212 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding film!
I have never been a huge fan of Jim Carrey movies, so when The Truman Show came out, I quickly wrote it off as not one I was going to rush out to see. I shouldn't have. Fortunately, I got the chance to see it at a friend's house, and I can honestly say that it left me speechless and amazed at the brilliance of the film. First of all, Jim Carrey excells in this role. I...
Published on January 14, 2004 by Volpe
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst Bluray transfers out there.
Let me give you some background: This release was one of the releases that came out near the beginning of Bluray in 2008. The Bluray.com knobs that worked there in that timeframe were incompetent as you will ever know. This was another 5 star 'Patton' review where the reviewer of the PQ has no idea what he is talking about in any way whatsoever. Please revisit the site...
Published 21 months ago by Crank
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's view of the fall of man,
It amazes me that so few people notice that this is a religious allegory. Sure, on the surface this is about how the media have invaded every square inch of our lives, and it is a prescient take on reality television, but more than that, the story is about the fall of man and the end of innocence. If you've seen this before, watch it again and notice the parallels to Genesis, especially near the end where Christof (How obvious the name!) talks to Truman (true man) from the clouds. He even addresses himself as "the creator."
Jim Carrey gives what is still his best performance to date. And the screenplay gives you a great deal to think about. Watch this and "Pleasantville" back to back and notice the theological similarities. The Truman Show is definitely one of the best movies of the decade. And I think years from now, when people really begin to appreciate the depth of the screenplay, they will come to recognize it as the masterpiece that it is.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars take me to Fiji,
For me, to really like a movie, a book, or anything like that I have to relate to a character and his experiences. Well, I perfectly related to Truman, even though I do not live my life on a television show. Do I? Anyway, Truman Burbank could be any of us. He's just the average Joe on the street, but he feels mysteriously isolated, so he goes off, on what could be considered a mid-life crisis, and searches for the truth of his existence. I mean, if we can't relate to isolation and curiosity about existence then maybe we could related his daily goings, or we could go out more. I know that Truman's world is made up of cameras and lights, unbeknownst to Truman, but even though he is living on a man made TV set, his life is just that common journey of trying to find out who we really are on the inside. Like I said, I completely related, I'm on my own personal soul search, and due to that connection I loved it. Oh and did I mention that it just really is a great movie.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelant to Today's World,
This review is from: The Truman Show (Special Collector's Edition) (DVD)
The Truman Show is one of those movies which takes an initiative, trying to be different and introspective. It is often labeled as a comedy, but I don't know if there is a real category that defines this film (it is part comedy, part drama, part "reality" show). However, I think one of the more important perspectives of this film is simply the morals projected: that free will and creativity make us who we are, that no one has the right to suspend our freedoms, and that diversity and change are natural in life and that attempts to take these away from individuals stifles one's ability to live. Truman has had ideas that everything in life isn't as perfect as it seems, and he is right. When he catches on to these, he truly begins to try to live, and push back the limits that have restrained him. Although the movie takes a very simplistic premise, the idea that Truman Burbank has been pretty much living a television show from birth, it works because its subject creates debate. Far too few films provoke any kind of reaction like this one; people should have an opinion about movies after they view them, and The Truman Show delivers in this perspective.
One of the drawbacks is that some of the characters are a little bit too cut and dry. Take Christof, the director of the show, who is presented as an evil egoist who only wants ratings, and will not stop this idea of "reality TV" even when Truman is onto this idea. His character was a bit too simplistic. Not everything in this movie works, and sometimes the acting from characters is as phony as the world that Truman lives.
It's a thought-provoking film though. It clearly makes one think about the possibilities and power that media sometimes has over individuals. How much do we really want to see and know about someone's life? What is "crossing the line" as far as personal space? The paparazzi could take a lesson from viewing this film. This movie was made before reality television really took off, but it really fits into this world because it presents the idea of taking away "personal space" and privacy. Truman's momentous life events are all a part of the American home, including the moment he "lost" his father, and the moment he regained his father. Many reality shows have individuals "perform" each episode and these individuals do this because they choose to. Truman Burbank's character is the very opposite of this spectrum; he doesn't have this choice, and takes measures to break from this.
The concept of the movie is unique, and is certainly applicable in today's world. Definitely a movie to check out, then go back to later on!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual allegory or just a good story?,
The 1998 film The Truman Show (directed by Peter Weir) narrates the life of Truman Banks (Jim Carrey), who is unaware that his entire life on the island of Seahaven is completely constructed by a TV crew, and is part of a constantly running reality television program called The Truman Show, watched by millions 24/7 world-wide. But when Truman comes to realize that something is strange about his world, he makes plans to escape his artificially manipulated universe.
The premise is a clever one, and the film succeeds on the level of story alone. But what's particularly of interest to this reviewer are the profound philosophical and religious questions that the movie seems to ask. Not only does it raises age-old philosophical questions common in the field of epistemology, concerning what we can know about reality (e.g. could I be deceived about what my senses and experiences are telling me about reality?), but it also appears to explore many deep religious questions by means of allusions to Christian themes. Consider how the TV producer Christof (= Christ of) is the "creator" of Truman (= True Man), and functions as a god who controls his world. The symbolism seems too strong to ignore, and as a result, particularly in Christian circles where this imagery cannot go unnoticed, there is considerable debate about the worldview behind the film, and whether it is intended to portray an atheistic or Christian worldview. Reviewers typically fall into one of two camps:
a) those who see it as a secular film, by portraying the Christian God as a cruel and harsh dictator who operates a deterministic universe from which we need to escape by rejecting God. According to this view, Truman's liberation is a depiction of the Fall, and promotes an atheistic lifestyle of rebellion against the Creator and an escape from Eden. Others have tried to be more charitable by interpreting it in line with Calvinistic theology, suggesting that the film depicts the tragedy rather than the triumph of sin, but this is implausible in view of how the Creator is portrayed negatively and how the final liberation is presented so positively.
b) those who see it as a criticism of secularism, by suggesting that Satan creates an artificial world for us, from which we need to escape by converting to the truth. According to this view, Truman's liberation promotes the need to escape the deception of Satan (the anti-Christ), and exchange it for a life lived in service to the true God. Some have even seen it as giving a positive message about Christianity, for if Seahaven represents an illusionary man-made Paradise, then Truman's decision to leave this old world behind is symbolic of a conversion experience, and he represents a Christ-like figure who models the way of salvation.
The first view interprets The Truman Show as a story of the Fall, where Christoff symbolizes the true God, and Sylvia (who encourages Truman to escape his "world") is a serpent-tempter figure that brings rebellion. The second view interprets The Truman Show as a story of Redemption, where Christoff symbolizes an anti-Christ, and Sylvia is an intercessor that brings freedom in contrast to the Judas figure Marlon. Proponents of both views have engaged in considerable debate over these two interpretations, the former which sees the Truman Show as a secular existentialist film, the latter which sees it as a pro-Christian film.
Certainly the rich symbolism in the film lends itself to an interpretation which gives the Christological imagery throughout the film a more important meaning than mere allusion. But neither of the above explanations is entirely satisfactory or consistent. Because how can Truman be a rebel who rejects God, and at the same time a Christ-like figure (he is depicted as crucified in the boat, and at the end walks on water and ascends into a stairway of heaven)? And how can Christoff be representative of a deterministic creator, and at the same time an anti-Christ? A consistent allegorical interpretation fails in its application, and should already be a hint that one is not intended.
Perhaps the best solution is one which is neither overly critical nor overly charitable with respect to the Biblical imagery, but sees this as subordinate to other themes about the media and television, without forcing a simplistic choice demanded by a polarized approach. Director Peter Weir has gone on record in more than one interview that the film is about television. Weir is of this conviction: "My attitude to television, personally, is too much of it is a bad thing." According to Weir: "And that's really at the heart of what the film looks at in a major way - this disturbance to our perception of reality, as a result of the immense entertainment and actuality coming at us, to the point where you can't differentiate anymore. News programs that are entertaining; video everywhere." Given Weir's remarks, I believe that the Truman Show is essentially a sharp criticism of the dangers of a false reality cultivated by the media, and a warning against losing our sense of reality.
Clearly Weir has chosen to portray the director Christoff as a creator figure very deliberately, but he does not use this image to push a religious agenda, but to give a social commentary about problems created by the modern media, which blurs the lines between appearance and reality. In that regard, his analysis of television is spot on and speaks to our time: to what extent is our perception of the world the result of manipulation by the media? And do we need to be liberated from the artificial reality of a TV world and return to the real world? I see this explanation (advocated also by Andrew H. Trotter) as more plausible than one which sees the film as a simple spiritual allegory, or which interprets it as an indictment on reality television (note that the release of the movie predates much of the contemporary fascination with reality TV shows).
In short, the Truman Show is defending neither an atheist or a Christian worldview, but it merely employs Biblical themes and allusions as servants to its real theme and social commentary about the media and television. It has to be conceded that both Christoff's and Truman's characters have clear Christological symbolism, but the film is ambiguous about which of the two is to be identified as the Christ figure simply because it doesn't want us making a choice between them. Although the religious symbolism is too strong to ignore, in the end it is subordinate to the more central theme about the role of television and media in our culture, and is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Consequently in my view, it's a mistake to see the film either as an attack on Christianity, or as a tool for evangelism. That's not to say that the film doesn't raise interesting parallels on a religious levels - certainly it can stimulate interesting discussion both about how God the Creator watches over us (cf. Psalm 139), as well as how the Satan the father of lies deceives us. Ironically, the Truman Show has created its own deception - while appearances suggest it is a spiritual allegory, a closer look suggests that this perception is merely an illusion. - GODLY GADFLY
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good afternoon, good evening, good night - GREAT MOVIE!!,
This is one of my favorite movies in recent history. Jim Carrey here joins Robin Williams ("Dead Poets Society," etc.) and Michael Keaton ("Batman," "Pacific Heights," etc.), to be counted among the few comic actors who have managed a foray into the world of drama with spectacular success... The basic idea of this film, as in all likelihood whoever is reading this already knows, is that Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a man whose entire life has been surreptitiously filmed, and made into a sort of global media cult... He is almost completely unaware of this, although now and then he has gotten an inkling that something's up. Everything about this movie is perfect -- even Truman's name is a perfect mix -- "True Man", which is what he is finally becoming, mixed with "Burbank", the home of the phoniest people alive, the Hollywood establishment.
I think one of the most important parts of this film is that Truman is turning 30 years old. There is something about that age that, in my experience, really does involve a reassessment of all kinds of things in one's life. There is a questioning that goes on, as well as a sort of heightened awareness of the social games around you that are really traps, if you think about them. Some of them are traps that are probably worth fighting to stay locked up in, but now I'm revealing my bourgeois bias. Be that as it may, given the general theme of becoming aware of perhaps living in some kind of fool's paradise -- if the main character of this movie were 16 years old, the movie would probably resemble "Pump Up the Volume." If the main character were 23, the movie might resemble "The Matrix." But the kind of awakening that happens in the early 30s is what's being captured here, and the director Peter Weir does everything perfectly.
A couple things I wanted to say -- Noah Emmerich is terrific as the buddy, Marlon, who shows up with a six pack at crisis moments, to keep Truman's brain anaesthetized. Noah seems to get typecast a little in the "buddy" role, he played a similar part in "Beautiful Girls." He does have a good look for that kind of role. Oh well, I guess it's a living... I also wanted to say that while it's easy to identify with Truman, breaking free of the lies that have bound his mind, I think anyone watching this should also ask themselves whether they've ever played the part of Cristoph, the director-overseer of the artificial world who keeps lying to Truman, to make Truman's "happiness" his (Cristoph's, not Truman's) responsibility. I have done this in my life. Looking at this movie, I identify at least as strongly with Cristoph as with Truman. Probably even more. This is the kind of mentality which could lead to someone becoming a mental abuser of a partner in any relationship -- romantic, familial, workplace, or what have you... The killer storm that Cristoph invokes at the end, especially, reminded me of the kind of tantrum any controlling person might throw, if they could, to keep another human being under their thumb... Cristoph made his decision to keep lying forever to the person who made his own "happiness" possible. If anyone reading this is involved in any symbolically similar behavior, take a cue from this movie and change your ways while there's still time, and set the Truman in your life, whoever it is, free. Just a thought.
Fox Mulder, on the "X-Files" once famously mentioned that "a choice given to many men is the choice between being a slave in heaven, or a master in hell." The ending of this movie opens up the prospect of an exciting third possibility -- to be oneself, neither master nor slave, but a free being. As long as you maintain a kind, gentle heart, which Truman clearly does, everyone should have that right. This movie rules. Absolutely worth owning.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truman Show is one of the best movies made this decade.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Truman Show [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In an era of popcorn movies with asteroids and aliens, it's refreshing to view a movie in which your exiting thought doesn't concern how to extract that tightly lodged kernel from your upper right tooth. The Truman show is an intellectually engaging movie that will keep you thinking long after viewing it. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank an ordinary guy, who doesn't realize that his entire life(with the exception of breathing) is fiction. His wife, friends, parents, neighbors, and fellow townspeople are all actors; part of an elaborate internationally acclaimed television show attempting to give full coverage, 24 hours a day, of an entire human life. In order to sustain the television show, its' creator, Cristof, played to near perfection by Ed Harris, must keep Truman from attempting to leave the world's largest sound stage by manipulating his hopes and fears. A strong premise, wonderful acting, and exceptional directing by Peter Weir make the Truman Show an entertaining and thought-provoking film. The Truman show is a modern tale of hope, fear, and the human spirit. It's sure to be one of the classics of this decade.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of the 90's,
I remember my brother coming back from the theatre after seeing this film. I asked him how it was and he said he and his friends hated it. They expected the usual Jim Carrey film with him giving a over the top comedic performance. I still couldn't wait to see it and still found it to be a great movie. I thought Carrey was about as goofy as any of the villians in the Batman 60's series when he played the Riddler. I always thought he'd be a better actor if he took his medication lol. Here he must've took it since he gives a more laidback and heartfelt performance.
He plays a man who was filmed on a set without knowing for his entire life. His whole life was scripted with him not being able to do things that he really wanted to do his entire life. He wants to sail across the ocean. So they had him sail with his tv dad and faked his death so he'd be afraid of the ocean. The girl he really wanted to be with wasn't even allowed to be with him since it wasn't in the script. Since she trys to tell him that his whole life isn't real, she gets rushed off the set never to be allowed on it again. A actress on the show played by Laura Linney gets shoved in his face so much that he eventually marries her.
This isn't the usual hyper-active look at me I'm Jim Carrey and I'm funny comedy. The film is funny on it's own without him trying a little too hard to be funny like he usually does. For instance it's funny how everyone advertises products as they're talking to him. Like when he's having a heart-felt conversation with a buddy of his, he'd be advertising the 6 pack they're drinking. Or his wife advertises what they'll be eating.
It's a clever comedy with Carrey letting everyone around him act without trying too hard to steal the show from them like he usually does. He gives a smart performance where you can tell he's thinking and knows that everything around him is a little odd. While in other movies he talks so much that you'd think he doesn't even take time to even use his brain lol. When Carrey gives a sensitive performance that actually shows he can act he gets ignored by the Academy and by his fans who just wanna see him go back to talking out his butt. It's sad though because this is a really good performance that he deserved credit for. At least Ed Harris got a deserved nomination as the selfish creator of the Truman Show who would rather see him dead than have him escape and...destroy ratings and the show.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeper meanings,
This review is from: Truman Show [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I remember after watching this film for the first time I just looked up at the sky for a long time. It made me think so deeply about myself and the people around me in a way that few other films have managed to do. I have now watched this film about 5 times and each time I notice something new about it. It is first and foremost a media satire. With all of the T.V shows that are devoted to watching how normal people live, this film asks the question "How far could we go?"
The performances were excellent especially from Jim Carrey and Ed Harris. Ed Harris brings a sensitivity to Cristoph that makes you almost feel sorry for him. When he talks you can sense that he feels he is helping Truman rather than destroying him. I beleive that Jim Carrey is the only person that could have played this role to perfection. He makes Truman such a vulnerable character that you really care about what will happen to him. He also portrays the gradual change that Truman goes through so smoothly and beleivably that I think he definitely deserved an Oscar nomination for the role.
One of the disturbing things I found about this film was the amount of lying that was present. Imagine finding out that the people closest to you including your family had been lying to you for 30 years. You would be absolutely shattered. This is relevant in real life in that close friends who consistently lie and deceive you are no different from Marlon(Truman's best friend) or Meryl(Truman's wife). The different devices used by Cristoph to keep Truman on the island could be seen as the lies that keep us from reaching our full potential.
The direction by Peter Weir is excellent and the story is told so fluently that you will not be bored at all by this film. I find that the closer you look at this film, the more you will find. There are many ideas that fly by when you watch it the first time but become more apparent on multiple viewings.
This would definitely be in my top 10 films of all time.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truman Show: Fully Reviewed,
This review is from: The Truman Show (Special Collector's Edition) (DVD)
The Truman Show, though funny at points, deals with a serious theme. Like Plato's Allegory of the Cave, this film deals with a similar situation with a modern twist. The film is the epitome of America's obsession with reality television. The film was released when shows like Survivor and Trading Spaces were conquering the airwaves. How far could reality T.V. actually get? The Truman Show, undoubtedly, would be the result.
The film deals with Truman, a man that was abandoned at birth and was adopted by a television corporation. His life was turned into a TV show as he grew up in an artificial town known as Seahaven. Its creator is Christof, who oversees the day to day pseudo-reality of Truman's life. In many ways, he represents the ultimate modern man. He calls himself "the creator," but unlike God, his creation is all artificial. The entire TV show revolves around Truman, and the only way to make this possible is to have absolute control of Truman's surroundings. This not only includes the town in which he lives, but the people he comes in contact with, and even the weather itself is manipulated to fit the desires of the shows producers, depending on the mood they want to set for a specific episode.
The cost to obtain high ratings comes at a heavy price - Truman's freedom. From the moment of his birth, his future was already decided for him. Everything from his job, his wife, and even his father's death, was all scripted. He doesn't even have the freedom to be with the one he loves most. In the film, he falls in love with Sylvia, who at the time was playing her role as Lauren. As time passes, he tries to seek her out, and when he finally does, they meet secretly in a beach where Sylvia tries to tell Truman that his life is a T.V. show, but before the message was able to sink in, Sylvia was taken by another cast member to keep her from revealing the truth. Off the show, Sylvia continues to fight the producers of the show by making phone calls, persuading them of the immoral and dehumanizing effects of the show. Truman's longing for Sylvia was his ticket to freedom. During the course of time, since his separation from Sylvia, Truman begins to piece together cut-outs of magazines by taking eyes, mouths, noses, ears and hair from different models to create the image of Sylvia's face. Explicitly, this image represents his longing and love for Sylvia. Implicitly, however, the face he created is the face of freedom. In a sense, Sylvia, for Truman, becomes Lady Liberty. Like immigrants arriving on Ellis Island, the first face Truman would see once he is free from his bondage would be the face of his Lady Liberty, Sylvia, who at the end of film rushes to greet him into the real world.
Truman's main journey in the film is the discovery of truth. Similar to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Truman must search beyond his surroundings and day to day routines to discover the true nature of his identity. These people and surroundings he comes in contact with constitute his own shadows. These shadows are his world of "ordinary things" (Plato's term for the lesser physical world), but if he is to discover the truth of the real world ("world of forms"), he must step beyond his own cave and into the natural light.
It is man's curious nature which leads him to wonderment. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Truman asks Christof: "Was nothing real?" Christof tells Truman: "You were real." Truman was the only one in Seahaven who was authentic. This, thus, brings us to the notion of authenticity and inauthenticity. In many ways, Christof was right - Truman was the only real person. Even Christof himself was not living an authentic life. He had fooled himself into thinking that he was some type of god who can control people's lives. Truman desires freedom so much that he yells out at Christof: "If you want to stop me, you'll have to kill me!" As Truman fights for his life. amidst the raging storm, an employee implores Christof to cease the storm. He tells him, "You're going to kill him in front of a live audience!" To this Christof indifferently responds, "He was born before a live audience." Christof has played the role of God so long that he lost his own authentic identity and created for himself an artificial one.
Another similar and interesting character is Meryl, the actress that plays Truman's wife. Not only is she a puppet of Christof, but she sells her body for higher ratings. She tries to persuade Truman to have a child with her, which would undoubtedly have the same fate as his father (not to mention safeguarding the show's longevity). There's no doubt that Meryl would have received a great bonus if she were able to conceive a child on live television. The moral applications to this would be absurd. The meaning of sex would be reduced for the sake of higher ratings. In many ways, this could be considered a form of human trafficking. When Truman refuses to have a child, and Meryl leaves the show, the producers are forced to hire a new actress to play the role of Truman's love interest. It's as though they were hiring a prostitute with an acting degree. All this trouble for the sake of becoming the first television show to feature the very first live conception.
At the movies end, Christof, in an attempt to persuade Truman to stay, tells him that the world "out there" is the sick world. He tells him that by staying here in this artificial world he can provide safety. Ultimately, however, Christof cannot control human freedom. He may have seemed omniscient by having cameras all over his artificial world, but as Truman so emotionally put it: "You've never had a camera inside my head." Truman's desire to be free and authentic leads him to say those famous words he often repeated one last time, officiating the end to his inauthentic career: "In case I don't see you, good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! This is a must see movie,
This review is from: Star Trek-Generation Movie Col (DVD)
This is a very powerful movie. I have never been a big fan of Jim Carrey, but in this movie he is great and plays the character with much sensitivity apart from humor. Apparently the movie was never a big success in the US, which could be because the subject is too close for comfort.
It brings to mind the story by Gurdjieff of the evil magician, as the movie shows how Truman is really not in control of anything, as it is all orchestrated from above. Just like we like to think we are at the top of the food chain and in control of our lives, so too does Truman believe that he makes real choices and that he is free. Little does he know that he is lives in a "cage". To keep Truman from discovering the Truth, the "media" is employed to constantly shape his opinions and to suppress any questioning of the reality in which he lives. This has scary parallels to todays world, where the mainstream media and manufactured opinion polls acts like the ancient Greek chorus in shaping public opinion the way the controllers wish it to be.
So definitely a top movie, that won't disappoint. It is a wake-up call to question one's own reality and to whether one is just a machine playing out a script written by someone else.
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The Truman Show (Special Collector's Edition) by Peter Weir (DVD - 2005)