Billy Tyne is the captain of a fishing boat in the highly competitive swordfish industry. With too many boats chasing too little fish, he and his crew have been struggling to make money and a decent living from the recent poor catches. Things are made worse for the captain and crew by the boat owner who takes the lions share of the profit and cuts corners on the boat maintenance.
Not long after returning from another poor catch, Billy decides that he's going out once more. However, this time it is for the big catch and big pay day which will make up for all of the poor catches throughout the year. Although the crew aren't convinced about his predictions, and the fact they've only been a shore a few days, they decide it is worth a shot.
Venturing back out to sea they still fail to catch any significant fish so Billy decides to a known fishing ground, but it is October and the weather can turn ugly in an instant. Ignoring the warnings of an approaching storm they head east. The choice was a good one as the fishing is good, however, things start to get bad when the ships ice machine fails. If they don't get their catch home soon it will spoil and be a worthless write off. Trouble is, if they want to land the catch they'll have to head back through the storm of the century.
The picture is bright and colourful with an above average bit-rate throughout the film. The night time scenes are good with plenty of detail, although I did feel that the scenes during the storm were a bit too washed out for my taste. Another thing which spoilt the picture was that some of the special effects really did look too much like CGI. However, it is still a damn impressive picture.
The sound is stupendous and truly demonstration material. Although the sound is rather tame for the first hour of the film, it is the second hour and the actual storm that sends your surround system into a frenzy. The amount of bass and LFE's are amazing and together with some awesome channel separation, and near continuous use of the rear channels by the raging storm, makes this film a remarkable piece of cinema to own on DVD. The soundtrack is also EX encoded, so if you are fortunate enough to own an EX equipped amplifier then you are in for a real treat.
The menu is nicely animated and scored with a great introduction section of the ship battling the raging storm. However, it is the unusually abundant, and wonderful, extras from Warner which take this disc from being good to excellent. It includes three, if a little brief, Documentaries and an enthusiastic Audio Commentary from director Wolfgang Petersen and Sebastian Junger.
It really makes you glad you are a land lover and respect must go out to those brave people of the rescue services who risk their lives going out in all weather. Together with a great set of extras and some great action, never mind the perfect storm, this is the perfect disc. Just don't forget to take your sea sickness pill first.
- Theatrical Trailer
- HBO First Look: Behind the Scenes Documentary
- Witness to the Storm: Recollections of the 1991 Events that Inspired the Book
- Creating an Emotion: Composer James Homer at Work
- Yours Forever: PhotoMontage Set to the Movie's Theme Song
- Commentary with Director Wolfgang Petersen
- Commentary with Sebastian Junger
- Conceptual Art Gallery with Commentary by Wolfgang Petersen
- Storyboard Gallery
- DVD-ROM Enhanced