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True Romance (1993)


Released:  Friday, September 10, 1993  
Length:  121 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama
Rating: True Romance is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

True Romance Synopsis

When inexperienced call girl Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) is paid to seduce comic-book-nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence Worley (Christian Slater), she doesn't xpect to fall for him. But these two lost souls seem to be made for each other and quickly pledge their love, marrying at Detroit's city hall. Clarence discovers some newfound bravado and attempts to retrieve Alabama's possessions from her pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman), who isn't exactly eager to let Alabama go. Fleeing Drexl's apartment, Clarence not only leaves a trail of bodies, but also inadvertently mistakes a suitcase of uncut cocaine for one with his wifes clothng and the chase is on. The unlikely newlyweds head for Los Angeles hoping to sell the cocaine and make enough money to leave the country. Unfortunately, they also have to contend with the mob, yuppie drug dealers and the police. Michael Rapaport is amusing as Clarences best friend who lives with Floyd, a stoner played by Brad Pitt. A sedate Dennis Hopper appears as Clarences father, who ultimately faces off with mob boss Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken).

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True Romance (Limited Edition) 4K Review

True Romance (Limited Edition) 4K Review

The name Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) has become synonymous with bizarre plots, violence, and massive amounts of cursing.  The name Tony Scott (Top Gun) has become synonymous with amazing action sequences and in-depth character development. What happens when you put the two together with a screenplay written by Tarantino and directed by Scott? If you are a fan of either or both men, you obviously know the answer can only be 1993’s True Romance.

Starring Christian Slater (Broken Arrow) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) the plot takes the audience on a wild ride through the lives of a loner, a prostitute, and the drug cartel with millions of dollars of cocaine on the line.  If you are a fan of the film, get excited because the restoration/special releases experts, Arrow Video, have put together one, terrific, limited release 4K set that only Arrow Video could.  The outcome is a special collectible that includes (previously released) extras, a 60-page booklet, postcards, and a double-sided poster.

Clarence (Slater) loves Kung Fu movies and Elvis.  When a “chance” meeting with fellow film fanatic, Alabama (Arquette), occurs Clarence finds himself drawn to her.  After spending the night together, Alabama confesses she is a call girl hired by Clarence’s boss to make him feel special on his birthday.  However, when Clarence confesses his one for her, Alabama reciprocates and the two get married.  Clarence then goes to Alabama’s former pimp (Gary Oldman; Bram Stoker’s Dracula) intending to retrieve her personal belongings, but ends up killing the pimp and accidentally taking a suitcase full of cocaine…and all of that occurs within the first thirty minutes of the film.

Scott had a knack for drawing out emotions from his actors, which in turn, creates strong performances and a movie in which audiences can become emotionally invested.  Luckily, he was blessed, in this case, with an ensemble cast full of incredibly talented thespians. Besides Slater, Arquette, and Oldman, the film includes Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider), Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos).  Coupling these famous actors with a unique story and script from Tarantino, it is easy to see why True Romance has become a beloved film.

Although this movie isn’t as old as some other Arrow Video restorations, it benefits from the upgraded technology.  While the 4K versions of the film aren’t vastly improved from the Blu-ray quality, they do offer some very good definition.  The Dolby Vision heightens the depth of colors, especially in the black shadings.  Equally, there is an improvement with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, giving the audience a more immersive experience.  The dialogue is clean and the ambient sounds (i.e. gunfire) envelope the viewer.

As with all Arrow Video releases, there are copious amounts of extras. Even though most of them are previously released, it doesn’t make them any less interesting.  The packaging comes with six postcards, a two-sided poster, and a 60-page booklet to review.  The extras housed on the lone disc in the set include Director's Cut and Theatrical Cut, Commentary by Tony Scott, Commentary by Quentin Tarantino, Commentary by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, Commentary by Tim Lucas is new to this edition and features unabashed fan Lucas proclaiming the virtues of the film, Select Scenes Commentary Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Michael Rapaport, Bronson Pinchot, Saul Rubinek, You’re So Cool, Relentless Romance, Amid the Chaos of the Day, A Hunger for Mayhem, Cadillac Man, Deleted & Extended Scenes, Alternate Ending, Electronic Press Kit (US Featurette 1/US Featurette 2/International Featurette/ Behind the Scenes/ Interview with Tony Scott/ Interview with Christian Slater/ Interview with Patricia Arquette/ interview with Dennis Hopper/ Interview with Gary Oldman), Trailers and TV Spots (US Theatrical Trailer/ US TV Spots/ International Trailer) and Image Galleries (Production Stills and Poster & Video Art).

I’m sure diehard fans go True Romance will hate me for saying so, but the movie hasn’t aged very well.  There is definitely dialogue spoken and clothing and hairstyles that would not work today but in 1993 they were acceptable.  Other than those issues, Tarantino is an incredible storyteller (though I wish he could find other adjectives that aren’t curses), Scott was a heck of a filmmaker, and Arrow Video knows how to put out a quality product.  I highly recommend getting this release.

Grade: A-


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