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Jim Carrey stars as mild mannered bank clerk Stanely Ipkiss, who discovers a mysterious ancient mask which brings his inner most desires screaming to life! Now together with his sidekick dog, Milo, this wise cracking, love-crazy, crime-fighting green tornado is taking Edge City by storm, in an unstoppable action comedy that will leave you smokin'!
For more about The Mask and the The Mask Blu-ray release, see the The Mask Blu-ray Review published by Sir Terrence on January 2, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Mike Werb, Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden
Starring: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck, Richard Jeni
» See full cast & crew
The Mask Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Sir Terrence, January 2, 2009
I have never been a real fan of Jim Carrey's, but that does not mean I have not enjoyed his movies. I have always thought he needed a special vehicle to harness his over the top comedic acting, as he could get to be a bit much to watch on occasion. In 1990 he landed a cast role on the hilarious television series "In living Color", which I thought was a perfect place to showcase his over the top comedic skills. Carrey film career really started in 1983 with the movie "Rubberface", but he didn't really enjoy cinematic success until 1989 with the under appreciated "Earth Girls are Easy" of which he co-starred with Damon Wayans. His career skyrocketed in 1994 when he starred in "Ace Ventura Pet Detective", "The Mask, and "Dumb and Dumber", all successful movies at the box office. My first noticed Carrey when I saw him on "In living Color" and later in "Batman Forever" where he played the hilarious villain Riddler. While I have not enjoyed most of Carrey's films, the ones that stand out for me are "The Mask", "Batman Forever", "The Truman Show", the cute "Me, Myself and Irene" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" which has turned out to be a Christmas movie I watch every year. He was also terrific in one of my favorite movies "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" as Count Olaf which is based on a popular children's novel.
Next to the above mention movies, I cannot think of a more perfect movie to showcase Carrey's over the top comedic style. Carrey and The Mask are a match made in heaven as far as I am concerned. I cannot think of another actor who could have been more perfect for the role. Adapted from a Dark Horse Comics series, it became fairly obvious a more comedic approach was necessary to take advantage of the madness that having a mask on would look to an audience. It also gave Carrey a chance to unleash his talents for lightening quick dialog riffs, improvisational physical comedy, and just generally silly buffoonery. While I think he is generally over the top in most of his movies, the over the top nature of the flick itself is a perfect fit for the character Carrey plays. His odd facial comedy fits The Mask like a custom glove, and the mask itself allows Carrey to run wild, and take the character in all kinds of directions, something that does not always fit in his other movies without being a bit much after a while. I thought this movie was funny when I first saw it on DVD, and it is still funny on this re-release on the Bluray format, which lends itself perfectly to the visual style of this film. The icing on the cake is we are treated with Cameron Diaz film debut, and boy what a debut it is!
Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) gets no respect from anyone. The women take advantage of his good nature and generosity, his landlord shows him absolutely no respect, mechanics take advantage of him, and he cannot even gain entrance to the city's hottest club, the Coco Bongo. The only friends he has is his dog Milo, and Charlie a co-worker. Dorian Tyrell (Peter Green), the local gangster and Coco Bongo club operator is plotting to overthrow his boss, sends his girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) to case the Bank that Stanley works at. Stanley is instantly attracted to her, but she has other plans. Everything changes for Stanley while on a trip home in a loner car as he crosses a bridge and the car stalls, and falls to pieces. Standing at the bridges railing, he discovers a mask floating in the water, and decides to take it home. Once at home he puts the mask on, where it wraps itself around Stanley face and he is transformed into an opposite personality from his own, an alter ego of sorts. He proceeds to take revenge on Stanley tormentors, and a street gang that attempts to terrorize him. The next day he has a run in with Edge City detective Lieutenant Kellaway (Peter Riegert), and reporter Peggy Brandt (Any Yasbeck), both investigating The Masks activities from the previous night. Needing money to attend the Coco Bongo where Tina was performing, he dons the mask and proceeds to the bank. While there, he interrupts Dorian's men while they attempt to rob the bank, and steals the money for himself. The Mask buys his way into the club, and turns the club out dancing with Tina in front of a cheering crowd. With Tyrell, Kellaway, and reporter Peggy on his trail, Stanley gets the mask off, but is betrayed by Peggy who collects a bounty for turning Stanley over to Tyrell. Stanley is then dumped in front of Kellaway with a fake rubber mask, which gets Stanley arrested. Tyrell get his hands on the mask and transforms into a troll like character. Tina tricks Tyrell into removing the mask which is then captured by Milo who puts it on and is transformed into Mask dog, and helps Stanley beat down Tyrell men. Stanley gets the mask back, but can he defeat Tyrell, and get rid of the mask?
The Mask Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Mask slides onto the Bluray format in a 1080p/VC-1 encode framed at a 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The source appears completely free of blemishes, scratches, and pops. Black levels are excellent, stable, and inky deep, but shadow detail is occasionally lost in a slight black crush. Contrast seems dialed down a bit, but not enough to flatten the depth and pop of the images, but enough to dampen the difference between whites and dark areas. Colors are well saturated, vividly and boldly presented, preserving the cartoonish look of the film. I did see signs of DNR, but it was not as objectionable as I have seen on other titles; but it did give images a slightly glossy look. Grain is fine and well controlled always maintaining a film like quality throughout the flick. Detail and sharpness are variable, and there are no signs of edge enhancement that I could see. While the picture quality was just a tad soft, it is a big trade up from all of the DVD releases of the film up to this point.
The Mask Blu-ray, Audio Quality
New Line/Warner graces "The Mask" with a English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track encoded at a 16/48khz bit and sample rate which is quite good for a 15 year old movie. While primarily front focused, there is nice usage of the entire 360 degree sound field, as cartoonish sound effects are smoothly panned from channel to channel in the front hemisphere, and occasionally spilling into the rear channels. Randy Edelman score is nicely recorded, but spread so wide it is on the edge of sounding of sounding fractured and noncoherent. The overall sound tends to pool around the speaker location, never reaching into the room, but having decent depth. The LFE is used well, presenting deep, tight bass that nicely enhances the sound effects. Dialog is always intelligible even in the presence of sound effects and music. While not up to the standards of today digital tracks, the sound track sounds very good for a 1994 release.
The Mask Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The special features package carries over all the items from the 2005 special edition DVD.
Commentary by Director Chuck Russell
Commentary by 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:
Return to Edge City(27minutes) This featurette covers the requisite talking points, including the film's comic book origins, motion picture adaptation, casting, digital effects and makeup. .
Introducing Cameron Diaz (13minutes): A closer look at how casting agents found and cast Diaz. .
Cartoon Logic (13minutes): A profile of Tex Avery's work, its influence on the film, and the digital effects' incorporation of his cartoon style.
What Makes Fido Run (10 minutes) details the training of Milo for the Mask
Additional Scenes (3minutes): Two scenes with optional commentary by Director Russell. .
All extras are presented in standard definition video.
The Mask Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I really liked this film, as I think it shows the comedic talent of Jim Carrey at his best. This movie 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 of Jim Carrey. This movie 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 will truly enjoy.
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