Trip to Italy, The (Blu-ray) (2014)
Interviews-Cast-Q&A with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
Featurette-Guy Grossi Recipe
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Michael Winterbottom|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It seemed an unlikely project for an entertaining TV series. Put comedians and actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon together and have them chat their way around the English Lake District whilst sampling the local restaurants. Instead of being a dull travelogue the witty pair turns a plotless journey into an entertaining TV series and film. That was The Trip a few years ago. Now, in 2014, the pair joins up again to journey through the beautiful Italian countryside sampling rustic hotels and glorious pasta. The by-line "anyone for seconds?" fairly much sums up the show. If you enjoyed the first series then this will be equally entertaining.
The Trip to Italy, as with its predecessor, was a multi-part TV series which was then condensed for cinema viewing into a more palatable movie length. The six part TV series can be purchased separately. For those who have not seen The Trip, the show works so well because Coogan and Brydon play accentuated versions of themselves. Coogan is difficult at times and pretentious whilst Brydon is overly meek yet passive aggressive. When Brydon asks Coogan to explain what his legacy will be after his death, Coogan replies "six BAFTA's". When Brydon points out that he has only five BAFTA's Coogan quickly replies that he will undoubtedly get a Lifetime Achievement Award. It is those sorts of exchanges and the regular battle of impressions that carry the momentum of the show.
Certainly there is no plot to speak of. There are plot incidents and bubbling marital discord and some classic insults. As with the first series the locations are often beautiful and the food amazing although it is not a cooking show - we watch the dishes being prepared, served and eaten without much in the way of explanation of their elements.
As said, The Trip to Italy breaks no new ground however it is an ambling and always pleasant entertainment for a rainy Sunday.
The Trip to Italy was shot on high definition digital video and comes to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 transfer consistent with the original aspect ratio.
Whilst not much may have changed in the style of the show there is a definite improvement in the visual quality of this film as opposed to The Trip. Or perhaps it is that the Italian countryside seems so much more beautiful and vibrant. Whatever it is, there is an incredible sharpness on offer and the shots of the pair cruising in a yacht against the backdrop of the Italian coast could have been taken from an advertisement for the wonders of Italy.
The flesh tones are accurate.
There are no visual defects in the transfer.
The Blu-ray of The Trip to Italy carries a DTS HD Master Audio English 5.1 sound track.
As with the previous film this is slightly overkill for a film that largely consists of a couple of clever men sitting around eating and talking. Nevertheless the high bitrate transfer is appreciated.
There are no defects with the transfer and all the dialogue can be heard clearly.
The soundtrack features classical music from the great composers mixed with Alannis Morrisette (you'll have to watch the film to understand).
|Surround Channel Use|
There are approximately 50 minutes of extras on this Blu-ray. These are:
This is a lengthy interview after the screening of the film. In fact most of it is taken up with the stories about the original film. Director, Michael Winterbottom got the pair involved and they started filming whilst driving around the Lake District. At the time neither knew whether it would be funny let alone a success. The Q&A session does get into some detail about the process of creating the scenes. Clearly Coogan and Brydon work well together and the Q&A is as full of jokes as the show itself.
The famous Melbourne Italian Chef Guy Grossi provides a recipe for one of his favourite Italian dishes, the "testaroli". It is an interesting addition.
The trailer for the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Trip to Italy will surprise no one but will delight many of those who were fans of the original series and film. The Blu-ray quality is wonderful particularly in vision terms. The extras are pretty interesting.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|