Sunday, April 1, 2012

A-Z Challenge: The Abyss

Today starts the A-Z blogging challenge.  My theme: Movies I love.  There will be an eclectic mix of films...comedy, horror, sci-fi, and drama (NOTE: wait, let me double-check the list...Yeah, there's one or two I could label drama, and even one true romance).

So starting the challenge at A, I'm going with an awesome movie by James Cameron, Oscar-nominated and groundbreaking for technology at the time of its release: The Abyss.  I could also pick Avatar, but The Abyss came first so it has dibs.

The Abyss is a real genre-busting film.  It has strong dramatic elements, but at it's heart it's great science fiction.  But unlike a lot of sci-fi that takes place far in the future and/or in space, the Abyss is set in the modern world, which makes it more accessible to non-geeks.

Two parts of The Abyss stand out to me.  First is the scene where Bud and Lindsay are trapped in a room of a research station at the bottom of the ocean, and the room is quickly flooding.  They have only one dive suit with enough oxygen for one person to make the long swim to the main lab.  The solution: Lindsay will drown herself and Bud, being the stronger swimmer, will tow her back.  The cold water should help preserve her so they can resuscitate her in the lab.  This is an intense scene, and the way the relationship between Bud and his estranged wife leads up to this pivotal moment earns high marks for drama.

The second stand-out moment is when Bud suits up to dive to the bottom of the deep-sea trench (e.g., The Abyss) to disarm a nuclear warhead.  This is no ordinary dive suit: It's filled with breathable liquid.  In order to survive the immense pressure, the dive suit cannot be filled with air.  A super-oxygenated liquid is pumped into the suit, and Bud breathes this ("We all breathed liquid for nine months, your body will remember...").  The best science fiction is built on fact, and this liquid does exist, although it's not quite usable to the extent depicted in the film.  I guess that's why James Cameron took a sub to the bottom of the Marianas Trench last week.

If you've never seen The Abyss, check it out.  It's long, but it's worth it.

#

9 comments:

Carolina said...

I remember watching this movie a long time ago. Intense!

A.F.E. Smith said...

Love your theme (and the name of your blog). Do you know, I don't think I've ever seen The Abyss - but now I might have to go and check it out!

Rick Daley said...

Carolina- Thanks for stopping by! The Abyss is a movie that if I see it surfing channels, I'm stopping and watching it. I used to have it on VHS but I don't have a VHS player anymore. I need to see if it's available on Blu-Ray.

AFE- It's worth it, and I barely touched on the coolness of the story and the effects...

Elaine AM Smith said...

I love The Abyss. You have highlighted one of my favourite movie moments.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I haven't seen the film but it was an excellent A word for the challenge.
Good luck with the rest of the challenge.
Yvonne.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is one of my favorite movies! Dig the extended version. Cameron is a genius.

Christine Rains said...

Great start to the Challenge. I'll always remember that moment in the flooding research room too. My heart twists for both of them to make that decision.

Anne Gallagher said...

I saw this 100 years ago. But then the creepy music started so I never finished watching it. I wonder if they make it out alive.

Red said...

I seem to recall having seen this, as I remember the liquid-filled suit and having to explain it to friends as plausible.

I look forward to the remainder of your posts for the A to Z.

Red.