True Story is a movie starring Jonah Hill and James Franco, and in no way is it a comedy. Stop laughing, I’m serious. True Story is a drama/thriller, about a disgraced NY Times journalist, who discovers that a man accused of murdering his family has been stealing his identity. He has an idea to exploit the man and his situation to try and get back in the good graces of the writing community, but becomes close to the accused murderer along the way.
I didn’t know what to expect from this movie, honestly. I saw the cast, and I saw the trailer, and I knew that I wanted to see it at some point, but I also saw some pretty terrible reviews at the same time. More and more I’m learning that some of the top critics/journalist/bloggers have no interest in honestly reviewing a piece of entertainment. They’re more interested in getting blurbed, to the point that whatever mainstream opinion has been vomited out all over social networking sites will become the center of their review, opting only to produce the wittiest zinger, instead of providing their readers an honest review of a movie they’re thinking about seeing. Thankfully, the “journalists” got another one wrong with True Story.
People are used to Jonah Hill and James Franco being clowns, because well, they’re good at it. What some don’t know, though, is that they are pretty good at other types of roles as well. Not only is Franco good at dramatic/serious roles, but he’s also a hell of a director as well. Check out his page on IMDB and look at his directorial output as of late. There is some really good, experimental stuff released at Franco’s hands. It would appear that all of the time these two have spent together, laughing it up and appearing in fantastic comedies has given them quite an on-screen connection. A solid thriller is made even more so by the quality of their interaction.
The beauty of True Story is the enigmatic nature of the story it’s trying to tell. Even when your suspicions are confirmed, and you think you know the answer to the burning questions created by this story, you probably don’t. The main concern you’re supposed to have, is whether or not Franco’s character is guilty of the crimes he is being accused of, and even when you are given the answer, you’re also served up just enough reasonable doubt so that even if you know, you don’t really know. True Story is a pretty damn suspenseful thriller, and I would love to see these two actors tackle roles beyond their comedy comfort zone in the future.
FOX’s Blu-ray release of the film is pretty much what you’d expect. This is a new release Blu-ray, so unless there is some kind of major error(there isn’t) the quality of the transfer isn’t really an issue worth discussing. It looks gorgeous, just like ninety percent of the other new release titles from the studio. There are no issues to report with the audio, either. The one difference here, is that this Blu-ray does come with a decent enough extras package. New releases these days are coming with less and less extra bang for your buck, but FOX didn’t skimp with True Story. There is an Audio Commentary by Director Rupert Goold, an alternate ending, some deleted scenes, several featurettes, including one production documentary, and several other smaller features both about the film, and about the true story that it is based upon. That’s pretty good for a movie like True Story, and from a studio like FOX. FOX’s Blu-ray release of True Story is highly recommended.