Tamara Drewe Blu-ray Review
‘Tamara Drewe’ wiggles on to American Region A locked Blu-ray with a beautiful 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The lighting and camerawork is real eye candy as it captures the verdant greens and earthy browns of the British countryside within the ‘scope screen width. The transfer loses none of the beauty as it retains the golden warmth of the sunshine and the natural look of British skin tones. Contrast is nice and healthy throughout and there’s plenty of detail in the shadows. Blacks are how we like them too, good and deep. The image detail on display is impressive. You could probably count every brick in the cottage walls, if you had nothing better to do. The wrinkles on the older actor’s faces are explored but not in a clinical manner, due to ‘in camera’ filters. The smoothness of Tamara’s complexion is only interrupted by her gentle smile lines and this is all translated by the transfer. My eye didn’t really take note of any film grain, but it’s there in a very, very fine form. This is an extremely pleasant looking Blu-ray.
The audio on ‘Tamara Drewe’ comes in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround flavour which provides a gently immersive experience for the audience. While the film is mostly dialogue led with its focus being mainly front centre weighted, the surrounds are used to deliver the sounds of the countryside. Chirping birds and moo-ing cows come from all around. Alexandre Desplat’s unobtrusive score enlivens the main stereo pair and the subwoofer is nudged into action during Ben’s rock concert scenes. As cows run from left to right, the sound panning follows them precisely and the bass extension adds some thunder to their trampling hooves. A very good, discrete mix.
Audio Commentary - I would have been interested to hear from director Stephen Frears on this comm. track but in fact we get Gemma Arterton and Luke Evans telling us amusing anecdotes about the other actors in the film as well as what they were like to work with. Missing is the overall production detail that a director could provide, instead we get the actors view and it tends to be a bit fluffy, but nonetheless fun to listen to.
The Making of ‘Tamara Drewe’ (SD, 14 mins) - Those involved tell you how clever they thought Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel was as well as how great director Frears and star Gemma Arterton were in their respective roles within the movie. They discuss Tamara’s character and how much of a modern girl she is in an old fashioned world. A bit of puff really.
Reconstructing ‘Tamara Drewe’ (SD, 10 mins) - Stephen Frears & Gemma Arterton tell us how they first came to realise Posy Simmonds work as an update of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’. It’s interesting to hear a director say that the comic strips are almost a storyboard of the movie. We get to see the original graphic novel as they identify scenes in the movie.
Trailer (SD, 2 mins) - The trailer is in the style of a comic book and it gives us a taste of the countryside and the allure of Tamara.
The very recent ‘Tamara Drewe’ arrives on American Region A locked Blu-ray with a beautiful looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The picturesque countryside and rural idyll are displayed with great colour strength, contrast and filmic sharpness that is real eye candy. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix provides us with clear, crisp dialogue from front centre together with the sounds of the countryside courtesy of the surrounds. An actor’s commentary, a couple of mini featurettes and a trailer make up the bonus materials. The movie itself is witty, funny and poignant based on the Posy Simmonds graphic novel. Gemma Arterton leads a great British cast including Roger Allam, Tamsin Greig and Dominic Cooper with confident direction by Stephen Frears.
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