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(Widescreen Edition)

While THE CAVE ($29) may not be great cinema by any stretch of the imagination, it is the perfect monster movie to cue up in your DVD player and enjoy with a great big bucket of popcorn. This reviewer found THE CAVE to be an absolute hoot of a DVD, and a great way to spend ninety-seven minutes in "B" action/horror movie heaven.  THE CAVE opens with an ill-fated exploration of the cavern beneath an abandoned church in the Romanian mountains. However, an inopportune landslide destroys the church and buries the "explorers" just as they are about to begin their adventure. THE CAVE then flashes forward thirty years, with the cavernís entrance having been unearthed by geologists, who have brought in a well known team of cave divers to assist with the mapping of the immense underwater passageway and surrounding underground chambers.

While the exploration starts off in rather routine fashion, the team soon finds themselves under attack from the hostile life forms that inhabit The Cave. And as fate would have it, the team finds themselves unable to go back the way they came.  Making matters worse is the fact that the team leader has been infected by a virus that may be transforming him into one of the very creatures that have been picking off the other members of the team.  The cast of THE CAVE features Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, Eddie Cibrian, Rick Ravanello, Marcel Iures, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Daniel Dae Kim, Lena Headey, Piper Perabo and Vlad Radescu.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE CAVE available on DVD in a 2.40:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays.  This is a really terrific looking DVD, with everything appearing sharp and very nicely defined.  THE CAVE its share of underwater cinematography which looks great, as do the sequences taking place in the subterranean environments of the film.  Colors are strongly rendered and the picture produces appealing flesh tones.  Blacks are pure; whites completely stable, plus the image boast smooth contrast and great shadow detail.  Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

THE CAVE features a pretty super Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. As with any good action/horror movie, THE CAVE comes with a potent, aggressively mixed track that makes the most of all the discrete channels. The surrounds are especially well deployed to turn up the creepy factor and to add some zingers. Fidelity is great, producing convincing sound effects and a full bodied musical component. Dialogue is always crisp, easy to understand and never drowned out by the sound effects. The bass channel is deep, forceful and adds the necessary rumble to the proceedings. A French surround track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extras. Two running audio commentaries are provided; the first includes director Bruce Hunt, producer Andrew Mason and co-producer/effects supervisor James McQuade, while the second is with writers Michael Steinberg and Tegan West. Two pretty cool featurettes are also included on the DVD; Into The Cave focuses on the movieís terrific underwater cinematography and Designing Evolution features the monster creation work of Tatopoulos Studios. A number of bonus trailers close out the extras.

This reviewer really liked THE CAVE; sure it isnít great cinema, but it is a perfect popcorn movie. So microware yourself a big heaping bowl of kettle corn; slip this great looking and sounding DVD into your player and enjoy!



The Cave (Widescreen Edition) (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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