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True Romance 4K UHD Review

“True Romance” is a true cult classic. 

1993’s “True Romance” begins with a lonely Elvis loving comic book store worker (Clarence) sitting alone at a kung-fu triple feature in a grindhouse Detroit movie theater. A young woman (Alabama) dumps her popcorn on him and the two start to hit it off. It turns out she’s a call girl who was hired to entertain him, but she ends up falling for him and the two quickly get married. Wanting to clear his conscience, Clarence confronts Alabama’s pimp Drexl, but the situation goes south and Clarence ends up killing Drexl and his associate. He grabs a suitcase thinking it’s Alabama’s belongings, but it turns out to be a suitcase filled with cocaine. Clarence and Alabama high tail it to Hollywood where they hope to unload the drugs and start a new life. Alas, the sale turns out to be no easy matter as gangsters and police are hot on their track. 

We all know Quentin Tarantino ranks among the best modern filmmakers, but before he reached stardom as a director, he wrote a script called “True Romance” which was directed by the late Tony Scott (who is perhaps best known for helming the first “Top Gun” film). It’s hard to imagine a Tarantino movie without Tarantino at the helm, but the combined styles of the two artists managed to work quite well together in this quirky Bonnie and Clyde esque romantic crime drama/comedy. Aided by a monster cast and a great score by the legendary Hans Zimmer, “True Romance” is really an all-in-one package as it’s filled with romance, comedy, action, drama, oddball characters, pop culture references (in a way only Tarantino can do), and a whole lot of ultraviolence (especially in the crazy climactic shootout). Is it perfect? No. The tone can be strange, there’s some very derogatory and non PC stuff that hasn’t aged well, and the brutal violence against Alabama by Virgil is still hard to watch (even though she gets revenge against her torturer). 

Going back to the cast, it’s as good as it gets with the likes of Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, and Bronson Pinchot. Alongside his work in “Pump Up The Volume,” this is Slater’s finest role. It’s a role tailor made for him. Arquette is also perfect as Alabama and has a lot of chemistry with Slater. Most of the roles outside of theirs are small, but Brad Pitt is a great scene stealer as a stoner with loose lips, Gandolfini unsettles in a proto “The Sopranos” role as Virgil, and Oldman is freaky as the scarred rastafarian drug dealer Drexl.

Note: This disc includes the theatrical cut and the director’s cut versions. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? This is a positively fantastic 4K transfer. Fans will no doubt be pleased by this Arrow Video release.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? Viewers can expect layered DTS track with whichever option you go with.

Extras:
* 11 deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary by Tony Scott.
* US theatrical trailer, International trailer and 2 US TV spots.
* Production stills and poster and video art image galleries.
* Alternate ending
* Electronic press kit.
* Select scene commentaries. 4 from 2002 with Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt and Michael Rapaport and 2 from 2021 with Bronson Pinchot and Saul Rubinek.
* 4 new interviews with costume designer Susan Becker, co-editor Michael Tronick, composers Mark Mancina and John Van Tongeren, and Tony Scott biographer Larry Taylor.
* A whopping 4 commentaries. One by Tony Scott, one by Quentin Tarantino, one by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette and one by Tim Lucas. Tarantino’s track is the highlight here. His behind-the-scenes stories are always worth hearing.
 

Note: I reviewed a screener disc so I can’t comment on the contents of the packaged release.

June 28, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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