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Of all the ALIEN rip-offs to come out of Hollywood, few have been as much fun as LEVIATHAN ($25). Instead of being in outer space, with a hostile alien from some unknown planet, LEVIATHAN is set on the ocean floor with hostile creature emerging from a botched genetic engineering experiment. The plot of LEVIATHAN concerns the employees of an under water mining company that discovers a sunk Soviet nuclear submarine near their operation. Two of the miners salvage some contraband vodka from the sub for a private party. However, soon after ingesting the vodka, the two become ill and apparently die. The bodies quickly begin to mutate and the survivors try to flush the remains into the ocean. Their attempt to get rid of the bodies proves unsuccessful, and the miners soon find themselves prey to the mutant creature.

LEVIATHAN stars Peter Weller as Steven Beck, the geologist in charge of the mining operation, Richard Crenna as Glen Thompson, the washed up company doctor and Amanda Pays as miner Elizabeth 'Willie' Williams. LEVIATHAN also features good supporting performances from Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher, Hector Elizondo and Meg Foster. What separates LEVIATHAN from similar sci-fi fare is the fact that this film has a sense of humor and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Director George P. Cosmatos does a good job of keeping the level of tension high and the jolts coming at a regular pace.

MGM Home Entertainment has released LEVIATHAN on DVD wide screen only in a terrific looking presentation that contains the anamorphic enhancement. The Letterboxed transfer gets just about every bit of the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio up on the screen. New anamorphic transfers really are the best; LEVIATHAN is just spectacular looking. The crisp, highly detailed image really is everything one could hope for. Even color reproduction on this DVD is outstanding. Flesh tones appear natural, while the nicely saturated hues reproduce without a trace of color noise or distortion. There were almost no instances of noticeable digital compression artifacts on this well authored DVD.

The disc’s primary soundtrack is two-channel Dolby Digital, which decodes to standard surround. This is a very good matrixed soundtrack with good channel separation across the front, respectable use of the surround channels and dependable bass reproduction. Jerry Goldsmith’s entertaining score was prominently mixed into the track. Also encoded into the DVD is a French language soundtrack, plus English and French subtitles.

The interactive menus have a humorous animated bent, plus music. Through the menus one can access a theatrical trailer, in addition to the standard scene and language selection features.




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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