Next week Fox Home Entertainment’s Schawn Belston and James Finn are presenting a special 70mm screening of James Cameron‘s The Abyss (’89). I asked if they’re showing the original 140-minute theatrical version or the 171-minute special edition (i.e., the version that ends with shots of huge tidal waves) — no answer thus far.
I began to recall The Abyss in detail after receiving the invite. I can’t attend due to a screening conflict (the Sicario: Day of the Soldado all-media in Burbank) but even if I could I’m not sure I’d be all that enthused. It’s been 29 years, but I have two strong recollections: (a) The first two thirds are fairly riveting but (b) the last third drops the ball, especially when Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio is brought back to life by Ed Harris after clearly drowning, and especially that dippy ending with the aquatic alien butterflies.
There’s never been a Bluray of either version of The Abyss, and you can’t stream them in high-def. Abyss Wikipage: “In July 2016, while promoting the 30th anniversary Bluray release of Aliens at Comic-Con, Cameron confirmed that he was working on a remastered 4K transfer of The Abyss and that it would be released on Bluray for the first time in early 2017. ‘We’ve done a wet-gate 4K scan of the original negative, and it’s going to look insanely good,’ Cameron said.” Okay, but something kept this from happening.