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Blu-ray Review: Into the Blue

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If you’ve come to see beautiful people, beautiful water, and beautiful islands, Into the Blue contains all of the above. A lot of each, actually. So much that the movie gets bogged down by its visual beauty and forgets there’s a story to tell.

Exposition on this generic “sunken treasure” story is a killer. The bland narrative is hokey and generic and not enough to carry the film to its eventual finale when it finally gets moving. All of the diving, searching, and resurfacing to discuss what the audience just saw is painfully boring, although nice to look at. However, this is entertainment, not a documentary.

It takes almost an hour to set up this threadbare plot in which the cast stumbles upon a crashed plane full of crack and right next to a shipwreck worth millions. That’s convenience that only happens in the movies. After the predictable turns by the cast members that are easily figured out in the early moments of the movie, we get an implausibly set up action scene to finish it off to arrive at the Hollywood happy ending.

For a dumb summer movie, this still stretches credibility. The characters are required to do dumb things in order to get themselves trapped by the bad guys. The logic centers of their brains have been switched to off, though mostly so the director has every excuse to give audiences an impossible number of views of Jessica Alba in a bikini. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but the power of home video offers a pause feature. For the rest of the audience who wants to see a conclusion, let’s move on.

By the time Into the Blue gains any momentum, it’s far too late. Sub-par acting and stunning cinematography can only carry a movie so far before it falls apart, and this one stretches itself well past the breaking point. This just isn’t fun.

The film suffers from a variety of video issues that dampen the impact of the photography. While the blue hues of the water are perfect, flesh tones are completely off the mark. The over-saturated color dampens any details out of what is an otherwise sharp transfer. The murky black levels also blot out any clarity, the perfect example being the beach fireside sequence. This one does occasionally look great, but more often than not, it’s flat.

The uncompressed audio track is equal to the video. It can impress, yet consistently fails to provide all that it could. A party sequence and some boats rushing through the water provide about the only surround work in the movie. Underwater shots are sadly front-loaded. Bass is handled by the soundtrack and an explosion, though there’s little opportunity for it to completely show its power.

Extras are standard fare, beginning with a commentary from director John Stockwell. This is followed by a featurette titled Diving Deeper into the Blue. This is a 20-minute piece that carries the promotional feel so many of these of these extras do. Ten deleted scenes run for almost 18 minutes and an optional commentary explaining their cuts is provided. Finally, three trailers end the menu options.

Trailers for the movie actually had to “alter” Jessica Alba’s bikini in trailers to avoid offending some people. The switch is obvious if you compare early underwater scenes. Other scenes were altered in the movie itself to maintain a PG-13.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.