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THE TRUMAN SHOW ($30) marked a turning point in Jim Carrey’s movie career. This collaboration with director Peter Weir paints Carrey in a completely different light than his earlier leading performances. THE TRUMAN SHOW really showed Carrey’s growth as an actor and that he was capable of far more than over the top comic antics. With this seemingly understated performance, Carey shows tremendous depth - so much so, that many were genuinely surprised when the actor was snubbed at Oscar time. For my money, THE TRUMAN SHOW represents Carey’s best work this side of his performance in Frank Darabont’s vastly underrated THE MAJESTIC.

For those of you out there that have no idea what THE TRUMAN SHOW is about, the plot of the film concerns Truman Burbank (Carrey), a young man who has been the unwitting star of a live television show since his birth. "The Truman Show" is on television 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Truman is under the scrutiny of the camera all the time, yet he is completely unaware that the world is watching his every move. Truman is also completely unaware that every member of his family, as well as everyone else he encounters in his day-to-day existence, are all actors performing for the camera. Every facet of Truman’s life is nothing more than an illusion; even the seaside community in which Truman lives is a massive soundstage with an artificial sun, moon and ocean. Within Truman’s artificial world, there is the unseen godlike presence Christof (Ed Harris). Christof is the visionary creator, director and driving force behind THE TRUMAN SHOW who controls every aspect of the artificial world, as well as Truman’s life. However, after a thirty year run, the unthinkable happens on THE TRUMAN SHOW. Christof’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble when Truman becomes aware that he is being watched... The cast of THE TRUMAN SHOW also features Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Paul Giamatti, Harry Shearer, Philip Baker Hall and Holland Taylor.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made THE TRUMAN SHOW available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. For a ten-year-old film, the 1080p presentation produces a generally pleasing picture. Image sharpness, clarity and fine detail are very impressive, especially in close ups. Medium and long shots can come across somewhat softer, but not to any significant degree. Also, the fact that the cinematography mimics hidden cameras does add a few odd quirks to the image. Some shots also show a certain fullness to the actors’ faces that doesn’t seem quite right, indicating a mild distortion the geometry of the image. Colors appear bright, nicely saturated and attractive. The blacks and whites are just fine. Contrast and shadow detail are solid and all they need to be for this kind of material. The film elements do show occasional blemishes, but not to any excessive degree. Mild grain is noticeable throughout the presentation.

THE TRUMAN SHOW is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. For the most part, THE TRUMAN SHOW comes with a dialogue driven dramady mix. Much of the sound is localized to the forward soundstage, although the rears add a good deal of atmospherics and fill. There are certain moments where the sound design becomes more lively, so the is better engagement of the outlying channels. Fidelity gets a respectable boost from the lossless encode, so the music has a nice presence and the sound effects are pretty realistic. The bottom end of the track has weight, but is not artificially boomy. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. The main supplement is How’s It Going To End? The Making Of The Truman Show, which is a forty-two minute program that features interviews with the primary cast &crew, as well as providing a look at the production. Faux Finishing: The Visual Effects Of The Truman Show is a self-explanatory thirteen minutes. Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots and a Photo Gallery close out the supplements.

For my money THE TRUMAN SHOW represents one of Jim Carrey’s best films and movie performances. The Blu-ray presentation is generally pleasing, despite some quirks. Recommended with mild reservations.



The Truman Show [Blu-ray] (1998)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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