It's been ages since I've last seen Kevin Costner's 200 million dollar seawreck, but I still can hardly believe that any studio would choose to spend this much on so little. It's a little more entertaining watching it at home on this DVD from Universal, but still, the film remains all wet. Water, water everywhere, and not a script in sight.
Costner stars as the Mariner, a mutant-guy who sails the sea trying to keep out of trouble and away from the Smokers, a crew of villians who seem like new-school pirates. What would this film be without some sort of relationship sub-plot, and this time it's a pretty poor one, with Jeaneane Tripplehorn starring as Costner's love interest, and Tina Majorino playing Enola, a child with a map to dry land on her back.
Costner's grumpy Mariner doesn't make a particularly interesting main character, and it doesn't help that he's the focus on the picture. Attempts at humor to lighten up the gloomy futuristic settings fail pretty quickly, leaving the occasional action sequence as the only way to pass the time. I suppose I can appreciate all the work that went into the sets and costumes, but that appreciation doesn't get me through all two hours and 16 minutes of this picture, which remains just as dull as the first viewing.
VIDEO/AUDIO: I was really amazed with the image quality offered on this DVD from Universal. One of their early titles, it still offers magnificent picture quality, with a razor sharp image that offers excellent detail. Every last detail of the sets are clearly visible, and the cinematography from Dean Semler("Dances With Wolves") is given a gorgeous presentation.
What colors there are look deep and rich, well-saturated and never showing any signs of problems like bleeding. Flesh tones are accurate and natural, and black level is strong. There are one or two extremely minor instances of shimmering, but that's it and that's all - no pixelation and the print used is in top-notch condition with not a mark to be found. This is excellent, excellent work from Universal and although the movie is pretty goofy, it certainly looks great on this DVD.
...It sounds wonderful as well! The DTS version of "Waterworld" provides an impressive audio experience, with agressive and effective use of the surrounds during some of the more intense action sequences, as well as subtle use during the quieter sequences. Gunfire comes from all sides, and explosions register with solid power. Even the detail of the waves splashing is easily heard. Dialogue sounds smooth and easily understood, as well. It's an excellent soundtrack that both excites and creates a strong sense of space.
MENUS:: Very basic menus that are pretty much just taken from the cover art.
Final Thoughts: The film still is annoying with bad dialogue and acting, but the picture quality and the sound quality offered by this DTS DVD actually add up to make the film slightly entertaining - emphasis on slightly.
Audio Quality Grade:A-
Image Quality Grade:A