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Brotherhood Of The Wolf: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

“Brotherhood Of The Wolf” is a bloated multi-genre picture.

Based on the Beast of Gevaudan legend, 2001’s “Brotherhood Of The Wolf” is a French historical/martial arts/horror movie that revolves around the Marquis d’Apcher recalling the past (1764 to be exact) in which Gregoire de Fronsac (a knight and naturalist to the King) and his Iroquis partner Mani are tasked with dispatching an unknown beast that is terrorizing Gevaudan. As the two hunt for the beast alongside soldiers, Gregoire begins to uncover clues that the beast is no mere wolf as many have presumed. It’s possible that is something entirely and that it might be controlled by someone or something. Elsewhere in the story are key plots involving the Count’s daughter Marianne (whom Gegoire has feelings for), Marianne’s brother Jean-Francois (who is harboring secrets) and a mysterious courtesan named Sylvia.

Presented in the extended Director’s cut version, “Brotherhood Of The Wolf” has become a cult classic since its release, but as is the case when I saw it in theaters 20 years ago, I still don’t understand the 

brouhaha over it. While the blend of genres is visually appealing primarily thanks to the high flying action, the shooting locations, the lavish costumes, sets and cinematographer Dan Laustsen, the excessively long ‘Brotherhood’ just drags on and on. Had this been a 90 minute movie, it would have been infinitely more engaging. As is, director Christophe Gans (who also co-wrote the film with Stephane Cabel) created an overstuffed epic that contains an overabundance of action set pieces (many with more slow-motion than one can handle), a prolonged set-up, endless hunting scenes, and a plot that is cluttered with concepts about religion, a secret society, sexuality, a beast, immortality, and other supernatural fare. Frankly, it wears out its welcome long before it ends.

In terms of the cast, there’s a number of solid performances here primarily from the butt-kicking Mark Decascos, Vincent Cassel, and Monica Bellucci (although her character could have used more development).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? While some scene look a bit fuzzy and dull, I found the transfer to be a nice hi-def upgrade overall. This is especially apparent in exterior scenes.

Audio Track: English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The English dub is decent but I have a feeling film fans may opt for the better original language French track.


Extras:
* 2 “Brotherhood of the Wolf” theatrical trailers
* 5 deleted scenes with intros by director Christophe Gans.
* “The Guts Of The Beast”- A whopping 78 minute making of that contains cast and crew interviews and discussions about everything from fight scenes to the story’s development.
* “The Making Of The Brotherhood of the Wolf”- Another making of. This one runs 77 minutes and primarily focuses on behind-the-scenes footage.
* “Legend”- An interview with author Michel Louis who talks about ‘Brotherhood’ and “The Beast From Gevaudan” tale.

August 1, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks, never got round to seeing it but your review has me considering it, if for nothing to see how bad it was / still is

    Comment by Mykal K Grymm | August 13, 2021 | Reply


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