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A criminal known as 'Libanese' has a dream: to conquer the underworld of Rome. To carry out this unprecedented feat he puts together a ruthless and highly organised gang. Their progress and changes in leadership take place over twenty-five years, from the 1970's into the '90's, and are inseparably intertwined with the dark history of modern Italy: terrorism, kidnappings and corruption at the highest levels of government. Throughout these years Police Lieutenant Scialoja sticks to the gang's trail, trying both to bring them to justice and to win the heart of Dandi's girlfriend Patrizia. It's now 1981 and the Rome crew are in disarray: Libanese is in the morgue, full of holes, which sparks a race to find the killers and exact revenge before the police can make arrests. It also creates a power vacuum with Freddo and Dandi in the frame to be the new boss. [ From Official Synopsis]

Video


The style of this show is authentically old. 70s brown costumes and beige sets and the like are used well and the show feels much older than its modern production would reveal.

The image presentation itself here is DVD soft, purposely grain filled and the colours rather timid underneath their digitally shot flashiness. Wider shots feel much softer and don't look at all good when the wider shot is a cityscape or busy street. Close ups are a little tighter but with edges not looking very pronounced at all it's hard to celebrate the minor improvment all that much. The image throughout the boxset feels lacking in light, sharpness and any sort of pop, even in the show's very best conditions, the image here is just woefully under par.

Of course, arguably a lot of the negatives here are intentional and more arguments could be made that even if they're not intentionally holding back the lavish looks of some of the European locations on show here, to give the show a more authentic 70s look visually, it's still all kind of works anway, so it's still sort of a win. Really to keep it simple, if you like the show, even that retro feel but don't be expecting to be blown away with the looks of how it's presented on these discs.

Audio


The audio here feels a little small, there's the odd use of the rear speakers but generally everything lives in the front. The dialogue is clear, there's the odd bit of atmospheric noise to deepen the track and elements such as weather, traffic and crowds make the most use of track.

Music is where the track really thrives. Pop numbers from the era explode from the surround system and make for an exciting few minutes within the track. The score does much the same, adding a whole lot of weight to proceedings but it's never quite as effective as a familiar song.

Extras


No extras here but the package comes with issue one of Nordic Nor & Beyond magazine which is more of a pamphlet but comes loads with detail about other titles available if you want your shows a whole lot more European.

Overall


I was new to Romanzo Criminale and despite having no knowledge of the events in Season 1 or if they related to this season, it was still an easy watch at the beginning and simple enough to slip into. The disc looks, well, ugly but in a 70s retro ugly way, so it just about works. The audio is pretty strong which makes the the show feel less like something released from the archives and something a bit more modern.  

Romanzo Criminale: Season 2
Romanzo Criminale: Season 2
Romanzo Criminale: Season 2
Romanzo Criminale: Season 2
Romanzo Criminale: Season 2
Romanzo Criminale: Season 2


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