Imitation Game, The (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 6-May-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Audio Commentary-Director Morten Tyldum and Screenwriter Graham Moore
Featurette-Making of The Imitation Game
Deleted Scenes
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Q&A Sessions
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 114:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Morten Tyldum
Graham Moore
Andrew Hodges
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring




Case ?
RPI $44.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Linear PCM 48/24 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Imitation Game is the story of the cracking of the Enigma code, a fiendishly complicated code created by the German machine, given that name by the allies during World War II. Using the code creating machine, with its seemingly infinite variety of combinations, allowed the Germans to communicate freely with their troops across the world. Although the film brought to light the amazing work of Alan Turing and crypt-analysts at Bletchley Park in the UK, the story of the codebreakers has been around for some time. So long, in fact that there have been successful plays (Breaking the Code)and "spin-off's" of fictional versions of the story like the movie Enigma.

What is central to The Imitation Game, is its focus on the personal life of Alan Turing. His story is a complicated one and the film is more of a bio pic than a retelling of the Enigma story. The hook is that Turing was a gay man and was famously prosecuted for gross indecency in the 1950s. Here was an unsung hero of the war being treated as a criminal for his sexual preferences. Recently the UK Parliament passed a law pardoning Turing for his alleged crime. This itself has led to further debate. Those within the LGBT community welcomed the pardon but pointed out that it was only appropriate that the many other people prosecuted over the years for their sexuality also received pardons.

The film uses the prosecution of Turing as a book-end to the central story of how Turing came to Bletchley Park and got to work breaking the code. The Turing of the film is presented as borderline autistic - a brilliant mathematician who has no understanding of how to deal with real people. The performance of Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing was a highlight of 2014 cinema, and rightly recognized by numerous acting nominations. He invests himself deeply into the role creating a character who is often brilliant and just as often unlikable.

After some vernal jousting with Tywin Lannister himself (Charles Dance) the brilliant but odd Turing comes to Bletchley Park and promptly makes himself very unpopular with his team of fellow geniuses. He is like a 1940's Sheldon Cooper in dismissing their utility to the project. It is only when brilliant female mathematician Joan Clarke comes on board that Turing begins baby steps towards uniting the team towards the common goal of cracking the code.

The surprise for many of those who are not fans of Keira Knightley is her excellent performance as Turing's best friend and fiance, Joan Clarke. Historians and those who knew Joan have been somewhat critical of the way in which she is portrayed in the film, with the plain-jane Clarke being played by the beautiful Knightley.

As is common with a bio pic there has been criticism of the script which places Turing at the centre of the universe and almost the sole saviour of Britain during the war. Those criticisms are understandable but less valid in a dramatic film which steers away from a pure documentary approach to the historical events. The response of scriptwriter Moore to these criticisms has been to make a valid point. One of the huge problems with bio pics is that often may seem like "greatest hits" compilations with a plot torn from a Wikipedia page.

The Imitation Game was, for my money, one of the best films of 2014 and one which deserves to be in any drama lovers collection.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   

The Imitation Game was shot on 35mm film and comes to Blu-ray in a 2.35:1 transfer consistent with the original cinema aspect ratio.

Whilst the film is shot in a traditional fashion appropriate to the period and does not feature any flashy special effects or visual artistry this is at all times an excellent transfer.

The flesh tones are accurate and there is a wonderful level of detail in the transfer typified by the weave of the suits and textures of the wooden surfaces.

There are no technical problems with the transfer.

There are English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The Imitation Game features an English DTS-HD Master Audio track in 5.1 surround surround.

The track is another high quality effort. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand.

The surround effects are subtle but effective throughout. The sub-woofer is reserved for the war moments, which are few, but otherwise it is also a subtle presence.

The score is to my mind one of the best that prolific film composer Alexandre Desplat has ever produced. Emotive and effective it gives a deep emotional resonance to the film.

There is also an audio descriptive track for the vision impaired.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are a host of extras with the Blu-ray.

Audio Commentary: Director Morten Tyldum and Screenwriter Graham Moore

A detailed audio commentary track. Moore has said at various points that he has been obsessed with the Turing story for quite some time which was reflected in the crafting of his Oscar winning script.

The Making of The Imitation Game (22:46)

Much more that a simple studio puff piece this is a very watchable affair as cast, crew and Turing biographers get to talk about the man himself and the film story.

Deleted Scenes

Two scenes are included Nock Is Being Followed (2:17) and Nock Discovers Alan (1:33) which expand upon the detective story behind the film.

Q&A Highlights (29:11)

There are three different Q&A sessions stitched together for the movie. The producers feature heavily which is appropriate but I didn't get an awful lot out of the sessions. One for the completists, perhaps.

R4 vs R1

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

   This is the same as the Region A Blu-ray. Buy Local!

Summary

   

The Imitation Game was nominated for a swag of Oscars and was perhaps unkindly shut out of a few.It is an old-fashioned movie that could have been made by David Puttnam but it is nevertheless enthralling featuring a stunning turn from Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Blu-ray is great quality with heaps of extras. Buy it now.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayJVC DLX 700 with 4K e-shift on 140" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital 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 78K 9.2 Channel
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

Other Reviews NONE
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