EW reviews new Peter Weir reissues -- New special editions of ''The Truman Show'' and ''Witness'' make the grade
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EW reviews new Peter Weir reissues

Director Peter Weir has a talent for transforming actors, a skill which is apparent on two special editions from Paramount. Jim Carrey’s sensitive portrayal of oblivious reality TV star Truman Burbank in The Truman Show(PG, 102 mins., 1998) delivered the outrageous comedian from the depths of manic bathroom humor. And superstar Harrison Ford nabbed an Oscar nomination by swapping his fedora for an Amish straw hat in Witness(R, 112 mins., 1985). A superb five-part making-of revisits the entire Witness cast, including then novice Viggo Mortensen. (”Since leaving the Amish fold, he’s certainly learned how to use weapons,” Weir jokes about the future King.) Ford’s fondness for the film is evident when he discusses his subtle creative contributions like the romantic Sam Cooke-fueled barn scene. Carrey, meanwhile, appears only in dated interviews, leaving Weir, Ed Harris, and Laura Linney to headline the unfulfilling two-part Truman retrospective. Weir and producer Edward S. Feldman’s tale of Harris’ last-minute casting as the God-like Christof deftly avoids any mention of the actor he replaced (Dennis Hopper). In one of four deleted scenes, Christof conducts a ”Truman Show” table reading, creepily discussing plans for the first-ever on-air conception. Oddly, both discs are the rare special editions that lack commentaries, denying viewers any additional Weir’d tales. Truman: B Witness: A- ?Jeff Labrecque

The Truman Show
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