Deep Blue Sea (1999)

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Released 21-Mar-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Splash
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Renny Harlin (Director) & Samuel L Jackson (Actor)
Featurette-When Sharks Attack
Featurette-The Sharks Of The Deep Blue Sea
Deleted Scenes-with or without commentary
Theatrical Trailer
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 100:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:13) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Renny Harlin

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Saffron Burrows
Thomas Jane
LL Cool J
Jacqueline McKenzie
Michael Rapaport
Stellan Skarsgard
Samuel L. Jackson
Case Snapper
RPI $34.95 Music Trevor Rabin

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Dr Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, spurred on by the death of her father. She is using sharks as test subjects, as they never sleep and appear to be immune to the disease. Her laboratory is out in the middle of the ocean, in a refitted ex-navy submarine refuelling base. Their financier, Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson), gets cold feet and is about to pull the plug on the project after one of the test sharks escapes and attacks a boat of teenagers. Dr Susan McAlester asks for an extra 48 hours to prove that they are close to finding a cure and invites Russell Franklin out to the facility to see their work for himself. He accepts.

    Next we meet the rest of the ill-fated crew; shark wrangler Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), scientist Tom Scoggins (Michael Rapaport), his assistant Janice Higgins (Jacqueline McKenzie), engineer Jim Whitelock (Stellan Skarsgard), and chef Preacher (LL Cool J).

    After successfully reactivating some human brain tissue that was affected by Alzheimer’s disease, things go disastrously wrong and get progressively worse through the film for our characters as the sharks fight back and start picking them off one by one. We learn that the experimentation on the sharks has increased their brain sizes to a point where they have developed the capacity to think and reason. This is not a great development for the human race, as sharks have no natural predators and are the kings of the sea world.

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Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness, shadow detail and colour are all perfect.

    No low level noise or excessive edge enhancement was noticed.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. There were only a couple of occurrences of aliasing, and these were extremely minimal and not distracting at all. Village should be congratulated on this point, as a lot of scenes could have been prone to aliasing. Film artefacts were very rare, with just a handful of tiny white specks noticed.

    There is only one subtitle track available on this disc, English For The Hearing Impaired, which struck me as a bit unusual, but is not a criticism.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 53:13 in Chapter 17 at a scene change. There is a definite pause but overall it is not too disruptive to the flow of the movie, thus it is a pretty good layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This is a magnificent audio transfer, and is also of reference quality.

    There are only two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/second, and an English Audio Commentary track, Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/second, surround-encoded. I listened to both of these tracks.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the movie, with only one minor exception.

    Audio sync was not a problem with this transfer. There was one scene where it almost got out of sync, but this could have been an ADR problem.

    The musical score was by Trevor Rabin, which I personally felt did not add enough tension to the shark attack sequences. The movie would have really benefited by having a much more dramatic theme music score, something that would create tension and fear like the famous Jaws theme.

    The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and lots of special effects. Directional effects and precise sound placement within the sound field were the norm rather than the exception, putting you right in the midst of the action at all times, and not just during the action sequences. Excuse me while I just check for any sharks still lurking under my seat.

    The subwoofer was highly active during the action sequences, and placed an excellent bottom end on these sequences.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is a great selection of extras present on this disc.


    The Menu is very nicely done. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a video clip made up of highlights from the movie set to the theme music. You also get a groovy Dolby Digital 5.1 logo after you press Play. The available selections from the Menu are; Play Movie, Scene Selections (33), Special Features and Languages.

Cast & Crew

    This section contains Filmographies & Biographies for Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie, Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard, LL Cool J, Aida Turturro and director Renny Harlin.

Commentary by Renny Harlin (Director) and Samuel L. Jackson (Actor)

    The commentary features Renny Harlin and Samuel L. Jackson in the centre channel speaking over the film's Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Whilst not being the best audio commentary I have ever heard, it is nonetheless a very worthwhile addition to this disc, and it is informative, particularly about the choices that were made during the making of the film.

Featurette - When Sharks Attack (15:06 minutes)

    This is of excellent quality, and is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, with some behind the scenes details. It is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

Featurette - The Sharks Of The Deep Blue Sea (8:23 minutes)

    This is also of excellent quality, and is about what went into making and using the mechanical sharks used for the movie. The video material is presented in 4:3 format, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

Deleted Scenes (5) with or without commentary by Renny Harlin (Director)

    These five deleted scenes would have been enjoyable if they hadn't been totally butchered by being terribly over-compressed and colour depth limited, which was very disappointing.

Theatrical Trailer (2:18 minutes)

    This is again of excellent quality, and is presented at an aspect ratio of 2:40:1, 16x9 enhanced and with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

Stills Gallery (32 Photos)

    This consists of pictures of the cast, sets and movie stills.

DVD-ROM Extras

    These consist of various Web links using the PC Friendly interface, which include; Warner Brothers Studio Store, Warner Brothers Video Store, Warner Brothers World of On-Line Entertainment, Original Theatrical Web site, and the Deep Blue Sea Web site.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I am pleased to report that the R4 and the R1 are identical in content and extras. This is the way it should be! So, I recommend you purchase the R4 over the R1 due to PAL's innate resolution superiority over NTSC, plus you will be increasing sales in our region.


    Deep Blue Sea is a reasonably entertaining movie and is well made. The special effects are excellent, though there are a couple of CG shots that are very obvious, which detracts from the movie a bit.

    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and is of reference quality.

    This is a magnificent audio transfer, and is also of reference quality.

    There is a great selection of extras present on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Friday, March 17, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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