Olsen Twins-When in Rome (2002)

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Released 18-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Alternate Ending
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 81:02
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Steve Purcell
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Mary-Kate Olsen
Ashley Olsen
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Brahm Wenger


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, bloopers during end titles

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the latest made-for-video movie starring comely twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. This time around, the exotic locale is Rome, Italy, where the two sisters play two sisters called Leila and Charli who have joined the summer intern programme at Hammond Enterprises, which is owned by the charismatic Derek Hammond (Julian Stone) - obviously modelled after Richard Branson.

    The internship director is Jami (Leslie Danon), a former protégé of Derek and still secretly in love with him. The interns are:

    For their internships, they have to perform various menial tasks including photocopying, delivering mail, acting as a courier, ... And all this under the watchful eye of Enrico Tortoni (Matt Patresi), head of the Rome office and his assistant Gianni (Alberto Bognanni).

    Jami informs the new interns that they will be competing with each other as the two best interns will be picked by Mr. Hammond as his personal assistants next summer in New York. So, will they turn against one another or work as a team?

    At first, the interns think they are doing okay, but find that the menial tasks aren't so easy after all. Charli and Paolo can't find the address they are supposed to deliver the packages to, Dari and Nobu discover they have accidentally photocopied the wrong report, and Leila collects a chef's hat instead of a pilot's hat from the milliner. Enrico puts everyone except Heidi on "preliminary probation."

    The next day, Leila stuffs up delivering a CD (through no fault of her own) and Charli can't figure out how to make the coffee machine brew espresso, so she makes instant coffee instead. Big no no! As a result, both Charli and Leila gets fired by Enrico.

    So, is it all over for the two sisters? Fortunately not. Jami gives Derek a call. Derek shows up, gives the girls their jobs back, and invites the two girls and Jami to spend a few days at his seaside villa. What is Derek's reason for the invitation? Is it because he is secretly in love with Jami and wants to spend more time with her? Or does he hope that one of the girls will be able to tame his wild and lackadaisical nephew Ryan (Derek Lee Nixon)?

    The second half of the movie becomes a mini-thriller as the girls discover a secret plot against Derek and together, with the help of the other interns and Ryan, they try to foil the plan.

    I quite enjoyed watching this film, and we get to see many of the familiar sights of Rome, including the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and various piazzas.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is presumably a full frame transfer, since the film was a direct-to-video release. Unlike the previous film (Our Lips Are Sealed) which was presented in NTSC, we do get a PAL transfer for this film.

    The overall transfer is okay for a direct-to-video feature. Both detail level and colour saturation are about average, although some outdoor scenes look slightly yellowish.

    Curiously, certain scenes look rather "grainy" such as around 10:0610:23, around 16:16 and around 17:0917:50. At first I thought the effect was intentional, but it occurs too randomly. I'm starting to suspect it's a problem with either the film stock or low level video noise.

    In addition, I can occasionally see shimmering, such as around 9:109:14 and 16:1116:12.

    The black and white scenes at the beginning of the film also look rather "jerky" or juddery - I am not sure whether this is intentional or an issue with the transfer.

    Finally, I can notice some instances of Gibb's effect ringing around 17:0317:09.

    English, French, and Spanish subtitle tracks are available. I turned on the English subtitle track briefly to verify that it exists. Dialogue transcription accuracy is above average - I noticed they even took care to spell Italian names correctly.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are quite a few audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s). I listened to the English audio track.

    The sound track is broadcast TV in quality. It is generally mediocre and unexceptional.

    Dialogue was pretty clear throughout and I did not notice any audio synchronization issues.

    Engaging Dolby Pro Logic II, I noticed some foley effects and background music being directed towards the rear channels but I am not sure whether this is intentional.

    The background music is mainly up-beat and boppy teen pop. The original music is by Brahm Wenger.

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

Extras

    Unlike the previous film (Our Lips Are Sealed), we don't seem to get a lot of extras in this DVD, but fortunately we don't seem to miss out that much compared to R1 so I guess the DVD authors just got lazy.

Menu

    The menu is full frame and static.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes (9:06)

    This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s). It features the twins talking about the film, plus behind the scenes footage. It also includes mini sound bites from:

Alternate Ending (1:24)

    This is presented in full frame and Linear PCM 2.0 48/16 (1536Kb/s). It puts a different spin on the ending so that no one is the bad guy. I think this ending is too sugary sweet, I'm glad they decided to use the version in the film.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    The additional extra trailers on R1 are not really that compelling, but I'll award R1 a slight win anyway.

Summary

    When In Rome stars the twin video and merchandising stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in location in Rome in an adventure that combines high fashion with summer internships and romance in the air.

    The video transfer is slightly flawed but otherwise okay.

    The audio transfer quality is okay.

    Extras are limited to a featurette and an alternate ending.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Monday, April 21, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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