[box cover]

The Mask: Platinum Series

For the leads of 1994's The Mask, the film is a very important milestone. It was Jim Carrey's second leading role after Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and this title proved that he could carry a movie, while for Cameron Diaz it was her first film role, and it launched her into A-list status — a status both stars have maintained since. It's also got a special place in New Line's heart, since it showed they could deliver a summer blockbuster. But besides all that, it's nice that the movie itself is actually still entertaining. Carrey stars as Stanley Ipkiss, a lonely banker who's known as "the nice guy." And on the worst day of his life, he finds a Nordic mask that unleashes his id, which turns him into a living Tex Avery cartoon. Both Stanley and his alter-ego are attracted to Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) and have been since she entered his bank, but she came in at the behest of her criminal boyfriend Dorian (Peter Greene), who was using her to scope the place out. But before Dorian can have his way with the bank, The Mask beats him to it, and it's not long before Stanley's tracked by both Lt. Mitch Kellaway (Peter Riegert) and Dorian. Born of the then-fledgling CGI, The Mask still works because it sticks to its very basic premise and lets Carrey have a vehicle for his winningly charming side and over-the-top antics — rarely has a role been such a perfect fit for its leading man. In fact, until Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), this was his best on-screen performance. Diaz is also appealing as the bombshell with a spark, and the two have a great charisma together. Though the film looks a bit dated and on the cheap side, director Chuck Russell does a smart job of playing to his actors' strengths, and he never lets the special effects get in the way. He also manages to make the film feel like a live-action cartoon, with knowing nods to Tex Avery. In retrospect, The Mask is a small film, but one that works because it satisfies what it set out to do. New Line presents the title in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS-ES 6.1 audio options as part of their Platinum Series. Extras include two audio commentaries, the first a previously released commentary with Chuck Russell, the second a new track with Russell, New Line founder Bob Shaye, writer Mike Werb, executive producer Mike Richardson, producer Bob Engleman, visual effects supervisor Scott Suires, and animation supervisor/cinematographer John Leonetti. Also on board are two deleted scenes with optional commentary by Russell and four featurettes: "Return to Edge City" (27 min.), "Introducing Cameron Diaz" (13 min.), "Cartoon Logic" (14 min.), and "What Makes Fido Run" (11 min.). Theatrical and bonus trailers, keep-case.
—DSH



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