Dead Calm

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

One thing I can say about Dead Calm is that is has one of the smallest casts in recent history, or at least that I can recall. I do remember seeing this movie in the theater with my dad when it came out (he’s a big sailor and this whole thing did take place on a boat, so…you get the picture). And it goes like this…Rae (a very young Nicole Kidman) and John (Sam Neill from ‘Jurassic Park’) are a married couple who have just lost their child in a car accident. To get her mind off the whole ordeal, they retreat to sea. John, being an officer in the Australian navy (or army, it never really says) is more than at home at sea.
Everything seems to be going as good as can be expected until they come across an abandoned ship and a lone man in a rowboat rowing for his life on the way over to their (John and Rae) boat. He tells stories of what happened that seem feasable but a bit far-fetched. So John decides to go and check it out…and it’s not too much longer before John discovers what really happened (and I ain’t going to tell you).

Push does come to shove and it’s a battle to see who can outsmart who. Rae is kidnapped by the mysterious stranger, Howie (actually spelled Hauwie, but I don’t like that spelling so I’m using ‘Howie”) played by Titanic’s Billy Zane and they appear to be sailing off into the sunset but are unknowingly being pursued by John…

I could go on, but don’t want to give too much away, it’s a great movie with all the suspense and action of every $100 million dollar blockbuster but is more at our level. Check out Dead Calm and be mystified!

Video: How does it look?

This DVD was delayed for quite some time, originally it was suposed to be full-frame only, but now has a full-frame side and a beautiful 2.35:1 anamorphic side to it as well. The picture is 16:9 enhanced and this movie has never looked so good. Warner has also taken care of the ratio problem that this disc suffered from on the Laserdisc copy (it was about 2.0:1). Another great transfer from the brothers of Warner.

Audio: How does it sound?

There are some great sound effects in Dead Calm, but it’s mainly a movie that is plot-driven and easy on the sub. The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0, but it’s a very good mix. As mentioned earlier, surround effects are present, but it’s no “Godzilla”. A nice, overall job.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Not much here, you get the original trailer and not much else. One thing that did catch my eye was that they redesigned the cover art (which I really like), the original cover was what the menus look like. Anyway…

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