Tyson Blu-ray Review
Tyson comes to 1080P blu-ray in a 1.85:1 format with a MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer.
It's difficult to know exactly how to rank this video presentation. In the main this is a documentary that has been shot in a room in his house. Mike Tyson just sits solo in front of a HD camera and talks his life away.
The image is clean, bold and strong with some fine detail. Some of the close-up shots of his face are stunning as are some of the still images. The tattoo on his face for example is very finely detailed and you can literally see the pores on his skin with remarkable clarity. Aside from that though there's not much more to analyse about the picture other than a man who's sat on the couch !
It's not all good though. My biggest gripe was that the white levels are not as balanced as they should have been. They tend to waver from time to time, especially as the natural light behind him floods into the room. At times it messes with the picture but thankfully not with anything in the foreground.
Furthermore, the boxing footage from the eighties is not good. Perhaps its harsh to criticise this as the material is what it is. The problem is high definition can be unforgiving; when its good its good, when its bad its bad.
Whilst Tyson is not demo material, I cannot be overly critical of the film as it is. This is literally a case of function over form and it does the job.
There's one English Dolby True HD 5.1 lossless soundtrack on the disc.
Whilst there are meant to be five channels of sound, there may as well only have been three. Virtually everything apart from some music is anchored to the front sound stage.
When the music breaks out you can tell by the clarity of the sound, the quality of the lossless soundtrack on offer. Unfortunately this does not happen often enough. Dialogue is good but Mike Tyson has a heavy lisp which is at first a little annoying. Thankfully, as he relaxes, he opens up far more and talks more fluently and confidently.
The audio on this disc is actually quite basic and similar to the video and best described as 'functional' once again. To be fair it's quite difficult to criticise this documentary for its soundtrack. Whilst its not earth shattering stuff, what you get does actually complement it well enough.
The blu-ray comes with a limited number of extras but they are presented in HD. Unfortunately there's nothing further from Mike Tyson in all of this and all the features centre around James Toback.
The disc is BDLive enabled so you can go to the online portal is you are hooked up to the Internet via a suitable player.
Audio Commentary with James Toback - James Toback kicks off by promising a 'mesmerising' and 'hypnotic' commentary. Well, I wouldn't describe it as that! He's on his own and unfortunately he doesn't possess the most commanding or attention grabbing of voices. As a consequence it's quite a difficult commentary to get excited about. Nevertheless he has a good insight into Mike Tyson and having been close to him over a number of years allows him to expand more about the boxer and how they made this movie.
A Day with James Toback - (16mins 11secs) - This is essentially a 16 minute plug by James Toback about the movie and the premiere. Lacking in a little substance to be honest so I'd class it as filler material.
Iron Mike: Toback Talks Tyson - (11mins 49secs) - This one feels like a cut and paste interview with James Toback. The feature centres round excerpts from the movie of Tyson and then switches to Toback who reciprocates with some background.
James Toback on 'The Big Picture Show' - (13mins 8secs) - James Toback is interviewed on 'The Big Picture Show' and this feature feels like a promo rather than a documentary. There's nothing in here over and above what you would already have seen elsewhere.
Trailers & Previews - There's an original theatrical trailer for the film and some previews of upcoming blu-ray titles including Sugar, Rudo Y Cursi, Moon, Whatever Works, Waltz with Bashir and Redbelt.
Mike Tyson will surely go down as one of the Greatest Heavyweight Boxing Champions. In 1986 he became the youngest ever champion at the age of 20 when he destroyed Trevor Berbick within two rounds. Following on from that, he then became the undisputed champion by unifying all the belts, as well as one of the most feared boxers the world has ever seen.
'Tyson' the movie tries to address the man, the child and the boxer. It does so by providing a fascinating and quite unsuspecting insight into the mind of this once hugely talented boxer as well as the inner demons that have troubled him. This really is a sporting documentary unlike any other.
Mike Tyson's prowess in the ring was one thing but the spoils of overnight success did not sit pretty with him. The slow attrition of negative events outside of the ring eventually brought him down and cut short what could and should have a been a far lengthier reign as champion. What we have here is a Mike Tyson that nobody knows or ever knew existed in a brutally tell it all interview. James Toback has simply sat him in front of the camera and just let the film roll. The ex-boxer then slowly but surely opens up and pours out his soul for all to see.
The blu-ray disc is supported by a competent audio and video presentation but it is not show case material. There is as you would expect a lot of stock boxing footage and not a lot can be done to make it look good. This does of course defeat the purpose of a high-def release somewhat but not completely; a lot of the movie is based in his house and the close-up presentation looks good for it. Unfortunately the extras could have been far better if they had revolved around the boxer himself rather than James Toback.
Nevertheless, Tyson is a fantastic movie and a must see film. Whether you loved him or loathed him you'll be perplexed by the man on show here. I doubt that you'll see another movie about a sportsman as well made or as fascinating as this one. Boxing fans will definitely want this in their collection but 'pound for pound' I would recommend this as one for all sporting fans to watch.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.77
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