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John Stockwell
Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown, Luke Tyler, Mark Elderkin, Thoko Ntshinga, Sizwe Msutu
Writing Credits:
Ronnie Christensen, Amy Sorlie (story)

In Shark Alley, courage runs deep.

Kate (Halle Berry) is a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. Once dubbed "the shark whisperer," Kate is haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water. With bills piling up and the bank about to foreclose on Kate's boat, Kate's old flame Jeff (Olivier Martinez) presents her with a lucrative opportunity: lead a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive ... outside the cage. Battling her self-doubts and fear, Kate accepts the proposal - and sets a course for the world's deadliest feeding ground: Shark Alley.

Box Office:
$25 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 114 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 4/24/2012

• Previews and Trailer


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

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Dark Tide [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 22, 2012)

Someday I’d love to see a shark movie that equals – or even betters – 1975’s Jaws. However, after 37 years, that film has seen no rival – and it’s not even close, as the vast majority of the other shark flicks have been pretty awful.

Today’s failed competitor: 2012’s direct-to-video adventure Dark Tide. Marine biologist Kate Mathieson (Halle Berry) specializes in “free dives” with sharks – ie, she swims outside of a cage and gets up close and personal with the beasts. This goes awry during one dive, and her assistant Themba (Sizwe Msutu) gets chomped up good.

Traumatized by this event, Kate abandons the shark business; she still takes tourists on the sea, but only to see non-shark creatures. This doesn’t go well, so she finds herself in dire economic straits until her old partner/husband Jeff (Olivier Martinez) comes back on the scene.

Jeff brings her a British zillionaire named Brady (Ralph Brown) who offers her 100,000 Euros to enable him to swim outside the cage with sharks. Despite Kate’s better judgment, she desperately needs the money, so she reluctantly agrees to this arrangement. Alleged adventure ensues.

What happened to Berry’s career? 10 years ago, she won an Oscar and seemed poised to be an enduring star, but now, she’s perilously close to the “where are they now?” file. She’s not headlined a successful movie since… well, ever, as post-2002 efforts like Catwoman and Gothika failed to make much of a dent.

Now she’s stuck with fare like Tide, a film as anonymous as its title. It was a bad sign that I constantly forgot the name of the movie. Was it Dark Tide? Or Deep Tide? Or Deep Sea? Or Dark Sea?

How about Forgettable Shark-Based Nonsense? I knew I was in for a long 114 minutes as soon as we met Themba. Cautious mentor on the verge of retirement… hmm, what in the name of Danny Glover could go wrong? If this was Star Trek, Themba would wear a red shirt; Themba’s nothing but chum used for basic plot purposes, and the basic cliché nature of the role opens the film on a decidedly unpromising note.

Tide never rebounds from that lame beginning. With nearly two hours at its disposal, it needs to deliver good character development ala Jaws, a flick that created vivid, memorable personalities. Tide thinks it provides distinctive characters, but instead, it once again trades in clichés. You have the independent woman haunted by her past, the cocky rich guy who always gets his own way, the arrogant Frenchy, and so on. We don’t find a single original – or vaguely interesting – role among them.

Though Tide comes with a decent cast, none of them add anything to the proceedings. Berry seems vaguely embarrassed to be involved with the project, so she sleepwalks through the proceedings; she tends to be flat and stiff much of the time. On the other hand, Martinez and Brown veer in the other direction; they offer cartoony performances that don’t mesh with the film well.

In the end, Tide is too long, too slow and too boring. It feels like TV movie fodder and creates a dull attempt at an action-adventure flick.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B+/ Bonus D-

Dark Tide appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad image, but it seemed surprisingly bland at times.

Sharpness was the major inconsistent element. Though much of the presentation showed pretty good definition, more than a few shots came across as somewhat soft and fuzzy. While overall clarity was fine, these soft segments created some distractions. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes appeared absent. No signs of print flaws appeared.

Colors were generally fine. With many daylight exteriors, the movie had ample opportunity for appealing hues, and it often delivered these. However, colors occasionally looked a little flat, so they weren’t consistently strong. Blacks were reasonably deep and dark, but shadows could be iffy. I suspect the use of “day for night” filters created most of those issues, though. In the end, this was a watchable presentation but not one with the clarity and vivacity I expect from Blu-ray.

On the other hand, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Dark Tide worked quite well. In particular, the mix created a fine sense of place for the aquatic environment. The audio placed us at sea in a satisfying way that helped open up the story well. Other atmospheric bits fleshed out the spectrum well, and the film’s action moments added a jolt. The five speakers received ample use in this involving soundscape.

Audio quality was generally fine. Though some lines suffered from awkward looping, the material remained intelligible and without edginess or other flaws. Music was bright and bold, while effects showed good vivacity and punch. This ended up as a solid “B+” soundtrack.

The disc opens with ads for Open Water, Brothers, Monster’s Ball, Killers, Margin Call and Endgame. These pop up under Also From Lionsgate as well, and we get the trailer for Tide, too.

Given the natural drama that comes with shark movies, how can Deep Tide be so darned dull? It boasts a minor twist – “outside the cage” divers who try to get close to sharks – but it does little with its potential and ends up as a weak entry in its genre. The Blu-ray delivers very good audio, but picture seems mediocre and we get virtually no supplements. I want to like movies like this but just can’t find anything entertaining in this anonymous, generic effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
0 3:
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