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Les Rivieres Pourpres (Crimson Rivers) [Blu-ray] [2000] [Import]

Jean Reno , Vincent Cassel , Mathieu Kassovitz    Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: £16.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Les Rivieres Pourpres (Crimson Rivers) [Blu-ray] [2000] [Import] + 22 Bullets [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Reno, Vincent Cassel, Nadia Farès, Dominique Sanda, Karim Belkhadra
  • Directors: Mathieu Kassovitz
  • Writers: Mathieu Kassovitz, Jean-Christophe Grangé
  • Producers: Alain Goldman, Catherine Morisse, Jérôme Chalou
  • Format: Import, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: French
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Imports
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Mar 2010
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B0LZ7U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,590 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The Crimson Rivers is an openly acknowledged French attempt to make a big Hollywood-style serial-killer thriller. Jean--Ronin(1997)--Reno is Niemans, who while investigating the case of a horrifically mutilated body finds himself partnered with Kerkerian, a younger detective played by Vincent Cassell, (La Haine). Set in beautiful mountain country and shot in CinemaScope by Thierry Arbogast (Leon), it looks fabulous. Kassovitz packs the frame with stylish flourishes from a breathtaking helicopter shot in homage to The Shining (1980), to a lavish stairwell tracking shot inspired by Vertigo (1958). With a sumptuously layered score and some superbly achieved special effects The Crimson Rivers has all the expensive sheen of the American movies it imitates. Unfortunately it also proves Europeans can make films as technically accomplished but ludicrously plotted as Hollywood can: for what begins as a tense and unsettling police procedural, mutates into an action movie where the details make no sense. Even the Boys From Brazil inspired plot is ludicrous. Demonstrating Kassovitz has seen plenty of Brian De Palma and Dario Argento movies, The Crimson Rivers entertains despite its own absurdity, and should see the director following Luc Besson to Hollywood to make even bigger and dumber blockbusters.

On the DVD: Despite not being labelled a special edition this two disc set is one of the most impressive releases on DVD this year; all the more remarkable for being a French film barely seen in UK cinemas. The 2.35-1 anamorphically enhanced transfer is virtually flawless while the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is superb. Apart from the original French soundtrack there are English and Spanish dubbed versions, and subtitles in 20 languages (including English and French). The first disc includes three trailers, plus three more for other Columbia releases, and two commentary tracks. The first features Reno, Cassel and Kassovitz--all talking at full speed providing a wealth of information. The second--a commentary by composer Bruno Coulais--offers a real insight into the use of music in film as he explains his approach to specific scenes and his overall philosophy of film scoring. This track also features the score isolated in Dolby Digital 5.1, though Colais does talk over the beginning of some cues.

The second disc contains over two hours of documentary material. First is a serious 52-minute making-of, in which cast and director explain how the film was constantly re-written, going so far as to admit it makes no sense. Further documentaries are on "The Scalpel Scene" (26 min) and the "making of the corpse" (9 min) used in the opening scenes. There is seven minutes on shooting the martial arts fight, with or without commentary, nine minutes on shooting the car chase and a section playing the chase alongside the original storyboards, with or without commentary. A documentary on filming the mountain climax (10 min) and a further documentary on creating a digital avalanche (15 min), plus a multi-angle feature presenting the scene as storyboards, edited rushes, special effects or outtakes. The Production Designer archives (13 min) covers the sets. Additionally there is footage from the Far East promotional tour, a poster gallery, filmographies of Cassel, Reno and Kassovitz, the complete storyboards for four sequences, including the never-filmed originally planned opening and a gallery of on-set still photographs. It's a veritable "how to make a blockbuster" on two shiny discs. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

French language film with English subtitles. Expert investigator Pierre Niémans (Jean Réno) arrives in a small university town in the French Alps ready to examine the recent victim of a suspected serial killer. When more corpses turn up, he teams up with local cop Max Kerkerian (Vincent Cassel) and tries to unravel the grisly clues the killer leaves in his wake. Gradually, the cops realise that they are up against a dangerous conspiracy of silence, one which hides a terrible secret from the not-so-distant past, and set about bringing that secret out into the open.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, but it ain't quite art 12 July 2006
Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell -- what's not to like? Both actors lift an otherwise inconsistent movie above its natural three-star slot.

The Crimson Rivers is a strange hybrid of Hollywood hyperbole and continental cnic, and the mix can be somewhat confusing. The plot isn't altogether clear -- at least not in the dubbed version. With sub-titles it's easier to follow especially if you can busk some of the French dialogue.

The film's preposterous ending suggests that the producers didn't quite know where to take it; the plot veers from noir detective to X-Files-esque neo-Nazi conspiracy to James Bond blows up the whole shebang at the end.

But hey, we had a good time watching it. There's an enjoyable film in here and a couple of great actors. I'll just echo what others have said: I'd be happy to rent this but a bit less happy if I'd paid 20 notes to own it. This isn't the kind of film you'll come back to watch over and again...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. S. Storey TOP 500 REVIEWER
I found this to be an excellent crime thriller with a relatively unique premise and setting. From ice caves to university halls two dogged detectives follow the clues to solve a particularly grizzly series of murders. The detectives are well worn characters but made appealing none the less by energetic performances from Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno. The director managed to infuse each scene with a depth of atmosphere you just dont see much anymore and the French style is present on screen, you're aware that this is a French movie but it has a mainstream Hollywood feel to it. I found the dialogue punchy and far less bloated than my previous exposures to French cinema. There's plenty of action on offer, sadly some of it used as character development to save time, and I found the story very interesting which is a major bonus in comparison to lots of US thrillers these days. All in all, a decent movie experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars European Style and Panache 7 Jan 2011
By Lochman
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this film largely because one of the main characters is played by Jean Reno who is a magnificent actor. I didn't really know anything else about it but it proved a worthwhile investment! The plot concerns the investigation of a serial killer, a theme that has been well covered by Hollywood with classics such as "Se7en" and "Righteous Kill" but it's good to see it given such stylish treatment in a European film.

The story itself is almost ridiculously complicated although the clues are all there for those with sharp eyes and ears. But don't worry if concentration is not your thing. Events unfold at a cracking pace and, despite the shock of the graphic crimes portrayed, there are plenty of humourous touches to balance things. All the uniformed cops ("flics") are portrayed as consistently lightweight (if not stupid) whilst the detectives are dogged, macho men who slog their way relentlessly through the epic twists and turns of the plot.

The interplay of the two main characters (Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel) helps to sustain interest throughout the film and Reno in particular illustrates well the tremendous toll that is exacted from anyone who takes on the task of investigating the depths of sheer evil to which human beings can occasionally sink. It's a rough ride, this film, but a journey that you will almost certainly want to make on more than one occasion, having been through it once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than average... 26 Aug 2008
By godzilla78 VINE VOICE
I suppose the reason why i liked the original and the sequel is due to the fact both films have a strong leading cast. Sure you'll have seen the formula before which consists of an older, wiser cop partnered with a younger inexperienced one. But if you happen to be a fan of Reno and Cassell then you should find this enjoyable. The location and musical score certainly add something of a positive nature to the final product. Bodies show up and are connected to a prestigious university, a thesis on eugenics and a dark secret which is being protected by one of the locals. Turn your brain to stand-by, sit back and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars French Se7en 27 Nov 2001
By A Customer
An interesting movie which has good acting for a change, the movie centers around a perstigious college in France and how people are being killed there. There is a link to the idea of the "Superman" in a philosphy which does make the movie even more intersting than it already is. It is a similar to the movie se7en with murders everywhere and crimson is a good indication of what happens. The two actors do capture the screen Cassel as the young cop and Reno as the experienced one do work very well. But the ending is somewhat of a copp-out which is such a shame. But it still worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As Hollywood as French cinema gets... 20 Jan 2006
2 cops, investigating 2 separate cases that are unknowingly connected, end up helping each other out investigating some bizarre murders in a small university town, which hides some dark secrets. Well acted by Reno and Cassell, this film is exciting, interesting, and at times funny (particularly Cassell). Whilst the twist at the end wasn’t too hard to predict, and was a bit over the top, it’s a really enjoyable film (though I doubt any awards were ever given.) I would say its very 'French-Hollywood'. I doubt it would stand up to a 2nd viewing however, so I would suggest a rental as opposed to a purchase.
NB: The extras on the 2nd disc are excellent!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 24 days ago by Michael Bayliss
1.0 out of 5 stars Crap
This is dubbed over French language which detracts from the sound quality it was awarded for. The proper French DVD is subtitled in English and is an excellent movie.
Published 1 month ago by anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crimson Rivers
No product deserves 5 stars. I like Jean Reno as an actor and this dvd does him justice. Friends and family.
Published 3 months ago by leonard g andrews
1.0 out of 5 stars Jean the money must have been great !
What a load of utter tripe.hopelessly wooden acting.terrible direction and a story line riddled with holes. Read more
Published 13 months ago by lardzeppo
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking film
If you like Jean Reno, this is the film for you.

At the beginning it is very atmospheric, and the more the story is told you are gripped with suspense, don't watch it in... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Hankinson
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I am a big fan of Jean Reno and really enjoyed this movie great acting and good story line a must for your movie collection.
Published 21 months ago by louise
3.0 out of 5 stars French interpretation of Hollywood thriller
Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell -- what's not to like? Both actors lift an otherwise inconsistent movie above its natural three-star slot. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Very atmospheric with Reno playing his usual stormer.Plot has been well covered in other reviews and it moves along nicely and was well thought out,I have to say I thought it was... Read more
Published 23 months ago by the 12th man
5.0 out of 5 stars can you turn up the volume, I can't read the subtitles!!!
This is a film that I enjoy watching every year of two. It features two fantastic actors, Cassel and Reno, in what for them are fairly stereotypical parts. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2011 by tallmanbaby
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time!
Good grief, how did this make it past my filters?! Utterly laughable. Full of bits where you'll be going 'oh, come ON! Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2011 by El Zilcho
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