Truth (2015)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation-Montage of scenes from film
Deleted Scenes-Two deleted scenes 1:28 and 3:31
Teaser Trailer-Concussion (1:52) 2.40:1
Theatrical Trailer-Room (1:22) 2.40:
Theatrical Trailer-The Daughter (2:21) 2.40:1
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 120:03
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By James Vanderbilt
Studio
Distributor
Filmation
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Cate Blanchett
Robert Redford
Topher Grace
Dennis Quaid
Elisabeth Moss
Bruce Greenwood
Stacy Keach
Noni Hazelhurst
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Bryan Tyler


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, main character chronic smoker.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Truth is the first film directed by James Vanderbilt who, until this production, has been usually involved as writer, possibly most noted for the excellent Zodiac. This 2015 released film is a self-consciously serious drama which was released close to the end of last year, at a time when it was swamped by other adult dramas with Oscar gold aspirations. And while the movie is not as virtuous as it may strive to be, there is a lot to admire up there on the screen.

     Based on the memoir of Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) entitled Truth and Duty : The Press, the Presidency and the Privilege of Power, the events take place in the run-up to the 2004 general election in the USA. George W. Bush is seeking re-election, and 60 Minutes airs a program, produced by Mapes and hosted by revered anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford), which focuses on Bush's service in the Texas National Guard. The final outcome is that Dan Rather "retires" and Mapes and some fellow workers are fired. Much has been written criticising the professional real-life ethics of Mapes and her program, and, on last year's release of this film, the biases of the screenplay. Without going into all of that, taking the film on its surface it delivers quite a compelling two hours of intelligent entertainment. I am no fan of Queen Cate, finding her mannered and histrionic. As a consequence there is no real empathy with her character, and only in the final half hour of the film does she do more than "perform". In his smaller role, Robert Redford is excellent. In his senior years this always fine actor has become a master of understatement, evidenced in the recent All is Lost. Only in the last few days early reviews of Pete's Dragon indicate that Redford is continuing to shine. The rest of the supporting cast of Truth is top notch -Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Elisabeth Moss, Bruce Greenwood, Stacy Keach and, in particular, Noni Hazelhurst.

     This final name might jar. Yes, much of the film was shot in Australia. I suspect that only Redford's scenes were shot in the USA. If so, the melding is seamless. In fact this film is technically superb. Beautiful classic photography under Mandy Walker, Melbourne born and bred and behind the camera on Lantana and Shattered Glass, amongst others. There is a fine score from Bryan Tyler ( Into the Storm) and in every technical aspect the film has class. On the surface this is a first rate film, but at its core it lacks integrity. The major flaw is that there is minimal involvement with the central character, Mary Mapes. It would seem that Mapes' actions were not always beyond reproach, and the mannered, technical performance from Cate Blanchett never allows the audience, or at least this member of the audience, to see anything more than the nervous puffing on cigarettes and the fluttering of ebony hands.

     Truth is an interesting and timely film, and made even more interesting by seeing the real Dan Rather on TV this week adding to the discussion of the current race for The White House. The movie is a reminder of the elusive nature of truth and the role of the media in revealing, or concealing that truth. It's just a pity that the script doesn't give us a human, personal drama that would really involve the audience. The possibility of what could have been is glimpsed only in Noni Hazelhurst's scenes, reactive until her final explosive moments, and in a brief exchange between Redford and Topher Grace.

    Despite its undoubtedly worthy qualities, Truth is unfortunately a dramatic disappointment, and, as Lena Horne once sang in a scene that was not deemed suitable for public consumption, ain't that the truth!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Roadshow provides us with a beautifully smooth presentation of this movie. The only blemish on the 2.40:1 image is a fleeting instance of aliasing on the horizontal lines of s skyscraper. The image is sparkling and sharp, with totally consistent colour, solid and deep blacks and excellent skin tones.

     There are subtitles available in English, white and centred at the foot of the image.

Audio

     There are two audio tracks, English Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 48K, and a second English Audio Description track for the Vision Impaired presented by the customary and efficient male narrator.

     The film is obviously dialogue centred and this is presented front and centre and brilliantly clear for every syllable. There is modest use of the surrounds, giving little more than warm ambiance to air terminals, restaurant and bar scenes, with a plane's take-off and a thunderstorm giving the only memorable use of the surround channels. The score from Bryan Tyler (Into the Storm) has its enveloping moments, with sequences in which Tyler uses repetitive string motifs which bring to mind Bernard Herrmann's work for Hitchcock.

Extras

     The extras are limited to a set of start-up trailers and two deleted scenes.

Menu

     The menu screen featured music and a montage of scenes.

Start-Up Trailers:

Concussion : (01:52) Presented 2.40:1 and excellent quality.

Room : (01:22) Presented 2.40:1 and again excellent quality.

The Daughter : (02:21) Presented 2.40:1 and excellent quality.

Deleted Scenes (4:59)

     Two deleted scenes (01:28 and 03:31) presented in same quality as feature.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 4 DVD release misses out on:

     The Region 1 DVD release misses out on the two deleted scenes. In addition, the Region 1 Blu-ray release contains:

Summary

    This is a literate, thoughtful drama which offers extremely accomplished filmmaking, but never really grabs the audience with the drama at its core. The image and sound are excellent, but the extras leave a bit to be desired, particularly considering the wealth of material that would be archived on these events.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, August 19, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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