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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Mr. Turner [Blu-ray]


(Mike Leigh, 2014)


Sony (US) Blu-ray Release coming May 5th, 2015


and also in Europe:



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Film 4

Video: Entertainment One



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:30:01.909 

Disc Size: 46,510,759,804 bytes

Feature Size: 38,040,281,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.01 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 2nd, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1751 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1751 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Audio Descriptive Track:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2065 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2065 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH),none



Making of - The Many Colors of Mr. Turner (30:32)





Description: Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.



The Film:

The gap between the celestial art of the great English romantic painter Joseph Mallord William Turner and the brutish details of his life is vividly explored in Mike Leigh’s tragicomic movie Mr. Turner. Leigh, himself a somewhat curmudgeonly romantic, is best known for his caustic portraits of contemporary British life (Naked, Secrets and Lies). This is only the third time in a long career that he has made a period movie (his others were Vera Drake, about a 1950s abortionist, and his Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy-Turvy).

Though Leigh’s process – using workshops, research and extensive improvisation before forming a finished script – tends to focus on performance, Mr. Turner, his first film shot digitally by cinematographer Dick Pope, is one of his most visually powerful films, evoking Turner’s yellow-tinged sea and landscape images without mimicking the paintings.

Excerpt from the Globe and Mail located HERE

Not here, though. “Mr. Turner” is a mighty work of critical imagination, a loving, unsentimental portrait of a rare creative soul. But even as it celebrates a glorious painter and illuminates the sources of his pictures with startling clarity and insight, the movie patiently and thoroughly demolishes more than a century’s worth of mythology about what art is and how artists work. You may have had the good fortune to study Turner’s watercolors and martial tableaus up close, to linger over his storms and placid river scenes, but somehow Mr. Leigh makes it all look newly painted, fresh and strange.

Turner, played with blunt, brutish, grunting delicacy by Timothy Spall, is both a genius and an ordinary man, with the usual emotions and appetites. His art does not arise from any special torment or trauma, though he has his share of unhappiness. Nor is the unhappiness he inflicts on others — women in particular — excused as the prerogative of talent. The son of a barber, Turner takes a disciplined, businesslike, artisanal approach to his vocation, and even though he often seems gripped by an almost otherworldly inspiration, he and his art belong very much to the everyday world. With other artists, Turner is convivial, collegial and competitive. He is conscious of his celebrity, protective of his reputation and tireless in his labor.

Excerpt from AO Scott at the NY Times located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Mr. Turner gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Entertainment One in the UK.  It is dual-layered with a strong bitrate for the 2.5 hour feature. J. M. W. Turner was said to be a 'Romantic preface to Impressionism' and capturing the essence of his work would seem to be an incredible diligent project for the cinematographer (Dick Pope). From an interview HERE; "Dick Pope’s approach in the film was primarily to evoke, not reproduce the artist’s works. To do this he sought to find a way to use the same kind of palette and coloring as Turner’s paintings for the film." “Turner used warm yellow in the highlights and blue/teal in the shadows as his two main complementary colors. Indeed this seems to be born out by the chart of color pigments available to him at the time and as displayed at Tate Britain. His use of these 2 complimentary colors adheres very well to color grading theory, in that if you add yellow to your highlights and blue to your shadows, basically split toning the highlights and shadows, you change the world around the subject but skin tones remain the same.


The appearance of Mr. Turner has accurately been described as 'sophisticated'. The 1080P supports some demonstration-level visuals and contrast exhibits healthy layering, with some  depth in the 2.39:1 frame.  It's, predictably, pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws, whatsoever, with the rendering. This Blu-ray and film present as gorgeous and impressive image as I have seen in a long while. Kudos to Dan Taylor's Art Direction, Charlotte Watts' Set Decoration and the Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran.




















Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1751 kbps. Thee isn't a lot of separation exported by the film (or aggression), but what little exists is crisp with some notable discretion. The impressive score was done by Gary Yershon (Leigh's excellent Happy-Go-Lucky) augmented by Henry Purcell's Dido's Lament from the Opera "Dido and Aenas" and Beethoven's "Sonata Pathétique". This is where the track sounds wonderful and the lossless only helps the classic mood. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Extras have only the 1/2 hour 'Making of'... entitled The Many Colors of Mr. Turner with the filmmakers, including Mike Leigh, discussing the production hurdles and desired look.


NOTE: The US Sony release will include this same 'making of...' as well as a commentary with writer/director Mike Leigh, a deleted scene and a featurette entitled; “The Cinematic Palette: The Cinematography of Mr. Turner”.



Mike Leigh (Life is Sweet) is brilliant and continues to improve as a filmmaker - if that's possible. This director's body of work is already filled with many wonderful slice-of-life and dark humor entries and Mr. Tuner, a historical bio-pic, maybe his best film to-date. It's as visually impressive film as I have seen in a long while on Blu-ray. The EOne transfer is stunning and I suspect the, upcoming Sony will be the same a/v. Magnificent, touching film that is well worth owning to revisit through the years. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

March 13th, 2015

Sony (US) Blu-ray Release coming May 5th, 2015


and also in Europe:



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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