Twin Sisters (Tweeling, De) (MGM) (2002)

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Released 15-Mar-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 131:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ben Sombogaart
Studio
Distributor
Hopscotch
MGM
Starring Thekla Reuten
Nadja Uhl
Ellen Vogel
Gudrun Okras
Jeroen Spitzenberger
Roman Knizka
Julia Koopmans
Sina Richardt
Case ?
RPI ? Music Fons Merkies


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Based on the novel De Tweeling by Tessa de Loo, this is the story of two sisters who are split apart when their parents die. Lotte (Thekla Reuten) is taken to Holland by her aunt, while Anna (Nadja Uhl) stays in Germany with her uncle.

    They grow up leading very different lives. Lotte’s new family is rich and well educated. She is looked after well, but her new family look down upon the family of her sister and do not permit any contact with them. Anna’s new family are farmers and lead a simple life. They do not see the need for education, and despise the other family for being snobs. They also prevent any contact between the sisters.

    This is a story about the strong bond between the girls, but shows how events and circumstances can change one’s life. Anna, growing up in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, is swept up in the growing sentiment of national pride amongst the younger generation, while Lotte falls in love with a Jew in Holland.

    They cross paths several times during the course of the movie, and each time their relationship changes. Events in the world, and in their lives, have a tremendous impact on their feeling for one another.

    This is an excellent movie. The story is very interesting, focusing on how two almost identical women can become so different and yet be so similar. The acting is great. The cinematography is great. The score is great.

    This film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 76th Annual Academy Awards, but was passed over in favour of The Barbarian Invasions.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Shot in 35mm, this film was meant to be presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. However, what we get on the DVD is a non-16x9 enhanced image in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1. At least it’s better than a Pan & Scan transfer, but is there any excuse for a non 16x9 enhanced transfer these days? There are many great sweeping shots in the film, from beautiful countryside to beautiful houses. I want to see all these scenes at full DVD quality!

    The film has quite a lot of film artefacts. This detracts a bit from the film. This is also disappointing considering this is such a recent film.

    There are no subtitle options. You get English subtitles as part of the picture. You cannot turn them off. There is a grammatical error in the subtitles at 107:23 - "they entire truck exploding".

    There is a layer change at 114:50. It is a well positioned layer change.

    Other than these issues, the rest of the picture quality is good. The image is quite sharp, colours are good and there are no problems with MPEG artefacts. It’s a shame that such a good movie is given a poor DVD transfer.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track, which has a mixture of Dutch, German and English and is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 kbps.

    The score by Fons Merkies is excellent, and generally sounds good on the DVD. The dialogue is clear.

    But, just like the video transfer, the audio transfer is marred by technical problems. There are crackles, pops and clicks all through this. It is quite distracting and annoying.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

    The trailer goes for 2:13. The video, like the main feature, is letterboxed. The quality of the video in the trailer is vastly inferior to the main feature. It is very chunky, with significant MPEG artefacts. The audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 kbps. There are no English subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie does not appear to have been released in Region 1 yet. It has been released for the Dutch market, as a Region 2 DVD.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 2 (Dutch) version is obviously vastly superior.

Summary

    This is a really great film, with a poor transfer. Even still, it’s definitely worth seeing. Look into getting the Region 2 version... or alternatively, wait for Hollywood to remake this film, as they tend to do – we’ll get a great transfer of a mediocre adaptation!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Brumby (read my bio)
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1300Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE500 Widescreen High Definition Projector onto a 102" screen. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V800
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 Front, Aaron CC-240 Centre, Aaron SS-240 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW320 Sub

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