January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

For over two hours, we see Kevin Costner running around in his future rags. We see his webbed feet, and gills and his thinning hair pulled back into a something resembling a pony-tail like the one Jeff Bridges wore in The Fisher King. I shouldln’t really mention this movie in the same sentence as The Fisher King, because that was a good movie. This isn’t. Waterworld was that movie that we all heard about that was oft-delayed, had an ever inflating production cost (sound familar) and problems with cast and crew. Another movie concerning water had those same problems, but it came out, people liked it and it won Best Picture. This didn’t. Waterworld is set in the future, how far in the future they really don’t say, but I’m guessing a couple hundred years. We pick up and see Kevin Costner known only as a “Mariner” on his nifty little catamaran (that’s a kind of boat) that he has rigged to do everything but scratch his back. We quickly learn that the whole idea of the movie is the quest for land, any type of land. This is a world in which paper, yes paper, is a hot commodity! When is the last time you paid $60 chits (that’s their monetary system) for a pile of dirt? Not even a big pile, just a couple of handfulls. The polar ice caps have melted, and have therefore flooded the world. Now the world is already covers 75% of our planet today, so it’s kind of weird to think what would happen if we keep turning up the global temperature a few degrees. Through all of this, we learn that a “map” to dry land is tattooed on some little girl’s back, and she’s being protected by a local named Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn). Now admittidely, I think Jeanne Tripplehorn is one of the sexiest women in Hollywood, so this peeked my interest when I saw her enter the storyline. Local attackers, referred to only as “Smokers” led by the one and only Dennis Hopper (sporting a shaved head, no less) are intent on finding this girl (aka ‘The Map’) so they can get to dry land. After a hyped up fight, the Mariner, Helen and the girl spend the rest of the movie avoiding the Smokers… Filled with almost every cliche’ in the book, Waterworld made for a somewhat entertaining two hours, but I could think of better things to do with my time. The DTS sound makes it a good listen, if you’re really into that sort of thing, and I am. So I walk away satisfied witht the audio/visual part of it, but I’m still wondering where that darn two hours went…

Video: How does it look?

Presented in a great-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, Waterworld looks fantastic. The sharpness of the water, and there’s a LOT of water, looks great. The fleshtones look a bit overexposed, but I suspect that a lot of the cast was sunburned this being a totatlly outdoor shoot and all. You can see Costner’s crows feet in nearly every scene, but other than minor artifacts here and there, it looks very good.

Audio: How does it sound?

Basically the only reason I wanted to review this movie was to hear the DTS soundtrack, a lot of sites don’t do DTS reviews, so I plan to do a lot of them. DTS is a growing format. It is interesting to note, however, that this is presented in a DTS 5.1 soundtrack, while it’s Dolby Digital counterpart is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.0 mix (that’s minus the subwoofer to the layman). I really can’t imagine this movie without a LFE channel, a lot of explosions, water crashing up against everything…it just doesn’t make sense. But I guess it follows the same format as the plot, which didn’t make sense either.

Still the DTS sounded great, this movie is 5 years old now and sounds better than a lot of the movies out today. The main difference is with the surround speakers. When you can hear each bullet whizzing by from front channel to rear channel, it is a good sound mix. No problems with the dialogue, very clean and the action is almost equally split up between all 5.1 channels…which is a good thing. If you want to see a good example of sound, and DTS sound at that, then take a gander at Waterworld.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There are no extras.

Disc Scores