Based on the best-selling series of novels by Antonio Manzini, Rocco Schiavone: Ice Cold Murders is a devilishly entertaining Italian crime series that follows the idiosyncratic adventures of cranky and unorthodox detective Rocco Schiavone (Marco Giallini). In Season 1, Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone is exiled to Aosta, a touristy snowbound Alpine town far from his beloved home city of Rome. Already in a bad mood, he is immediately confronted with a series of bizarre cases.
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Rocco Schiavone: Ice Cold Murders – Season 1 arrives on Blu-Ray with a strong 1080p transfer which provides a pleasant viewing experiences save for a few minor issues. This debut season provides the series with twelve episodes over four discs which allows it to breathe quite comfortably. With this being a more modern series, the presentation lacks any major flaws which results in something mighty impressive in high definition. The cinematography is simply striking with many distinct and intricate locales.
The color palette leans into the cooler side of the spectrum to match the environment with icy blues and grays. Fine detail is present in the production design and costumes. The landscape featured in certain environments also gives the disc a chance to shine in the detail department. The series only slightly stumbles when it comes to shadow detail, as delineation can come up short and noise can creep in somewhat. The white levels are stable and do not veer into blooming, which is important for a series with so much snow on the ground. Skin tones look natural throughout the season, and there are no digital anomalies of great note. Kino Lorber has done a superb job with this presentation.
The Blu-Ray set comes with both a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 track in the original Italian that are quite lively. While some may be disappointed to not have an English dub, the series was made to be heard in Italian with optional English subtitles. Although the series is primarily dialogue driven, there is an incredible array of atmospheric effects that give this track a nice sense of dimensionality. The ambient activity in the mix makes each location feel a bit more dynamic. Certain environments really engage the surround channels with sounds emanating from their natural direction.
The dialogue primarily stays anchored in the center channel and is reproduced clearly. The track does a good job of making sure neither sound effects nor the music ever overpowers dialogue. The score brings a palpable mood to the series that fills up the room on this track. This is not a series which gets too action-heavy, but there are a few moments throughout the season which put the low end to good use. This track has a pleasing dynamic range that stands out from the first episode to the last.
There are no special features included on this release.
Rocco Schiavone: Ice Cold Murders may seem like it could just be another in a long line of European crime shows that follows a basic formula, and admittedly there are aspects of this. More important, though, is the importance placed on getting to know the inner-workings of the lead characters and his colorful team. The cases are interesting, especially since each case is given two episodes to breathe, but it is the characters and their interactions that will have you pressing play episode after episode. Kino Lorber has released a Blu-Ray set that offers a terrific technical presentation but nothing in the way of special features. If you are a fan of crime shows with great character development, be sure to give this one a shot. Recommended
Rocco Schiavone: Ice Cold Murders – Season 1 is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Kino Lorber has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.