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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
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Release Date: March 12th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1994

True Lies: Ultimate Collector's Edition - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Bryan Kluger

Thirty years later, True Lies gets the 4K treatment it deserves. This amazing, all-out action movie with tons of great comedy is finally getting the big-star treatment in video and audio presentations with wonderful new 4K images and a Dolby Atmos audio treatment. Both are simply fantastic and make the film the best it has ever looked or sounded on disc. The new extras are hilarious and worthwhile. Highly Recommended


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p/HEVC Dolby Vision HDR
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos
Release Date:
March 12th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Action movies are a different breed today. Most action flicks are steeped in darkness with brooding characters with a ton of CGI effects with very few if any, practical effects. The lead action heroes today are also very slim and don't usually look the part of a big machismo protagonist. However, back in the '80s and '90s, it was an entirely separate ballgame. The action was loud, cartoonish, ultra-violent, and most of all - a lot of fun. The heroes had large muscles and said great one-liners while distributing thousands of rounds of ammunition. One of the reasons audiences worldwide went to cinema screens was to see Arnold Schwarzenegger ooze his charisma in action films. perhaps the pinnacle of his action movies, and there are many of them, is 1994's True Lies, directed by the one and only James Cameron.

Not many people remember that True Lies is an American remake of a French film from 1991. Cameron and Schwarzenegger saw the charm and the potential big-budget spectacle that could bring in tons of money and wow audiences over in the States. And that it did. And like many '80s and '90s action vehicles, True Lies operates under the laws of comedy, way-out action stunts, and Cameron's unique brand of writing (that might not hold up in current climates, although the macho dialogue still rings funny). This is Cameron's 007 Bond film and it never disappoints in its action or comedy elements. Plus the performance from Schwarzenegger is exquisite. But it's the co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Schwarzenegger's wife and Tom Arnold as his bureau partner that bring this film home and keep it somewhat grounded while still silly.

The story has been done many times over, but never with this kind of star power for its time on such a major level budget-wise where Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) lives a double life. One is a computer salesman whose wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter (Eliza Dushku) think he is a big nerd who works a lot. That's just a front for his real job as a spy who consistently saves the U.S. from its worst enemies, complete with big explosions. The two personas shall never meet for safety reasons, but all bets are off when things go awry with a terrorist who wants to nuke America. Through some truly funny and bizarre mishaps with Tasker and Helen who needs some excitement in her life, she gets more than she bargains for when she realizes who her husband is, forcing them to be united in love and action to escape certain death.

From galloping horses in hotels and elevators to military jets over a city, a nuclear explosion, and a fantastic bridge chase sequence - True Lies has it all. It manages to exude its violent nature and has great, layered characters while having a blast at all times. There's never a real moment of sincere dread or brooding. Even in the film's goriest sequences and most violent moments, there is an over-the-top cartoonish quality that puts a smile on everyone's face. That's certainly not the case today. Even as far back as 1994, Cameron was ahead of the times by flipping the script for Jamie Lee Curtis, the usual damsel in distress, allowing her to comically shoot machine guns, punch the bad guys, and do her part as an equal to her husband. It was a breath of fresh air back then and still is today. Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica and Ripley from Aliens would be proud of Helen Tasker for sure.

Plus one of the funniest and greatest sideshow characters in movie history is located within this film who is played by the late, great Bill Paxton. His work with Cameron is legendary and it shows in True Lies as he plays a slimy car salesman who attempts to pick up women by pretending to be a secret agent. When he and Schwarzenegger cross paths, it's some of the best comedy around and extremely memorable. True Lies is a beacon of fun in an era of action movies that have largely gone extinct. So many people have been clamoring for another installment here from everyone involved, but it's so wonderful to revisit a film like this three decades later and enjoy the sheer spectacle this movie still is.


Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
True Lies fights its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via 20th Century Studios. The two discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The 4K is pressed on a Region Free BD-100 disc with a BD-50 serving up the 1080p version and bonus features. The artwork features both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis with handguns and grenades. The discs load to standard main menus with basic navigation systems. 

NOTE: as of press time we haven't been able to pull 4K disc-sourced images. Hopefully soon we can come back and either add new images and/or video sample.

Video Review


Finally, True Lies comes home with a 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision that looks very good. There has been some controversy on this new transfer on how good it looks since Disney released these new Cameron 4K presentations digitally several weeks ago. This movie has not been widely released on physical media since the days of DVD and had that old-school grain and nostalgic look of a film from 1994. With modern technology and Park Road's AI assistance as it's been reported, this new video image looks much cleaner and but also smoother than ever before. Which may be a bother to many fans.

The color palette showcases its power in the opening scene with the cold steely blue filters applied inside the spy truck and in the exterior cold sequences with snow. Inside the mansion is a very warm contrast with white linens, diamonds galore, gold fixtures, and jewelry. It's a striking sequence to behold and that becomes the case with most of the film until the latter part where more green trees and nature is provided. But there is a good enhanced upgrade between the physical copy and the digital streaming versions. Each scene is a bit bolder and richer on the physical side. The famous dance sequence with Jamie Lee Curtis is bathed in a perfect blue glow and now her red lipstick shows up well in these filters. The makeup applications on everyone shine more, but that is the case with most presentations of older films. 

The detail is often extremely sharp and vivid, now breathing life into those closeups that reveal facial stubble and skin pores, individual hairs, makeup, gory wounds, bullet holes, textures in the clothing, and background objects as they've never been seen before. Even the rare CGI effects of the jets look amazing. Some people are complaining about the film looking too good or that it looks too smooth in its operation. This film still has what looks like a fine layer of grain that keeps a somewhat filmic appearance to a small degree, but the new transfer fixes all of those VHS and DVD imperfections. It looks like a brand-new film, not something that was shot thirty years ago, which is a feat in itself, but how new and clean it looks may be the sticking point for many. That said, the one big difference that I noticed in this 4K presentation is when Schwarzenegger clobbers the two attack dogs in the beginning, it's now extremely clear they were rubber dogs. A big laugh was had.

Audio Review


The new Dolby Atmos track is out-of-this-world. This film is what Dolby Atmos tracks were made for. The sound effects are loud, boisterous, and nuanced all at the same time. The opening sequence allows for multitudes of people at a party to be heard from various levels of the mansion, the symphony playing the tango, and gunshots to explode from everywhere. Even the little earpiece in Schwarznegger's ear makes a great impression. And it ends with a fantastic explosion, engulfing all of the speakers. This is only the beginning as chase sequences galore, horses running in the street, and more give way to some excellent sounding effects.

Gun blasts come with powerful punches and explosions bringing the debris and heavy low end of the bass with an amazing rumble. The jet sequences kick into high gear with every noise possible and sounds like there is an actual jet inside anyone's viewing room. The music cues are wonderful and the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. The height speakers bring in the carnage from above, whether it be rain, bullets, or debris from falling buildings. This is a top-notch Dolby Atmos track, one that everyone will be satisfied with.

Special Features


There is one new extra, which is a 44-minute set of interviews, two of which are brand new with Schwarzenegger and Cameron. The rest are vintage interviews. 

  • Fear is Not An Option (HD, 44 Mins.) - This is a brand-new bonus feature that has Schwarzenegger and Cameron talking about making the film, how it came to be, and how much fun they had on it. Vintage interviews from 2012 with Curtis and Paxton are included with a ton of behind-the-scenes footage included. It's worth the watch.
  • Archives - This feature examines a ton of photography, promo materials, storyboards, first-scripted drafts, and more from the production of the film. This is all a slideshow of sorts.
  • Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

Final Thoughts

True Lies is still a wonderful masterpiece and one of the best action movies ever made. The sheer amount of over-the-top stunts, fun, and comedy that made up the recipe for this film is incredible thirty years later. Hollywood should still invest in films like this on a big scale. The new 4K image with Dolby Vision is impressive if the processed appearance may rankle some ardent film fans out there. The new Dolby Atmos audio mix sounds impeccable so that's worth celebrating. And the new bonus features are highly entertaining and worth watching.  Overall - 4.5/5 Highly Recommended