Discs Are Rated
The Mask: New Line Platinum Series
review by Eric Dahl
Studio: New Line
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Starring: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Greene, Amy
Written by Mike Werb, Michael Fallon, and Mark
Directed by Charles (Chuck) Russell
Features: Commentary with Director Charles Russell,
Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer, Cast & Crew
Disc Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.33:1
Pan-and-Scan, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0
Once upon a time, there was an unknown actress who had
all the talent in the world and an unbelievably beautiful
complexion to go with it. The only, and most important,
thing she didn't have was a debut film to thrust her into
the limelight. In Hollywood terms, this, of course, means
mucho-$$$ potential, so the execs at New Line Pictures
decided to pair her up with up-and-coming actor Jim Carrey,
who had struck box office gold twice earlier that same year
in the comedic hits "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "Dumb
and Dumber". The film went on to become a big hit (Grossing
$320.9 million worldwide with an $18 million budget) and
thrust star Jim Carrey even further into Hollywood fame.
What about the girl? Well, I guess you could say that
Carrey's co-star Cameron Diaz has met with modest success so
far in her career. (*wink, wink*) Aww, who are we kidding
here? After "The Mask", Cameron Diaz became one of the most
famous (and bankable) stars in Hollywood history, but even
with her newfound superstardom, she still remembers her
humble past, acting in "The Mask", when interviewed.
"The Mask" tells the story of self-proclaimed hopeless
romantic Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a simple banker who's
hardly a hit with the ladies. Enter blonde bombshell, and
singer at the new Coco Bongo nightclub, Tina Carlyle
(Cameron Diaz), who turns Stanley's world upside down.
Stanley falls head-over-heels in love with Tina, but knows
that it won't lead anywhere because of her high profile and
his geek demeanor. Then Stanley found The Mask. The Mask was
a green objectification of the Greek god of michief, Loki,
placed in America by the Vikings after they apparently had
some trouble with it. [Writer's Note: The beforementioned
scene was cut, and can be found in the deleted scenes
section of the DVD.] Stanley puts the mask on, and BOOM,
he's the complete opposite of what he used to be.
I'm not going to give away any of the plot after this,
but what ensues are some of the funniest scenes I've ever
seen Jim Carrey do (IMHO, his absolute best was the
brilliant "The pen is blue" scene from 1997's "Liar, Liar").
This is a hilarious film and must be seen if you're a Jim
Carrey fan. Even if you're just in the mood for a good
comedy, "The Mask" is always good for a rent.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Pan-and-Scan are on
opposite sides of the disc. I didn't review the Pan-and-Scan
side (Who would watch it, anyway, when you have the
Widescreen available to you?), but the widescreen side was
in a word, beautiful. The blacks were solid in the nighttime
scenes, and the color was well defined and never
oversaturated. The production designers on this film must be
applauded, because this has got to be, apart from the
nighttime scenes, one of the most colorful movies I've ever
seen. From The Mask's yellow zoot suit, to the interior of
the Coco Bongo nightclub, this is one colorful transfer,
just short of reference quality.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound track is well done. The LFE
channel is used mostly in thunderstorms and the like, but is
adequate for the material presented. The surrounds are also
pretty inactive, except for the score, until the Coco Bongo
jitterbug scene between Carrey and Cameron Diaz and the
"Cuban Pete" music number, when the whole 5.1 spectrum is
used extremely well and shines.
The features are very good, given that the disc is a New
Line Platinum Series disc. The included extras are a
Commentary with Director Chuck Russell, Two Deleted Scenes,
Theatrical Trailer, and Cast and Crew Biographies.
The Commentary with Director Chuck Russell is funny,
entertaining, and insightful. It's probably one of the best
commentaries I've ever heard, (the best being "Austin
Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"'s which seems infinitely
replayable to me,) and director Russell seems to be having
fun remembering shooting the movie. In my favorite moment,
explains how Jim Carrey improvised one of the funniest
little bits in the whole movie.
The Two Deleted Scenes are mixed in my mind. The first
deleted scene, showing how the mask got to America through
the Vikings, is one of the scenes that absolutely should
have kept in the movie. It's funny, and adds development to
how exactly the mysterious mask of Loki got to Edge City.
The second, however, which shows the death of reporter Peggy
Brandt, (don't worry, she survives in the Theatrical Cut, so
it's not like I'm giving plot points away,) which has got to
be the most absurd, albeit comic book-ish, scenes that could
have been, and is a worthy deletion.
The Theatrical Trailer is pretty standard, as are the
Cast and Crew Biographies.
All in all, "The Mask: Platinum Collection" is a tight
little package. The movie, while not a masterpiece in any
way, shape, or form, is a fun watch whether you're eight or
eighty. This DVD is definitely worth picking up, either for
good if you're a genre fan, or for a Saturday night rent if
you just want something funny to watch.
(3/5, NOT included in
NOT an average)