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The Truman Show

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: B+/A-/B

Directed by: Peter Weir
Written by: Andrew Niccol
Produced by: Andrew Niccol, Edward S. Feldman, Scott Rudin and Adam Schroeder
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Peter Krause
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

When Andrew Niccol thought up the idea for his Oscar-nominated screenplay The Truman Show, I don't think he ever anticipated that years later, some Fox executives thought it was also a good idea. There is a huge difference here, though. The Simple Life, Trading Spouses and other reality shows are horrible time wasters that Fox keep on while wonderful programming like Arrested Development and Futurama are thrown to the curb. The Peter Weir film which is the subject of this review is one of the most creatively done pieces of work ever made. Now that I have given those points, I can now talk about how Paramount is improving a lot of their DVDs. Many titles like The Truman Show, Titanic and Ferris Bueller's Day Off were released with bare-bone releases. Now, this new special edition of Truman will give viewers a chance to look on how they made the exciting visuals.

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is the star of a twenty-four hour reality show which follows his entire life in the city of Seahaven. He lives with his wife (Laura Linney) and enjoys spending time with his best friend (Noah Emmerich). However, Truman has no idea that he is the start of a twenty-four hour reality show and everything in his life has been fake. When a light falls from the sky, Truman starts to think that everything is not what it seems. He finally decides to overcome his fear of sailing and leave his hometown once and for all. Meanwhile, the creator of "The Truman Show" (Ed Harris) is worried that his baby is figuring out what is going on.

Peter Weir has always been a director that I admire and has tackled many subjects very well. He should have won an Oscar for his work on Witness and The Truman Show proves that he has not lost his wonderful touch. Andrew Niccol's screenplay is unlike every other science-fiction script ever written and really brings out the characters and situations. However, the heart of the film are the performances by Jim Carrey and Ed Harris. Carrey provides his best work in his first dramatic role, creating a character more memorable than Ace Ventura and Stanley Ipkiss combined. That he was snubbed by the Academy is a disgrace and proves that maybe the Golden Globes aren't as big a joke as people make it out to be. Ed Harris is also award-worthy as Cristoff, which adds more to the actor's wonderful filmography. Laura Linney is also fun and enjoyable as Truman's wife. This is a magical film that I cannot praise enough.

As mentioned before, The Truman Show was originally released as a bare-bones edition and is now finally getting the special edition treatment that it deserves. The first extra is a wonderful two-part documentary on the making of the film and features interviews with Peter Weir, Andrew Niccol and Jim Carrey among others. It provides a great look at the history of the production with many participants talking about Carrey's involvement and how big reality television has gone since 1998. It's a great piece. There is also a look at how the special effects were done and it is quite interesting. This featurette makes The Truman Show look like they used just as much computer as The Lord of the Rings.

Some rightfully deleted scenes appear next and they mostly feature Truman. Since we get to see more of Carrey's brilliant performance, it's really nice to see. Finally, we sign off with a photo gallery, trailer and television advertisement for the film. The DVD also begins with previews for Airplane! and Tommy Boy (the latter, which I am sad to say, actually looks pretty funny). Although, I would have enjoyed a commentary with Jim Carrey and Peter Weir, the great documentaries make up for it. This is a really good edition to an amazing film and is worth the double-dip.

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