The Truman Show - Special Edition Studio: Paramount Year: 1998 Rated: PG Length: 102 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Audio: Dolby Digital English 5.1, English, French 2.0 English Subtitles Closed Captioned Special Features: 2 Part "making of" documentary, visual effects featurette, deleted scenes, trailers, photo gallery Suggested Retail Price: $19.99 USD Release Date: August 23, 2005 The Feature I’m not a Jim Carrey fan. There. I’ve said it. But even I can’t refute that Jim Carrey delivered a wonderful performance as Truman Burbank. Truman lived what seemed an idealistic life. He lived in a picturesque community, had a loving wife and a good job, good friends. But Truman slowly came to realize that something wasn’t right. Everything wasn’t right. His wife, his family, his town. He decided to leave, but everything he did to further his attempt met with obstacles. He simply could not leave the island. He began to feel like he was being watched. He was right. Truman was the star of his own television show - only he didn’t know. Carrey’s neurotic approach to acting is a perfect fit for Truman, and he played it perfectly - strangely, but not over the top. Laura Linney as Truman’s wife, and Noah Emmerich as his best friend add nice color to the tv town. Ed Harris is the egotistical God-playing creator of the show, Christof. The film is kind of quirky by design, and prophetic of the unfortunate “reality” fad to hit the TV networks a few years later. Written by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), the film presents us with a technological marvel (a domed television set the size of an entire city), thrusts unwitting characters into the technological milieu, and leaves us, the audience to question the ethics, the right and wrong. In that respect, the film parallels Gattaca, exploring the same themes in a completely different setting. We do see other characters in the film questioning the ethics of Christof’s show, but most just go along - or become caught up in the whole thing - wondering, “How’s it Going to End?” Picture and Sound The Truman Show is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (estimated) and is anamorphically enhanced. The print used for the transfer is very clean, showing only an occasional rare speck. The picture features acceptable sharpness and detail, but is ever so slightly softened - possibly due to noise reduction, AA filtering, or the like. Color saturation is absolutely beautiful - “hyper-realistic,” I believe, is the look they were going for. Contrast is very nice. Black levels are solid, while preserving detail in shadows. Some white highlights are slightly blown, but I don’t really recall if this was part of the original presentation. I saw no noticeable compression artifacts, although there is some very slight ringing around high contrast borders - it is only occasionally visible. A scene at 03:24 displays a mild shimmer or shake for a few seconds, but it is mild and not a pervasive issue. Very nice, overall. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is nice, offering a full range of frequencies and crystal clear dialog. Music is nicely expressed. Excellent ambient effects are heard in the surrounds throughout the film. Whether on land or sea, the surround effects are well placed. Low frequency effects are adequate. How’s It Going To End? The Making of The Truman Show (Two parts, with a “Play All” feature) Totaling over 40 minutes, this “making of” documentary features Peter Weir, Edward Feldman, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, and Laura Linney. Unfortunately, Jim Carrey’s inclusion is limited, and appears to be cut from a single period interview. The documentary is anamorphically enhanced, and is well shot and edited. The piece covers everything from script revisions, casting, characterizations, direction, location shooting, set design and cinematography. Much is made of how prophetic the film turned out to be, with the “reality TV” fad only a few years away. This is an enjoyable documentary, but there is the noticeable lack of contemporary contributions by Carrey. I’d also really like to have seen some input by Andrew Niccol. Faux Finishing: The Visual Effects of The Truman Show Lasting under 15 minutes, this short featurette explores the “hyper-realistic” look of the film, and how it was achieved through a mix of traditional and digital approaches. Deleted Scenes (with a “play all” feature) Product Placement Truman Suspicious The Future Cast Meeting Truman Missing Total running time: 13:08 Photo Gallery 40 images, mostly on-the-set shots during production, with a few stills from the film. Trailers Teaser Trailer (1:52) Theatrical Trailer (2:33) The trailers are not anamorphically enhanced. TV Spots Two spots with a “Play All” feature. Previews Airplane: Don’t Call Me Shirley Edition Tommy Boy: Holy Schnikes Edition The John Wayne Collection MacGyver Final Thoughts The Truman Show is an interesting film - and much more so today, I think, than when it was made. Re-watching the film for the first time since its theatrical release, I can definitely say I appreciated it more than when I saw it originally. What was prophetic when the film was made has, to a limited extent, come to pass in real life. It is difficult to remember that there really was no “reality TV” until a few years after this film was made. The transfer is a good one, if not perfect. The 40 minute “making of,” 12 or so minute special effects featurette and deleted scenes add to the value of this release. Recommended.