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DEEP RISING ($30) is the best, most entertaining, "dumb monster movie" to be released in quite some time. The film definitely has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, and from the start, DEEP RISING lets the audience know that it’s in on the joke. DEEP RISING stars Treat Williams as John Finnegan, a smuggler who is willing to carry any passengers or cargo on his boat, as long as the price is right- with no questions asked. Finnegan’s "no questions asked" policy gets him more than he bargained for when he discovers that he is transporting a group of heavily armed hijackers who intend to rob the worlds, biggest most luxurious cruise ship while it is at sea. However, when Finnegan and his "passengers" catch up with the ship, they find it dead in the water, with its lifeboats intact, and no signs of life.

Not wanting to let the mystery keep them from their true objective, the hijackers make their way to the ship's vault where they find a handful of terrified survivors hiding inside. Much to their horror, Finnegan and the hijackers discover that something from the deepest recesses of the ocean has infested the ship, and ingested most of the passengers and crew. This is where DEEP RISING heads into ALIENS territory, delivering a tale of humans with heavy-duty automatic weapons versus slimy monsters. Sure the idea has been done to death, but DEEP RISING maintains an edge because the special effects are top of the line and the film really doesn't take itself too seriously. Even the grossest special effects are just a bit goofy, I know the gory effects brought a smirk to this horror fan’s face. In addition to Treat Williams, DEEP RISING also features the disarmingly beautiful Famke Janssen and Kevin J. O'Connor. O'Connor supplies much of the film's overflowing comic relief.

Hollywood Pictures Home video has made DEEP RISING available on DVD in a good-looking Letterboxed presentation, which unfortunately the lacks the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. DEEP RISING is presented fairly close to the full 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with only minor instances where the edges of the screen appear compromised. While the film is on the dark side, the transfer is sharp and offers a solid level of detail. Color reproduction was excellent, with strong stable hues and not a hint of chroma noise or distortion. There were times where digital compression artifacts were noticeable, however they appeared in very dark sequences that were generally of a brief duration.

Like most new action oriented releases, DEEP RISING has a killer Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Bass reproduction is great, and the fully directional effects really kick, especially during monster attacks. This track is loaded with little sound effects that help get the audience prepared for what’s lurking down the next passageway. Dialogue and music are also well integrated into the great sounding Dolby Digital soundtrack. The DVD also includes a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, as well as a French language soundtrack and English captioning.

A theatrical trailer is the only supplement offered through the simple interactive menus.

If you like slick, but completely mindless entertainment, DEEP RISING is the perfect DVD for you. I had fun, and so will all the monster movie fans out there.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 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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