistencies possibly due to the extensive use of natural light in the outdoor scenes. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually, without an abundance of depth, but as a representation of the original - it is probably quite authentic - making it the best it has ever looked for your home theater.



















Audio :

It's a rousing DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at a whopping 4181 kbps. There isn't an abundance of aggression in the film's soundtrack but there is enough in the action sequences to exercise the capabilities of the mix - making it quite buoyant. There are a few subtleties in the effect noises and I really like the classically infused score by James Newton Howard + Artie Kane - it's a big part of the film experience. There are plenty of foreign language DUBs and subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.




Extras :

Only an untested D-Box Motion enhanced function is offered - along with a trailer and the standard 'My Scenes' ability to bookmark. No commentary or supplemental featurettes.



Another film that is labeled to be in Costner's 'awful' series of films - but truly, it is not that bad. It's a decent action-sci/fi-adventure that is strong conceptually but perhaps considered fairly low-brow from the guy who did Dances with Wolves only 5 years previously. I think it took some guts to produce Waterworld that bites off a bit more than the audience can chew. Although it certainly held my attention but won't be in my top of this genre's list. Surprisingly it has developed somewhat of a cult following and those fans should appreciate this Blu-ray, especially the audio, and the low-ish price reflects the lack of any viable extras. 

Gary Tooze

October 12th, 2009






About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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