The Mask-Platinum Series

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a mild mannered bank clerk, who seems to have the worst luck when it comes to dealing with people. People abuse him, walk all over him, and use him, and he has very little choice or say in the matter? Why doesn’t he just speak up and voice his opinion? Well, that’s not the type of guy Stanley is…he’s a wimp. After an almost endless streak of bad luck, Stanley ends up stranded by a river, where he discovers an unusual mask floating in the waters. When he gets home, he is tempted to try the mask on, but decides better of it, at least for a few minutes. Despite his dog Milo’s barks of warning, Stanley puts the mask on, and in a tornado of change, he becomes a living cartoon of sorts. He can do all the things his favorite cartoon characters can do, and all the things he’s afraid to do as himself. Even though he did the actions as The Mask, the consequences remain for Stanley, and he has to keep a few steps ahead of the authorities. But when Stanley crosses a local tough guy and his gang by flirting with his girl, he needs to succeed as himself in order to save the day.

Of course, this is a Jim Carrey movie, so those who don’t like his style will find little to like here. The movie is based on the cult comic book, although the movie isn’t as mean or violent as the comic pages were. The overall theme of the comic book is captured well though, just in more of a comical vibe than the black visions of the comic. Aside from the presence of Carrey, the visuals take precedence, with some unique and amazing special effects. These effects are very over the top in nature, but are executed in perfect fashion, and the movie’s comic book theme is helped immensely by them. Some of my favorite effects involve Milo the dog, and are very humorous indeed. The special effects are only a part of the visual approach however, with lighting, shadows, and color scheme all playing vital roles in bringing the comic book feel to the film. The effort shows with the finished product, which is visually stunning at times. If you’re a Jim Carrey fan, this movie is a no brainer for you, but I recommend this film to all other readers as well, unless you despise Carrey’s antics. The disc is very well done also, and would make a fine addition to any film collection.

As I mentioned above, this is a special effects laden Jim Carrey vehicle, which is either good or bad, depending on how you view Carrey’s talents. While Carrey shows some subtle signs of acting skill, he relies on the tried and true voices and facial expressions that have made him a star. He seems the perfect choice for a human cartoon, and I even heard Carrey’s movements were so rubbery and fluid, he saved the production some cash on special effects. Carrey (Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) does what he does best here, and fans will not want to miss this performance. It’s worth mentioning that Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary, Feeling Minnesota) makes her acting debut here, although how much actual acting is involved is another issue. The supporting cast for this film includes Peter Reigert (Oscar, Animal House), Timothy Bagley (Happy, Texas), Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Miami Rhapsody), Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction, Blue Streak), and Richard Jeni (Burn Hollywood Burn).

Video: How does it look?

The Mask is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This is one of New Line’s very few non anamorphic titles, but the visuals are still impressive. This movie is basically a live action comic book, and as such the visuals are drenched in colors. The hues are vivid and rich, but never bleed or become oversaturated, which is no easy task for a visual transfer. The black levels keep up the pace, with natural shadow layering and no serious detail loss. Aside from some very minor shimmering, no compression troubles emerge.

Audio: How does it sound?

A Dolby Digital 5.1 track is implemented for audio, and this track will have your system firing on all cylinders. There are some amazing spatial effects, and the subtle surround use is also excellent. The soundtrack has a very rich texture, but never overshadows the other elements. With all the audio dynamite, the dialogue manages to clear a path, and every word can be heard with great clarity and separation.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc has some very nice supplements, even if a bit lacking compared to other Platinum Series releases. There are two deleted scenes, including an excellent scene where we find out some history about the mask itself. A running commentary by director Charles Russell is also included, and the track is quite good, with some interesting information about the production. Talent files and the theatrical trailer round out the bonus materials.

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