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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features
3 DISC SPECIAL EDITION
Special Features
(all special features are in French WITH English subtitles unless otherwise noted)
:: Two Commentaries (in French with NO English subs)
:by actors Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel
:by director Christophe Gans
:: Deleted Scenes
:: "The Guts of the Beast" Documentary - 78 min.
::...
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by chaddoli

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, but only good to a fault
If you've read my previous reviews and listmanias, you would already know that I'm quite the fantasy fan. One of my good buddies bought it and thought, perhaps, that I might enjoy it. This foreign film, directed by Christophe Gans ("Crying Freeman"), is among the few films to leave me with so many mixed emotions.
Set in 18th Century France, for over two...
Published on June 24 2004 by Axel Law


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features, Jan. 6 2004
3 DISC SPECIAL EDITION
Special Features
(all special features are in French WITH English subtitles unless otherwise noted)
:: Two Commentaries (in French with NO English subs)
:by actors Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel
:by director Christophe Gans
:: Deleted Scenes
:: "The Guts of the Beast" Documentary - 78 min.
:: "Behind the Scenes" Documentary - 78 min.
:: Filmographies
:: Trailer
:: "The Legend" Documentary
:: Storyboards
:: Photo Gallery
:: Production Notes Booklet
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beastly, March 12 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu.

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a gritty horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise horrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline. And director Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, political period drama, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to chuckle at some of these reviews!, June 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
Wow! Four out of five. Three out of five. You have to be joking don't you? This movie is perfection. Pure, true, honest, stylish. Of course Americans get a bit ruffled when a 'foreign' film shows the good old US of A how 'it's done' yet again. You folk like you're movies with justification, explanation and gradification... all tied up in a bow. This movie is not sugar covered and goes in depth within (I won't give it away for those that have not seen it) an area that goes way back in time and is still happening today (Bohemiam Grove hint hint etc)which has always fascinated me. So why would you not like it? Firstly that pesky 'other' language (yes, it's in French - and so it should be) makes those of less IQ's have to read. Pesky pesky. Secondly it has many layers as a movie and does not always have to explain EVERYTHING that is going on, and instead relies on the intellect of it's viewers and allows us to progress on the journey and make up our own minds as to how, why and who. I will not go into 'explaining' the film as it is done already in the top review and you all seem to explain it over and over again. I am not French as you may all think, and instead an Aussie relieved and satisfied that a certain standard of perfection is retained in some movies in the world. Erotic, scary, action, suspense, intelligent, beautiful. Simply one of the best movies I have seen this year. (I'll put money on it that America will remake this movie very soon... and yet again bugger up another classic foreign film that should have been left well alone! Please don't! I beg you!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beastly, March 21 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (DVD)
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu.

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a gritty horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise horrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline. And director Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, political period drama, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a breath of fresh air, Aug. 19 2004
I liked this movie alot but there are certain problems with it one being its lenght... this movie is WAY tooo long. i wish all movies would cut down there time by atleast 30 minutes to 45 minutes cuz length really isnt an advantage. ANYWAYs this movie is also subtitled which is ok just reading a movie isnt as relaxing and fun as jsut watching one in my opinon. i speak many different languages tho( 4 actually and french being oen of them) so i can watch this movie and relax unlike you mono language people.. :P.
I recommend this movie to all those you like movies that are based on folklore and myths. Its an interesting story and a very good movie but if you are a chick flick gal or gent then skip over this one which you probably could have donewith out me telling you because the cover obviously didnt have a guy and a girl on the front. I also recommend those who dont like subtitles to not take up 143 mintues of there life to read subtitles. to everyone else i recommend this movie because it has its own taint of orginality coming from a different country which is alwasy a nice breath of fresh air after being bombared with charlies angles, x men, spiderman and other overly plain and formula action flicks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film, June 29 2004
By A Customer
I understand people have different opinions on movies, but to say this movie is 'dull' is beyond belief! I can only asume the people saying this are religious and find the movie offensive...or hate the French (American's mostly), hate reading subtitles cause they cannot read very well, or just don't understand the film and prefer Die Hard 3! All fair enough. But if you love a good erotic, mysterious, dark adventure you can't go past this movie. I adored it. Finally something intelligent. Now if you are going to anaylse it ie: how did an Indian learn kung fu etc, you need to take a breath and get a life. 'Oh, but it's a silly fable' etc. Well let me remind you, man-kind read a wee book written a long time ago that said a 'man' walked on water and we all fell for that like a tonne of bricks! Isn't THAT 'far fetched' and silly? Yet I'm refering to the bible!!
Getting back to the main topic, Brotherhood of the Wolf is an intelligent fantasy film with everything you need to love this film. The layers of the movie make it a highly enjoyable watch, and of course Mark Dacascos is brilliant yet again. * Did you know that Vincent Cassel, who plays the sly brother, is married to the beautiful Monica Belluci and they are expecting their first child! Just thought you should know that. Monica plays the mysterious sexy [woman]whore.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, but only good to a fault, June 24 2004
By 
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
If you've read my previous reviews and listmanias, you would already know that I'm quite the fantasy fan. One of my good buddies bought it and thought, perhaps, that I might enjoy it. This foreign film, directed by Christophe Gans ("Crying Freeman"), is among the few films to leave me with so many mixed emotions.
Set in 18th Century France, for over two years the French countryside has been raided by a savage beast (thought to be a wolf) of unknown origin. The king sends for Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan), a French cavalier, and his companion Mani (Mark Dacascos), an American indian, to investigate the gruesome deaths by the supposedly large beast. In the meantime Fronsac falls in love with Marianne (Emilie Dequenne) while also bedding with Sylvia (Monica Bellucci).
I know that people usually dislike reviews with spoilers, but in the case of this film, I can't ignore a few spoilers. I found Mani to be the interesting character with his benevolent connection with nature and the creatures around him. I know the kung fu seemed out of place and all, but I didn't really mind it at all (although there is an aspect I disliked about it... later in the review). But I disliked his death midway into the film; he had this humongous battle with the men involved with the beast and then suddenly is killed and tossed aside. There was no dramatic impact, and I found myself disappointed with the way this potentially deep character was treated.
The beast was initially, by Fronsac, dismissed as being a wolf (although you find out that it is indeed a wolf). The director hides his appearance several times; I rather expected it to be fully visible near the end of the picture. Instead, it's revealed rather immediately; I'm not saying he should direct one way or the other, but the initially revelations of the creature are originally from the verbal pictures of the characters, followed by several quick cuts and interesting camera glances. The film spends a lot of time bouncing around the mysterious nature of the creature, and then suddenly just decides to reveal it. It seems out of place, given the context of what the director is hoping to accomplish.
Oh and by the way, the creature was made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop and unfortunately, the beast was lame.
Back to the fight scenes, the fights were fine: however, Mr. Gans often employs the typical MTV-inspired slow-down/speed-em-up editing techniques. This was an irritating drawback for me, as I wanted to admire the choreography instead of wondering they were so needlessly disrupted.
And I think the film's most fatal flaw is its overlength. Two and a half hours may not seem like much in comparison to Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," but seriously, I found myself wanting the film to end after an hour has passed. It's set in a staggering pace, which sometimes isn't a bad thing (see Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"), but it works against this film. The director employs a lot of stylistic touches to make the film seem like a period film (which is great), but on the other hand, it makes some scenes unnecessarily long (like when he's faking the creature's death, for example).
Overall, the film is not a terrible one, but you may only want to see once. The style of the film is very exotic and beautiful, much like Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow," which gives it a fantasy tale look to it... but some of the detractions I've mentioned will turn you off depending on what kind of film fan you are. Three stars overall; perhaps you find me overcritical. Oh well.
PROS: Lavish production, art-fantasy tale style similar to "Sleepy Hollow" and other period-type stories, captivating final fight scene.
CONS: Mani is killed way too soon and with little impact on the viewer, the beast is shown early and is lame, story is stretched to the overkill, MTV-fused fight scenes (with the exception of the final duel).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bloody and boring-save your time and $$, May 30 2004
By 
Judith Johnson "JJ" (Memphis, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Kind of the DaVinci Code meets James Fenimore Cooper meets the Hound of the Baskervilles. Set in early 18th century France, the only things it has going for it other than a physically attractive cast in cool costumes is great scenery and beautiful architecture. Starts out with all these frightened, dirty, ugly peasants and that's about where it ends also. In between we have an Anerican Indian who is a better martial artist than Jackie Chan (I know they came over on the land bridge and all that but its a few centuries too soon if you know what I mean), the Catholic church and the royalty as villians and more bright red blood than a Mel Gibson flick. So after watching it for way too long my question is this-Why would a virile adult male pick some milk toast virgin to moon over instead of choosing a hot blooded Italian beauty with the bedrooom skills of a courtesean, the posioning skills of Lucretia Borgia and who is a better fighter than he too boot? Oh well, I only watched it to see Jeremie Renier (La Promesse) as an adult and I am happy to report he has matured very prettily.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 18th Century French action packed monster movie., May 27 2004
By 
OverTheMoon (overthemoonreview@hotmail.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
'Le Pacte des loups' or `Brotherhood of the Wolf' is never sure of what it really wants to be, but whenever it tries to be something - it does so very well. The movie is based on a set of real events which occurred in France around the time of the revolution. Because of this the director must satisfy everybody including his French historical peers, scholars, the general French movie-goer and horror enthusiasts........ with a hit of softcore pornography for those that want that too. What you get is a mix of love, terror, kung-fu, monster attacks and French anarchy a brew in glorious widescreen for over two hours.
The film is very French but whenever the beast is being hunted or is running amok the film goes into `super-overdrive'. This is really where the heart of the story should be but there is not enough of this as the plot drifts more into the department of seedy royal undertones and lovers who seem to sleep with everyone else but the ones they are supposed to be loyal too. But the result is pure and utter bedlam for two hours that never sits still or gets tired itself. You will be hard pressed to sit through this film without enjoying at least a good bit of it.
The director has decided that every type of film genre should have its share on the screen. The result is something that is very original, new and has never been seen before! For that 'Le Pacte des loups' scores tops marks, but alas it does have its pitfalls.
The monster does not make enough of an appearance towards the end, but the build up to it is akin to `Jaws'. The love triangles are not needed and are simply there for a taste of `Dangerous Liaisons'. The upper class characters are only explained through their dialogue and interactions but remain quite wooden apart from a good scene involving an Indian, Mani (a superbly acted Mark Dacascos!!.. can u believe it?) telling them what their animal totem is. Although Mani is one of the highlights of the film, not to mention a main character, he never seems to escape the fact that he is just another `Queequeg' from `Moby Dick'.
On the upside the editing, stunts, camera and rain is second to none. The screen violence is executed quite well (this is an extremely bloody picture in the second half) to quell the thirst of the horror fans and the investigation of the beast's species type is a cool neat coy that plays with you right up until the end.
In short, this movie is a rare opportunity to see what an `all genre' film looks like if anything else. Undoubtedly in time it will become a `cult classic'.......and it probably deserves it too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it in spite of myself, May 5 2004
By 
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
Despite the horrible MTV-style editing (which is a catalog of dated cliches), Enya-esque River Dance soundtrack, questionable CGI, gratuitous bordello scenes, and a crazy plotline that collapses under its own obesity, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed it because it is so unlike the cookie-cutter movies coming out of Hollywood these days. The story seemed fresh and I really didn't have a clue as to where it was going. With a little restraint and discipline this movie could have been truly moving. I actually felt a bit sad for "the beast". As flawed as it is, this movie's originality and energy carry the day. If only the Nintendo-style production paused to fully mine the great characters and themes this unique story offers. Very little of it makes sense, in the end, but it's a fun ride. The idea of placing a Mohawk Indian amidst the provincial nobility of 18th century France is fascinating. This film reminds me of of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, The Last of the Mohicans, and Polanski's Tenant all rolled into one.
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