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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD Review: My Brother Is An Only Child

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted August 28 2008 - 11:46 AM

My Brother Is An Only Child

Studio: THINKFilm/Image
Year: 2007
Rated: R
Film Length: 104 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (Italian), Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Italian)
Subtitles: English

US DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008

Movie: 2.5 out of 5

Never judge a DVD by its cover. At first glance, My Brother Is An Only Child appears to be a romantic comedy regarding a love triangle between a young woman and two brothers. While the film is about a love triangle, it is more a political drama about the two brothers. Accio (Elio Germano) believes himself to be a fascist, and is the black sheep of the family. Older brother Manrico (Riccardo Scamarcio) is a communist and revolutionary. Francesca (Diane Fleri) is Manrico’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, whom Accio has a crush on. The acting is top-notch, but I found myself lost in the political backdrop, perhaps because I know very little about Italy’s political history during the 1960s, which is when the bulk of this story takes place.

Video: 2.5 out of 5

The 1.85:1 anamorphic video is average, at best. Daytime exteriors are more forgiving, but contrast is noticeably off (at times, I wondered if the projection bulb in my television had suddenly burned out) and edge enhancement appears much more prevalent during interior and night time exterior sequences. Otherwise, the transfer appears to be from a clean, pristine print.

Audio: 3 out of 5

The only language available is Italian, with your choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 surround. Both are almost entirely front-heavy, with the 5.1 track obviously providing clearer separation. This is a dialogue-driven film, so there is not much for the LFE and surrounds to do, but both do their job.

Special Features: 1 out of 5

The disc starts up with a red-band trailer for The Secret, followed by green-band trailers for The Riddle and Walker Payne. All are presented in anamorphic video and Dolby 2.0, and can be skipped entirely by hitting the MENU button on your remote. These are not accessible from the main menu.

The only other bonus is the film’s original U.S. theatrical trailer, with English subtitles and credits, presented in anamorphic video and Dolby 2.0.

Overall: 2.5 out of 5 (non an average)

This is a tough film to recommend, with a sometimes average video and average audio presentation. However, if you enjoy political dramas, then this is worth checking out.

This DVD was reviewed on the following home theater gear:
Toshiba 56HM66 DLP HDTV
Sony Playstation 3 (upconverting to 1080i)
Yamaha HTR-5940 Home Theater Receiver (in 5.1 configuration)
Yamaha NS-AP2600 Home Cinema Speaker Package
Yamaha YST-SW010 subwoofer

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Dave B Ferris

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Posted August 29 2008 - 03:58 AM

Interesting review. I picked this up when it was released, because the film had received a very positive review in the L.A. Times. In the L.A. Times review, the critic mentioned many of the people involved in the production of this film, including the writers (I believe), had also been involved with the earlier Italian film, 'The Best of Youth'.

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