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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...The Pursuit Of More..." - The Air I Breathe on BLU RAY
Basing itself on the four cornerstones of an ancient Chinese proverb - Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow and Love - "The Air I Breathe" offers up cleverly interlocked stories of desperate men and women reaching for freedom - some succeeding - some failing.

Each week the mild-mannered never-does-anything with his life Stock Market Investor (Forest Whittaker as...
Published 9 months ago by Mark Barry

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
I loved the idea of this film and how it has been executed, four individual stories (happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love) all connected in some way. In fact it all fits together very neatly. However, the stories themselves seemed a little weak and perhaps slightly too dark. It is still a good film and I'm glad that I have watched it, but I had high hopes that it would...
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by Spencer Newman


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...The Pursuit Of More..." - The Air I Breathe on BLU RAY, 19 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Basing itself on the four cornerstones of an ancient Chinese proverb - Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow and Love - "The Air I Breathe" offers up cleverly interlocked stories of desperate men and women reaching for freedom - some succeeding - some failing.

Each week the mild-mannered never-does-anything with his life Stock Market Investor (Forest Whittaker as Happiness) takes packets of money from a tall nameless man who seems like somebody's reluctant but effective henchman (Brendan Fraser as Pleasure). This guy only wants the dough spread quietly and in small amounts across safe investments. But Happiness wonders why - with his blemishless predictability track record on the future - this man doesn't gamble more in the pursuit of more?

And on hearing from braggarts in his office toilets of an 8-to-1 fixed race that night downtown - Happiness decides to do just - gamble money on a horse that has his favourite word as a name - Butterfly. But Butterfly doesn't fly and now Happiness owes $50,000 to "Fingers" - a brutal and cold-hearted monster that keeps telling everyone he's really a nice man ("You think I enjoy this!") as he removes the said appendage when they don't pay up on time (a sensationally good Andy Garcia). In desperation and in terror Happiness now goes for it and literally robs a bank - but in his getaway gets trapped on a rooftop with marksmen pointing their rifles at him.

While this is all going on an emotionally fragile but worshiped pop singer called Trista (Sarah Michelle Geller as Sorrow) gets contractually sold by her feckless gambling manager to the ruthless "Fingers" who in no uncertain terms tells Trista what her music future will entail (slavery to him for money and not even pregnancy will get in his way). But what Fingers doesn't bargain for is his mentally complex henchman Pleasure (who has the gift of seeing moments into the future so he always knows what people are going to do) needing to break free from his soulless life of violence and thuggery for money. Pleasure sees the caged bird in Trista and falls in love - vowing to protect her no matter what the physical cost.

On the other side of town a kindly Doctor (Kevin Bacon as Love) who has been in love with a friend's wife (Julie Delpy as Gina) for years needs a rare blood type to save her from a venous snakebite that will kill her within 24 hours. And on it goes to a smiling woman (free at last) making a getaway at the end...

Written by JIEHO LEE (who also Directed) and BOB DeROSA - "The Air I Breathe" uses the same disjointed flashbacks techniques that "Babel" did and builds up an interconnecting story that is both touching and satisfying. Fraser who is typecast as nice guys most of the time gets to spread his wings - as do all the other huge talents on display. It's quite ingeniously put together.

I had to buy the GERMAN BLU RAY which means you must go to Set Up first to play English 5.1 Audio (or it plays German language as a default). It's REGION FREE (so no compatibility problems) and the picture is superb throughout. The extras include interviews with Fraser, Garcia and Geller and Outtakes as well as a Trailer. There are several subtitles.

I loved "The Air I Breathe" - it has a humanity at the centre of that nastiness and a lot of that has to go to the lethal combo of good writing and quality actors delivering the goods. Pleasure says to Happiness (referring to the fear he knows consumes him) - "Sometimes risking everything is the only choice you have..." Spread your wings for this Butterfly... it's worth it.

PS: The American BLU RAY issue on Image Entertainment is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are). Stick with the Euro Issue - and also check on Amazon.de for best prices and dealers who will do 'International Shipping' (usually about 6 Euros)...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite films of 2008, 27 July 2008
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this movie as did my better half, The synopsis explains its supposed to be an exploration of human emotions, but the film isn't that deep when compared to the likes of crash. Where it does stand out is with the individual performances of a stellar cast.

Brendan Fraser (the Mummy) has a very cool character and Brendan adds charisma to the role.

Watch this film is you like Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser or Forest Whittaker movies - you won't be disappointed.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strengths: acting. Weakness: concept, 18 Nov 2008
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
Definitely underrated.

I initially watched this movie for Sarah Michelle Gellar, as I hadn't seen her in anything but Buffy, but this movie confirmed she is a stellar actress. All the performances from the main cast were great, especially Forrest Wittaker (of course) and Brendan Fraser (who I have now developed a crush on).

The strength of this movie lies in its cast; varied, strong, many, all of them connected. What interested me the most is when and how each of their lives were going to become intertwined.

What this movie lacked was the depth of the concept it was attempting to convey with its title and the Chinese proverb each of the characters attempt to illustrate. As an attempt to visualize these concepts, it finds itself wanting. I think the concept would have been clearer had it been illustrated through one person's life, but that would have been a completely different movie.

This movie would appeal to any fan of any member of the cast, and anyone who likes action movies, with a bit of a head twist.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated - superb movie, 15 Sep 2008
By 
A. A. Parker "ashley_parker" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
All I gotta say is why hasn't this been given the recognition it deserves. Great performances, directing, writing and great story. Everything was great. If you want a drama that really gets you thinking and grab you by the jewels - get this. Superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blue Ray, 4 Oct 2013
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I took a gamble on this film & bought it on DVD but having watched it I soon upgraded to blu ray. This German BD has a very good picture quality and is worth the change. I'm surprised this film isn't better known it's brilliant & unusual with a whole string of fine performances of which three - Brendan Fraser, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Andy Garcia are out standing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the faves, 8 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
I love films like this, the ones whose lives interlink throughout. It's such a moving story with such amazing actors, I love it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch, 12 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
I loved the idea of this film and how it has been executed, four individual stories (happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love) all connected in some way. In fact it all fits together very neatly. However, the stories themselves seemed a little weak and perhaps slightly too dark. It is still a good film and I'm glad that I have watched it, but I had high hopes that it would be nearly as good as Crash.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Strengths None; Plot contrived, 17 April 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (PLYMOUTH, DEVON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
Totally disappointing because there are some fine actors in this. Instead of being a blockbuster, it ends up a damp squib. I don't think I can blame the actors much as they haven't much to go on, so the blame must go to the directing and the contrived storyline. It is watchable but at the end of the day there is no empathy for the characters. My advice - rent don't buy!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly well acted , moral driven character piece., 8 July 2009
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
It is not unusual for film makers to employ the intersecting life's of characters as s dramatic device -the superb Amores Perros [DVD] [2001] springs most readily to mind - and director and co-writer Jieho Lee ( co-written with Bob DeRosa ) has used this effectively for the character driven The Air That I Breathe. Using the Chinese proverb that the four cornerstones of life are the emotions happiness, love , pleasure and sorrow ,as an inspiration it concentrates on four different people each who represent an emotion . The quartet intertwine and influence each others destiny in sometimes major and deliberate, sometimes spurious and unintentional ways underlining the capricious nature of fate and how one decision can have a seismic effect on many others.
The hub of events is laconic enforcer Brendan Fraser who represents Pleasure and who works for gangster "Fingers" (Andy Garcia for a change) a not very nice bloke as Gangsters are wont to be. His path crosses with bored meek office worker (Forest Whittaker as Happiness) through an illegal gambling den then onto the vapid singing sensation( Sarah Michelle Gellar as Sorrow though her character has the stage name "Trista-the Latin word for sad) who Fingers views as a means to extricate himself from the violent world he has imposed on himself. But has link to hospital surgeon (Kevin Bacon who represents Love) and the love of his life Gina (Julie Delpy) and what happens there proves to be the final redemption for one of them . All of which sounds a bit dull, worthy and contrived but The Air That I Breathe proves to be a well acted absorbing drama .The ensemble cast acquit themselves admirably with Fraser and especially Geller giving subtle nuanced performances.It,s hard to equate what happens to some of the characters to their given emotion but the film is as much about internalised emotions and spiritual longing than gaudy surfaces. There is a bit of cracker style philosophising with people saying things like "Sometimes the things you can't change end up changing you" and you will probably find yourself scoffing at some of the coincidences that tie the plot together and while events do stretch credulity near to it,,s breaking limit at times ( The personality change of Happiness and Fingers distinct lack of brains when it comes to the resentful pop starlet) this film just about hangs together to make a satisfying moral driven character piece.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't really get it, 16 July 2010
This review is from: The Air I Breathe [DVD] (DVD)
Purchased this movie looking for a great enjoyable watch but was disappointed. it just didn't do it for me......
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The Air I Breathe [DVD]
The Air I Breathe [DVD] by Jieho Lee (DVD - 2008)
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