Posted Sat Aug 28, 2021 at 02:37 AM PDT by Matthew Hartman
Physical media connoisseurs have long waited for that beautiful day when (now) Disney/Fox would announce that James Cameron's underwater sci-fi classic The Abyss would one day arrive on disc in a condition far better than the SD letterboxed release of so long ago. Practically every time a cult classic or another title gets announced for the format someone inevitably asks the now redundant question "When are they going to put out The Abyss and True Lies?" We're also eagerly awaiting True Lies - and no that Spanish disc sourced from an old broadcast HD master doesn't count. While we're at it let's toss on Kathryn Bigalow's Strange Days too.
The excuses for why either The Abyss or True Lies haven't been released get thinner and thinner every year. 2019 was the perfect time for those films to arrive. The Abyss turned 30 and True Lies turned 25 - major milestone anniversaries that would be ripe pickings for collectors to gobble up these films. Alas, we wait. And wait. The latest rumor is maybe possibly in 2022 timed to help hype Cameron's Avatar 2... but then maybe the Abyss never existed at all and we're all sharing a collective fever dream, like in Prince of Darkness.
Previously, whenever this film would crop up on streaming services or if you were lucky and managed to redeem the Disc-To-Digital option on VUDU, it was sourced from the ancient letterboxed master used for DVD - and then it wasn't even anamorphic and would often appear squeezed. This current streaming master is in much better shape free of any speckling, grit, or other age-related issues. It also has different color timing than the old DVD and LaserDisc favoring that icy Cameron Blue tint instead of the brighter purplish tone folks may remember.
In the video below you can see the differences. We did have to adjust the brightness of the HD Streaming, the recorder we used darkened it quite a bit. Also, this video is rougher than our usual full rez spit and polished comparisons - for some reason this lo-fi unvarnished version is the only one that would get past having a complete copyright block preventing anyone from viewing it. DVD opens the video and rotates every 12 seconds.
As we continue to wait... and wait... and wait for The Abyss to arrive on 4K or even just a proper Blu-ray - this HD stream from Amazon Prime will just have to hold us over. And what's here ain't bad at all! Of course, in order to view this film, you need to have an Amazon Prime account.
Watch The Abyss In 1080p HD on Amazon Prime
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