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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Truman Show (25th Anniversary) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A man starts to realize his entire life is one elaborate reality show.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

1998’s The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol, was the film that was meant to allow comedic actor Jim Carrey to stretch his dramatic acting chops.

Truman Burbank (Carrey) is a 30-year-old insurance salesman who is unaware that his entire life in his idyllic town of Seahaven is a 24-hour reality TV show. From his birth to his present, Truman’s life has played out in front of high-tech hidden cameras inside a massive set with everyone surrounding him from his best friend Marlon (Noah Emmerich) to his wife Meryl (Laura Linney), all being actors meant to aid in the elaborate ruse. They are there to keep him pacified when he starts having dreams of leaving Seahaven for a trip to Fiji, where a girl he once had a crush on, Lauren (Natascha McElhone), was supposedly taken away to by her father. Obviously, what Truman does not know is Lauren was herself an actor, but she wanted to make him aware that his life was not real.

The creators of the show, including the eccentric director Christof (Ed Harris), have developed elaborate means to keep Truman put, from having his “father” drown in a storm in front of him when he was a child, thereby making him fear the water, to coordinating traffic jams. Despite all the manipulations, Truman’s curiosity reaches a fever pitch and his determination to leave grows, putting him in an indirect showdown with Christof who will stop at nothing to keep his successful series going.

At the time, The Truman Show was an interesting allegory on the growing amount of technology in society and its control over our lives. Reality television had not yet broken out to such massive domination of the airwaves and social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, and SnapChat had not entered the popular culture yet. Looking back on Weir’s film, it still holds as a foreshadowing of things to come more than a warning. The floodgates have opened and there is no turning back. Carrey’s performance is unusually reserved but still likable. Here he has a naïve, everyman quality that is charming and one cannot help but feel and route for his success.

  • Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Peter Weir in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Laura Linney in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Ed Harris in The Truman Show (1998)
  • The Truman Show 4K Ultra HD Combo (Paramount)
  • The Truman Show 4K Ultra HD Combo (Paramount)

The Video

According to Paramount, The Truman Show “has been fully remastered using scans of the original negative, with the new 4K version approved by Weir.” It arrives in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision HDR encodement. The film was originally shot on slow, medium, and fast speed Eastman EXR 100T 5248, Kodak Vision 500T 5279, and EXR 200T 5293 35mm film stock. The new restoration and transfer looks organic. Some of the scenes are a tinge soft, but granularity remains true and filmic while detail is generally crisp. The color palette is natural, from the warm indoor scenes to the bent toward 1950s-inspired pastels. In the night scenes during the big storms, there is extended shadow detail and the 4K resolution really brings out the rain drops, while the Dolby Vision adds just enough ‘pop’ to the specular highlights in water and lamplight. The film has never really looked as good as it does in this release.

The Audio

The surprise on this release is the magnificently mixed Atmos track. It is not all aggressive sound effects throughout. It is well balanced for this film that uses a lot of dialogue, but it follows the natural dynamics of the film. The overhead channels come into play for storms or sounds of the radio, or even carrying the lush score. The surrounds are also put to good, judicious use for directional effects and atmosphere.

The Supplements

The Truman Show comes with a digital copy code and a Blu-ray with feature film and legacy bonus features.

Legacy Bonus Features on Blu-ray:

  • How’s It Going to End?  The Making of The Truman Show – Two-Part Documentary
  • Faux Finishing—The Visual Effects of The Truman Show
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots

The Final Assessment

This heartwarming classic from the 1990s holds up well as a film, spotlights Jim Carrey showing dramatic skills, and looks and sounds better than it ever has on this 4K release from Paramount.

The Truman Show is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo July 4, 2023, from Paramount

  • Rating Certificate: PG (for thematic elements and mild language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Paramount Pictures | Scott Rudin Productions | Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Written By: Andrew Niccol
  • Run Time: 102 Mins.
  • Street Date: 4 July 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English Audio Description | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | French | Spanish

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A man starts to realize his entire life is one elaborate reality show.The Truman Show (25th Anniversary) (4K UHD Review)