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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Let Him Bleed..." - Seraphim Falls on BLU RAY
Both Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson have been putting in superb performances in their last few movies, and the first pairing of them in "Seraphim Falls" is proof that both are now genuine class acts - only getting better with age and skill. Brosnan is a revelation in Seraphim Falls (as he was in "The Matador") just as Neeson was in "Batman Returns", "Kingdom Of Heaven",...
Published on 19 May 2011 by Mark Barry

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great acting with startling backdrops, recommended viewing.
Continuing the spate of recent westerns including,, the Out-Back set The Proposition, 3:10 to Yuma, Appaloosa, and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford among others is Seraphim Falls, an enjoyable story and worthwhile film centered around the bitter pursuit of a one time union solider, played terrifically by Pierce Brosnan, by a an ex military...
Published on 27 Jan 2010 by Sam


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Let Him Bleed..." - Seraphim Falls on BLU RAY, 19 May 2011
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Both Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson have been putting in superb performances in their last few movies, and the first pairing of them in "Seraphim Falls" is proof that both are now genuine class acts - only getting better with age and skill. Brosnan is a revelation in Seraphim Falls (as he was in "The Matador") just as Neeson was in "Batman Returns", "Kingdom Of Heaven", and especially his Oscar-winning turn in "Kinsey". In their latter years, each has acquired a grizzly realism that is serving them both well and their choices in movies.

The story is fairly simple - two ex Civil War Sergeants are locked into a Frontier manhunt in 1868 - the manhunt takes them from the snowy slopes of Ruby Mountain, down through freezing rivers and into open pilgrim-filled ranges. Relentlessly on it goes - through homesteads and finally to a desert area that in many ways resembles both of them - arid, empty, drained and dry. Brosnan is the hunted and Neeson the pursuer, but we only find out as the movie slowly moves on, 'why' Neeson is so obsessed with hunting Brosnan's character Gideon - and not just killing him either - but making him bleed and hurt as much as possible (dialogue above). It's essentially a cowboy chase movie, but done with such style and intelligence, that it grips you for the first hour like a Terminator that just won't stop. The support cast is all uniformly excellent too, but it's the two leads that hold it together.

The cinematography is spectacular and the look and dialogue given to both leads, just right. It's let down though as some reviewers have rightly pointed out by an odd last twenty minutes that in many ways spoils the great journey you just made with these two essentially good men locked into the horrible aftermath of war. Very old fashioned in ways, but hugely enjoyable - I'm reminded of 'Jeremiah Johnson' from 1971 with Robert Redford and "Black Robe" from 1991 by director Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies and Breaker Morant) - two fantastic frontier `story' films that are rarely seen, but worth every second of your time seeking them out.

The BLU RAY is now only a fiver new on Amazon - which is some kind of bargain on a format that isn't exactly chockers with them. As you can imagine the image is superb and adds a great deal to your enjoyment of the movie. The BLU RAY also carries over the short but informative "Making Of" from the original DVD issue - it has interviews with all the principal leads - clearly enjoying themselves and drawn by a good script and great locations. But it's the driving story and picture quality that keep you coming back.

Having sat through some truly appalling films of late, "Seraphim Falls" was like a breath of fresh air to me - and I wish I'd seen at the movies.

Recommended.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A excellent western which has the most beautiful scenery., 27 May 2009
By 
Dragonlord (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Last year we were spoilt rotten with westerns which is highly unusual as they were a rare breed. We had this film Seraphim Falls, The Assasination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and 3:10 To Yuma. All three films are very good indeed but for me I would say Seraphim Falls is the best and was the least known too. Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson both give career best performances, they really are most excellent in their roles.The whole of the film is set against the most breathtaking backdrops which look amazing on Blu-ray. Liam Neeson is hunting Pierce Brosnan down with a group of men for vengeance over something that happened at the end of the Civil War. The ending is very mysterious and most satisfying. If you are a big fan of westerns then you can't afford to miss Seraphim Falls as it really is top class stuff.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From hard and gritty to mythical and allegorical, 31 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
A film of two halves, but with a somewhat uncomfortable join.
This movie starts off with one of the most gritty and riveting hunts in recent memory. Pierce Brosnan's weatherbeaten and hardened ex Union officer is the hunted one, and Liam Neeson is the hunter, driven remorselessly by the ghosts of his past. The cold of the mountains, the pain of using a knife to gouge out a bullet and cauterize the wound, the chill of the water, the close quarters kills with the knife, all make for a visceral start with minimal dialogue and little explanation. Each man is completely single minded - one on survival, and one on revenge. As the chase moves onto the plains, we discover more about their past and the reason for the chase, marking a change in tone of the movie. As the plains give way to the desert, the movie takes an altogether more mythical and almost surreal mood, which is sure to divide audiences. Those expecting an action packed climax to the chase may feel cheated, however what we do get is at the very least thought provoking and I think lingers in the memory much more than a conventional showdown would have.
The director borrows heavily from the greats - the revenge themes of many a spaghetti Western, with the repeated flashbacks revealing a little more each time we see them reminiscent of Leone, also Ford's `The Searchers', as well as the atmosphere of Eastwood's Westerns. Borrowed the styles may be, but they are put together with a unique voice and vision, albeit in a somewhat hollow way in which the director too often substitutes myth and images for true drama. But what startling images they are! The photography is beautiful, whether it is the stark beauty of the mountains and snow, or the green of the plains or the arid expanses of the desert, and the images of the men facing off, or Angelica Huston in the desert, will stick with you.
The musical score to the movie is surprisingly restrained, but is a perfect accompaniment to the story - at first minimalist and somber in minor keys, reflecting the movies tone of survival and single mindedness, then the score switches to something more traditional as it enters the plains and the sphere of a traditional Western, and finally becomes wistful and dreamlike in the final stages. It's imaginative and subtle, always in the background and never grabbing your attention, but adding immensely to the tone and feel of the movie, almost like another character.
It is the final third of the movie which feels just a little longer than it should, with some ideas dragged out, and with changes of tone which leave the viewer almost feeling like he is being asked to start a new movie. What helps keep the viewer hooked are the leads, who are terrific, the two Irishman fitting into a Western with great assurance. Brosnan in particular makes the most of a very physical role, with much more subtlety than we might expect. Otherwise, a strong supporting cast of character actors is great to watch but frankly is given little of substance to do.
This is a flawed film, to be sure - but nonetheless it achieves what great cinema is supposed to - it stirs the emotions, and makes you think. Recommended.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Western, 19 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is one of the best Westerns I've ever seen, and on blu-ray it looks excellent. I had to watch it again just one week after having watched it the first time, I enjoyed the visuals and the story that much. The movie is much more realistic than the average Western, there are no saloons, riverboats nor sheriffs, just a cold snowy mountain at the beginning of the movie, from where the story begins to unfold. You can feel the cold winter air and the cold rushing waters. Seraphim Falls will take you back in time to witness a struggle to survive and avenge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great acting with startling backdrops, recommended viewing., 27 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
Continuing the spate of recent westerns including,, the Out-Back set The Proposition, 3:10 to Yuma, Appaloosa, and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford among others is Seraphim Falls, an enjoyable story and worthwhile film centered around the bitter pursuit of a one time union solider, played terrifically by Pierce Brosnan, by a an ex military Colonel portrayed by the great Liam Neeson. It is relentless if initially ambiguous nature of Neeson's pursuit that sets up the entire film. As this is virtually a hunter and prey chase the rest of the characters provide a substitute in the gap of a fully realized story or plot. That's not to imply that Seraphim Falls is not in possession of a decent character or even an idea outside of it's two main guns but whatever of the claims by Brosnan in the behind the scenes doc about this being an anti-war film Seraphim Falls exists for the chase, the hunting of Brosnan's man by Neeson and it is with great relief that two such actors provide nuance and screen presence to accompany the typically well-shot and appealing landscapes as they not only provide and sustain the viewers interest but manage to extract several quiet, emotional moments that subsidies the harsher aspects of the story with moments of genuine human feeling, giving a faint but real heart-beat to a film that could have descended into meaningless bursts of violence accompanied by picturesque foregrounds.

I think on the strength of the performances alone, in addition to the two leads we are treated to appearances from the likes of Michael Wincott, Angelica Huston, Tom Noonan and several other familiar faces, Seraphim Falls is easily worth a look but there are several other factors that bolster the film, namely the stunning imagery provided by the landscape ranging from frost ridden mountain passes to the unforgiving, desolate stretch in the desert as the film progresses.

The story itself is close to essentially being one elongated chase sequence between Carver (Neeson's) and a group of hired guns by his side never terribly far behind Gideon (Brosnan). From the start we brief shoot-out that leads to probably the most impressive set piece in the film involving Gideon and a pounding waterfall descent. From there Gideonis put through his paces be it tending to a wound by gouging out a bullet from his arm or attemtping to avoid running foul of unscrupulous characters that run abound in films such as these. And that always been one of my favorite traits in westerns, their seemingly endless landscapes existing as perfect grounds for directors to give very good actors grounds to suddenly, in the case of Seraphim Falls literally, appear out of nowhere sometimes in wonderfully bizarre fashion as here-Angelica Huston in particular in a brief but memorable supporting performance. As the plot of Seraphim Falls is essentially a chase through the wilderness, occasionally punctuated by bursts of violence (being a hired gun appears to have been a more than precarious means of getting by) as well as the aforementioned cameos that crop up rather regularly the filmmakers wisely hit the ground running with a brief shoot-out that leads to probably the most impressive set-piece, involving Gideon and a pounding waterfall descent that sends us on our way through a story that to my best estimation works out as chase-halt-meet intriguing side character-chase-halt-intriguing character etc until the finale which is plays around with symbolism to an extent that is slightly at odds with what proceeds it but to it's credit avoids any by the number shoot-outs and resolves itself on a more cerebral level.

Having possibly out-stayed my welcome I'll wrap things up by referencing what one critic remarked of Seraphim Falls. Without a clear-cut "bad guy" the film is even more interesting but it's down to the excellent work by the two leads that keeps these men interesting. Flashbacks, more or less, provide reasons for why each man is where he is but their characterization never really grows beyond a sketchy outline-not that it really needs to give more of either here- Nessons forceful screen presence and the sympathetic, oddly interesting appearance Brosnan takes on keeps the motor on Seraphim Falls alive (I think with two lesser actors the film would have died in the waters), and that for me was enough for what is, as advertised, a gritty chase and revenge western. Strong acting, a feast for the eyes in the backdrop and confident direction (from co-writer David Von Ancken) draws my hand here and though not on a par with other films in the genre that have seen release in the decade just past, Seraphim Falls is for the most part a gripping western worthy of your attention. 3.5/5

DVD extras include a directors commentary which also has Brosnan's participation and there's a behind the scenes feature with the producers, director and lead actors that runs for approximately twenty minutes
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual and satisfying western, 18 Feb 2008
This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
Seraphim Falls almost makes it into the territory of the great westerns. It is well acted (I haven't seen Brosnan this good in anything), beautifully shot and moves along at a wonderfully measured pace. Essentially, this is picaresque journey through the west structured around a revenge narrative. Neeson is tracking Brosnan. As the chase goes on, both parties meet interesting characters. And then they eventually meet face to face.

The film has a grit and a reality at its core, but also is alive to the sheer strangeness and multiplicity of the frontier, and the ending I found genuinely surprising. The one bum note in the film is the Neeson character's backstory which is, after all, the engine driving the whole narrative. The loss of his family is certainly reason enough for his quest, but as depicted it lacks power and drama (see, perhaps, The Outlaw Josey Wales for much more effective presentation of similar dramatic material).

Highly recommended.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprised How Much I Liked This, 20 Feb 2008
By 
J. Patching "panzer-attack" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
I like Westerns but I gave this one a miss in the cinema as it had a lot of negative reviews. I'm now sorry I did as, whilst I can see that this film wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, I absolutely loved it. It's a movie that's not afraid to take its time in unfolding the story. I think you've definitely got to be in the right mood to watch it. It's certainly not an all-action, pop corn type of film, although it has more action in it than I was lead to believe from certain reviews.

In my opinion, the main thing this film has going for it is atmosphere. The scenery is gorgeous and varies greatly throughout the whole picture. The acting from Brosnan and Neeson is top notch (Brosnan being particularly good).

As you've probably read elsewhere, the film has a ... 'different' sort of ending with supernatural/spiritual overtones. A lot of people seem to have had a problem with this but it didn't feel at all out of place to me.

But still, this does seem to be a film you love or hate. I loved it; I leant my copy to a friend who fell asleep half way through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Watchable and Very Forgettable, 24 July 2008
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
Firstly,let me say that Seraphim Falls is a welcome addition to the western genre; chiefly because it was made at all in a lean time for Westerns. Secondly let me say that a story as thin as this needs so much more than great locations and earnest, talented actors. Seraphim Falls starts excitingly and a level of tension (despite some heinous editing) is pretty much maintained. Then, after Pierce Brosnan confronts a youthful outlaw, it becomes outlandish, cliched nonsense. It enters into a collection of other, better films (Shane, A Man Called Horse, Unforgiven) aping them poorly and showing itself up as corrupt of any genuine, conclusive ideas. The 'dream' sequence with Anjelica Huston is testimony to this. It's surreal ambiguity a metaphor for the second half of the film.

It seems Seraphim Falls wanted to be another brooding, silent, noir-western (like The Assasination Of Jesse James) but, unlike that excellent piece of work, it didn't have the right people where it really matters - behind the camera and on the script. Shame really. But kudos in particular to Brosnan who's post-Bond freedom (as relished in The Matador) is clearly a welcome Godsend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I miss it?, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: Seraphim Falls [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a fantastic film that I only ordered to try out my new Blu Ray player. I couldn't have picked a better film. The story and the cinematography are superb, and Pierce Brosnan is a revelation! This is a film that was made for Blu Ray but I'm sure would look great on DVD as well. Excellent value. Give it a go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go as you wish. That which is yours will always return to you. That which you take will always be taken from you., 19 May 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
Seraphim Falls is directed by David Von Ancken who also co-writes with Abby Everett Jaques. It stars Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Wincott, Xander Berkeley, Tom Noonan, Kevin J. O'Connor, John Robinson, Ed Lauter, Wes Studi and Anjelica Huston. Music is by Harry Gregson-Williams and cinematography by John Toll.

It's post American Civil War, 1868, the Rocky Mountains, and Gideon (Brosnan) is being hunted by Colonel Morsman Carver (Neeson) and his hired killers. The reason why is not yet known, but it's the beginning of a relentless pursuit that's propelled by rage and hatred, a pursuit that will force both men to the day of reckoning.

The premise is as simple as it gets and on the surface the film holds no surprises until its divisive ending. However, before taking in the thematics of the story, it's refreshing to see a film of this genre type utilising scenery, sparse dialogue and two grizzled actors to tell its story. An obvious forebear to The Outlaw Josey Wales, Seraphim Falls is a meditation on revenge and remorse. Moments of violence flit in and out of proceedings, moments cloaked magnificently by natural surroundings, the expansive wilderness playing host to an intimate human drama. Yet it's a film pulsing with mythical atmosphere, Carver's pursuit of Gideon playing out like that of the Grim Reaper and his charges sent to capture the soul of the fleeing man. The falls of the title clearly indicating man's decent into hell, it's not for nothing that the finale is played out on a blistering plain, hellish indeed.

It's also worth noting that we the viewers are never sure who we should root for, if either of them? Gideon is on his own, but he is an immensely skilled mountain man, seemingly out skilling his pursuers, is he the bad guy here? Or is it Neeson's Carver? One is ex Union, the other Confederate, it's added spice to what develops into an intriguing journey. Where the film has irked some critics is with the ending, some calling it pretentious and a weak pay off. True enough Ancken has slackened the grip, the tight gritty tone giving way to something more open, airy even. But I like it a lot, it rounds out the supernatural feel that I had leading into the day of reckoning. It lacks dramatic impact for sure, but thematically it pays off on what had gone before it.

Brosnan (stepping in when Richard Gere bailed out) and Neeson revel in the roles, seemingly enjoying the complexities and war torn burdens that their characters carry. Their scenes together are as professional as one could wish, both men comfortably doing world weary. Wincott is on hand for gravel voiced duties, his portrayal of Hayes is cold and in keeping with the movie. The other notable names in the cast drop in and out of the narrative, each important, and in the case of Huston and Studi, suitably weird. But the real star of the show is John Toll (Braveheart/Legends of the Fall), whose photography is pristine, always remaining atmospheric, he captures the natural beauty of Oregon and New Mexico with great skill. Switiching seamlessly from the blue, grey and whites of the mountain pursuit to the browns and yellows of the salt flats. A master cinematographer at work. 8/10
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Seraphim Falls [DVD]
Seraphim Falls [DVD] by David Von Ancken (DVD - 2008)
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