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Ghosts of the Abyss

Starring Bill Paxton
Screenplay by
Directed by James Cameron

IN SHORT: One big wreck -- the real Titanic on a titanic-sized screen. [Rated G. 60 minutes]

Director James Cameron returns to the wreck of the Titanic and leaves the bloated love story behind. He does lug one of his Titanic stars (Bill Paxton) along for the ride to film the adventure. No story. No script. Nothing but the wallet of James Cameron to make it all happen. It's a wonderful thing to be able to go nosing around shipwrecks two and a half miles down and then come up with an arresting bit of cinema. Cameron's got the additional gimmick or power, whatever you'd like to call it, of super huge technology -- you'll see it on an IMAX sized screen but it isn't IMAX trademarked tech -- plus the benefit, for those who don't wear glasses, of 3-D photography to fall back on. That indeed makes this trip worthwhile. . .

. . .Unless you wear glasses and have to balance another pair of polarizing lenses on your nose bridge. The lenses on our pair were huge enough to outsize any regular corrective lenses behind 'em. What we discovered is that, depending on whether or not the camera is in motion when one shot is edited to the next, and whether or not you're dead center in the auditorium or off to the side, you may find yourself doubled over with headache or nausea or, god forbid, both. We speak of what we know. But that's all tech stuff, easily taken care of if you get to a center aligned seat as early as possible.

Once the lights go down, you ride shotgun as director James Cameron decides to travel down to the sea floor one more time, packing the newest mini-robot submarine technology on optical fibre tethers. There are two of these wonders. Jake is one. Elwood is his twin and due to events inside the wreck we actually found ourselves making an emotional connection to these 'bots. Emotional connection is the bottom line in any kind of movie making, so points to director Cameron for accomplishing this feat. Using these 'bots allows us to go inside the ship; into some of the first class cabins and see what hasn't been seen for ninety years. But, when all is said and done, we wanted more pictures of the wreck and less of the surface world.

Due to the technical limitations, you'll only be able to see the film in super-sized theaters. As such, it is recommended if not rated. If it ever becomes available on tape, you'll still want more than the hour that the format allows.

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