le 14 janvier 2015
THE MASK: FROM ZERO TO HERO  [Blu-ray] [US Import] Jim Carey is S-S-Smokin' as The Mask! A Laugh-A-Minute Ring-A-Ding Rollercoaster!
Imagine a cyclone, a Tex Avery cartoon come to life as a zoot-suited fashionista and the wiggy energy of a vat full of jumping beans and that still doesn't capture Jim Carey's comic genius as Stanley Ipkiis, a repressed bank clerk who goes from zero to hero when he dons The Mask. The mysterious mask Stanley Ipkiis finds allows him to do what he normally can't, like woo Tina [Cameron Diaz] and beat the baddies. Beneath all that loopy fun is the film's heart: Does Stanley really needs the mask to be the person he longs to be? Flat-out smoking'!
FILM FACT: The `The Mask' was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 67th Academy Awards® and in addition, JimCarrey was nominated for a Golden Globe® Awards. Conversely, he was also nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star." `The Mask' was also nominated for the American Film Institute's 10 Top 10 list as a fantasy film, and the Mask's quote "Somebody stop me!" was nominated for 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes, but neither of them made the list.
Cast: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Greene, Richard Jeni, Peter Riegert, Jim Doughan, Amy Yasbeck, Orestes Matacena, Nancy Fish, Tim Bagley, Johnny Williams, Reginald E. Cathey, Denis Forest, Ivory Ocean, Joely Fisher, Ben Stein, Jeremy Roberts and Milo [Jack Russell Terrier]
Director: Chuck Russell
Producers: Ann Burgund, Carla Fry, Chuck Russell, Michael De Luca, Mike Richardson and Robert Engelman
Screenplay: Mark Verheiden, Michael Fallon and Mike Werb
Composer: Randy Edelman
Cinematography: John R. Leonetti
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital and German: 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH and German
Running Time: 101 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: New Line Home Video
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Though it has aged slightly, `The Mask' seems like a film that was many years ahead of its time. First, it was based on an offbeat cult comic book, which was created by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke, and published by Mike Richardson's Dark Horse Comics, a practice which seems to be the norm. Second, with its then-cutting-edge use of computer graphics augmentation, it gave a sense of cartoon-y whimsy to what would have been an otherwise straightforward action picture, taken to the ninth degree; we're now given something like 'Speed Racer.' And finally, it saw the potential in a little-known comic named Jim Carrey, who would go on to become a box office juggernaut.
The storyline of `The Mask' concerns one Stanley Ipkiss [Jim Carrey], a loveable loser who works at a bank and lets everyone walk all over him. One night he stumbles upon a mystical, vaguely defined mask that turns him into the titular antihero. Forgoing the comic book's hyper-violence, the film instead turns Stanley Ipkiss into an even goofier Nutty Professor, an over-caffeinated raconteur able to stretch, squash, and manipulate himself and others in the tradition of famous animator Tex Avery.
From there, things get more complicated, as his outlandish tomfoolery soon attracts the attention of a group of villainous gangsters led by Dorian Tyrell [Peter Greene] and the police Lt. Mitch Kellaway [Peter Riegert]. The film climaxes with a siege on a charity ball in keeping with the cartoon feeling, the money for the charity is held in a giant pink piggy, with Peter Greene wearing the mask, amplifying his evil. This is when the film shifts into all out lunacy, with multiple human and non-human, wearers of the mask, gun fights, explosives, the whole bit, and it all ends up being a little... blah!
To some `The Mask' isn't an exceptional film, but to me it is totally hilarious and I love it from when I saw it at the cinema and have loved it ever since. Besides the truly rubbery performance by Jim Carrey and to me, this is his ONLY best film ever, and some of the visual effects are totally brilliant, especially the Tex Avery type cartoons and acts like a B-movie with gangsters and garish visuals thrown in for good measure and I feel that director Chuck Russell does a brilliant job overall. Jim Carrey, of course introduced us to Cameron Diaz in her first big screen role and shines like a beacon throughout the film and of course it helped catapult Cameron Diaz career big time.
A word of warning, do not under no circumstances purchase the follow up film entitled `Son of The Mask,' because I would advise to steer well clear of this atrocious re-make. What we basically have here is a license for the filmmakers to do whatever they want to do with the special effects, while the plot, like Wile E. Coyote, keeps running into the wall. Talk about dumb and dumber.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Honestly, I was shocked by this single-layer 1080p encoded image and an aspect ratio 1.85:1 transfer. This must be the best this film it has ever looked. The film has been plagued from its original home video inception with muddy visuals; the garish lights of Edge City bleeding into the picture and giving everything an orange-y tint. Sometimes it still goes over the top, with some digital noise, but it wasn't enough to quell my enthusiasm for the transfer and there's no noticeable grain or visual blips. Contrast has been upped to give the entire movie more depth and clarity, really bringing the fictional Las Vegas-meets-Detroit vibe of Edge City to life. And the effects really pop in this transfer, for better or worse, since with their added sheen, they seem a bit more disconnected from the actual film. While certainly not a reference-quality presentation, you could still show `The Mask' Blu-ray to anyone who saw it in the cinema and say "Now, look at THIS" on your Home Cinema set-up and they would be very, very impressed.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – T he 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track is really, really great. The cartoony nature of the films means you get really outlandish scenes that are really served well with the impressive sound mix, especially when Jim Carrey is ping-pongs down the apartment corridor, for instance, all channels are worked vigorously. The dialogue-heavy scenes, are supported by a great front-speaker mix, really shine, with very little in the way of ambience or in-between sound. It's either boom, kapow, klang, or its two people talking in the front speakers. There's very little in the way of middle ground, audio-wise. Still, I would say this is a solid mix - loud and aggressive when it needs to be, sporting great front-speaker mix. Honestly, the film has probably never sounded this good, either. The audio package is augmented by a perfectly listenable standard 5.1 Dolby Digital sound mix in both English and German.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Director Chuck Russell, New Line Cinema Co-Chairman Bob Shaye, Writer Mike Werb, Executive Producer Mike Richardson, Producer Bob Engelman, Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Squires, Animation Supervisor Tom Bertino and Cinematographer John Leonetti: If you're going to listen to one of the two commentary tracks provided here, this is the one to go for. Everyone provides super-useful information from their point of view, and with so many participants, you might think things would go a little off the rails, but whoever edited it does so superbly. A little vocal placeholder will pop in, letting you know it's "writer Mike Werb" or whoever, so in case you forgot what a person sounds like you'll be covered. This track does seem cobbled together from different interviews, but whoever put it together does a good job to match the content of the commentary with what's happening on screen. (For example, someone will be talking about the bank heist sequence while the bank heist sequence is on the screen, etc.) You'll learn a lot of great titbits about the making of the movie (like how visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic assigned its B-team to the movie, which ended up getting praised for its visual effects). Some of the commentary may seem redundant, with similar ground covered in the special features documentaries, but this lively track is still worth a listen.
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Director Chuck Russell: This is the other commentary track option, very dry and very dated (at one point he says "see if you can rewind on your LaserDisc"). Oops, they should have edited this part out, as it is very lazy and sloppy to keep this in or even better to not allowing to be adding into the supplements? As there will be youngsters today who will think he is talking Martian.
Special Feature: Return to Edge City [27:16] A nice, fairly comprehensive making of documentary, which covers the whole history of the project (it was originally conceived as a successor to the `Nightmare on Elm Street' series, as a kind of horror-comedy), with interviews from all the principle cast and crew.
Special Feature: Introducing Cameron Diaz [13:17] Detailing the miraculous hiring of Cameron Diaz in painstaking detail. Really I get it. Cameron Diaz was hired on The Mask as a fortuitous fluke and now she's a big star. Let's move on, as it is now old hat news.
Special Feature: Cartoon Logic [13:43] This was my favourite special feature by far, with an investigation into the animated origins of some of The Mask's best gags. Animation historians are interviewed, and footage from old Tex Avery cartoons is juxtaposed with what occurred in the film. It's really greatly light, but heavy with information. So all in all it is just great and totally brilliant.
Special Feature: What Makes Fido Run [10:51] While this is supposed to be about the dog in ‘The Mask,’ and how it performed a lot of the astounding stunts in the film (there's a great section about how they taught him to "put on the mask" in one of the film's most beloved scenes), it soon opens up to be about animal actors in Hollywood and I kind of checked out. I'd say that the first five minutes, is great, and last only five minutes, which you can skip.
Special Feature: Additional scenes with commentary with Chuck Russell [3:54] Just a couple of minor scenes, one is an alternate opening sequence, with Vikings traveling to America just to dispose of the haunted mask. This scene is cheap looking and unfinished, and would have added nothing to the movie. The second scene is the death sequence for morally ambiguous reporter Peggy [Amy Yasbeck] and is pretty entertaining. I won't spoil this for you.
Theatrical Trailer  [1:00]
Finally, I really liked this film, as I think it shows off splendidly the comedic talent of Jim Carrey at his best, but sadly his other film releases were as far as I am concerned dead ducks and I do not know why people go mad over those very second rate bargain basement films. This film is the perfect production for him to unleash his unique brand of comedy whether it is over the top, or damped down for a specific scene. Graced with a nice set of extras, decent picture and sound quality, and the debut of Cameron Diaz, I highly recommend this film for fans, and non-fans alike of Jim Carrey. This film is a lot of fun, and director Chuck Russell does a real nice job of crafting a true to life Tex Avery cartoon that lovers of the older short cartoons will truly enjoy and ever since it was originally released in the cinema again I really loved this film and is a really true tour-de-force comedy classic and shows off the actors at their best and that is why I am so proud to own this Blu-ray disc and will give me endless hours of enjoyment. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom