trumanshowbluPeter Weir’s ‘The Truman Show’ is a special little gem that was nominated for 3 Oscars. At first glance this is a film that could be overlooked just because Jim Carrey is the star. With Jim Carrey, it means zany off the wall comedy. His act had started running a bit dry by the late 90’s. This is one of the more serious roles for the comedic actor. This is a film that is still great nearly 10 years later, even though the story is rather simple. ‘The Truman Show’ was a huge success at the box office with a worldwide total gross of $248 million dollars.

What makes ‘The Truman Show’ so rather interesting is that we see what is to come in a few years with the emergence of reality TV. We get a glimpse in 1998 of how reality TV was going to change the world of entertainment. Was it intentional, was it by mistake, only Hollywood knows the answer. Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) whom is an insurance salesman also happens to be the star of the most popular television show on TV. The show has been on the air for 30 years and is broadcast 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The show actually began with Truman’s birth, so the show has been following him around for many years.

Truman is not the only one involved, his television wife Meryl (Laura Linney) and his friend Marlon (Noah Emmerich) are also characters of this show. Truman doesn’t know one little detail, all these actors and actresses are not family, friends, or his wife. The make believe community of Seahaven feels so real to Truman that he never questions life until one day when he is driving in his car. On his way to work in the car, Truman is listening to the radio and hears someone talk about how he is being watched.

This puts Truman on a quest to find out about his past and how this has all come about. He makes several attempts to get off the island of Seahaven, but is not successful. Truman waits till nightfall to set sail so he can finally discover who he is and his true purpose in life.

At the time before “reality TV” took off, this film really showed us a glimpse of what was to come in the near future. Two television shows ‘Cops’ and ‘The Real World’ in the 90’s brought “reality TV” to the forefront. The genre wouldn’t take off until the 2000’s. The film is put together very well with intrigue and conspiracy thrown in the mix. Imagine living in a world like this and having to come to terms that you have been watched by an entire world for 30 years.
Movie Content: 4.5/5

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Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This is one beautiful restoration and a huge upgrade over the DVD version. Colors are bold and rich providing a colorful image throughout. Details are also very good providing some excellent depth. The print is pristine from any issues as some of the recent Paramount catalogue releases have had some white specs. Paramount is starting to become the leader in Blu-ray releases this Fall 2008.
Video Quality: 4.5/5

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. While the film is dialogue driven, the surrounds are fairly active with the music from the soundtrack. For a drama based film, I was rather impressed with the audio presentation. ‘Truman Show’ provides a very nice atmospheric experience. Dialogue is well placed through the center channel with a clean presentation.
Audio Quality: 4/5

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Special Features

  • How’s It Going To End? The Making of The Truman Show Part I (23:24)
  • How’s It Going To End? The Making of The Truman Show Part II (18:22)
  • Faux Finishing: The Visual Effects of The Truman Show (13:16)
  • 4 Deleted Scenes (13:09)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Teaser Trailer (1:54)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:35)
  • 2 TV Spots

Paramount ports over all of the special features from the Special Edition DVD which was released a few years ago. All special features are presented in standard definition.
Special Features: 4/5

Final Thoughts

‘The Truman Show’ is an excellent film that really surprised me with its top notch story and performances. I look at this film as the prelude to the “Reality TV’ explosion of the 2000’s. I highly recommend this film on Blu-ray with excellent video and audio quality. If you own any of the DVD versions of the film, it is time to give it to a family member or friend and upgrade to the Blu-ray.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (Purchase)