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Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)

  Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Bill Paxton
Links: Ghosts of the Abyss on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Shut up Bill Paxton" - a review by pearly

I'm a documentary fan. I enjoy learning via the film medium. I even thought that Titanic (1997) was okay the first time around. But I'll tell you something for nothing. Ghosts of the Abyss is a real stinker. It depicts James Cameron and Bill Paxton going on a journey to the bottom of the ocean to check out the ship that they had made a film about a couple of years earlier.

Firstly, I don't understand why people insist on creating perfectly good regular movies in 3D Imax format. The one and only shot that even took much use of the format was right near the start, and was just a shot of a mast coming out and looking like it was nearly touching you on the nose. For the rest of the film, I spent my time fidgeting with the uncomfortably heavy goggles, and trying to figure out whether I could watch the movie without them on, because they weren't really adding anything to the experience (you can't, by the way).

Secondly, and even more annoyingly than the format, was the woeful voiceover of Paxton yabbering on about how much of an amazing experience the whole thing was, and blah blah blah. I wished he would just be quiet and let the experts talk a bit more. I can't even adequately explain how much the voiceover annoyed me.

Lastly, there was too much emphasis on the techniques used to get into the depths, and get the cameras through the ships. If I wanted to learn that much about how to forage the wrecks of sunken ships, I would become a sunken ship forager.

If Ghosts of the Abyss had less Cameron, and more intelligent explanations of the different parts of the ship, with supporting information about how it would have looked and been used when it was still above the water, and then images of how it looks now, buried at the bottom, then it would have been a far better film. As it was, these sorts of things were only skimmed upon, and the film suffered, as I was left wanting more of that sort of thing, and less of the rest.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 11 Sep 2003

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