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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish
  Extras
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Alternate ending

When in Rome

Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 81 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The Olsen twins are back… again, but stay far away this time. Billboard Dad was fun. Holiday in the Sun was promising. Our Lips Are Sealed was a stereotypically funny look at Australia. When In Rome is none of these, it just really stinks – and that is being nice.

Firstly, we have the Olsen twins factor, so you know what that means, and then there is the actual story – wait, sorry, ‘story’ isn’t the correct word. It’s a horror film in accents, acting and dialogue – all nightmare material that someone actually paid money to make. The girls, in their early teens, act like they are in their early 20s, sending a delusional message to all the teenybopper girls out there – let's just say there is more to life than boys. The story behind this film is weak and lacking in the charm that the previous three films reviewed at least remotely held. This film is just an excuse for the girls to go to Rome, make a movie, and kiss more boys. Sigh and groan, enough already!

If you haven’t already guessed it, this film really got to this reviewer, and it left a really foul taste in my mouth. Parents are warned to keep there kids away from this one as even the entertainment value is thin and the girls really are not sending an appropriate message to young impressionable minds. Grab Maid in Manhattan, On the Line or Crossroads (God forbid) as these are examples of more entertaining films (believe it or not) and they hold ideals that are more appropriate for young teenagers. But hey, this is just one opinion.

Charli and Leila (Mary-Kate and Ashley) are summer interns at a fashion and entertainment company that is situated in Rome. But shortly after their arrival and first day they are both fired. So now they want to know why... Along the way they find boys, talents, the sights of Rome and more boys. Yes, it’s as shallow as that.

  Video
Contract

Are you sitting down? Good, because you’ll need it for this. If you’ve read the reviews for Billboard Dad, Holiday in the Sun and Our Lips Are Sealed then you would notice that the Olsen twins DVDs are all Region 4 NTSC discs. Still seated? Well When In Rome graces our region with a... yep you guessed it, a Region 4 PAL transfer!

So what accompanies this PAL transfer is a clearer definition, sharper image and a more detailed picture. Colours are bright, chirpy and bubbly – everything a transfer should be. Shadow detail, however, is lacking severely with a terrible definition and disgusting quality. Blacks are relatively solid, but this does contribute to the blocky shadow definition.

Minor compression artefacts scatter the transfer, but look closely if you want to find them. Sadly, film artefacts aren’t as discrete, as black and white specks often whiz past. Grain is limited to a fine wash over the entire image, yet is exacerbated by the minute compression artefacts.

Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish, and the English subtitles are reasonably accurate, and concise.

  Audio
Contract

Three Dolby Digital 2.0 audio tracks have been thrown in the mix, with language options of English, French and Spanish. Now honestly, you’d probably be better off choosing French or Spanish as it would be more interesting than the actual dialogue.

Now while we are on the subject of the dialogue, it isn’t terribly clear for some scenes in the film, partly due to some terrible accents. Without a better word, they suck. We have an Australian-sounding Italian boss, a German sounding Italian and a variety of other multi-cultural characters falsely filling the screen. The music that accompanies the film is lively, boppy and suitable for When In Rome’s content as well as the target audience. Overall the soundtrack is fitting for the budget of the film (and that of the DVD release) but isn’t anything extraordinary. The lack of surround and subwoofer activity leaves the soundtrack flat and shallow, and for the whole lacking in directional effects.

  Extras
Contract

OK, there's nothing terribly special with these extra features, just a brief look behind the scenes as well as a crappy, corny and cruddy alternate ending - from watching this it is easy to see why they changed it. To sum it up, think of the stories you wrote when you were a kid where bad things were happening and then you woke up and it was all a dream... its similar to this, but really poorly done. And they are the extra features, as always interactive menus and scene zccess don’t count – sorry!

  Overall  
Contract

This is by far the saddest Olsen twins flick to reach our shores, with simply atrocious production values as well as a poorly written script. This is just an advertising spot for Rome. Period.


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      And I quote...
    "...this film is just an excuse for the girls to go to Rome, make a movie and kiss more boys..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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