Back Comments (1) Share:
Facebook Button
Please note: This review is based on the rental version of the disc, which does not include some of the features found on the retail release.

Feature


Tobi and Achim (Stadlober and Ullmann) are best friends in their late teens. Achim is good with the girls, Tobi not so much, even though the lovely Anke seems very keen on him. The problem for Tobi is that he has feelings for Achim, something he's not sure his friend would reciprocate, even though they are very close. He sees their trip to summer camp as the ideal opportunity for them to be in a situation where something might happen.

Summer Storm
Tobi foresees good times ahead for them but with Anke, not to mention Achim's girlfriend also on the trip, this may prove more difficult than he thought. A competition for rowing teams from all over Germany brings even more confusion for Tobi when an all gay team, the Queerstrokes, turn up and he is captivated not just by the sight of them, but by their relaxed attitude and the fact that they're not stereotypical ‘fags’. With Anke becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of attention from Tobi and his relationship with Achim souring, things are going to come to a head and everyone will have big decisions to make.

Warm, witty and tender, Summer Storm is a delightful, superbly acted film that should be embraced by audiences of any background. It's primarily Tobi's journey towards coming to terms with his sexuality, with the realisation that Achim doesn't share his feelings an extremely painful one for him. But there's some deliciously playful humour and plenty of jabs at the expense of the more homophobic team members. The scene where the Queerstrokes reveal the meaning of their name (not immediately obvious if you're German) to the other teams is absolutely hilarious, as guys who were only too happy to share a beer and a laugh with them suddenly recoil in horror.

Summer Storm
There is a strong current of homoeroticism throughout the film and it's evident from the very first scene, as Tobi and Achim exercise in slow motion, but don't be deterred by that if you're a bit resistant to the film's themes. I suspect gay audiences might get even more from the film if they're more able to relate to Tobi's predicament, but it would be a shame if Summer Storm became marginalised because of its subject matter as it really is a film for anyone who's ever been confused about love, gay or otherwise.

Video


The anamorphic transfer is very nice indeed, extremely clear and sharp in almost every scene, with very good levels of detail in all of the bright outdoor scenes. Even when the action is darker such as in the smoky disco in chapter three, or during some of the night time scenes, there's absolutely no loss of depth and detail in the shadows is still well presented in front of solid black skies.

Summer Storm

Audio


The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is surprisingly lively for what is essentially a rather talky film. All the speakers are well utilised throughout, be it with music, dialogue or effects. Early on there's plenty of ambient noise coming from the rears and this continues right the way through the film, although there isn't a great deal in the way of movement or directionality. When the (literal) storm hits the sub gets a chance to shine for the first time and doesn't disappoint, giving a very solid dimension to the soundstage.

Extras


No extras are included, not even a menu.

Summer Storm

Overall


Summer Storm is a charming film, very well presented on DVD but criminally let down by a complete lack of extras. However, the retail edition of the disc is said to include a DTS track and a few supplemental features. Even so, this is worth a look for the film itself.


Links: