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Room in Rome aka "Habitación en Roma" [Blu-ray]
(Julio Medem, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Canal+ España
Video: Optimum Releasing (UK)
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,586,959,982 bytes
Feature Size: 22,926,637,056 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.39 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 18th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.957 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4179 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4179 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
English (HoH), none (choice of English for all dialogue and it has removable - but forced - for non-English dialogue) The film has brief Spanish, Italian, Russian, Basque and Arabic.
• Trailer (1:59)
Description: A hotel room in the centre of Rome sets the interior scene where two young women, who have just met, go on a physical journey which will touch their souls. Before they leave to go back to their respective lands, Spanish Alba (Elena Anaya, Sex and Lucía, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Hierro) and Russian Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko) embark with their bodies and souls on an unforgettable one night stand. Room In Rome is directed by one of Spain's most recognised directors Julio Medem (Sex and Lucía, Lovers Of The Arctic Circle).
A night of passion between two people who've just met reveals more than they imagined in this erotic comedy-drama from Spanish filmmaker Julio Medem. Alba (Elena Anaya) is a beautiful woman from Spain who is on the last day of a vacation in Rome when she meets Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko), an attractive fellow tourist from Russia. Alba strikes up a conversation with Natasha, and as she's attracted to other women, Alba invites her to join her at her hotel. After some initial hesitation, Natasha agrees, and before long the two are in bed and making love. Over the next twelve hours, Alba and Natasha share stories of their lives, periodically stopping to order room service, illustrate their points with pictures on the internet and enjoy each other's bodies. Alba says her mother abandoned her family when she was a girl and she ended up as the kept woman of a wealthy Arab, while Natasha shares a story of her abusive father and her sister's career as an art historian. But are these women truly sharing the stories of their lives, or are they fabricating tales for the benefit of a stranger they may never see again? Habitacion en Roma (aka Room in Room) received its North American premiere at the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival.
Alba (Elena Anaya) seduces a stranger Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko) to her hotel room (the details of how they meet in a club are left vague) in what seems merely a harmless sexual adventure crowning their last night in Rome. Natasha is at first quite reluctant insisting she's straight, but Alba appears to know her way around that hesitance. It is clear that Alba has done this before. However, through stories, memories and connection with artworks in the room, the two connect deeply, descending more and more into the depths of truth, trust, and ultimately love.Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, I enjoy Julio Medem's films (Lovers of the Arctic Circle, Sex and Lucia) and initially bought one of the Spanish Blu-rays but could not get it to play English subtitles - not realizing it was not, originally, a Spanish language film (see second title screen above) and when English language was chosen as an option the Spanish subtitles were both forced and huge. Anyway, I saw enough to know that I wanted to watch it 'free of these impediments' and picked up the Optimum Blu-ray. Room in Rome is a simple, beautiful film - filled with, all-female, sex and nudity. It's a romance - a remake of the Spanish-language film En la cama by director Matías Bize. The Blu-ray is competent - single-layered, in 1080P. There is a low level of lighting in Room in Rome but no noise or artifacts were present. I saw a bit of depth and colors (lets call them 'skin tones') seemed true without manipulation. It's not an aggressively dynamic presentation, but neither was the film. It is pristinely clean, fairly tight ... and, yes the gals are beautiful with plenty of close-ups.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Optimum Room in Rome Blu-ray offers two audio options - a linear PCM stereo at 2304 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a whopping 4179 kbps. The music of the film is a big part of the film's beauty. Beyond the classic score by Jocelyn Pook (Eyes Wide Shut), we have music by Russian Red, Natacha Atlas and, the stars, Elena Anaya and Natasha Yarovenko singing Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu. The surround has some audible depth but separations are limited as it is mostly dialogue and music. There are optional English (SDH) subtitlesfor the entire film but it has removable - but forced - for, the limited, non-English dialogue. The film has brief Spanish, Italian, Russian, Basque and Arabic. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Only a trailer - where the, flawed, Spanish Blu-ray had more - music videos featurette etc. I think the film is worthy of some discussion or interviews with the actresses at least.
July 16th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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