Retro Review: Ghosts of the Abyss

Oscar winning director James Cameron takes another journey into the ocean’s depths as he revisits the final resting-place of the ill-fated ship, Titanic.

It’s been a long time since we have seen James Cameron step behind a motion picture camera.

The last thing to take his directing credit was the series finale of his produced TV series, “Dark Angel” in 2002.

Before that we hardly heard his name after he won his Oscar for “Titanic” in 1998.

In Cameron’s return, he re-teams with “Aliens” and “Terminator” co-star Bill Paxton. The long-time friends share their real-life adventure to the wreck of Titanic.

Along with the celebrities are a brood of scientists, historians and crew.

The team uses entirely new technology to show new angles and rooms within the sunken wreck.

Shown in state of the art IMAX 3-D, Cameron uses the medium to his advantages as you witness bubbles cascade off the screen and bounce off the heads of fellow audience members. There is an amazing use of multi-layering screens and windows. This effect is really a showcase of Cameron’s presentation.

The film’s most successful and memorable effect will probably be how Cameron uses ghost effects to enhance rooms.

The effect almost transports you back to what the Titanic was like before the ocean swallowed her whole.

For me, the most memorable experience of the film is the presentation.

There is a lot of information here and Cameron knows how to make it fascinating to look at without getting the audience bogged down in techno-babble.

“Ghosts of the Abyss” is an undersea Discovery Channel show on LSD. It’s oodles of fun. I really could have spent more time on that journey.

(4 of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

Note: Ghosts is only 65 minutes long.

Written: April 14, 2003

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