What if you could live your life in a movie or television show? What if you didn’t know your life was a television show? Nothing is real. You can’t leave the town you grew up in; your best friend and wife are actors, as are everyone you come in contact with or see across the street. In The Truman Show, that is precisely how Truman Burbank lives his life 24/7, 365 days a year. And the world watches his life on television without him knowing.
For the most part, almost all of The Truman Show comes from Carrey’s limited perspective. His slow discovery of the deception of his surroundings—in which directors manipulate everything to cultivate contentment, fear, drama, and product placement—makes for compelling viewing. If nothing else, it allows for appreciating the cleverness of the film’s set-up. But that’s it. The film itself is, just like the world it portrays, shallow. Nevertheless, the film shows that Carrey can play dramatic and comedic roles.
The role of Truman Burbank was a departure for Jim Carrey. At the time, people knew him for his goofy, comedic roles. Carrey’s performance was contemplative—displaying a range of emotions from joy to sadness and longing. Not only that, but he pulls it off very well. Ed Harris has a commanding presence on screen. Audiences have seen him playing characters in authoritative positions numerous times, and this is no exception. Laura Linney and Holland Taylor as Truman’s wife and mother, respectively, Blu-ray’svide much impact in the film.
Overall, The Truman Show tries too hard to be profound about the evils of television. The concept is intriguing and timeless—especially nowadays. However, the director and writers don’t do enough to develop the idea. Yet, the incomparable Jim Carrey carries the film and finally shows he can do serious stuff—marrying comic skills to human emotion with a striking performance.
Movie Review: 3/5 atoms
The Truman Show hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a native upscaled 4K, HEVC / H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR10 presentation with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The brightness is tremendous, giving prominence to the highlights. Elements like lightning flashes, metallic glints, etc., benefit and never bloom. The black levels are rich and deep to provide depth to the frame, bringing out the natural colorings. Dolby Vision showcases a beautiful natural glow to the image. It’s not bold and has vivid hues that scorch your retinas. The clean, bright picture is rife with detail, from skin texture and clothing weaves to roofing tiles and windows over the town landscape. The computer terminals and TV monitors in the control room, newspaper print, grass blades, ads, and raindrop has clean edges everywhere. There’s not a hint of softness.
Video Review: 4.5/5 atoms
The Truman Show hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos or a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio presentation if Atmos is not supported. This review will cover the Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos mix. Adding a Dolby Atmos mix is always welcome to Ultra HD releases—even for a film such as this, which may be overkill. While it is overkill and most of the mix is somewhat reserved, there are moments where the Atmos shows its might. Effects, such as street noise, office chatter, wind, and rain, are handled by surround and overhead channels, giving a good sense of immersion. Dolby Atmos track opens up the surround channels to provide excellent separation. Phillip Glass’ score comes through wonderfully and with vibrant energy, using the speakers well. Dialogue is clear and precise, never getting lost, and prioritized to the front channels.
Audio Review: 4.5/5 atoms
The Truman Show has no bonus features on the Ultra HD disc. However, the following bonus features can be found on the HD Blu-ray disc:
- How’s It Going to End? The Making of The Truman Show
- Faux Finishing: The Visual Effects of The Truman Show
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spots
The Truman Show releases with the same extras as previous home releases. Instead, we get two dull featurettes, several unimportant deleted scenes, and a group of trailers and TV spots. That’s it. As you can tell, there’s not much else worth diving into.
Special Features Review: 2/5 atoms
Overall, The Truman Show is a fantastic showcase highlighting Jim Carrey’s dramatic skills. Unfortunately, the film itself is as shallow as the world it portrays. The video and audio presentations are fantastic, but the bonus features are still severely lacking.
Overall Review: 3.5/5 atoms
The Truman Show is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
This Blu-ray was provided by Paramount Home Media Distribution for review purposes.