SRP $29.95 1.66:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY
 

An extremely powerful, eye-opening, look at the calamitous state of Modern-day Russia, "THE ITALIAN" tells the story of Vanya, a 6-year old boy, living in an orphanage, whose luck seems to change when finding he's about to be adopted by a wealthy Italian family. But, upon discovering his mother is still alive, he flees the orphanage, in the treacherous pursuit to find his birth mother.  There are plenty of heart-wrenching moments, but, ultimately the story resolves itself in a hopeful way.

SONY has provided the correct 1.66:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement.  The color scheme is intentionally dark and grey, however, colors are often rich and vibrant. It's an extremely impressive image throughout. Contrast is excellent and detail is impressive in the darkest scenes. Can't wait for this one to come to blu-ray!!! In fact, one can only hope that SONY begins releasing its many catalogue titles of foreign films in that format, eg. "DARK BLUE WORLD", "CHARACTER" and so many more!

SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While not an aggressive mix, surrounds are active during key moments and there's a decent amount of separation in the front soundstage. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.