Kevin Costner stars in a film as famous for its budget, production issues and versions, as it is for what is actually onscreen. Long after the melting of the polar ice caps in the 21st century, the sea levels have covered every continent on Earth. Human civilisation has shifted from land to sea. Living on and in floating communities. Some believe in a myth called “Dryland” but most are stuck in ocean, vast and blue. Lonely mariner (Kevin Costner), drifts around this world. He trades dirt and assorted finds to other communities. Dirt is a rare commodity, desired for its power to grow and to bring life. He just wants food. This world is menaced by smokers. Pirates who steal and kill. Lead by Deacon (Dennis Hopper), he has a masonic belief that a child has a map on her back, tattooed to give the location of ‘dryland’. It seems that the girl in question is Enola (Tina Majorino) who lives with her adoptive mother Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn). When Deacon is tipped off as to their location, he attacks. They survive thanks to Gregor (Michael Jeter), an inventor and the Mariner. But will they survive in the blue and find land?
I first saw it on initial release and remember being less hostile to it, then most film reviewers then. So what were their collective problems? Well lets start with the production. It was over long, expensive and saw director and actor (who had worked on 3 previous films) come to blows and one leave. Costner might have seen his success with Dances with Wolves (a masterpiece) as a beacon to legitimise his skill. The issue was that the film start with this but end with what is a mess of ideas. The plot has enough to split both sides of the film political communities. Global warming, commodity trading of everything, xenophobia of small communities and business interests all raise the fear of culpability. Conservatives hate these. As an example the whole global warming angle (as they are not fans of science). White Saviour complex’s, gender roles (yes woman are cattle and breeding machines in the film), race (no POC faces) and of course limitations of barter systems all gripe liberal minds. As an example white saviour, a term built on idiotic translations of Marxist theory. Liberal minds hate all of this This makes the rest uneasy to watch for those riled up by what they see as subtext or they see as their concerns and epi reflect it onto the film like any good self involved, over educated person would. So these types cant see what is left.
Give Waterworld a break and see it for what it is. A mess of a film, with that heralded a whole host of bad and good action titans. Its not very good and yes you get all three versions of the film to prove just how bad it can get (THE ULYSSES CUT is by far the worst), however it must be seen and lived to be understood.
THREE-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Three cuts of the film newly restored from original film elements by Arrow Films
- Original 5.1 DTSHD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Six collector s postcards
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Limited edition 60-page perfect bound book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, and archival articles
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
DISC ONE THE THEATRICAL CUT
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the original theatrical cut
- Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld, an all-new, feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage
- Dances With Waves, an original archival featurette capturing the film s production
- Global Warnings, film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically themed end-of-the-world films
- Production and promotional stills gallery
- Visual effects stills gallery
- Original trailers and TV spots
- DISC TWO THE TV CUT [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut
- DISC THREE THE ULYSSES CUT [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended European Ulysses cut, which include previously censored shots and dialogue