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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very silly, but lots of fun
If you like your historical dramas rich in costume, sets & martial arts (?!), then this is the film for you!
Set in 1764, it centres on the investigations of two men (Gregoire de Fronsac & his kung-fu Mohawk pal - no, really) into the appearence of a mysterious savage beast, which hunts down women & children mercilessly in the Gevaudan region of France.
Cut...
Published on 13 Jan 2004 by red-squirrel

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware ... of the movie
Although the film looks great visually and is loaded with potential, the actual experience of it can leave you somewhat empty. The concept is interesting and some of the fight scenes are certainly impressive. But the characters all seem to bob about randomly with no real defining relationship between each other.
Over halfway through and nothing much had developed...
Published on 21 May 2012 by Lionface


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very silly, but lots of fun, 13 Jan 2004
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
If you like your historical dramas rich in costume, sets & martial arts (?!), then this is the film for you!
Set in 1764, it centres on the investigations of two men (Gregoire de Fronsac & his kung-fu Mohawk pal - no, really) into the appearence of a mysterious savage beast, which hunts down women & children mercilessly in the Gevaudan region of France.
Cut through the martial arts bizarritude, & you have a rather decent film which supplies all the necessary: action; intrigue; love interest; guns; wolves; exploding pumpkins; prostitutes & lots of peasants thrashing about in mud.
The actors are well cast & include the wonderful Vincent Cassel as a disturbingly incestuous bad guy. The soundtrack is a voluptuous mix of bagpipes, accordians, & 'Gladiator' style atonal wailings. Blend these with cartoon style incidental sound effects (Kerrrunnch! Kablammnn!), a darkened room & a good sound system & you're in for an eerie time. (Watch it with subtitles to complete the experience.)
As a whole, this tale is a rich masterpiece which contains a more than a grain of truth at it's heart. If you can suspend your disbelief for 2 hours 17 minutes (plus the historical docmentary) you shouldn't be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars French period Martial arts wolfie flick, 10 April 2008
This is a great film hard to pigeon hole as it is a werewolf movie / martial arts / period drama. A beast is rampaging through the countryside in France but is it a real beast or a myth what is going on? The answer comes at the end of the film but the journey is a great one: Monica Belluci plays a mysterious Italian courtesan and Vincent Cassell plays the son of a wealthy and powerful noble. The interiors and costumes are sumptuous and it is refreshing to watch a film where the acting and script holds up rather than relying on cgi effects.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic masterpiece .........., 24 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Christophe Gans finally returns to directing nearly eight years since his previous film 'Crying Freeman'. Surprisingly - his comandeering skills have blossomed over this time to depart from his stylistic yet slightly forgettable attempt in the 1995 anime adaptation, and have emerged ; bloody fangs clamped in a genre defying visual attack on the senses that has to be seen to be believed.
the story is based on a real one. tales in ancient france 1764 of a beast that brutally murders women and children escalates into a 3 year long hunt for a wolf with metal teeth and bristling fur. despite all attempts - the creature evades the local jurisdiction and two men are sent from the king to deal with the matter.
thats all you really need to know in the story department. whether that tantalizes you or not is unimportant - because there are no words to describe the impact this film will have on you. hate it, or love it, it's impossible to ignore. blending thriller, mystery, romance, period drama, horror, humour, action, and even kung-fu with sumptuous visuals and some stunning special effects ; the movie triumphs over the stale stench of typecast cinema from france nowadays as well as hollywood and comes as a welcome breath of fresh air to the film industry.
this truly is cinematic gold, as Christophe manages to weave an epic that is more consistant in style and performance than the mighty Lord Of The Rings. at a huge 140 minutes (and believe me - it may feel even longer during the film, but you'll be left beggin for more) it could be forgiven for taking it's time shaping the action, relationships, and mystery of the wolf. but Christophe dives you straight in from the first shot, and never lets up for a minute of the 2hr 17 min running time.
the performances are stunning (fan favourite Vincent Cassal is even present) and suprisingly - perhaps the strongest character performance is that of Mark Dacascos as one of the two men sent to destroy the beast. His acting has certainly come a long way since his role as Crying Freeman in Christophes earlier film.
Anyway....this film is startling, and everyone should see it just ot make up there minds...

just don't expect it to keep to the historical facts.....this film is channelled as a ride only.....and what a charged ride it is
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brotherhood of the Wolf (Blu-ray version), 10 Dec 2011
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Christophe Gans 2001 production Brotherhood of the Wolf is finally given its U.K. Blu-ray release in 2011 but unlike its French counter-part from 2008 which is still the best version available on Blu-ray, the British version is the shorter cut of the film (139 minutes) the preferred version is the 151 minute "Directors cut" from France.

The good news is that this region B 50gb disc comes encoded using MPEG-4 AVG in full 1080p resolution with French DTS Master audio 5.1 with a full set of English subtitles that appear inside the picture frame and are of a decent size and font, there is also a English dubbed version in DTS master audio 5.1 both soundtracks also come in 2 track DTS master audio, comparing this to the 2002 copy on DVD the Blu-ray is better in terms of richer colours and deeper blacks and a soundtrack which is re-born in all departments, clearer music more satisfying sound effects and more defied dialogue, the only extra is 77minute behind the scenes documentary, the DVD release had the original theatrical trailer and 17 minute interview which is called The Brotherhood of the Wolf - The Legend with Michel Louis who wrote the Book about "The Beast of Gévaudan" which some of this story is based on.

I have taken one star off because this is not the Directors -cut.

Now to look for that French version on-line...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like no other, 11 Nov 2006
By 
D. I. Shipley "David Shipley" (KENT United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I did not really know what to expect when I went to see this film. I was aware that it was one of the biggest grossing French films at the box office in France of all time, and was about the mysterious beast that terrorised the French countryside in the 1760s. I went to see it at a suburban cinema and younger members of the audience were sneering at the French accents and the subtitles. That did not last very long, however, because the film soon utterly engrossed them, as indeed, it did myself.

Samuel Le Bihan plays an adventurer/naturalist who is attached to the Royal Court at Versailles. He is sent to a rural region of France to try to trap the elusive beast which is now responsible for an increasing number of killings. Accompanying him on his quest is is 'half brother'- Mani (played by that veteran of martial arts films - Mark Dacascos.

The two are made welcome at the chateau of the local aristocrat and from there they begin their quest.

The film does not really fall into any genre but draws from a number. Throw in Martial Arts fights, superstitious peasants, a beast that looks like a relative of the monster from 'The Relic', packs of wolves, a deformed madman, plots to overthrow the Monarchy, and you have an idea of what to expect....

Director Christopher Gans (Silent Hill)has made a beautifully photographed and multi layered film here. As the film progresses, gradually the reality of what is going on becomes apparent. The cinematography is superb - in particular the forest and snow sequences which have an almost enchanted/magical feel to them. The cast are all superb and play out their roles with relish. The film is brutal in places and does not hold back on the gore. Indeed, some of the younger film goers who were earlier sneering, were becoming quite upset and agitated by the hunting sequences which graphically depict the culling of the local wolves.

This is a unique film and is well worth a look. Don't expect it to fall into any category though but instead prepare for something very different.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The wolf attacks, 14 Dec 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu (savate).

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," an epic 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 terrifying, 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, fantasy, 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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but not the best DVD release...., 30 Dec 2002
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is a great film, no doubt about it. It is superbly directed, superbly designed and superbly acted, featuring a cast representing the great faces of modern French cinema. True, Vincent Cassel is somewhat typecast as the villain, but it is still great to see one of the best actors of our age in any role. I'm sure there is little I can say that will add to the many superlatives that have already been lavished on this film on this site and elsewhere.
What I will say, however, is that the UK DVD release is a total disappointment. The film itself is missing over 15 minutes of footage, basically the whole scenario with Beauterne. Additionally, the extra features are meagre at best - the only documentary being a very dull one about the real legend, there being no real connection with this film. My recommendation, based on my own experience, is that anyone who really wants to enjoy this film and to get the most out of the DVD market should buy the 3 disc Canadian set. This contains the full director's cut of the movie, both in French and English, with subtitles, as well as a host of 'making of' documentaries and other goodies (all subtitled in English). It also comes with a nice booklet and is attractively packaged. This is the definitive edition and is actually available widely and not too expensively. I shan't say where, but it is worth the investment if you love this film.
So, if you have a multi-region player, don't waste your money on this typically tawdry UK version, but go with the definitive Canadian version. You'll be pleased you did!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style and more., 31 Jan 2007
By 
K. C. Simm "kenart" (Lancashire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This film is over the top in every way, the story, which unlike some other reviewers I found quite comprehensible; the sets, which are rich and the only word that suffices voluptious. The acting in which all the main characters look as if they have got la creme. The cinematography which turns this film into a richly beautiful feast. It is style and then more style. The overall effect is a satisfying, pluralistic banquet that satisfies on many levels much in the same way that the era it is set in did until its rather expected downfall. The film has a lot to say about many subjects but does not shy away from glorifying detail or dumbing itself down for its audience. It could be accused of being a trifle mannered in its excecution but then, why not? It is primarily a lovely to look at horror film with extra cream and nuts. Don't listen to the dubbed version however. It is a truism to say there is no such thing as a good dubbed soundtrack.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful horror kung fu action period film from France, 1 Mar 2005
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Wow, they certainly tossed just about everything into the pot in making this one, including the French Revolution. "Le Pacte des Loups" starts off as a exquisitely photographed costume drama/horror flick set in 18th century France with a poor peasant girl being hunted down by an unseen beast. My first thought that this was a beautiful film, more reminiscent of a Jane Austen period piece than a horror flick from Hammer Studio. But then our hero, Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his faithful Indian companion, Mani (Mark Dacasos), show up and we suddenly discover the film is also a cross between "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." However, since this is movie based on a legend regarding a huge wolf ravaging the French countryside, this hardly seems the time to insist upon a standard of realism.
The collaboration between director Christophe Gans and cinematographer Dan Laustsen results in some beautiful and memorable camera shots (most notably, as the camera tracks up a woman's nude body it morphs into snow covered terrain), often playing with time and movement to great effect. In the deleted scenes Gans provides a sort of mini-commentary on the film that is quite interesting in terms of setting up the film's dynamic, especially regarding the opening sequence originally conceived for the film and the scene that replace it. Laustsen is the cinematographer on upcoming "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," and my assumption is that when I see that film I will have a better sense of who contributed the most to "Brotherhood of the Wolf."
The film was edited Xavier Loutreuil and Sébastien Prangère, with David Wu doing the Hong Kong kung fu fight sequences, which are impresive because they do not, for the most part, violate the realism of the time, which is a way of saying the wire work is extremely limited and understated. I also like the way Fronsac's love triangle is color coded: Marianne de Morangias (Émilie Dequenne) is a redhead often dressed in a red uniform while the raven haired Sylvia (Monica Bellucci) always wears black. The rouge/noir opposition works well in contrast to the blues, browns and yellows which serve as the palatte for most of the film.
My only real complaint is actually the traditional complaint one has after watching a Hammer horror film: the beast, when we finally get to see it, is something of a disappointment. However, I will allow that this is probably due as much to my heightened expectations given the quality level of the rest of the film more than to the limitations of CIG technology. The second time I watched the film this aspects was less bothersome to me, but still something of a disappointment. An action/horror/fantasy/thriller/romance like "Brotherhood of the Wolf" is not going to be embraced by everyone, but certainly fans of those genres will admire the ambition of this film, the most beautiful of its type we have ever seen.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic, 26 July 2002
This review is from: Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
mix an american werewolf in london,predeator and enter the dragon and you have this movie....ive seen the subtitled version and its pure beauty to the eyes...the sets,acting,storyline is perfect...the cast is awsome....why isnt mark decasos the new bruce lee.we have lost brandon and he is the closet we have....the action was done by phillip kwok from hard boiled and its a fantastic period piece which you havnt seen the likes of......genius
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Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001]
Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001] by Samuel Le Bihan (DVD - 2002)
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