Plot: What’s it about?
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is the most famous person in the world, as he stars in the most watched television show across the globe. But you’d never know he was a huge star, based on his daily routines and behavior. That is because Truman has no idea he is a well known persona, as he stars in his own reality show that has tracked his entire life. His world is an isolated bubble of sorts, filled with elements from the real world, but still just a massive studio back lot. But when Truman starts to notice some production errors, he wonders if there is more to his life than he suspects. He asks his friends, family, and his wife about his concerns, but as actors, they simply try to get him back on script. As he begins to question the world he lives in, his show takes off in a whole new direction, but how will it end?
This isn’t the typical Jim Carrey movie, which is perhaps why it was better than his usual output. The Truman Show is high concept, with a big idea that could have branched off in numerous directions. Instead of going for that approach, this rich premise is explored on a fairly linear path, so some potential is bypassed. At the same time, the focus on a singular theme allows the film to be tight and concise. The Truman Show doesn’t have much wasted breath as a result and given that Carrey’s performance is shaky at best, that was probably a wise decision. I know some rave about Carrey, but I rarely see the appeal and in this case, I can think of a dozen actors off the top of my head who would have enhanced The Truman Show. He is passable here, but his lack of depth is obvious and the film suffers thanks to his presence in such a large role. The Truman Show is a perfect rental, the kind of movie you’ll watch once and soon forget about.
Video: How does it look?
The Truman Show is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this catalog release, but Paramount has delivered and in spades. The visuals here are striking, with so much more subtle detail and depth than on DVD, the upgrade here is immense. In truth, it was like seeing the film in the theater again, as this was such a clearer, more detailed image from start to finish. The colors look great too, with bright and vivid hues, while contrast is stark and consistent. In the end, this is a superb, natural, and film-like visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is solid, but doesn’t stand out as memorable. Only one scene really comes to mind in terms of audio and it is well done, but the rest of the film is rather reserved. So surround use isn’t a major component here, but then again, the dialogue driven material doesn’t need it, so no real loss. The music sounds excellent however and proves to be the most active element. No issues with vocals either, smooth dialogue is on tap and not a single line is lost. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes an insightful two-part featurette about the film’s production, a brief look at the movie’s special effects, some deleted scenes, two television spots, and two of the film’s theatrical trailers.