Review Detail

9.7 14 10
Extended Edition July 06, 2012 15433
(Updated: July 19, 2014)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
Overview - Anticipated release back in its day, Waterworld proved disappointing for many. Overlong, poorly directed, oft times a soggy mess, it was, nevertheless, embraced by fans for action sequences straight out of the Mad Max world.
The extended Laserdisc, and subsequent DVD, promising a more satisfying experience, instead gave the PG rated ABC televised edit. Nudity, profanity, and gory violence excised.
Zaaacharias returned all “adult” content to the extended version giving the - for now - defacto version of Costner’s movie.

Video - Nice work here integrating the extended footage into the theatrical release. Saturation is a bit less than the LD, but the editing is solid and first rate. On the list of changes, a link shows comparison shots. Nice touch.

Audio - As mentioned elsewhere. This is 5.0, rather than 5.1 sound. There is no LFE mix. Not a problem as Zaaacharias was upfront about this. Audio editing was top notch. I popped on headphones for several sequences and did not hear any errors or poor transitions.
One thing I did note - and this is not exactly audio, but related - were the subtitles. Subtitles were based on the PG version. For example: “Shit” was seen as “Dang.” Just an observation.

Narrative - The additional 40 minutes will drive many in the post Michael Bay era to punch the fast forward button. Waterworld is more leisurely, more reflective, which is altogether fitting in trailing a loner across endless seas. I still had problems with scientific assumptions in the main plot. I tried to suspend such thoughts, but the notion that the Rockies, the Carpathians, the Andes, the Appalachian range, were all submerged? No.

Enjoyment - Mixed here. Ulysses edit was more fix than edit to my eyes. There were still way too many stupidly, annoying characters. True, a couple years after the apocalypse, few will debate Film Noir vs Pre-Code, sip Merlot, and listen to Dave Brubeck. The dialogue lurched between inventive and cringingly butt dumb.
The whole film seemed suffused with over-acting. Understandable in “Deacon” who preached to his rabble. Pointless with most others. The small girl, Enola, was particularly shrill. For her, and all others, I credit ham handed direction - both Reynolds and Costner.

There is more to appreciate here, to revel in, than to belabor what coulda / shoulda been. As an extended version, trims and wholesale surgery cannot be expected. Zaaacharias has done a stellar job, and his edit is whole heartedly recommended to all Waterworld diehards.

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