Liar Liar

Liar Liar (1997)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Jennifer Tilly, Cary Elwes
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurette, Deleted Scene, Outtakes, Theatrical Trailer

It has become a little quieter around Canadian wunder-comedian and rubberface Jim Carrey in recent years as he has also turned his career interests towards more mature films and dramas. Nonetheless, he still ranks as one of Hollywood's best comics in current cinema and his Golden Globe–winning performance in "Liar Liar" convincingly adds to this perception. The film has now resurfaced for use in your home theater as a HD-DVD release from Universal Home Entertainment.

Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) is a wealthy and successful attorney with only the wealthiest of clients, but unfortunately he is somewhat too busy working on his career. While this has already cost him his marriage, Fletcher is now about to also destroy his son's faith in him. His son Max (Justin Cooper) is living with his Mom Audrey (Maura Tierney). Though Fletcher is a loving father every time he comes to visit the boy, as a by-product of his profession, Fletcher is quick and exceedingly talented in twisting words into void metaphors, or as ordinary people would say, he simply lies a little too often. His job has turned him into a ruthless tool of our society and, without actually realizing it, Fletcher would put out any lie just to make his case.

As a result, over time his son has lost every ounce of trust and respect for his overly ambitious father, who breaks more promises than the day has minutes. When it is time for him to make his birthday wish, Max has only one wish in the world – that his father couldn't lie for a day! His wish is granted – suddenly, Fletcher discovers that he cannot tell even a simple lie. While at first being somewhat amused by his new-found honesty, he soon starts to panic, when he finds out that he cannot tell the slightest hint of a lie and, indeed, cannot even suggest one any more. When his career begins to go downhill through his sincerity, all of a sudden he remembers the real value of honesty and righteousness.

Jim's acting talent adds hugely to the portrayal of this character and clearly carries the movie. He manages to make this habitual liar a still-likable character, while his rubber face mimicry and fast-paced tongue get the idea of a totally flabbergasted, tormented lawyer across perfectly convincingly. It is once again outrageous fun to watch Carrey, especially when he is forced to tell truths every inch of the way and can no longer rely on his polite "schmoozing" abilities to get him around. His many inventive attempts to trick fate to allow him to lie again are wickedly funny and easily catapulted "Liar Liar" in the ranks of one of my Jim Carrey favorites at the time.

"Liar Liar" is now available on HD-DVD in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ration in a 1080p high definition transfer that has been encoded using the VC-1. The result is an image that is sharp and well-defined throughout. Whether it's the fine texture of the expensive suits, individual strands of hair or the glimmer in a little boy's eyes, the transfer brings it all out nicely and without problems. "Liar Liar" has a very natural-looking quality and the transfer help accomplish that goal by rendering colors absolutely faithful and giving the image solid depth with its black levels. Image detail is significantly improved over the previous DVD versions, and make this a HD-DVD release that is very appealing.

"Liar Liar" has a good music score by John Debny that nicely befits the film's story. It is unobtrusive and perfectly suits the purpose to underscore and capture the film's images and moods at any given time. Like the movie itself, it is an upbeat, sometimes comical, piece of music that has been transferred to disc in a rich Dolby Digital 5.1 Plus soundtrack. Dialogue is well integrated and always understandable and the overall transparent clarity of the audio presentation adds to its overall appeal.

As extras you will find the featurette "Bridging The Comedy Chasm" on the release as well as a deleted scene and outtakes, all culled from the previous DVD release. Also included is a highly informative commentary track by director Tom Shadyac in which he discusses the movie and its elements in more detail.

"Liar Liar" is a hugely entertaining, fast-paced family comedy that is mostly carried by Jim Carrey's soaring performance. His trademark rubber face comes to full use once again in this Universal release, and it will surely crack you up.