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International DVD Talk Intl. DVDs, Region Free Players, RCE, Hong Kong DVDs & More

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Old 01-30-13, 08:00 PM   #1
flixtime
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Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March 3rd

Following on the 2005 Italian film ROMANZO CRIMINALE, there is also a ROMANZO CRIMINALE Italian television program which has aired two seasons/series.

To sidetrack a moment...a related point of interest being that the director of the television series is Stefano Sollima...that name should ring a bell with fans of Spaghetti Westerns...yes, Stefano is the son of noted director Sergio Sollima (THE BIG GUNDOWN, FACE TO FACE, RUN MAN RUN). Some might already be familiar with son Stefano's work as he directed the 2012 Italian film A.C.A.B. - ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS.

Anyway, Series 2 of ROMANZO CRIMINALE was released on Italian DVD with English subtitles some time back. The issue - and reason for this post - being that Series 1, while released, did not have English subtitles.

ROMANZO CRIMINALE is a show that I've been interested in checking out. Thankfully, it looks like that is now going to be possible. Series 1 is up for pre-order via a Region 4 Australian DVD release. And it logically follows - also confirmed by the pre-order specs - that this Australian release does include English subtitles. The release date is listed as coming on March 13th. So...yippeee! Pick up the Australian release for Series 1 and the Italian release for Series 2 and I'm set to go.
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Old 02-05-13, 09:47 PM   #2
flixtime
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A quick addition...Series 2 is also now up for pre-order...again R4 Australia...and coming in mid-April...a month after Series 1. So now there is that option instead of going for the Italian release of Series 2. Hopefully a U.K. release of the show turns up soon.
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Old 07-24-13, 08:33 AM   #3
flixtime
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This is going to be too late to do anyone much good, but still thought I'd give it a try...

Australian e-tailer jbhifionline.com has a couple of nice deals going on right now...problem being one of them ends in maybe a half-hour or maybe a few hours...that being a 20% discount effective for Wednesday only...again issue being Wednesday in Australia ends real soon...

But the deal is for the two seasons of ROMANZO CRIMINALE which can be had for $15.98 AUS each (not including shipping)...if the 20% deal runs out then you are still talking a good price of $19.98 AUS each. The other part of this good bargain is that there is a promo for "buy 2, get 1 free" for some TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray...don't know when that ends. So you can pick up the first two seasons of ROMANZO CRIMINALE, and then get another show free (well, the free one is the lowest priced item so it depends what you select). You have to pay shipping for the free one.

All in all, I think it's a nice bargain if you can get in on it before the 20% expires...even otherwise I still think it is a good deal. Better quit being longwinded now and submit this post before it gets too late for everyone.
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Old 07-24-13, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March

Not that I would pull the trigger anyway since I don't have a region-free player, but the price goes up to $22.68 when you add them to your cart.
These would be PAL, right?
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Old 07-24-13, 12:08 PM   #5
flixtime
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Yup, they are PAL.

Deal is dead...the 20% banner is now gone (the buy 2, get 1 is still live). Maybe the price will dip back to $19.98 once they completely update their site.

Actually, even at $22.98...speaking for myself, I'd still say it is nicely priced...haven't tracked it too closely but I haven't seen them much better than $39 each at places like Ezydvd, Chaos, or WOWHD Australia.
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Old 07-24-13, 03:59 PM   #6
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Re: Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March

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Originally Posted by Maxflier View Post
Not that I would pull the trigger anyway since I don't have a region-free player, but the price goes up to $22.68 when you add them to your cart.
These would be PAL, right?
you could get a cheap Philips player from best buy for $40 or so that is upscaling via HDMI.

@Flixtime, thanks for the heads up. by the time I made it through all 48 pages of tv series, the deal was dead. I just didn't think of anything. I think I would have gone with THE STRAITS as the free one. Didn't see EAST WEST 101 which sounds interesting although I don't know anything about either one.
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Old 07-25-13, 12:58 PM   #7
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Oh man, too bad BuddhaWake...you've been a great buddy of mine here at DVDTalk for a long time, I would have liked for you to have gotten in on the deal.

I had a feeling my post would be too late for anyone to benefit. I was hoping that maybe they calculated end-of-day by using one of the Western Australian timezones, but I guess not. I seem to recall that CDWOW Australia also ends based on an Eastern Australian timezone so I was anticipating that the window was likely the half-hour and not the few hours I was hoping for.

For what it is worth, as I mentioned earlier, the price on the ROMANZO CRIMINALE sets has settled back at $19.98. Again, I still think it is a good deal even at that price (and without the 20% discount).
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Old 07-25-13, 05:26 PM   #8
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Re: Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March

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Originally Posted by BuddhaWake View Post
you could get a cheap Philips player from best buy for $40 or so that is upscaling via HDMI.

@Flixtime, thanks for the heads up. by the time I made it through all 48 pages of tv series, the deal was dead. I just didn't think of anything. I think I would have gone with THE STRAITS as the free one. Didn't see EAST WEST 101 which sounds interesting although I don't know anything about either one.
EAST WEST 101 aired on our local independent international-focused public station (MHz Network) up until just recently. I've watched a few minutes of it but didn't find it too compelling based on a limited sporadic sampling.
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Old 07-27-13, 06:14 AM   #9
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Re: Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March

thanks dleedlee, I didn't/don't know anything about it but it was something I atleast had heard about compared to everything else. Lots of american tv shows that could be had in R1 so i didn't want to end up picking one of those.
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Old 08-29-13, 09:25 PM   #10
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Watched ten of the twelve episodes in Season 1. I like the show. There isn't anything transcendent about it, but as standard gangster fare it should be pleasing to genre enthusiasts. Presumably everyone coming to this show will have some experience with 1970s poliziotteschi films and entries such as the movie version of the show and other recent Italian crime fare such as GOMORRA...so you should be familiar with the late 1970s setting and terms such as the Red Brigades, Camorra (vs. Mafia), and such. I thought the first four episodes were a little dry...more laying a foundation than being eventful (focused on setting up the character dynamics) or especially satisfying in terms of finding an individual episode rewarding. But I am coming to this show after BANSHEE and STRIKE BACK so that plays a little into things...maybe you can say that this Italian series has a pacing closer to HBO-style versus Cinemax/FX. But after those early episodes the show did settle in nicely in terms of being more pleased with the entire experience...aka the individual episodes are pleasing and engaging and nicely paced, to go along with the overall season arc experience. There isn't much to say about the story and characters...again that isn't a knock or anything...just saying it is standard gangster fare. I'm enjoying the 70s setting...cars, clothes, and heaven forbid even the disco tunes. The tone is more low-key, character-based drama. There really isn't a lot in terms of action aka don't expect car chases or big shootouts like the old poliziotteschi movies. But being gangster fare, you do of course get violence...beatings, stabbings, shootings...brief outbursts of violence are certainly part of the show. There is also a nice enough eye-candy quality...pretty girls here and there...and some sex/nudity....not to the level of Cinemax shows...but it is there. And I'm secure enough to say...the actor who plays Freddo...that is one handsome fellow. In general I think they did a terrific job in casting the various roles...I'm quite enjoying the performers.
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Old 08-31-13, 12:42 PM   #11
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Finished off the final two episodes of Season 1. They were very good so the season closed in impressive fashion. I'm strongly tempted to continue on immediately with Season 2.

However, I'm also eager to start the final season of SPARTACUS (this coming Tuesday) and also catch up with SAMCRO (the latest season of which was just released this past Tuesday)...umm, the show would be SONS OF ANARCHY (for those who haven't watched it and thus are not familiar with SAMCRO). So probably after those it'll be Season 2 of ROMANZO CRIMINALE. Apparently, my case of TV-burnout (recently mentioned in the Indian thread)...well, it seems I've gotten over it.

Anyway, back to ROMANZO CRIMINALE, so yeah the final two episodes were solid efforts, you should actually watch them back-to-back for a more complete experience. The first season covers a time period from 1977-1980...with the last two episodes focused on a slight jump ahead in time to 1980. Most of the first half episodes have about 59-minute runtimes. A lot of the later episodes come in at maybe 46-49 minutes. Episode 6 (I believe) is long at about 61-minutes, while the final episode also comes in at 61+ minutes. Each episode includes about 3-minutes of closing credits...which seemed kind of long for a TV-series (at least to me).

I would suggest that, prior to finishing Season 1, that you not look too closely at the cover art for Season 2, as it could be considered a spoiler.

Again, ROMANZO CRIMINALE is more or less your usual rise of a gang storyline (with added interest because of the period setting), and while it is a little dry to start, I thought it developed quite nicely as the season progressed, and it did become increasingly engaging, and closed out in strong form...comfortably recommended to genre fans.
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Old 09-09-13, 04:39 PM   #12
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Decided to bump SONS OF ANARCHY back in order to finish off ROMANZO CRIMINALE...watched six of the ten episodes so far in Season 2. Things pick up right after the events of the first season. The first couple of episodes felt a little off...mainly it just seemed a few of the performers had lost a little feel for their characters. But after those starter episodes, things start running along as they should. Again, it is standard genre fare...but I'm enjoying it. The story and such might be lacking a tad in vitality...there's just a sense that you know how things are going to play out over the course of the season.

I did finish the fourth and final season of SPARTACUS...I liked it...it wasn't to the standard of the first two seasons but it was better than the third season. To their credit, they did a terrific job in closing out the series...the final episode was immensely satisfying. It sure seems like there is potential for a spin-off series focusing on the Romans...a lot of the final season seemed to be setting up for that possibility...I hope it happens.
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Old 09-09-13, 04:52 PM   #13
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Re: Italy's ROMANZO CRIMINALE (SERIES 1) - English-friendly, Australian DVD on March

Appreciate your reviews flixtime. I do want to see this show, so I am hoping it gets a R1 release at some point.
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Old 09-11-13, 02:54 PM   #14
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Good of you to chime in Maxflier.

Finished off the final four episodes. They closed things out nicely. The ninth episode felt like a season-ending episode, while the tenth and final episode felt like a series-ending episode. The first nine episodes cover a period up to around 1985, while the final episode jumps ahead to 1989 and closes things out. I had been a little concerned with the first two episodes of this season that it might play out as just a little tired, but it turned out to be a solid season.

I don't have any recall of the movie version...though at times there was a sense of deja vu in watching the television series...so maybe there is some faint trace of the movie tucked away in my memory. It was good that I didn't remember details from the movie version as that made watching the TV series more interesting. I think I'll revisit the movie version sometime soon...just curious to see how it is in comparison to the series version.
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