When in Rome (2010) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Touchstone || PG13 - 91 minutes - $39.99 || June 15, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-06-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Writer(s): David Diamond & David Weissman (written by)
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Alexis Dziena


Theatrical Release Date: January 29, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Alternate Opening and Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Gag Reel
  • 2 Music Videos


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Poor Kristen Bell. She really needs to dump her manager already and get someone who can actually read a script before casting her. Remember Pulse? Astro Boy? Reefer Madness? Yikes!!! Aside from Couples Retreat (a mediocre comedy that did decent business at the box office) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, her movies have all been huge bombs. Granted, aside from "Veronica Mars" and a small (early) stint on "Deadwood" she really has no career, but gees, how is she picking this films?

When in Rome starts out with a plausible plot: Beth (Bell), a young women trying to make a name for herself as a art coordinator and fresh off a breakup with who she thought was her true love, takes a trip to Rome to attend her younger sisters wedding. While there she meets Nick (Josh Duhamel), a good looking guy who she starts to fall for. But at soon as she is willing to take the next step, she spots him making out with a hottie under a fountain. Uh oh. Thankfully, she decides to get drunk and slosh around inside the fountain where she steals 5 different coins for no real reason.

Back in New York, Beth gets back to work hoping to secure some sort of famous piece of artwork for her show that will make her 'big' in the eyes of her mean boss (Angelica Huston - what is this The Devil Wears Prada?). But something magical happens - remember the coins she stole? Well they are magic coins! Oh hell yeah! Every coin represents the 'hearts' of the person who threw them in (strangely all Men. Damn!). As luck would have it, all the men who threw the coins in the fountain back in Rome live in New York (Really. Did they even think this through?). Suddenly four different men start chasing after her while Nick continues to lust for her. But... is one of the coins from Nick? Time will tell!

What a total drag. It started off with an interesting premise, but ultimately falls apart in the middle and never re cooperates. Duhamel is hardly strong enough to cover a lead in this film and shares no chemistry with Bell (I honestly feel John Heder would have been a better choice). And for some really odd reason, and I am not making this up, you know that famous piece of 'art' Beth has been trying to secure? Well, it's not happening, so Nick offers up a picture that was taken of him when he was hit by a lightning bolt (!) during a football game (!). Alright. That's pretty random. What about the fact that Nick randomly runs into poles, walks into an opened manholes (does this ever happen aside from Looney Tunes?) and generally just makes a fool of himself? Sure, I guess because he was hit with lightening maybe that makes him prone to doing stupid things, but they couldn't have figured out a better idea for him having something Beth needed?

Please do yourself a favor and skip this release. It bombed at the box office and rightfully so - it's not funny, it's not romantic, and the two leads have no chemistry. I was hoping Sylar (from "Heroes") would come along and slice her head open, but sadly which the cancellation of that show it looks like he's off doing other things.

Oh, and a Napoleon Dynamite joke (complete with Pedro winking at the camera)? Disney, C'mon.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release includes a slip cover.

** Blu-ray Exclusives **

Alternate Opening and Ending (HD, 7 Minutes) - Oh gees. A really bad opening that features Bell running around like an idiot trying to get back into the exhibit and an ending that leaves things on more of a boring note (but no Pedro winking at the camera!).

Crazy Casanovas (12 Minutes) - A standard “making of” that features interviews with key cast members that discusses how funny and awesome the movie is (they were wrong).

Extended Pain with the Suitors (3 Minutes) - An extended cene while all the various 'magic' suitors causing mischief inside the Museum.

And the rest (also on the DVD): An unfunny Gag Reel (3 Minutes), Deleted Scenes (7 Minutes) and two Music Videos ("Starstrukk" and "Stupid Love Letter").

Keep in mind the title was originally announced to include a DVD and Digital Copy, but that has now been dropped. One more thing: this has the most annoying menu sounds I've ever heard. Champagne glasses clicking non-stop.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

When in Rome is presented in 2.35:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Not sure what happened here, but this is one of the worst looking new releases I've seen from Disney in a long time. Contrast is set way to high, and it appears to have been given the waxy DNR treatment. It looks slightly better than an up converted DVD.

Disney has included an English 5.1 DTS MA track for this release. Like most romantic comedies, dialog is well placed in the front while a few small noises eek through the back speakers. Nothing mind blowing, but satisfactory for most.



.::OVERALL::.

While I do have a small crush on Kristen Bell, her performance here is boring and unfunny. Lacking any chemistry with her lead, we watch her suffer along for 90 minutes until the obvious ending reveals itself (oh gees, I won't blow that for you). The Blu-ray suffers from some mediocre Picture quality, average Audio and a splash of extras only fans of the film will enjoy. Don't buy it, don't rent it.