This a good movie and I always welcome the chance to revisit it.
Ultimately, I think that I was expecting more from this "Extended Cut."
Crimson Tide is presented in this release in an extended unrated cut. While I haven't screened this film enough times to understand what is and isn't in the different cuts, I can appreciate the pacing of this submarine thriller as things seem a little more deliberate. The movie doesn't move as quick as I remember it moving but that had always been one of my problems with it.
Gene Hackman stars as Capt. Frank Ramsey who is the commanding officer of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Alabama. Things gets shaken up a bit when a new second in command Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington) comes aboard his ship. On a routine mission the Alabama gets word that a rogue Russian force has stolen some nuclear silos, and when the Alabama gets some messed up signals about how to engage them, things between Hunter and Ramsey get ugly. Two ideologies conflict to create one of the best military/sea movies I have seen in years.
Crimson Tide is one of those films that you watch as much for the action as for the dialogue.
Like I mentioned above, I am not so familiar with this movie that I missed what was cut against what wasn't. What I can say is that after watching this movie one way for so long, it was nice to be able to sit back and get reacquainted with it in regards to the supplemental features. I am still not too sure how big the audience for this film was (and currently is), but these deleted scenes were rare mainly because I hadn't had access to them before.
All Access: "On The Set of Crimson Tide" Featurette and "The Making Of Crimson Tide" Featurette
I decided to put both of these together because they are similar, interesting looks at how this movie got made. While nothing about the "making of" really illuminates too much about this movies production (that we can't readily see on the screen), there is just enough here to make this worth watching. Whether the actors are talking about the work, or other creative types are giving their two cents, these mini-movies do their best to incorporate as much as possible.
2.35:1 - Aspect Ratio. Tony Scott is the kind of director who makes big films with broad strokes. This movie was made before he started making his "confetti pictures." By that, I mean it seems like he doesn't trust his current material, so he undermines it with too many quick cuts and other choppy movements (see Domino). This movie features Scott as his best when he has merged a crushing soundtrack with tight, contained visuals.
Dolby Digital 5.1. As I mentioned above this movie has a crushing soundtrack. In fact, it works to great effect because it really pulls the viewer into the movie. I find that watching a film with this kind of audio makes for a visually arresting experience. Sometimes films that take place in submarines can really feel claustrophobic (oftentimes, that is their goal), but I never found that Crimson Tide lapsed into that at all.
Red and white are the primary colors on display here as we see the iconic faces of Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. Underneath them is an explosion as well as a shot of a submarine. The back cover of this DVD gives us some pictures from the movie, a description, a Special Features listing, and technical specs. Not the most amazing packaging but I guess the studio didn't feel the need to make this DVD stand out anymore than was necessary.
My biggest bone of contention with this release is I just think that if a company is going to go to all the trouble of rereleasing a movie (especially one as solid as Crimson Tide), I can't imagine why they wouldn't go more overboard with this release? Maybe they don't have the assets? Maybe they want to reap as much money as possible and pulling all the actors together for a bundle of extras would cost too much money? Whatever the reason, I think that it's probably not a good idea to rerelease a movie like this if you aren't going to give it the proper treatment it deserves.
Other than that, if you don't own any other version of this movie on DVD, you will most likely want to pick this one up. In it's new few form, Crimson Tide has a richness that sadly seemed like it was cut for monetary reasons (getting the maximum amount of screenings when it played theatrically) more than anything else.
Crimson Tide was released May 12, 1995.