Tyrannosaur (2011)

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Released 16-May-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Audio Commentary-Director Considine and Producer Scrimshaw
Short Film-Dog Altogether (16.24)
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 89:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paddy Considine

Madman Entertainment
Starring Peter Mullan
Olivia Colman
Eddie Marsan
Paul Popplewell
Ned Dennehy
Samuel Bottomley
Sally Carman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Dan Baker
Chris Baldwin

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English AV Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Descriptive Audio Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     What is it with British actors making their feature film directorial debut that draws them to dark stories of violence and despair? Gary Oldman made the harrowing Nil by Mouth as his debut and Tim Roth presented The War Zone as his first feature. Now we have Irish actor Paddy Considine with his film Tyrannosaur. In keeping with the fine tradition of Oldman and Roth this is a dark and despairing drama about ingrained poverty and violence.

     When we first meet Joseph (Peter Mullan) he is a man at the very end of his tether. Drunk and angry at some argument in a pub he lands an ill-fated kick on his dog Bluey resulting in the death of his friend, perhaps his last friend. Actually Joseph has another friend, his best friend, a man lying at home, cancer ridden, waiting for death. Joseph lives in a dank and depressing house empty for five years since the death of his wife. Joseph is so filled with hate and rage that he can't help taking it out on all those around him. He is a man who is difficult to be around let alone love.

     After a characteristic explosion of violence Joseph, filled with self-loathing, runs from the pub and hides out in a charity shop staffed by Hannah (Olivia Colman). Hannah immediately recognises a troubled soul and being the deeply religious person she is offers to pray for Joseph. A staunch non-believer, or perhaps a person who believes he has been abandoned by God, Joseph is touched by the attention of this kind woman. However, unable to control his feelings he rails at her and her privileged lifestyle in the supposedly genteel Manor Estates. In fact, Hannah's life couldn't be less rosy. She is married to a man she no longer loves who takes out his rage and frustration on her in degrading and violent ways. Her husband (Eddie Marsan) is a nasty piece of work. He can't bear to see Hannah happy.

     The relationship between Hannah and Joseph develops albeit in a gritty fashion until a tragic event forces the two together. The by-line for the film on the back of the DVD case states "with every meeting comes a chance at redemption". The question is whether the rage fuelled Joseph will change his ways and save himself from an eventual decline.

     In no shape or form is Tyrannosaur and easy watch. It is filled with pain and suffering and the poverty filled housing estates and low lifes that occupy them can become suffocating. At the same time it is an extremely powerful and disturbing film and one that is not easily forgotten.

    Considine wrote the feature script based on his 16 min short film called Dog Altogether that also featured performances from Mullan and Colman. The short film is included in the DVD package and provides an interesting watch as it contains some scenes which are close to word for word. Mullan is no stranger to gritty dramas. Perhaps best known for My Name Is Joe he perfectly conveys a man who has spent his life making the wrong choices and using violence without thought. He is a man who is both frightening and believable. For him the chance of redemption may seem at times impossible. Eddie Marsan is another great actor who has made a career of performing as nasty characters. His unforgettable turn in Happy Go Lucky as a psychotic driving instructor was unforgettable. He has taken that performance one step further here bringing physical violence and degrading behaviour into the repertoire of his despicable character. The real revelation is Olivia Colman. There is no doubting her skill as a performer however until now she only appeared in comedy roles. As the woman of strong faith who projects, almost radiates, goodwill she is also a woman who fears going home at night to her awful husband.

     Tyrannosaur is not a film for everyone. It is at times unrelentingly bleak. The film does come with a language warning and rest assured it does deserve it! However, for those who like strong dramas this is an outstanding debut by Considine and a film that is hard to forget.

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Transfer Quality


     Tyrannosaur comes to DVD in a 2.35:1 transfer that is consistent with its original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     It was primarily shot in High Definition digital on the RED Camera. Despite the fact that this is a film about bleak environments it is presented in a clear and crisp DVD transfer. The blacks are deep and the colours, albeit subdued, are accurate.

     The flesh tones are realistic and the level of detail in this pleasing.

     There are subtitles in English for the hearing-impaired. These give an accurate rendition of the script only summarising where the dialogue comes to fast.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The prime audio soundtrack for Tyrannosaur is an English 5.1 track running at 448 Kb/s. There are also soundtracks for the audio commentary as well as a descriptive track.

     The dialogue is clearly spoken throughout however the characters often speak with extremely strong accents. When Peter Mullan did My Name Is Joe there were subtitles for his Scottish brogue. Although I tried to watch without I ended up viewing the film with subtitles on in order to catch all the dialogue. It was simply too difficult without.

     The surround effects are used subtly but pleasingly. The sub-woofer does not really have to do too much.

     Music is kept fairly sparse throughout. There are a few songs thrown in for good measure.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are a few extras added to this package.

Audio commentary with director Paddy Considine and producer Diarmid Scrimshaw

     This is a fairly interesting commentary track. Given that the director previously made a short film with the same actors and the same story there is considerable discussion about the changes that were made to expand the short film into a feature and the problems that the actors had re-doing the film. The director wanted a fairly straightforward film that did not rely upon tricks or artifice to create the drama. They take us through the filmmaking process scene by scene occasionally unintentionally stopping when the performances are strong enough to divert them from their task.

Short film : Dog Altogether

     It is worth watching the short film to compare it to the feature length. Essentially the film ends when Joseph hides away in the charity shop and nothing is told of Hannah's story.

Theatrical trailer

    The trailer for the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The DVD specifications appear to be the same as available in Region 2 UK. The film is also available in that Region (B UK) on Blu-ray which carries some extra features.


    Tyrannosaur is never easy viewing and some viewers will be put off immediately by the initial act of violence towards his dog and the unrelenting sense of foreboding that this story will end unhappily. For those who can bear the intensity of the drama Tyrannosaur is an excellent film that augurs well for Considine's career behind the camera.

    The DVD is of good sound and vision quality and there are some useful extras thrown in.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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