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?
I saw this on Blu-ray about a decade ago and haven’t seen it since. Of course, things have changed and with the advent of 4K we all knew this one was coming. And it looks good, really good. This is about as bright and colorful movie as one could imagine and the 1.85:1 HEVC 4K image along with HDR really do a great job of bringing out the detail and color in the picture. The film has a nice veneer to it, giving it a true film-like quality (ironic, I know). But this is one of those modern films that really has benefitted from the 4K upgrade.
Audio: How does it sound?
The TrueHD mix found on the Blu-ray has been replaced by a new Dolby Atmos mix. The 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.
Supplements: What are the extras?
All of the legacy supplements from the Blu-ray are here (found on the BD disc, obviously). It’s a shame nothing new was included, but given the upgraded audio and video, we’ll give it a pass.
- How’s It Going to End? The Making of The Truman Show – A pretty interesting, if not a tad pedestrian, “making of…” featurette that has all the tales that we’re used to, talking heads, some behind the scenes footage and so on.
- Faux Finishing: The Visual Effects of The Truman Show – Essentially just that. We get a look at some of the visual and practical effects used in the film.
- Deleted Scenes – I think the film has stood well enough on its own that these were wisely cut.
- Theatrical Trailers/Television Spots
The Bottom Line
This one has aged pretty well. A movie about reality TV just a few years before the “reality TV” boom hit was somewhat of a prophecy. Or maybe just good timing. Carrey was great in the role, but I feel he should play to his strengths. Paramount’s disc has benefitted from a Dolby Atmos upgrade as well as an improved 4K image.