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When THE TRUMAN SHOW ($30) hit the theaters I didn't want to go anywhere near the film. Perhaps my reluctance to see the film centered on one burning question: would THE TRUMAN SHOW turn out to be just another obnoxious Jim Carrey movie, or is it going to be a real film from director Peter Weir? After viewing THE TRUMAN SHOW, I would have to say that director Weir gets the upper hand in this very original film. However, I will admit the Carrey's restrained performance paints him in a different light, showing his growth as a performer.

For those few of you out there that have no idea what THE TRUMAN SHOW is about, the plot of the film concerns Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), a young man who has been the unwitting star of a live television show since his birth. "The Truman Show" is on television 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Truman is under the scrutiny of the camera all the time, yet he is completely unaware that the world is watching his every move. Truman is also completely unaware that every member of his family, as well as everyone else he encounters in his day-to-day existence, are all actors performing for the camera.

Every facet of Truman’s life is nothing more than an illusion; even the seaside community in which Truman lives is a massive soundstage with an artificial sun, moon and ocean. Within Truman’s artificial world, there is the unseen godlike presence Christof (Ed Harris). Christof is the visionary creator, director and driving force behind THE TRUMAN SHOW who controls every aspect of the artificial world, as well as Truman’s life. However, after a thirty year run, the unthinkable happens on THE TRUMAN SHOW. Christof’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble when Truman becomes aware that he is being watched... The cast of THE TRUMAN SHOW also features Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone and Holland Taylor.

Paramount Home Video has made THE TRUMAN SHOW available on DVD a very good-looking Letterboxed presentation that does not contain the 16:9 component for wide screen televisions. The Letterboxed transfer frames THE TRUMAN SHOW at 1.66:1, which appears to be the film's intended aspect ratio. THE TRUMAN SHOW is a marvelous looking DVD, even though it lacks the anamorphic enhancement. Image quality is nearly flawless, with a sharp highly detailed image. There were a couple of minor blemishes on the film element, which is surprising for a brand new movie. Colors are also nearly perfect; rendering the film's highly saturated hues without a trace of chroma noise. Digital compression artifacts never made their presence know on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a dependable mix that isn’t unnecessarily showy. Surrounds are effectively deployed, providing ambience as well as more active sound effects. The forward sonic environment is expansive, yet the track has very a very natural tonal quality. Additionally, English and French Dolby Surround soundtracks have been encoded into the DVD, as have English subtitles.

The interactive menus have a terrific interface with sound and full motion video. Through the menus one can access the standard scene and language selection features, as well as two theatrical trailers.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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