Underwater Movie Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Underwater Movie Review



Underwater comes to Blu-ray and Digital from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and tells the story of a crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep-sea drilling company that try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deep-water research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Blu-ray reviewer Ralph Potts had to opportunity to check out the Digital release and offers his thoughts on the film.



My Thoughts:

“A crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep-sea drilling company try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deep-water research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.” – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.


The crew of the Kepler undersea mining rig knew there would be hardships on their current mission, but nothing prepared them for the terrors they’re about to face. The heart-stopping adventure begins when a devastating earthquake damages the rig, including its communication devices and escape vehicle. Although quick-thinking mechanical engineer Norah Price (Stewart) manages to temporarily stave off imminent disaster, the need to evacuate escalates quickly. Their only hope is to walk across the ocean floor to an abandoned vessel, in hopes that its communication equipment still works. As if their journey isn’t treacherous enough, they begin to sense that they’re not alone in the murky ocean depths.
Underwater is exactly what you’d expect given its subject matter and what’s revealed by viewing the trailer. Totally formulaic, featuring a theme we have seen countless times about underwater explorers, miners etc. that encounter insurmountable peril in the deepest depths of the ocean where the chances of survival are minimal at best.

I don’t know, the critical response to Underwater was poor so, I went in to viewing it with low expectations. I mean this isn’t going to be The Abyss. The script is painfully shallow, eschewing character building and narrative set up. It opens with a somewhat bizarre scene just before jumping headfirst in the devastating event that propels the story forward. I was okay with that and would prefer that to a series of poorly crafted elements of drama that don’t serve a meaningful purpose. The characters are quickly introduced, followed by the perilous goal that we all know we result in lives lost. I pretty much named who would die and in what order (only missed one).

Things play out as expected as the elements of sci-fi/horror unfold via a series of situations aimed at suspense and genre-based jump scares. I liked the cinematography and use of the soundtrack to enhance the feeling of claustrophobia/close quarters. Aside from Kristen Stewart, the remaining members of the cast Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. and Mamoudou Athie get little to work with. T.J. Miller simply plays himself which is a given so his comic relief added little. As much as I was prepared to be disappointed in Underwater I found its approach to be in keeping with typical suspense thriller of its type which, in the end, kept me engaged over its 90 plus minute runtime. Your mileage may vary but, for those that tend to enjoy a quick genre fix, Underwater could be the ticket.

The Digital Code I received for Underwater wasn’t for Ultra HD. I redeemed it on Movies Everywhere/iTunes which was the 1080p version with 7.1 channel sound. I am uncertain whether or not the Blu-ray version will be forthcoming given the current circumstances. I would add that the 7.1 channel soundtrack included with the streaming version is quite good, containing lots of room shaking bass and involving surround sound. The Digital version also included the bonus features which is welcomed. My rating for the film and bonus content is below.


Film:

Bonus Features:


Digital/Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: April 14, 2020




Bonus Features:
  • • Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary (Digital Exclusive)
    • Deleted Scene with Optional Commentary:
    • Rock Garden
    • Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary:
    • Crew Suit Up
    • Gantry Exit
    • Baby Clinger
    • Midway Station
    • Ocean Floor Walk
    • Smith Departure
    • Featurettes:
    • Real Bunny Montage
    • Making Underwater
    o Design
    o Production
    o Creatures & Visual Effects
    • Feature Audio Commentary by William Eubank, Jared Purrington and Phil Gawthorne












Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 11:43 AM
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I rented the blu ray yesterday via Redbox, and it's a very exciting, aggressive audio soundtrack. Room shaking bass throughout as Mr. Potts pointed out, so a really solid demo track. The disc contains a DTS HD-MA track, which I mixed in DTS -Neural to take advantage of the atmos effects. The results were tremendously good.
I don't think any of the digital streams have uncompressed audio tracks. You get 5.1 on Itunes, and DD+on Vudu. I wish this one got a true 4k disc release.
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post #3 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 11:50 AM
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This wasn't "as bad" as I was expecting considering how awful movies have been lately. Some completely unwatchable like Birds of Prey and Bloodshot. I wish Underwater would come to UHD disc for a better viewing experience on a large screen.
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post #4 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 12:01 PM
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I think I would say I enjoyed it... if simply from a bass perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Underwater (2020) wastes no time bringing the bass straight to your face so you can taste! I would call this one a Nuanced Bass Monster movie that makes you feel like you're trapped with them miles underwater with sounds creaking all around you and with Neural X, you'd think this is an object-bassed soundtrack! My couch convulsed with the pulsations heard throughout the film in variations of texture and rhythm. This is one to see, guys! It won't disappoint!
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post #5 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 02:08 PM
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errr...why did they send you just a HDX code and not the UHD code?

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post #6 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 03:51 PM
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I already have this in my Que - just waiting in line!

Looks good.
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post #7 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 04:26 PM
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Appreciate the review Ralph. I have this coming tom from Netflix and looking forward to hearing the audio track.
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post #8 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 05:39 PM
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I received my Blu-ray today. I’m a sucker for these kinds of movies. Plan to watch it on Friday.
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post #9 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 06:42 PM
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Thanks for the review @Ralph Potts!! We watched this last night and was very surprised by the sound track, it was a blast!! pounding room shaking bass with some extra ULF help from @aron7awol's BEQ!! The surround sound was impressive as well, all the little creaks and noises were well done and added a sense to the very confined spaces in the movie. definitely worth checking out for a few good jump scares and a great sound system demo!

Underwater BEQ

Spoiler!

When we were done watching the movie we were inspired to watch James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenger in 3D! great documentary on his expedition to the Mariana trench.
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post #10 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 09:44 PM
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Loves me some deep water creature features. And enjoyed this one. Great use of the audio and surrounds to create a really claustrophobic and creepy environment. I tell ya, at 6 miles down there's not a lot you can do. There's no calling 911. No getting in your car and driving to a police station or a Hilton. You're f'd. Lol.

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post #11 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 10:01 PM
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not a knock on anybody(i plan on renting it) but when the best most can say is the the soundtrack is great the movie obviously leaves a lot on the table-which the review basically says. sounds like a movie to watch once, get some kicks out of it and dont look back.
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post #12 of 74 Old 04-15-2020, 10:24 PM
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Yep pretty much it, great mix esp with the Nerual X upmixer engaged, but replay value? Nada. Save your EDD debit card for "essentials".
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post #13 of 74 Old 04-16-2020, 07:59 AM
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Added this to my rental queue even though I wouldn't have based upon the critical reviews.....However, if Ralph finds it as OK to pass the time, I'm all in......
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post #14 of 74 Old 04-16-2020, 08:57 AM
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Having been a professional diver for 30+ years, and growing very old waiting for the Abyss Extended version to come to blu ray, if not UHD, I was so looking forward to this film. Now my hopes are struck down with Ralph's always reliable review making it a poor to middling movie. I guess now my only hope is to watch it and see if I can beat Ralph's record of guessing who gets killed in what order.

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post #15 of 74 Old 04-16-2020, 01:07 PM
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"Abyss Extended version to come to blu ray"

this x100
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post #16 of 74 Old 04-16-2020, 01:56 PM
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I don't remember hearing about this movie and like others, it is right up my ally!
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post #17 of 74 Old 04-16-2020, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mik2h View Post
"Abyss Extended version to come to blu ray"

this x100
If only they would release True Lies! Come on Cameron!

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Ralph I think the key going in was to expect bad and hope for the best 😀 I found it ok but I'm a big fan of these films so was fine for some evening entertainment - audio was decent - Not a top tier demo track but most should enjoy the experience
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post #19 of 74 Old 04-17-2020, 07:08 AM
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The wife and I checked this one out last night. We really enjoyed it...
Action right out the gate..!!!
A very intense experience throughout.
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post #20 of 74 Old 04-17-2020, 07:33 PM
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I received my Blu-ray on Wednesday and popped it in tonight. As @WOKNROX stated, there is action right out of the gates. The sense of claustrophobia throughout was intense and I found it to be well acted. I’ve never been a huge fan of Kristen Stewart, but I felt she really carried the weight of the film, along with Vincent Cassel.

The real monster of this film is the BASS. My HT was pressurized like never before and it was nonstop! Surround usage was amazing with seamless transitions throughout the sound field. With it up-mixed to Neo:X, it sounded like the real deal and even better than some native DTS:X and Atmos tracks. The picture was amazingly detailed, even thought most of the film takes place in the dark.

This film isn’t for everyone and doesn’t cover much new ground, but for anyone that loves creature features and B-movie horror films, you won’t be disappointed.

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post #21 of 74 Old 04-17-2020, 11:08 PM
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I up-mixed this movie to Dolby Surround.
Sounded fantastic..!!

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post #22 of 74 Old 04-18-2020, 08:14 AM
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The wife and I watched this last night.

Oh lord! I never laughed so hard and made fun of a movie so much in my life. Every decision the characters made in this film is the exact opposite of what one should do. LOL

Just go into this film thinking this is a story a 6-year old would tell you, and you'll be in the right state of mind.

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post #23 of 74 Old 04-19-2020, 07:48 PM
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A buddy and I went to see this at the theater and loved it. Day 1 purchase!

Turn on the Neural X, grab the popcorn and have fun.

PS- Basssssssss.....

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post #24 of 74 Old 04-19-2020, 08:00 PM
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I thought Eminem..I mean Kristen Stewart, was great!
Lol
The definite standout was the audio. Bass galore and all the underwater sound effects etc.
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post #25 of 74 Old 04-20-2020, 07:26 AM
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I saw this movie over the weekend and enjoyed it. As Ralph noted in his review, there is almost no character development, however, the movie quickly gets into the action which is fine with me. What the movie lacks in character development is made up by the immediate action in the movie. The sound was aggressive and enveloped the horizontal plane. The bass was excellent, helping to make the movie suspenseful to the end. While the Abyss never made it to blu-ray, this movie made me somewhat understand the reasoning as it is hard to get a high definition image under water. This is a good movie with a different spin on the Abyss that I found to be entertaining.
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post #26 of 74 Old 04-20-2020, 08:47 AM
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I rented this Friday and settled in to watch it in my theater which hasnt been used too much lately.

First thing I noticed was dialogue in the beginning was very hard to understand. Second, this is like Alien underwater and comes with all of the "Why would you do that?!?" stuff. It wasnt a bad movie to me, the action probably helped. Ive seen worse. Kristen Stewart helped me to like it as well. I can even see why she got rid of her hair for this one, they were wet the entire time lol.

Sooo yea. Basically...."Ive seen worse" sums it up for me lol.
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post #27 of 74 Old 04-21-2020, 05:31 AM
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Watched my rental last night and it was fun enough for a one time watch, but glad I rented and its definitely not good enough for repeat viewings IMO.

Lots of bass which was great! Best bass film I've seen this year, but that's not saying much since this year has been disappointing compared to last year. Bass was definitely the star of the show though.

Fun watch, but glad it's back in the mailbox and going away.
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post #28 of 74 Old 04-21-2020, 06:00 AM
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damn, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I appreciate the production effort, Kristen Stewart can act (in the context of this film, I'm starting to envision her in the Alien franchise, if, that franchise shall continue), and the audio effect was very memorable. Maybe it's my own deep water phobia, but the setting brought me more suffocating intensity than any other horror/scary movies in recent memory that I care to remember. It does feel like watching the best video-game adopted film, even though it's not based on any video game, or is it? lol.

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post #29 of 74 Old 04-21-2020, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian c 2 View Post
damn, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I appreciate the production effort, Kristen Stewart can act (in the context of this film, I'm starting to envision her in the Alien franchise, if, that franchise shall continue), and the audio effect was very memorable. Maybe it's my own deep water phobia, but the setting brought me more suffocating intensity than any other horror/scary movies in recent memory that I care to remember. It does feel like watching the best video-game adopted film, even though it's not based on any video game, or is it? lol.
There were some tight scenes that got me too. Crawling through the rocks in the beginning was claustrophobic as hell!!!
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post #30 of 74 Old 04-23-2020, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post
Watched my rental last night and it was fun enough for a one time watch, but glad I rented and its definitely not good enough for repeat viewings IMO.

Lots of bass which was great! Best bass film I've seen this year, but that's not saying much since this year has been disappointing compared to last year. Bass was definitely the star of the show though.

Fun watch, but glad it's back in the mailbox and going away.
Holy BASS Batman!!!

So I did expect to like this one a lot, and did! Regardless of whether positive or negative, I can usually glean enough from commentary to know if I want it or not. I did want it, so set about to ordering, but not widely available....? Guess virus-related production issues, but found it, got it delivered yesterday.

Had to watch right away! Glorious! Did not disappoint. I deeply appreciate the technical aspects of making a film gorgeous to look at. And his one was a delight of production design to behold, and that exquisite application of bass! I suppose I will never get tired of looking at high tech interior facilities, suits of all kinds, here deep-water diving gear, and menacing monsters. Had everything I need, and executed to perfection.

Been loving these kinds of movies for some time. Just rewatched PROMETHEUS a few days ago -- one of the greatest movies of all time, but to list all the movies that follow this formula would take time I won't devote now -- might scan my collection later and come up with a list of "if you liked this, you'll like..." Now many condemned PROMETHEUS for inane choices the characters made, I won't go into that can of worms here, but I honestly did not see that type of thing here -- you are facing certain death, or might take a chance -- whatcha gonna do? Remember you are panicked and have little time.

Where credibility might have vanished, is the dubious science. Don't believe (on the basis of zero research) that this is possible, i.e., walk on the ocean floor at 7K lbs. of pressure per square in. Possibly the armored sections of the gear might survive, if the suit weighed 1000 lbs., but any interstitial flexion joints I should think would just cause the body beneath those layers to explode entrails into the face shield.

But then, there is no movie, and no reveling in the beautiful set designs, absorbing the bass hits, and drinking in the sight of young women galloping around in their underwear. Come on now people, you gotta love this production!



Thanks for your excellent review Ralph, as always -- might have missed this one without you opening this forum here. BTW, my digital copy is available over at MEDIA CODES, for those, like me, who go gagga over this stuff....
Ralph Potts, Toe, gbaby and 2 others like this.
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