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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Imitation Game [Blu-ray]


(Morten Tyldum, 2014)







Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Black Bear Pictures

Video: Anchor Bay / The Weinstein Company



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

Runtime: 1:53:51.825

Disc Size: 39,946,284,366 bytes

Feature Size: 28,000,235,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.88 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 31st, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3468 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3468 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



English (SDH), Spanish, none



• Commentary with director Morten Tyldum and screenwriter Graham Moore

The Making of THE IMITATION GAME (22:45)
• 2 Deleted scenes (3:51)
"Q&A Highlights" (29:11)






Description: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.



The Film:

The Imitation Game is a gripping, acclaimed thriller that tells the incredible true story of unsung war hero Alan Turing, the British mathematician responsible for cracking the German Enigma code during World War II. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness, and TV's Sherlock) and Keira Knightley (BAFTA nominee for Atonement, A Dangerous Mind) star as Turing and his ally and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top-notch cast, including Matthew Goode (The Lookout, A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, TV's Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (In Fear, TV's Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education).


The Imitation Game” is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing. Alan Turing’s tragically shortened life — he was 41 when he died in 1954 — is a complex and fascinating story, bristling with ideas and present-day implications, and it benefits from the streamlined structure and accessible presentation of modern prestige cinema. The science is not too difficult, the emotions are clear and emphatic, and the truth of history is respected just enough to make room for tidy and engrossing drama.

An Alan Turing biopic is, all in all, a very welcome thing. Chances are that you are reading this, as I am writing it, on a device that came into being partly as a result of papers Turing published in the 1930s exploring the possibility of what he called a “universal machine.” His decisive contribution to the breaking of the Nazi Enigma code gave the Allied forces an intelligence advantage that helped defeat Germany, though the extent of his wartime role was kept secret for many years. The secret of his homosexuality was revealed when he was arrested on indecency charges in 1952, caught up in a Cold War climate of homophobia and political paranoia and subjected to the pseudoscientific cruelty of the British judicial system.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE


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

The Imitation Game looks substantial on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay.  The image has some slight teal-leaning but most colors, rich pastels, support the period and excellent art direction. This is dual-layered with a reasonable bitrate and I suspect that the heavier style look is a solid representation of the film. There is frequent depth in the 2.39:1 frame and a high level of detail - noticeable in close-ups. The contrast is impressively layered and the visuals are, predictably, clean and consistent. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws and supplies a worthy 1080P presentation.


















Audio :

Not much in the way of aggression and the DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3468 kbps is more than capable of handling the film's audio requirements. It has hints of separation but everything is of a subtle nature with only a couple of more aggressive instances (planes, stock war footage etc.). The score is by Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Ghost Writer, The King's Speech) and works very well with the film capturing the moods with subtlety. There are optional English(SDH), or Spanish, subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

There is a feature-length commentary with director Morten Tyldum and screenwriter Graham Moore expanding on much of the film's historical references as well as expression of the themes. There is a 23-minute Making of The Imitation Game featurette with the cast and filmmakers providing input. Anchor Bay have included 2 deleted scenes running less than 5 -minutes and about 1/2 hour of "Q&A Highlights" after a showing in London.



I was very much taken with the first half and premise of The Imitation Game. But even the hint of, slightly preaching, moralist directions distanced me from the film. I realize the importance but it seemed out of place to me. Personally, I don't think this film lived up to my expectations, but I don't deny its popularity and worthiness for viewing. The Blu-ray does a solid job with competent a/v and the supplements, especially the commentary, add further value. Despite any reservations - we certainly recommend!  

Gary Tooze

March 21st, 2015






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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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