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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Waterworld [Blu-ray]

 

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

 


 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Pictures

Video: Universal Studios / Arrow Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:15:11.436 / TH - 2:15:06.098  / TV Version - 2:56:00.550 / Ulysses cut - 2:57:12.622

Universal Disc Size: 44,877,431,467 bytes

TH- 48,961,168,025 bytes  / TV Cut - 48,484,263,498 bytes / Ulysses cut - 48,752,746,431 bytes

Universal Feature Size: 43,701,190,656 bytes

TH - 38,145,087,936 bytes / TV Cut - 47,997,462,720 bytes / Ulysses cut - 48,272,533,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.68 Mbps / TH -  29.93 Mbps / TV Version - 28.55 Mbps / Ulysses cut - 28.55 Mbps

Chapters: 16 / TH - 12 / TV Version - 12 / Ulysses cut - 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Custom package (see photo below)

Release date: October 20th, 2009 / January 21st, 2019

 

Video (both packages):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Theatrical Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3914 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3914 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1848 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1848 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

TV Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4110 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4110 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1802 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1802 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

European Ulysses cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4068 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4068 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1802 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1802 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

Subtitles:

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

English (SDH), none (all three cuts)

 

Extras:

BD-Live

 

Arrow:

DISC ONE THE THEATRICAL CUT

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the original theatrical cut
Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld, an all-new, feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage (1:42:22)
Original archival featurette capturing the film's production (9:20)
Global Warnings, film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters (22:21)
Production and promotional stills gallery
Visual effects stills gallery
Original Teaser (2:00) trailer (2:15) and TV spots (9:06)
 

DISC TWO - The TV CUT


High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut

 

DISC THREE - The ULYSSES CUT

 

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended European Ulysses cut, which includes censored shots and dialogue

 

Six collector's postcards
Double-sided fold-out poster
Limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper

 

Bitrate:

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow (Ulysses Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

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.

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

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.

NOTE: Initially this was announced as a two-disc version but was later upgraded to three (and the Amazon image below is not yet updated to show the 3rd Blu-ray)

 

 

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 ReelViews.net located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained 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 partly the fault of the transfer (with very possible digitization) and 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 acceptable - making it the best it has ever looked for your home theater until someone does it better.

 

Firstly, this was initially announced by Arrow as a two-disc package with the three cuts (theatrical, TV and Ulysses) wit the latter two 'extended' versions being seamlessly branched on the second Blu-ray. The release was delayed and re-announced as a three disc set with each cut getting their own Blu-ray.  Unfortunately, Amazon have not updated it as such and their listing and package image still show it to be two-disc. I own it and can assure you that it is indeed 3 Blu-rays.

 

It's been 10-years since the Universal release came out. At first glance, when compared to the Universal Blu-ray, there is not a significant change in file size or bitrates. This is quite deceiving as this new Arrow 3-disc Blu-ray set contains an all new 4k transfer (not the added footage) that blows the others out of the water (forgive the pun). The first disc houses the newly restored 4k theatrical edition, with discs 2 and 3 housing both the TV extended version and the "Ulysses cut", respectively. The 4k theatrical footage is carried over to the cuts on discs 2 and 3, with the added footage not looking too shabby when thrown in the mix. Though not the same level of quality as the 4k theatrical image, this is barely noticeable and there is only a slight dip in quality for these scenes/moments. The level of detail is sharply increased, and a certain overblown brightness on the previous disc now gives way to a more nuanced depth and contrast. One needs only look at the caps below to see how once uniform hair and skin is now quite layered and diverse; more lifelike. The darker image is also quite sharper, with the soft-leaning Universal Blu-ray looking weak by comparison. Colors are also certainly different now, leaving behind the previous dusty washed-out brown/orange tones of the Universal. The shades here are much greener, though this may not be to everyone's tastes it certainly is an improvement in our opinion. Though water can tend to look more purple now, and greens a little fluorescent, everything seems to be less washed out and the image has a much more varied palette thanks to this new 4k restoration from Arrow. Shadows seem to show more information and have a more layered spectrum of blacks and grays.

Colin Zavitz  

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow (Ulysses Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow (Ulysses Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow (Ulysses Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow (TV Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow (Theatrical) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

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.

 

For all three cuts Arrow use a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track with the option of a 2.0 channel (same encode) - all six in 24-bit. Waterworld is both visual and aural with plenty of effects starting with the Universal logo where you hear the track seething its potential. There is plenty of depth and the surround has sharp separations. The score is by James Newton Howard (Unbreakable, 8 Million Ways to Die, 2005's King Kong, Batman Begins, The Bourne Legacy, I Am Legend, The Lookout etc.) and his score helps the film along but is not one of my favorite from the composer although it does sound very crisp in the lossless. Each cut is on a Region FREE Blu-ray and offers optional English (SDH) subtitles.

 

 

 

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.

 

Supplements all are housed on the first BD. They include the 1 3/4 hour Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld, an all-new, feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage. Fans will love the detail as it opens the doors to the Waterworld's effects and production creativity. There is also the 9-minute original archival featurette capturing the film's production. I enjoyed Global Warnings with film critic Glenn Kenny exploring the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters for over 22-minutes. He listed so many films I enjoy! There are production, visual effects and promotional stills gallery plus trailers and teasers. The package has a wonderful limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews as well as six collector's postcards, a double-sided fold-out poster and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper.

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Disc 2 - Arrow (TV Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Disc 3 (Ulysses Cut) - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

BOTTOM LINE:
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.

 

Funny how this strange sci-fi adventure film grows on you. I think the more you watch Waterworld - the more you buy into the premise and appreciate the extensive lengths the filmmakers went to portray this floating-enabled post apocalyptic world. Costner is pretty tough here and we can see a bleak future for most of the characters with nutt'in but survivors and aggressors. Waterworld always reminds me of Dune with it's strong niche following. It's a cool film to have in a complete package with the three cuts all 4K restored, the book and extensive documentary. Arrow have done it up right and genre fans will be extremely pleased with the result. Absolutely recommended!   

Gary Tooze

October 12th, 2009

January 19th, 2019


 

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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