Tomas Alfredson’s exceptional theatrical adaptation of the classic John le Carré spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [my CNN.com review] is coming to DVD and BD on March 20th and while the DVD screener I got last year is nice, I can’t wait to see how the wonderfully muted color palette used by director Tomas Alfredson and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema looks in high definition. If done right, it should make you feel even more like you’re being swaddled in slightly damp corduroy. In a good way of course, because you’ll have a bottle of scotch or a pitcher of martinis, too.
With a superlative cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch (don’t get me started on how brilliant Sherlock is…), David Dencik, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong, TTSS easily made my top ten of 2011 [CNN.com and indieWIRE.com] and while I love (Oscar winner) The Descendants, I wouldn’t have complained if writers Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan had picked up an little gold man last month.
TTSS has got some pretty cool extras, too, including (BD-only): Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: First Look, deleted scenes, an interview with John le Carré, all the usual BD-LIVEmishegoss (apps, mobile bells and whistles, promos for other titles, etc.) plus one REALLY cool feature for those of you who, like me, occasionally miss lines of dialog. It’s called uHEAR and apparently allows you to instantly skip back a few seconds on your Blu-ray disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed. Not having a copy (yet), I can’t speak to how well it works.
Both BD and DVD have assorted interviews with Oldman, Firth, Hardy, Alfredson and Straughan (Bridget O’Connor, his wife and co-screenwriter tragically passed away from cancer in late 2010) as well as commentary with Alfredson and Oldman. Yeah, I am gonna have to listen to that one.
BBC Mini Series Hits Blu-ray
When I moved to LA last year, I sold my DVD version of the 1979 BBC mini-series of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in the hopes that the film would spark a BD version and (of course) it did. It’s a fantastic adaptation of a great novel and I am looking forward to checking it out and letting you all know how great it is.
Release date is April 24th and will include some new bonus features, like deleted scenes and a 29-minute new interview with director John Irvin. Also included among the extras is a 27-minute interview with le Carré, production notes, a glossary of main characters and terms, and a bio of le Carré.
They’re both exceptional and very different versions of the same source material (which you should read!) and I for one am looking forward to a week of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Blu-ray!