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The Truman Show

review by Zach B.

 

Rated PG

Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris

Written by Andrew Niccol

Directed by Peter Weir

 

Retail Price: 29.99

Features: Theatrical Trailers

Specs: 1.85:1 Non Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Captions, Chapter Search

 

What if you lived every single day of your life on television, but you didn't know it? That's the concept of "The Truman Show", a box office hit which many thought was snubbed of some major awards at Oscar time (namely Jim Carrey's brilliant performance). I felt this movie was a bit overrated, but please don't get me wrong, I think this movie is very well executed and shows the evils of manipulation and exploitation.

Carrey is Truman Burbank, a man who leads a normal life. He has a job, a loving wife, a family and a very friendly community. Yet what Truman does not know is that it's all fake, and that his town is really a massive Hollywood studio. He is monitored every single second of the day, and all of it broadcast live to a worldwide audience. There are cameras in his bathroom, car, all over his town. Yet one day, when a stage light falls out the sky, Truman begins to wonder, to question, which will lead him to deep revelations about his life and what exactly is going on. Yet watching every move is the mysterious Christof (Ed Harris, who is top notch here), the creator and director of the program.

"The Truman Show" is filled with some laughs, but the dramatic aspects of it really overpower it. Peter Weir's direction is very good, making this seem quite real, and Andrew Niccol's script is very sharp. The musical score fits perfectly and is really catchy, and the performances are top notch. The film brings up very good points about using others and manipulation. While I feel this film was a bit too overpraised, it's still a very good film and deserves to be in anyone's collection.

"The Truman Show" is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen, with an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (Weir's perferred aspect ratio). It's a very nice transfer. Detail is very solid, and the colors are nice, but I felt they were a bit unsaturated at times. It's too bad this movie was one of the earlier Paramount titles, and is not 16x9 enhanced. I did notice an artifact now and then, too.

 

The movie has a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, in addition to Dolby Surround in English and French. The 5.1 track is decent. The movie is pretty much dialogue driven, but there are some effects now and then which make it above average. There are some loud noises, ocean wave crashes and the beautiful musical score which really make it come to life.

Paramount is never too good in this sections, usually providing very basic materials. Here you'll find two theatrical trailers, one a teaser and the other a full one. It's quite a shame too, I would have really loved a commentary. This movie deserves more.

 

This disc makes up for it all in presentation, though it's too bad the extras are lacking. A very good movie which is worthy to be in your video library, "The Truman Show" delivers in the end.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(3.5/5)

(1/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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