Latest Review

Import Corner: True Romance: Limited Edition (Arrow Video) 4K Blu-ray Review


The Tony Scott directed, Quentin Tarantino scripted masterpiece that is True Romance has been given the 4K treatment from Arrow Video. Is this a worthy upgrade or should you wait for something better?

Studio:
Arrow Video
Release Date: September 10th, 1993 (theatrical)
                            July 19th, 2021 (4K blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 58 minutes 14 seconds (theatrical)
                    2 hours 0 minutes 36 seconds (director's cut)
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 2160p (2.39:1 aspect ratio)
HDR: HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
               English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: No (chipboard hard box)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, and Tom Sizemore
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Directed by Tony Scott
Rating: BBFC: 18 (strong bloody violence)

NOTE: I do not have the ability to take screenshots of 4K blu-rays. So, there will be no screenshots in this review. I would have included screenshots from the blu-ray, but Arrow doesn't seem to want to include the blu-ray with most of their 4K blu-rays, so I can't do that either. There are packaging shots at the end like normal.

____________________________________________

Poster

____________________________________________

What's It About?

Elvis-worshipping comic book store employee Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is minding his own business at a Sonny Chiba triple bill when Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) walks into his life – and from then on, the two are inseparable. Within 24 hours, they’re married and on the run after Clarence is forced to kill Alabama’s possessive, psychopathic pimp. Driving a Cadillac across the country from Detroit to Hollywood, the newlyweds plan to sell off a suitcase full of stolen drugs to fund a new life for themselves... but little do they suspect that the cops and the Mafia are closing in on them. Will they escape and make their dream of a happy ending come true? (taken from 4K blu-ray case)
 ____________________________________________

Film Review

What does one say about TRUE ROMANCE that hasn't been said? This is one of Tony Scott's best films as well as being one of Quentin Tarantino's best scripts. Everything is just right about this film. The writing is impeccable with some of the best dialogue scenes ever in an action film. Tony Scott gives the film his usual look and feel, but he does something that his contemporaries didn't always do: he let the dialogue scenes play out. Many action directors would have cut down the dialogue to fit their style of filmmaking, but not Scott. He lets the characters talk and he fits his style around them. The film also has one of the best casts out there. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are perfect here. They are so believable and likable. I can not imagine anyone else in these roles. There isn't a role in this film that isn't perfectly cast. This was a film that most people discovered after walking into their local video store back in the day. I can tell you that is how I discovered it. TRUE ROMANCE is a wonderful film that is still being discovered to this day. 
____________________________________________

Video/Audio

Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and featuring a brand new 4K scan of the film's original negative and 35mm intermediate elements, this is one fine transfer. The film's domestic blu-rays both look like crap, so Arrow had their work cut out for them. Thankfully, Arrow always comes through. Detail is extremely high here, especially in the close-ups. The "Sicilian" scene is a prime example of this. You can see that Christopher Walken's character is wearing a pinstripe suit, something I never noticed before. The artificial sharpening is gone as is the ringing. Grain is also here. It's thin, but it's there and it is nicely refined. The HDR, (both HDR10 and Dolby Vision) gives us some very nice colors. This is one of the best transfers of 2021. 

There are two audio tracks for our choosing: a 5.1 track and the film's original 2.0 mix. The 5.1 track is very loud. In fact, it was much louder than I was expecting. This isn't a bad thing. Just an unexpected one. Dialogue sounds great and the surrounds get a workout during the action scenes. 
____________________________________________

Extras/Packaging

Arrow Video has ported over all of the legacy features from the various dvds and blu-rays throughout the years and has added a number of worthwhile special features. There are four commentary tracks for the main feature. All four are worth listening to for completely different reasons. The Tony Scott track is more of a technical track. The Tarantino track is kind of an "outsider looking in" kind of track with Tarantino talking about the film from both a writer's POV and a viewer's POV. The Slater/Arquette track is an actor track where they talk about working with the different actors and people behind the scenes. The Tim Lucas track is a retrospective track from the viewer's POV. 

Then, on top of the four main commentary tracks, we have six select scene commentary tracks. These tracks range from four minutes to thirty-four minutes and encompass that actor's screen time. Four of the tracks are legacy while there are two new tracks with Bronson Pincot and Saul Rubinek. I had fun with all of these tracks and they don't take up a lot of time. 

There are five new interviews here. The first is with Susan Becker, the costume designer who recalls the different approaches Tony Scott took to the material and his wants for each character. Next up is Michael Tronick who worked with Scott on many films as his editor. He talks about Scott's shooting style and how he always had enough coverage for every scene. Scott loved shooting, even if it was inserts. Mark Mancina and John Van Tongeren are up next and they talk about their time on the film and what it was like working with Hans Zimmer. Larry Taylor takes us through Scott's career in the next interview. Scott has always been a director we needed to know more about and this interview definitely fills us in on the late director. Finally, for the new interviews, we have Dan Price who is an uber-fan of the film. He talks about how he obtained the purple Cadillac that Christian Slater drives in the film. 

Eleven deleted and extended scenes meet us next. There are a few good scenes here but they were rightfully cut. The alternate ending is interesting but would have killed the mood of the entire film and left audiences on a dour note. The electronic press kit features four featurettes on the making of the film and some on-set interviews with the cast. Last but least are the trailers and image galleries.

Feature Commentaries:

    -Tony Scott
    -Quentin Tarantino
    -Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette
    -Tim Lucas

Select Scene Commentaries

    -Dennis Hopper (11m 17s, 4K, 2.39:1)
    -Val Kilmer (4m 8s, 4K, 2.39:1)
    -Brad Pitt (5m 47s, 4K, 2.39:1)
    -Micahel Rapaport (34m 40s, 4K, 2.39:1)
    -Bronson Pinchot (16m 27s, 4K, 2.39:1)
    -Saul Rubinek (6m 57s, 4K, 2.39:1)

New Interviews:

    -You're So Cool with Susan Becker (10m 5s, HD, 1.78:1) 
    In this brand new interview, produced exclusively for Arrow Films, costume designer Susan Becker 
    looks back on her work on the film.

    -Relentless Romance with Michael Tronick (12m 50s, HD, 1.78:1) 
    In this brand new featurette, produced exclusively for Arrow Films, co-editor Michael Tornick look 
    back on how the film was cut together

    -Amid the Chaos of the Day with Mark Mancina and John Van Tongeren (11m 59s, HD, 1.78:1)
    In this brand new featurette, produced exclusively for Arrow Films, composers Mark Mancina and
    John Van Tongeren recall their collaboration with Hans Zimmer on the film's music score. 

    -A Hunger for Mayhem with Larry Taylor (7m 51s, HD, 2.39:1)
    In this brand new featurette, produced exclusively for Arrow Films, the director of True Romance
    is profiled by Larry Taylor, author of Tony Scott: A Filmmaker on Fire.

    -Cadillac Man with Dan Storm (7m 51s, HD, 2.39:1) 
    In this brand new featurette, produced exclusively for Arrow Films, Dan Storm discusses how came to 
    acquire the original Cadillac from the film and co-found the annual True Romance Fest.

Deleted and Extended Scenes with optional commentary from Tony Scott (29m 15s, SD, 2.39:1)

    -At the Movies (3m 32s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -Heroes for Sale (2m 9s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -He Really Loved Her (1m 23s, 2.39:1)
    -Coming Clean (5m 13s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -Drexl Does Business (3m 36s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -An Amazing Girl (1m 35s, 2.39:1)
    -No Cheers (4m 36s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -Vincenzo's Vendetta (1m 47s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -"We Know What We're Doing" (2m 21s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -Playing "What If?" (2m 4s, SD, 2.39:1)
    -Elliot's Motivation (1m 17s, SD, 2.39:1)

Alternate Ending with optional commentary by Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino (6m 23s, SD, 2.39:1)

Electronic Press Kit:

     US Featurette 1 (5m 39s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -US Featurette 2 (5m 41s, 1.33:1)
    -International Featurette (7m 48s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -"Behind the Scenes" 1993 featurette (15m 21s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -1993 Interview with Tony Scott (4m 19s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -1993 Interview with Christian Slater (1m 52s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -1993 Interview with Patricia Arquette (2m, SD, 1.33:1)
    -1993 Interview with Dennis Hopper (1m 48s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -1993 Interview with Gary Oldman (3m, SD, 1.33:1)    

Trailers and TV Spots:

    -US Theatrical Trailer (2m 17s, HD, 2.39:1)
    -US TV Spots (1m 4s, SD, 1.33:1)
    -International Trailer (2m 27s, HD, 2.39:1)

Image Galleries:

    -Production Stills (72 images)
    -Poster and Video Art (17 images)

TRUE ROMANCE comes to us from the fine folks at Arrow Video. This is one of their Limited Editions, which means there are some nice features and some nice packaging. The outer box is the usual chipboard type that Arrow has been using for years. Very nice and very reliable. The artwork used for this release is decent. It isn't the best commissioned artwork that they have used, but it certainly isn't the worst. It gets the job done. Inside this slip box, we find a double-wide black 4K blu-ray case that houses the 4K disc (no blu-ray) and six postcards that feature scenes from the film. Also included is a 60-page booklet featuring new essays on the film from Kim Newman and Nicholas Clemment, an oral history of the film that appeared in Maxim magazine, and a Tony Scott eulogy from Edgar Wright. Last, but not least, is a double-sided poster featuring the commissioned artwork on one side and the film's original theatrical poster on the other side. 
____________________________________________

Overall

Arrow Video has really been proving that know how to handle the 4K game and their TRUE ROMANCE release may be their best yet. We have two cuts of the film in 4K, with some of the best picture quality I have seen on the format. We also have all of the legacy features plus some new ones that are worth the time. This will definitely be on my "Best of 2021" list.
____________________________________________

Packaging


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Phantasm Sphere Collection (Well Go USA) Blu-ray Review