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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE CAVE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 97 minutes, two audio commentaries, two featurettes

STUDIO: Screen Gems/ SPHE

RELEASE DATE: 1-4-2006

THE CAVE is good fun. You at least can say it is a good B horror movie on an A movie budget. THE CAVE also gives a look at the world of professional cave divers. A group of cave divers lead by Jack (Cole Hauser) and his brother Tyler (Eddie Cibrian) are hired to explore a giant cave system found under the ruins of a 13th Century Romanian church. When they go down into the caves, they discover they're not alone and flying creatures that use sonar are hunting them. I liked THE CAVE. My favorite scene has to be when one of the cave divers goes up against a creature. Even when the creature is killed, the victory is at a high cost for the diver. The movie THE CAVE reminds me of is the superior PITCH BLACK (which Cole Hauser also starred in). The women in the film are attractive, but Lena Headey is more attractive than Piper Perabo (who actually gets a decent role in a movie).  THE CAVE has the type of set-up that PITCH BLACK and ALIEN have with the first half building the plot (and letting us get to know the characters) before the crap hits the fan.

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is great, but grain does show in some of the darkest scenes.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, French 2.0 DS

Subtitles: English, French

Dialogue is clear and surround action is impressive.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Two audio commentaries were recorded for THE CAVE. The first is with Director Bruce Hunt, Producer Andrew Mason, and Special Effects Producer James McQuaide. The second is with Writers Michael Steinberg and Tegan West. The first commentary is my favorite because it goes into the production, the director wishing he had more coverage for the climatic battle, the original climax, and the stuff that was cut (why didn't the disc have deleted scenes is a mystery to me). It is an interesting commentary for sure.

INTO THE CAVE (in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen) is about underwater cave explorers who did the underwater photography (using HD Cameras) for THE CAVE. The two cave divers (an underwater director of photography and a female who works with him (and was the tech consultant for THE CAVE)) have an appreciation for the underwater caves and even talk about the dangers in addition to the diving equipment they use. DESIGNING EVOLUTION: TATOPOLUS STUDIOS is a featurette where Patrick Tatopoulos talks about the creature design for THE CAVE in addition to showing a guy who wore a creature suit. THE CAVE has a good selection of extras that would be complete if they had a featurette with cast and crew talking about THE CAVE, the theatrical trailer, and the deleted scenes that didn't make it onto this disc. Hopefully they will revisit THE CAVE with a special edition that includes extras not on this first release.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE CAVE is an entertaining thriller that I hope SPHE revisits with a more extensive Special Edition DVD.

this review is (c)3-15-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com  and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com