New Release: Sanctum DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

SanctumAlthough James Cameron’s Avatar hasn’t yet made it out on Blu-ray 3D for wide purchase, available only in bundles with Panasonic hardware, the filmmaker who’s one of 3D’s biggest fans saw his next movie released on Blu-ray 3D the same date it hits the regular formats. Sanctum arrived on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on June 7, 2011, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

The underwater adventure movie wasn’t a big hit in theaters, grossing only $23 million in wide release, but it bowed with mixed reviews and the knowledge that although Cameron’s name was on the poster, he was producing, not directing. Helming duties were done by Alister Grierson in only his second feature film after the action movie Kokoda in 2006.

Sanctum also didn’t have any big name stars to entice viewers, like The Tourist did with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Not to say Sanctum doesn’t have recognizable actors, they’re just more the “ah, that guy” variety, including Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing) and Ioan Gruffold (Fantastic Four).

Still, Sanctum has the kind of premise that has promise for tense, claustrophobic action and drama: A team of underwater cave divers are in the largest and least accessible cave system on Earth when a tropical storm hits (of course). They’re forced deep into the caverns and are soon cut off and must find a new way out or die.

Critics mostly agreed that the problem with Sanctum is the script (the first feature by co-writers Andrew Wight and John Garvin), but many also said the film did deliver in the tension category. You can be the judge in June if this is your sort of movie.

All three disc versions of the film include these special features:

  • commentary by Grierson
  • commentary with Wight
  • commentary with actor Rhys Wakefield
  • deleted and extended scenes (in high-definition on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D)
  • and the three-part making-of “Sanctum: The Real Story” (in high-definition on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D)

The Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D also have:

  • a downloadable digital copy of the film
  • Nullarbor Dreaming, a documentary that follows a team of cave divers exploring a giant cave system in western Australia
  • and Universal’s usual Blu-ray features of BD-Live, My Scene, UHear, MyMovies rental app and PocketBlu, which allows smartphones to interact with the Blu-ray.

Here’s the film’s trailer:


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.