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"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (Blu-Ray Combo Pack)
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Universal
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
3/21/12
Special Features:

Interviews, featurette, commentary by Gary Oldman and director Tomas Alfredson, deleted scenes

Review:

Silence can be commanding if you have any doubt listen to…nothing when the house is quiet how it seduces you almost like a crafty spy. George Smiley commands attention and respect by saying nothing. His enigmatic expression telling us…nothing. Gary Oldman deserved his Academy Award nomination for his performance in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” which equals the outstanding performance by the late Alec Guinness in the TV adaptation from the 1980’s step-for-step and establishes that performance as unique. Oldman’s challenge was akin to Dustin Hoffman’s in playing the lead in “Death of A Salesman” after the Academy Award winning performance by Lee J. Cobb for the original film version. In other words, it was near impossible, scary and just this side of crazy. ***

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” returns to a type of thriller that has, unfortunately, largely been forgotten in this attention deficit challenged decade recalling thrillers like “The Conversation” and “The Parallax View” and “Klute” that builds suspense through storytelling. You need to be prepared that this film is convoluted without the rapid cutting style films typical display today. Patient is rewarded as is paying attention to this thriller which jumps back in forth in time. ***

It’s 1973. George Smiley (Oldman) one of the leaders of MI6 and trusted ally of Control (John Hurt) finds himself dismissed after a meeting goes awry with an operative (the always marvelous Mark Strong) behind the iron curtain. After Control’s accidental death he’s brought back into the “Circus” (as MI6 is referred to) to uncover a double agent high within the command structure of the organization. Smiley must wade through the sewage of double and triple crosses, misleading clues and red herrings and try and protect one operative (Tom Hardy) that has been accused by others (Toby Jones, Colin Firth, Ciarán Hinds, Devid Dencik) who are running their own operation outside of the supervision of others. ---

Image & Sound:

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” receives a sharp, detailed transfer with muted colors reflecting the “look” of 1970’s films while still capturing the look of higher resolution newer films. ***

Audio sounds terrific with a nice loss less presentation but keep in mind it isn’t all that active as this is primarily a dialogue driven film. ***

We get English subtitles for those who have trouble following the English accents.

Special Features:

We get an engaging commentary track by star Oldman and director Tomas Alfredson giving us quite a bit of background on the making of the film. ***

Providing a nice companion piece we get nearly an hour of interviews with the cast including co-star Tom Hardy along with Oldman and the director as well as author John LeCarré. ***

We also get a short promotional featurette on the production of the film that runs under 15 minutes as well as about 7 minutes of deleted scenes. We don’t, surprisingly, get the theatrical trailer.

Final Words:

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is the type of thriller that rewards the patient viewer and it’s a strong, well made movie. Goldman’s performance is the center piece of the film but he’s strongly supported by a terrific cast of brilliant character actors. Having said that, this thriller might not be for everyone.

 

 
 
 
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