Agatha and the Storm (Agata e la Tempesta) (2004)

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Released 26-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Respiro, The Last Kiss, Remember Me, Since Otar Left
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 120:07 (Case: 125)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (82:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Silvio Soldini
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Licia Maglietta
Giuseppe Battiston
Emilio Solfrizzi
Marina Massironi
Claudio Santamaria
Giselda Volodi
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen
Remo Remotti
Monica Nappo
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Giovanni Venosta


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    First, some housekeeping. This disc is available separately or as the first disc of the Italian Film Festival 2004 Box Set from Fox. The box set contains 11 films spread over six discs. Fairly obviously, they are all Italian films made in the last couple of years.

    This film is a quirky comedy drama from the director of the multi-award winning Pane e Tulipani or Bread and Tulips, Silvio Soldini. This film, Agata e la tempesta or Agata and the Storm, was made in 2004 and stars the same leading actress as Bread and Tulips, Licia Maglietta as the eponymous Agata. She is a middle aged but still very attractive book store owner who begins a relationship with a special male customer who keeps coming back every day to ask for another book recommendation but really just wants to see her again. He is the much younger Nico (Claudio Santamaria) who badly wants her despite the fact that she thinks he is too young for her and he is married. Another story strand involves Agata's brother Gustavo (Emilio Solfrizzi), an architect who is married to a television relationship psychologist Ines (known as Dr Silvestri on TV). A third story strand is that of struggling fashion designer and inveterate womaniser Romeo D'Avanso (Giuseppe Battiston), who is married to the paraplegic Daria. Romeo is a fan of Dr Silvestri's program. The three stories start to converge when Romeo's mother is dying and she asks him to contact Gustavo, who he has never previously met. Romeo's mother asks him to tell Gustavo that she is his real mother and that she wants to see him before she dies. The film then follows their stories as they intertwine and their worlds begin to change.

    This film requires some patience as it is a little long-winded and disjointed, especially early on as you struggle to follow the different characters. Despite that it is certainly enjoyable and cannot be accused of being like anything Hollywood produces. One of the fun quirky ideas in the film was that Agata has some strange power which causes electrical items such as light bulbs to blow just by passing by them. The acting is strong and the eccentricities of the plot will keep you wondering right through to the end and even afterwards.

    If you enjoy quirky European cinema this one may be right up your alley.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but not without issue, especially in regards to the subtitles.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was pretty good but not spectacular.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    There were quite a few film artefacts but they were never really intrusive, including blobs at 13:01 & 103:18, hairs at 34:50, 49:34 & 113:39, specks at 13:46 and white lines at 65:20. Additionally, there was some mild aliasing, such as on a jacket at 19:48.

    There are subtitles in English which are burned in to the picture. They were generally easy to read but as they were white they were quite often lost in the background when there was something white on screen. This meant that sometimes you could not make out the subtitles which was annoying. I am also sure that the fact that the subtitles were burnt in would annoy you if you could speak Italian as there is no way to turn them off. There were no issues with spelling or grammar.

    The layer change occurs at 82:51 and was not noticeable.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is decent but certainly won't stretch your home theatre.

    This DVD contains an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue seemed clear but as I cannot speak Italian I cannot be categorical on this point, and there was no problem apparent with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Giovanni Venosta is fine but does not really stand out, although there was some nice use of Spanish guitar.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu was very simple allowing for scene selection and access to extras. It is preceded by an anti-piracy message and studio promos.

Theatrical Trailer (1:47)

    An international trailer with English voiceover and subtitles.

Photo Gallery

    About 10 stills from the film. Whoopee!

Cast Filmographies

    Text filmographies for the six main cast members and the director.

More from Palace Films

    Trailers for Respiro, The Last Kiss, Remember Me & Since Otar Left.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film is available in Region 1 and Region 2. The Italian Region 2 version includes a 5.1 soundtrack but does not include English subtitles. In comparison to the Region 1 version the Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis the Region 1 is a clear winner.

Summary

    A quirky and eccentric Italian comedy drama.

    The video quality is very good but the subtitles had some issues.

    The audio quality is decent but only mono.

    The disc contains some very minor extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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