Tamara Drewe (2010)

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Released 14-Jun-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 106:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Frears
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Gemma Arterton
Roger Allam
Bill Camp
Dominic Cooper
Luke Evans
Tamsin Greig
Jessica Barden
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Alexandre Desplat


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
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

     Tamara Drewe is a very English film, and I mean that positively. It is easy to see why this low-key but entertaining romantic comedy drama set in the English countryside only made $500,000 at the US box office. It is very dissimilar to US made romantic comedies as it contains very little broad humour. It is a gentle, amusing and somewhat acerbic comedy drama based on character interactions and the dynamics of a small community.

     The story revolves around the titular character who returns to the small community, Ewedown, in which she grew up, with a plan to do up and sell off her family's home which they bought when another local family fell on hard times. She had a fling with the son of that family, Andy (Luke Evans) when they were younger, and he still lives locally. In the time she was away, she has had a nose job which has turned her from an ugly duckling into a beautiful young woman (Gemma Arterton). Andy also helps out as the gardener at a country property owned by successful novelist, Nicholas Hardiment and his downtrodden wife, Beth (Tamsin Greig from Black Books). Nicholas has been cheating on her for years and generally shows little appreciation for how important her support is to his success. Beth hosts writers’ retreats at the property which brings American writer Glen, who writes very studious books, into the mix. He starts to feel sorry for Beth and to find her helpful to his writing. Another important character is the drummer of a successful band, Ben, who visits the area with his band and is slated to do an interview with Tamara, who is a journalist. There are also the recurring characters of two young teenage girls in the community, one of whom is obsessed with Ben. All of these elements lead to a number of actions, reactions, romances and even deaths as the plot plays out.

     The film is based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds and was directed by Stephen Frears. The film is quite enjoyable entertainment for the 100 minutes it runs for, however it will not be remembered as a great film. The acting is quite good without being great and the story doesn't really have a lot to say but gets the job done. It is probably caught somewhere between being a comedy and a drama without being clear about which one it wants to be. The score is a highlight by one of my favourite current composers Alexandre Desplat.

     A decent film but not a 'must see'.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is a bit average for a recent film. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is not the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. Without any definite information, I would guess this has been cropped rather than open matted.

     The picture was a little softer than most DVDs of recent films. It is a good advertisement for Blu-ray. The colour was very good with no issues to report. There were some mild MPEG artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read but maybe slightly larger than they need to be.

     There is no obvious layer change during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is quite good. This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus a Dolby Digital 2.0 track and an Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear and understand, however the subtitles were useful at times. From a sound perspective , the score by Alexandre Desplat was a highlight and used all the speakers. The surround speakers were mostly used for music and occasional directional effects. The subwoofer was used for music support.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu was cute, with the characters popping up and down and featured music from the movie.

On the Set (8:07)

     A pretty poor excuse for an extra, this featurette is just rough on set footage from the shoot with no voiceover or context.

Theatrical Trailer (1:40)

     A good representation of the film.

R4 vs R1

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

    Well, we got dudded pretty badly here in Region 4. The Region 1 version has the correct aspect ratio, 2.35:1, and seemingly a better picture based on reviews. Also it has some proper extras including an audio commentary and some cast and crew interviews.

Summary

     A low key romantic comedy drama from Stephen Frears.

     The video quality is disappointing. The audio quality is quite good. Extras are pretty ordinary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, June 17, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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