Posts Tagged ‘Best Films Ever’

“What’s that,” you say, “is she really going to ramble on about a 20 year old movie?” Why, yes, yes I am. Besides the fact that its my blog and I’ll ramble on about what I want … oh, wait, that is the only reason. There is a spoiler alert for anyone who has been living under a rock for the last 20 years and, thus, managed to *not* see The Abyss.

What prompted me to watch The Abyss for the first time in years was the current hype about Avatar (which I haven’t yet seen). I am quite irritated by the fact that Avatar is being advertised as being “from the director of Titanic.” Um, what? Titanic is *hardly* James Cameron’s best flick (nor is it all that relevant to a scifi film like Avatar). Titanic, while lavish, well costumed, technically well shot and with jaw dropping set design (notice I say nothing of the pathetic “plot” or the piss weak acting) is not a movie I feel should be used as a benchmark for much. I mean, yeah, it was brain candy entertainment but it did not deserve the hype it got.

To me, The Abyss is James Cameron’s best movie and, arguably, one of the best movies OF ALL TIME. It had it all (great performances, directing and groundbreaking effects) but most importantly, it had that *quality.* You know the one I mean… the *quality* that makes you cry/laugh/cringe with suspense like the first time everytime you see it regardless of the fact that you know what’s going to happen. There is something about the way The Abyss is shot and acted that just hits a chord for me every single time. Particularly the scene near the end when they realise that Bud doesn’t have enough oxygen toget back up to the rig after disarming the nuclear warhead. Lindsay tells him to try anyway and he types out “knew this was a one way trip but I had to come. Love you   Wife” I bawl every single time despite the fact that I know he gets saved and he and Lindsay live happily ever after (or they do in my head … in reality they’d probably get that divorce three years later or something). I fall in love with Bud’s character every time I see him stick his hand into that toilet of blue water to fish his wedding ring back out early on in the film. And then later, when that very wedding ring ends up saving him from being trapped in the compartment that floods, my heart skips a beat. Moments like that are, to me, signs of a great, classic flick. A movie that will always be relevant long after the groundbreaking effects look hokey and the plot seems overdone.

Let us not forget the significance and sheer awesomeness of Lindsay’s character, either. She is, to put it bluntly, MADE OF AWESOME. She’s fierce, confident, smart as hell and doesn’t take shit from anyone but she is also vulnerable, human. She is *perceived* as an Ice Queen Bitch by those around her like so many strong women in male dominated fields but she is not characterised as one. She enters the scene in pantyhose, heels and skirt suit … her corporate attire. But, she quickly changes into what she wears  for the rest of the movie: a shapeless tank top, a baggy denim shirt, trackie pants, sneakers, frizzy unkempt hair, no make up to speak of. In other words, she’s *real.* We are not expected to believe that a woman goes flouncing about an underwater oil rig in a push up bra, impossibly perfect hair and lipstick … because she wouldn’t. The sad fact is that most movies (especially those made lately) would have you believe that she would and it drives me up the freaking wall! Lindsay’s character is a rarity in Hollywood, unfortunately. All too often a character who is as smart, confident, etc as Lindsay is written into a script (I think) but ruined in the execution by the glam effect of the hair, makeup, push up bra, wishy washy lines that undercut the original characterisation, etc. I wish there were more female characters in Hollywood blockbusters that looked and acted like Lindsay.

Of course, I don’t think that The Abyss is a flawless movie by far. There are plenty of groan worthy moments of FAIL. Most notably, the race FAIL I noticed last night (I can’t believe I missed it before). In the scenes of people running from the tsunamis at the end of the movie, we are meant to believe its happening all over the world. However, I couldn’t help but notice that we are shown primarily white people running on resort looking beaches or wealthy looking cities in broad daylight. The only difference to this pattern was the scene of people in Russia running from the tsunami: Russian naval personel in a shipyard at night. Its so naive and simplistic, one just has to laugh.I also can’t help but wonder why the hell Bud was the one to go down to disarm the warhead (aside from the obvious being that he was the hero character and, thus, had to save the world). I mean, seriously, there were two Navy Seals left. They had trained with the liquid oxygen and knew how to disarm the weapon. Why the fuck didn’t one of *them* go? These things (along with Michael Biehn’s stylin’ porn mustache) are the inevitable flaws that give me something to think about, talk about, laugh about, though. No movie is perfect … especially not a James Cameron movie. 🙂 Despite its flaws, though, I maintain that The Abyss is one of the best movies of all time.


Read Full Post »