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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Martial Arts > France > Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2-DVD Directorís Cut/Focus/Universal)

Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2-DVD Directorís Cut/Focus/Universal)

 

Picture: B††† Sound: B††† Extras: C+††† Film: C+

 

 

As much as I wanted to love 2001ís Brotherhood of the Wolf, the film failed to please, even in itís directors cut version, which I was able to see a few years after itís release when it was issued in Canada as a 3-disc version, which was superior to the single disc theatrical cut DVD that was issued in the states.Both versions of the film never really worked that well and while seeing the film in the theater was one of the better audio/visual experienced I had in quite some time, the film has not aged well and the digital effects (while dated on arrival) look even worse now, which is hard to fathom.

 

There is no doubt that this film peaked some attention in itís arrival as it was following the popular trend of the time with Foreign action films starting to get attention inside the U.S., just before this film came out people were ignorantly praising Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as if the genre had just been invented.This time around we get a film that is part action film, part epic, part costume/period piece, part thriller, part martial arts, part Matrix, and part Fantasy, but even with all those parts it still doesnít make for one whole movie, at least not a good one.It starts off well, lots of suspense, great scenic shots that ooze with mystery.Then we get into the Fantasy part as we learn that there have been some murders, which are being investigated and it seems that these killings could have only been caused by Ďsomethingí not human.There are skeptics, but as more people are killed it becomes inevitable that our heroes must capture this beast and kill it, they form Ďthe brotherhoodí I suppose.The film is suppose to be set in 18th Century France, which is yet just another part of itís downfall as it just canít make up itís mind exactly what type of film it wants to be and then when the Ďbeastí does arrive looking lamer than something from a 1950ís B-horror monster, it sucks the life out of the film quicker a Dirt Devil convention.

 

So here we are years later and at best about 6-years after the Canadian DVD release and we finally get the directors cut of the film, in this 2-disc edition, which features all the extras that should have been on the initial release.This was a film that was stunning in the theaters from a visual standpoint and the audio was amazing too, but all of the video releases, even the DTS import, do not come close to the stunning fidelity that was offered theatrically.Here we get a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that works well and you might think was great if you never saw this film in the theater and knew how it was meant to sound, we will need to see how a Blu-ray of this film would be as that might get us closer, especially a lossless DTS-HD mix.Until then, we get this.The film is presented in a clean and clear 2.35 X 1 scope transfer that is anamorphically enhanced and looks sharp considering itís limited to the resolution of standard definition in this DVD release.I should note that the film looks dated on arrival too in this release as some portions appear more TV-like with weird colors and movement, which could be the production, but I donít recall this film looking wacky like this at times.This is most noticeable in the interior shots of the film.

 

Extras include 40-minutes worth of added footage back into the film to make it more epic and complete, but again it only drags on the film and still does not bring the film to a new level.A featurette that uncovers the special effects work on the film, which is super bad as it only shows just how pathetic this work really is, especially all these years later, plus a few other featurettes on the production and location work, choreography, etc.Overall nothing special here and it only shows how the film doesnít work well and only leaves the viewer feeling that much more dissatisfied in the end.

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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