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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Check out our review of Mr Turner. An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 150 minutes
Genre: Drama, Biography

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, French
Starring: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
Directed by: Mike Leigh
Written by: Mike Leigh
Music by: Gary Yershon
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 5th, 2015

"The Sun is God"

My Take:

Mr. Turner is the story of British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall). Growing up close to his father, we follow that last 25 years of his life which is now shaped by the effect his fathers death has had on him. Mr. Turner is a man who lives a simple yet confusing existence. This was a man who would grunt and groan answers like a pig, visit brothels and treat the world as his means to take basic urges on at his beck and call. At the same time he would paint some of the most sought after and beautiful works in the world and be commissioned by aristocrats that loathed him, but loved his mad genius.

This is a revelatory performance by character actor Timothy Spall (Wormtail in the Harry Potter Series) who commanded attention as the films lead, and it is a travesty he was not nominated for best actor. I can say the same for the film and director Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Another Year), as this is without a doubt the most over-looked film of 2014. I loved the films awkward pacing that stitched together this mans life and made up for lack of a truly gripping narrative. It was like a great painting or song, it just flowed with an ease to it that lulled me through the long 150 minute runtime. It's funny to look at the film this way, as Mr. Turner was an extremely rough man, using spit on his canvas, treating woman and other without much regard and being a very unpleasant specimen of a human being.

I highly suggest that film buffs, fans of character studies and history give Mr. Turner a view. Enjoy!

Parental Guide:

Rated R for some sexual content

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.**

Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Mr. Turner comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 2.39:1 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26.8 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

To look at Mr. Turner's video as a painting, as I am sure cinematographer Dick Pope (The Illusionist, Another Year) did, one would comment on its warmer color palette. It had a heavy use of earth tones such as browns and muted greens, however, splashes of more vibrant colors are used to jump off the screen and add depth and effect. Texturally there is a lot to look at from facial imperfections to weaves of textiles, as well as the texture of Mr. Turners paint and canvas. Black levels are deep but never without regard for shadow details, and as a whole, this is another shining example from Sony. The only gripe is that it was filmed digitally (can we even say "filmed digitally"?) and did suffer with a slightly sterile look. But film is not and we must look at this new medium with a bit of a different lens.

The DTS-HD MA losless audio track is proficient in rendering all dialogue and a fine bit of low level atmospherics. The films soundtrack is mixed with a wide spread that wanders to rear effect channels. As far a dynamics and LFE, we get a few moments here and there, however, its the effortlessness at which everything plays that makes this track so pleasing.

Bonus Features:
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Mike Leigh
  • (HD)The Cinematic Palette: The Cinematography of Mr. Turner
  • (HD)The Many Colours of Mr. Turner
  • (HD)Billiards (Extra Scene)
  • (HD)Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts:

Mr. Turner was a surprise for me, as I loved it and am confused to why this movie passed by without a nod (besides cinematography, music, costume and production design) in the higher categories by the Academy. The film really painted stark dichotomy between them man and his art, which in turn was enough to make this a rich and rewarding watch. Gorgeously filmed, this was a pleasure to watch in HD and is another wonderful release by Sony.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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1,385 Posts
Sounds extremely interesting.

Thanks for the review. I have not heard of this film and now looking forward to it.

  • Like
Reactions: Lee Weber

2,810 Posts
The price is a bit steep.:(

611 Posts
Timothy Spall is horribly underused as a leading man in films and it sounds like this just proves what a shame that is. Thanks for the review! I'm looking forward to seeing this one.
  • Like
Reactions: Lee Weber

835 Posts
Fine actor with Shakespeare under his belt. Of course most might recognize him from the Harry Potter movies.

Lee, great review and nice to see movies like these being given some time.
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