Tyrese Gibson stars in "WAIST DEEP" as a security guard with a past, trying to go straight. His world is turned upside down when his car is stolen, with his son asleep in the backseat. The rest of the film follows Gibson's plight to save his son from a dangerous man, holding the kid for ransom. Director Vondie Curtis Hall creates some fine tension, and the film moves along at a steady pace. Unfortunately, Hall attempts to thrown in social commentary that always feels forced. He's no Spike Lee! Gibson, the beautiful Megan Goode and a supporting cast, all provide fine performances, lifting the film above what could've easily become a "B" movie.
UNIVERSAL has provided a HD-DVD combo release with the hd-dvd on one side and the standard dvd on the opposite side. UNIVERSAL has reserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release. It's a well polished transfer on both formats, with the detail on the hd-dvd blowing away the standard dvd. Colors are outstanding on both formats. However, the remarkable detail also draws focus to the grain in more than a few scenes. Contrast is excellent.
UNIVERSAL has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix for the HD-DVD and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the standard dvd. It's a fairly aggressive mix, filled with directional effects and surround sound placed in key moments throughout the film. The mix is extremely bass heavy with the rap soundtrack taking the emphasis in many scenes. Dialogue is always intelligible and free of distortion, even amidst the loud score. The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix has a clear advantage in terms of fidelity over the standard dvd.
UNIVERSAL has included a lot of extras, all placed on the dvd side. The deleted scenes section actually offers two scenes that would've improved the film. It's a shame that they weren't included within the film as a director's cut.