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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2012

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"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-march-2012-tinker

Synopsis

Gary Oldman stars as former British secret agent George Smiley in this stylish adaptation of the novel by John Le Carre. In the early '70s, Smiley is called out of retirement and tasked with flushing out a Soviet mole believed to be serving in a high-ranking office of British Intelligence, MI6. Smiley's search is narrowed to four senior men, but which one is the double agent?

 

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2011, Rated R, 128 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC MPEG 4
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, John Hurt
  • Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Although two hours long, the slowly developing story manages to work in the key elements from the original lengthy novel. You will need to pay attention or you'll get lost in the labyrintine plot. The movie benefits greatly from some terrific work from the cast, especially Oldman as Smiley, a retired Cold War veteran whose long brooding silences enhances his methodical pursuit of a "mole". The music and set pieces give the film an authentic 1970's feel, while the pacing of the story keeps the suspense alive to the end. Because this is a "thinking man's" spy tale with an intricate plot, to really absorb the full effect of this movie, I would recommend at least two viewings. You'll be rewarded for it. Oldman continues to astound me with his acting skills.

Technical

The picture is quite good with plenty of detail and colors that are bright and bold. In spite of several dark scenes, I saw no crushing or loss of details in the murk. Dialog is crisp (though with some heavy British accents) and well presented. The sound is enveloping with lots of ambiance and details in the surrounds. Because it is not an action flick in the general sense, the sub only plays a supporting role throughout the movie. What a wonderful music soundtrack, too!

Extras

Bonus features include audio commentary with Oldman and the director, featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes and a digital copy with a DVD.