Liar Liar appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image was mostly positive, though unexceptional.
Sharpness generally seemed good, as most of the movie looked fairly crisp and well-defined. A few interiors seemed a little mushy, and edge haloes offered mild concerns; those elements were a huge distraction, but they created unnecessary distractions.
No issues with shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I didn’t sense any problematic use of digital noise reduction. Print flaws stayed minor. I noticed a few minor marks but nothing much.
Colors usually looked reasonably accurate and natural, as the movie featured a fairly realistic palette. Interiors again caused some concerns, as those shots appeared somewhat more flat and drab, but as a whole, I felt the hues were acceptably vivid and distinct.
Black levels seemed to be fairly deep, and shadow detail often looked appropriately clear and visible, though those interiors could seem mildly murky. Ultimately, Liar Liar provided a generally good image that remained less than stellar.
Similar sentiments existed for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Throughout much of the film, we got a subdued soundfield. Much of the movie stuck mainly with general ambience, though some modest panning and localization occurred at times; for example, cars moved adequately from side to side. Surround usage seemed to be even more limited, as the music was reinforced in the rear, but little other activity occurred back there.
One major exception existed, and that segment was the only thing that kept the audio of Liar in “B-” territory. The movie’s climax took place at an airport and involved a jet. This part of the film became pretty active and involving, as the various elements occupied the spectrum. Without this section, the soundfield would have remained dishwater dull, but these few minutes of excitement helped redeem it.
Audio quality worked fine. Speech was a little edgy at times but the lines usually appeared pretty natural. On the other hand, effects sounded fairly clean and dynamic, especially during the airport shots, where I heard rich and vibrant elements.
Music also seemed to be robust and lively, as the score presented deep and bold pieces. Ultimately, Liar Liar offered a generally unexceptional soundtrack that contained some flaws but still had enough going for it to merit a “B-“.
How did the Blu-ray compare with the Collector’s Edition DVD? Audio seemed more natural and dynamic, while visuals appeared tighter and more accurate. Though the Blu-ray didn’t soar, it still worked better than the DVD.
The Blu-ray replicates most of the DVD’s extras, and we begin with a very solid audio commentary from director Tom Shadyac. He provides a wealth of interesting information during this running, screen-specific track. Despite my misgivings about some of his films, he offers an engaging and entertaining presence and makes this commentary a consistent treat.
Early in the track, Shadyac relates that he has tons of material he wants to discuss for each scene, and it quickly becomes clear that this wasn’t an idle boast. He tosses in scads of fun production anecdotes, most of which concern the film’s wild star.
Shadyac covers his impressions of working with Carrey and how he has to keep everything together in the face of the performer’s style. He also discusses his theories of comedy filmmaking and goes over a lot of other issues related to the field.
At times, Shadyac tends to go spout a lot of remarks about how wonderful everyone was. Normally I hate those aspects of commentaries; too many tracks turn into lovefests that lack any sense of realism. While Shadyac doesn’t mention any real problems on the set, I actually feel that his enthusiasm helps make these remarks seem genuine and not problematic.
Ultimately, Shadyac’s commentary seems fun and compelling; he includes a wealth of strong facts about the film, and I really enjoyed his discussion. By the way, you’ll definitely want to stay with the track through its conclusion; toward the end of the movie, we learn of an interesting cameo that I never would have seen otherwise.
Bridging the Comedy Chasm provides a short featurette about Liar Liar. For the most part, this 16-minute, eight-second program functions as a standard, semi-promotional puff piece. It combines the usual mix of film clips, shots from the set, and cast and crew interviews. For the latter, we here from director Shadyac, producer Brian Grazer, and actors Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper and Jennifer Tilly.
For the most part, we mainly hear fluffy comments about how great everyone was, but Carrey’s presence makes the show worthwhile. He adds some funny shtick from the set, and his interview snippets also provide some witty material; his tongue-in-cheek discussion of the plot - in which he alludes to a slew of other then-recent films - gets a little old, but as a whole, his statements are still quite amusing. His antics on the set also seem entertaining, and all of these elements make “Chasm” an enjoyable program.
As a documentary, it doesn’t do its job, but as a piece of entertainment, it works well. Bits that should have made the cutting room floor: the cloying Carrey impression done by young Cooper.
The disc’s sole Deleted Scene is an interesting one, though it would have been unnecessary within the framework of the finished film. This three-minute, 52-second clip would have showcased Fletcher’s legal - and lying - skills early in the movie, and though it’s a fun piece, we quickly learn of his dishonest nature, so it wouldn’t have added anything to the finished product.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find one minute, 34 seconds of Outtakes. These are pretty standard “goofs and giggles” fare, but Carrey’s presence makes them more enjoyable than usual.
Liar Liar stands as easily the best film directed by Tom Shadyac, and it’s one of the more satisfying Jim Carrey comedies. Nowhere else does he showcase his talents to such terrific effect. The Blu-ray offers acceptable picture and audio along with a few interesting supplements. Nothing about this release stands out as exceptional, but the movie remains amusing.