The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 128 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Ciran Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Kathy Burke, Stephen Graham, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Simon McBurney
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Music by: Alberto Iglesias
Written by: Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan based on the novel by John le Carre
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 20, 2012
"The enemy is within"
Gary Oldman leads a stunning all-star cast in this masterful adaptation of John le Carré's bestselling novel that redefined the spy thriller. At the height of the Cold War, a precarious operation goes deadly wrong, and the head of British Intelligence wonders if a double agent is leaking vital secrets. Brought out of retirement to expose the potential mole, master spy George Smiley (Oldman) is the only one who can be trusted to expose one of their own. Or can he? As the emotional and physical tolls mount on the high-ranking suspects, Smiley will be forced into the ultimate international spy game where everyone's motives are in question.
At the height of the Cold War, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a.k.a. MI6 (code-named the Circus), has been compromised. An ever-watchful former top lieutenant and career spy, George Smiley, is called out of retirement by the government to help identify and track a suspected mole at the top of the agency. The list of suspects is narrowed to five men. Even before the startling truth is revealed, the emotional and physical tolls on the players enmeshed in the deadly international spy game will escalate.
This film plays out pretty much exactly as you might expect in that it is a straight forward whodunit with a finish that in my opinion wasn't hard to see coming. Where the film excels is in the unfolding events that surround the search for the crafty mole. The subtexts of betrayal and paranoia fuel the intrigue as ambition driven agendas and the high stakes that accompany them are played out right through to the film's final moments. I found reward in that as well as the superb performances by my man Gary Oldman, Toby Jones, and Benedict Cumberbatch (along with the remaining cast of notables). On the down side I found the pacing, especially during the first act, to be abysmal. During that first act I found myself rewinding a bit as I couldn't escape feeling as if I had missed something. The problem, at least for me, lied in the phrasing/dialogue which is filled with terminology used among the men/women of the Circus. The narrative also shifts back and forth in time with little indication so strict attention is required. By the second act the players/scenarios are clearly defined/established which allows the focus to shift toward deciphering the series of events both past and present that are leading up to the discovery of WHO. I did enjoy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but it wasn't the gripping spy thriller that I was expecting.
The rating is for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.
This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn't always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn't a diverse one and sticks mainly to tamped down secondary hues with splashes of primary colors that render a cooler overall aesthetic. Flesh tones are on the bland side but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is bold which adds dynamic emphasis to sequences containing bright elements. Blacks are nice and deep which provides plenty of pop when onscreen with mixed content. Scenes containing uneven and/or dim lighting reveal discernible detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. Grain is readily apparent in varying levels that at times draw attention to it. Otherwise I found little to complain about and thought that this one looked great.
This is primarily a dialogue driven film however there are elements in the film that require use of the entire system so its ability to clearly render them is essential. Dialogue is reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture as it is appropriately balanced within the front soundstage. The surround mix utilizes the entire platform to deliver the more active sequences as well as to recreate the acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional cues that effectively integrate with the front soundstage. This is an enriching audio presentation that mates well with the source material.
- Feature commentary with director Tomas Alfredson and actor Gary Oldman
- (HD) Deleted scenes - 6 minutes
- (HD) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy first look - 13 minute featurette
- Gary Oldman
- Colin Firth
- Tom Hardy
- Director Tomas Alfredson & co-screenwriter Peter Straughan
- Author John le Carre
- My scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Based on the best selling novel by John le Carre Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an engaging but lukewarm spy thriller that features an excellent cast led by the Academy Award nominated performance by Gary Oldman. It makes its way onto Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a decent supplemental package that is worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is recommended viewing but qualifies more as a rental than blind buy.
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