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DVD Brief: The Abyss Special Edition

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The Abyss
The Abyss Special Edition

Theatrical version: 143 minutes
Special edition: 171
Widescreen 2.35:1
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Interactive menu
Theatrical trailer
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extras: Two-disc set contains more than 440 minutes of video and a veritable gold mine of extras on the film, featuring 6,000 screens of storyboards, stills and text as well as DVD-ROM options
Suggested Retail Price: $34.98
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Cast: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Todd Graff, Michael Biehn, Chris Elliott

Description: After the success of "Aliens" in 1986, director Cameron spent his time on this big-budget, special effects-laden underwater saga (which he also wrote). The story revolves around the crew of an underwater oil rig commandeered by the Navy to locate an errant nuclear sub. Headed up by Mastrantonio and her ex (Harris), the crew find themselves 25,000 feet below the ocean's surface, facing a mysterious force from outer space while an impending storm closes in on everyone. Fabulous special effects and underwater photography.

Fox has finally entered the world of DVD with a big splash. This two-disc set features more than 440 minutes of video and 6,000 screens of storyboards, stills and text detailing every aspect of the film.

Disc One:
Two versions of the film: the 143-minute theatrical release and the 171-minute Special edition.
A new text commentary track which contains running subtitles (below the letterbox masking) that includes "making of information," set trivia and other insights into the film's creation.
Updated cast and crew biographies.
An all-new, fascinating DVD-ROM interactive screenplay-to-film and storyboard option.

Disc One:
One-hour "Under Pressure: Making the Abyss" documentary that includes cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.
A never-before-available 20-minute Academy Awards special effects reel that features the film's ground breaking SFX scenes, cut to the movie's score (The reel was originally created to showcase the film to Academy Award voters; the film won the 1990 Best Effects, Visual Effects Oscar). Captions explain each shot.
James Cameron's complete screenplay.
Multi-angle function toggles back and forth between four stages of creation (storyboard through final) of the film's signature Pseudopod scene.
Ten-minute promotional featurette.
"Drill Room" area that displays story concept to final cut and information about how the production was made. This places the supplemental video clips in chronological order with thousands of pages of text.
An "Imaging Station" area that separates portions of the "Drill Room" into five areas: video footage, screenplay, treatment, storyboards and stills.
"Mission Components" section that has additional direct access information on the underwater vehicles and SFX.
An "Operations" area that offers additional information on the film's production.
Multiple theatrical trailers for "The Abyss" and other Cameron films.
Three new DVD-ROM games: "Sonar Spy," "Valve Control" and "ROV Pilot."
DVD-ROM interactive game play for "Titanic Explorer" and "Alien vs. Predator."

All DVDs are screened on a reference Onkyo DV- S717 third-generation DVD player.

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(ISSN 1094-3676).