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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Mask



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#1 of 5 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

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Posted December 23 2008 - 03:07 PM

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MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1May be in standard definitionAudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1; Dolby Digital: English 5.1, German 5.1Audio standards my varySubtitlesEnglish and GermanGerman (on select bonus material)

The Feature: 4/5
Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a walking door mat. Women take advantage of his kindness, his landlady regularly belittles him, and forget about him trying to get into the Coco Bongo, the city's most exclusive night club. All that changes though when he happens upon a mysterious mask that brings out its wearer's secret impulses. Not only is Stanley made more confident, he's given the ability to do anything his mind can conceive. Fortunately his inner self is simply a love-crazed prankster who can't stop thinking about the Coco Bongo's new lounge singer, Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). But her ambitious mafia thug boyfriend, Dorian (Peter Greene), is a different story. If he gets hold of the mask things will get ugly fast (starting with his face!), but it will force Stanley to finally be the Man, not just a guy relying on a magical artifact.

"The Mask" is a classic Jekyll and Hyde story filtered through the anarchic cartoonist Tex Avery. As such it was the perfect vehicle for the then-untested Carrey, who was more than loose-limbed and rubbery-faced for the cartoonish titular character, but also restrained enough to be sympathetic as Ipkiss. The film also had the distinction of introducing the world to gorgeous model-turned-actress Diaz, who - despite some flattering camera work - didn't need much help being unforgettable. And though the film's digital effects show their age technically, they continue to hold up narratively, making for a film that is as entertaining and funny as it was when it debuted. Though the studio hoped "The Mask" would begin another profitable film franchise (all that resulted was a poorly received "Son of..." sequel), the film has more than proven itself as an entertainment piece and star-making vehicle for its lead actors.


Video Quality: 3.5/5
Though labeled as 1.85:1 the blemish-free image fills the entirety of my 16x9 display. The picture's black levels are stable and inky; there are moments of slight black crush, but usually in the deepest shadow areas. Colors also have a nice depth and boldness, presenting the cartoonish elements nicely, and flesh tones appear accurate overall. Grain structure looks intact with no obvious signs of noise reduction; however, sharpness and fine object detail are rather variable. Still, absent signs of artificial edge enhancement, the image looks reasonably filmlike from start to finish.


Audio Quality: 3.5/5
The Dolby TrueHD audio track is primarily front-focused with some occasional activity in the surrounds for localized effects and music cues. Things sound a touch edgy in the upper frequencies and the front soundstage is pretty rigidly configured, but dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible and LFE is both deep and clean.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 option sounds a touch rough in comparison to the lossless track but I imagine most would only notice with aggressive A-B switching.


Special Features: 4/5
The special features package carries over all the items from the 2005 special edition DVD.

Commentary by Director Chuck Russell: Russell is systematic but enthusiastic in his solo track, offering an effective mix of background anecdotes, technical information and personal recollections.

Commentary by Director Chuck Russell, New Line Cinema Co-Chairman Bob Shaye, Writer Mike Werb, Executive Producer Mike Richardson, Producer Bob Engelman, Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Squires, Animation Supervisor Tom Bertino and Cinematographer John Leonetti: Edited together from separate interviews, the commentary track goes into greater detail about the source material, its adaptation and development into a film, and ILM's special effects work. Listeners should find the track informative and interesting, though the video pieces covering the same topics ultimately prove more easily digestable.

"Return to Edge City" (27m16s): The documentary covers the requisite talking points, including the film's comic book origins, motion picture adaptation, casting, digital effects and makeup.

"Introducing Cameron Diaz" (13m17s): A closer look at how casting agents found and cast Diaz.

"Cartoon Logic" (13m43s): A profile of Tex Avery's work, its influence on the film and the digital effects' incorporation of his cartoon style.

"What Makes Fido Run" (10m51s): The art of dog training and tricks.

Trailer (1m58s)

Additional Scenes (3m54s): Two scenes with optional commentary by Director Russell.


Recap

The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

An entertaining, star-making vehicle for Carrey and Diaz gets respectable treatment across the board, offering decent audio and video and carrying over the special features set from the DVD special edition.
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#2 of 5 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

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Posted December 24 2008 - 05:21 AM

Made an adjustment to the video rating after a second pass.
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#3 of 5 TonyD

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Posted December 26 2008 - 01:53 PM

i love this movie, it's too bad the audio on anything, has never matched the explosiveness of the laser disc
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#4 of 5 Ed St. Clair

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Posted December 31 2008 - 06:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
i love this movie, it's too bad the audio on anything, has never matched the explosiveness of the laser disc
So this BD does not match or best the LD either?
---------------------------
WoW
A blemish free image on a 14 yr old flick w/o DNR!
We should be this lucky ALL the time.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#5 of 5 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 03 2009 - 06:06 AM

So, Amazon is now selling this for $11.49 and I'm wondering if anyone owns this disc and are they happy with it?  The review is not what I'd call an enthusiastic endorsement.

Johnny
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