True Romance (1993)
Directed by: Tony Scott
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, James Gandolfini, Michael Rapaport, Patricia Arquette, Samuel L. Jackson
It’s almost upsetting when you realise Tony Scott’s crime caper, True Romance is just shy of 30 years old. With fresh faced Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette as the smitten lovers trying to the leave the world behind, it’s a film that still surprises with how funny, sweet and clever it is. Written by none other than Quentin Tarantino, it has pretty much all the hallmarks of the QT brand. Lingering conversations, dark humour and plenty of violence. Clarence (Slater) & Alabama (Arquette) meet at a Sonny Chiba triple bill (if it isn’t already obvious who wrote this) at their local cinema and sparks immediately fly. Both stuck in a rut, they decide to leave their lives behind and start anew. Things are not going to be that simple, however. In their bid for freedom, they attract some unwanted attention in the form of pimps and mobsters and the bodies soon start to pile up, as well as the stakes. Spurred on by their whirlwind romance, they ditch the cold but beautiful working class city of Detroit, and head for the sun drenched, smog hazed Los Angeles.
We meet a wild array of colourful characters throughout their journey, from Drexl, Gary Oldman’s grotesque white Rasta, by way of Dennis Hopper’s ex cop, Christopher Walken’s mob boss and James Gandolfini’s gratuitously violent mob enforcer. This is as well as a plethora of other stars and cameos including Brad Pitt and Samuel L Jackson. And not to forget Hans Zimmer’s naively optimistic score. Even if you’ve never seen the film before, you’ll have heard this somewhere. Going against the grain in terms of the films tone, there’s almost a sense of child like innocence between the violence and escalating threat. True Romance is a film that remains just as good today as it ever has done, but now looks even more wonderful thanks to the excellent 4K restoration from Arrow Video.
Arrow’s Blu-Ray’s have always been something to get excited about, often seeming to go that extra mile in terms of presentation and content, with True Romance being no exception. The ultra HD transfer is nothing short of beautiful, maintaining that gorgeous, 90’s film shot aesthetic, whilst looking clearer than it ever has done. It compliments Tony Scott’s great direction perfectly, and with the Blu-Ray containing both the theatrical and extended cuts, there really hasn’t been a better way to watch it. Coupled with some thorough interviews, featurettes and other extras including deleted and extended scenes, all with commentary from Scott and QT, it’s an extensive dive into the world of True Romance. Again, it can’t be understated just how good this film looks here, considering it’s from 1993. An all round great package for fans and newcomers alike.