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. Its a veritable how to make a blockbuster on two shiny discs.
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We have taken some photos of "The Crimson Rivers (Les rivières pourpres)". They represent actual movie quality.
This is a good film. Could have been a great film if the plot wasn't soweak. It's also true that the plot is weak because the Director didn'tfollow literally the novel but made a lot of changes to preserve the finalsurprise.
It is quite difficult to recognize Mathieu Kassowitz's hand in this wellshot "thriller" film. Nothing to do with the excellent social film success(after the non well achieved "Assasins"): La Haine - TheHate.The beautiful -and well photographed- snowfalled mountains of thesurrounders of Guernon-France are the "chilling" frames for this story:a dead body badly crippled was found in a top mountains glacier where onlyan alpinist could find it.The shooting shows unseeable details of a tortured and tormented body. Thisevent mixed completely up the local peacefulness of the police organizationand an expert commisary (Jean Reno) comes from Paris.The body belongs to a librarian of a famous "elite" and exclusive -only1700students- University in Guernon.Another body is found into the ice of another glacier.In parallel, 150 km away from Guernon, a girl's grave has been profaned andthe archives of the young girl -badly ran over by a car in the motorway-disappeared from the primary school's files.A local policeman, Vincent Cassel (Monica Belluci's husband), takes care ofthis case.Both stories, which initially seems not be linked, cross each other in anexponential whole story complexity and tension.The narrow valleys might give genetic surprises and weaknesses if bloodpeople is not properly mixed and is only at a close circuit.The theory of the film is to carry out genetic experiment in order toimprove, strengthen and purify the valley's race.Hands and eyes are the only one that "mark" the bodies.Similar experiment were done in the film "The kids from Brasil" with a welldefined "nazi" denotation and dogma. A sane mind in a sane body. Theperfectman. The perfect race.We are the leaders, we are the slaves that reign on "les rivierespourpres".Both actors are great for this terrific French film which is a very goodexample of a scary and intelligent, movie, done with good productionsupports without being necessarily an American film.Rating: 6/10
I remember seeing this one on video at the time of it's video release. Someof the images actually managed to stick with me, like the menacing school,the corpse in the ice-cave and the avalanche at the end. However, as I sawit yesterday I realized that this film doesn't really rise above the averageAmerican thriller when you think about it. It's always refreshing to see afilm in a different locale acted out in a different language,(as I, as aEuropean does not have a problem with subtitles) but the plot basicallystays the same, and the ending feels like a big clichÃ©.Mathieu Kassovitz, who directed this film pulls off some amazing shots atthe beginning of the film that are just beautiful to look at and CrimsonRivers will forever be remembered as a film containing some of the mostbeautifully shot footage, using a helicopter. The rest of the movie staysmore or less true to the opening impression but never surprises beyond that.Credit has to be given for the avalanche scenes toward the end though,where you really feel as though you're in there with the actors as they'recovered with snow and then dug up by the rescue team. Thierry Arbogast, thefilms cinematographer did a great job collaborating with Kassovitz and it'sprobably him that should be thanked for the look of the film. HoweverKassovitz later did the highly atmospheric Gothika without Arbogast so maybehe didn't have so much to do with it after all?The film would have have benefited from a more powerful soundtrack. Themusic composed by Bruno Coulais is a bit lame and could've been spiced up abit to elevate the atmosphere to a higher level of fear than is representedin the film. The music can sometimes be the most important ingredient in afilm and here it's just not good enough.The actors do a great job and Jean Reno as a cop is something I haven't seenin any other film. But then again, I haven't seen everyone of hisfilms.As for the movie as a whole I'm not sure what they aimed at with this film.It's never the least scary and the cops scattered throughout the film areintended to be funny (and they are, for the most). Films that don't knowwhere they want to be placed and mixes equal doses of action and humor aregenerally considered mainstream. It feels sad to say it, but Crimson Riversdoes not rise above it. If you want to see a film that is A) European withsubtitles, B)have a clear view of what it want to achieve in terms of fearand C)has a similar but better plot, go rent the German Horror/ThrillerAnatomie! Or it's sequel for that matter, as even that is better than thisfilm.
This is what movies are really all about! Crimson Rivers is a slick bloody thriller starring international mega stars Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno who make a terrific pairing as cop and investigator who's paths cross while trying to solve a horrific murder. The chemistry between actors is right-on as they team up together digging to uncover a ridiculously wonderful labyrinthine plot in search of the truth. With it's big budget sleek aesthetic, "Rivers" is absolutely gorgeous to watch; meticulous and cinematic in lush European settings. The plot has a touch of everything including ample doses of horror, noir, cop buddy picture, thriller, etc. but at it's heart it's really a throwback to the European "gialli" of the 60's & 70's; a convoluted spider web whodunit full of twists, turns and red herrings that will leave the viewer guessing until the tail end. All the "giallo" signatures are here: a breathtaking setting (a private college at the base of the Alps), palpable atmosphere layered on thick, gore-a-plenty, the mandatory car chase, a hooded unseen killer, and of course the story itself which won't be disclosed here, but really, the list goes on and on; essentially everything but the kitchen sink is used to good measure. "Rivers" helped to kick start the French "thriller" renaissance; a strong example of how the French continue to make better thrillers than anyone in the world. This may be a tad too sophisticated for American audiences and those unfamiliar with "gialli" may find this slightly ludicrous. However, for those that want a riveting thrill ride with some serious chills, this is a cadeaux of perfection.
Jean Reno is really quite a fabulous actor. I have seen him in several other films and really liked him. Seeing him in this French-film where he would be speaking his native language (if it were not for the sometimes poor dubbing) is really a plus. Vincent Cassell is really quite good as well. This is a man who could be a pretty boy but for his slightly crooked nose. It makes him far more interesting than if he were pretty. He is quite good as well.In fact, the cast is quite excellent. My complaint is not with the cast as much as it is with the rushed feeling ending and the often poor dubbing.The dubbing can be chalked up to idiots at the hands of the machines and the voice over director not getting clear enunciation where needed.The rushed ending is not so easy to dismiss. For a film that was all along far more enigmatic and aspired to much greater direction than most films of any nationality of this genre, the ending is solidly "Americanized." (read that to be "forced and easy"). I had the basic premise of the ending, including the killer identified within minutes of being introduced to the character - and that was disappointing. I don't know that the killer should have been so easily discovered by the viewer of this film - it promised to be better than that. Further, too little time was spent on the evolution of the discovery with the audience of what has happened in explained terms. We do know what happened, but the "why" is so rushed that I was rewinding the film several times to see if I correctly understood it. And last, the end result was just a bit too contrived for my taste - it seemed an easy way out. I don't want to give away anything, because it IS at its heart, a good film. It just wasn't as superior as I had hoped it would be.
Mathieu Kassovitz's film featuring the incomparable Jean Reno (TheProfessional) and Vincent Cassel (Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen) isa thrill ride that never stops.The French countryside with the spooky houses is a feast for the eyes.Thierry Arbogast's (The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc) cameramade this entire film a joy to watch. The scenery was complimented bythe music of Bruno Coulais (The Chorus).But, it was Jean Reno that brought me to this film. His CommissionerNiemans was just what I expected from him. He has a way that makes theperfect cop. That is not to dismiss Callel's Lieutenant Kerkerian, whowas a perfect partner.The story was definitely creepy with some graphic scenes of torturedbodies, but it was not off putting. It was essential to the story,which really had some extremely interesting twists and turns.Niemans and Kerkerian prevail, of course, but it was the journey thatwas so satisfying.
The film begins with some of the strangest visuals I have ever seen and gets weirder, the cast all seem like they belong, Jean Reno is always good in any role he's in, Get this movie!
Part-serial killer thriller (which tiresomely tries to out outre previous entries), part-cop/buddy action film, and all parts tiresome. By this I don't mean it is any worse than most contemporary Hollywood fare -- in fact, those who like formula films may even enjoy themselves. Not surprisingly, the director -- who some may remember for once having made an interesting film -- went on from this to make his Hollywood debut (the stinker Gothika). This is film-as-advertising (film-as-tv-commerical): it's not about anything but selling itself. It made my teeth hurt.
Not once during this film did I the viewer know more than any of the actors- which means no suspense what-so-ever.My nephew watched it too and couldpredict all the next scenes - what a disaster. Poor Reno did a good job butthe rest of the crew were substandard.
For all intents and purposes this is a serial killer movie. There have been any number of these but this one takes a nifty and clever approach to the genre.Here's the scoop. Jean Reno is a police criminologist brought in to investigate a torture/murder where the body was found hanging from the side of a cliff near a very unique, cloistered university. Meanwhile, Vince Cassell is a detective 100 miles away investigating the desecration of 20 year old tomb and the theft of the school records of said tomb's occupant. As it turns out, they're working the same case.This is a cool flick. Set in the higher altitudes of France in the winter it has a good look to it. Great use of location and great architecture. The story is clever in the way it comes together. The right hints are thrown in at the right times to begin adding up. Some are overt while others are more subtle so the viewer needs to keep a head's up while trying to figure it all out. Jean Reno is his usual good self. Cassell is a bit over the top but not too bad. It's directed and cut well. The music score and sound design are tasty. A few of the scenes and plot points could have been written better, and some of the key items in the resolve were blurted out too quickly. I got the drift of the crime but some of the details were cloudy for me, but this is still a heck of a ride. As it deals with demonology and Nazis it rings a bit of "The Exorcist" if you can believe that.If crime thrillers are your poison this should do you well.
One wonders why this picture was made at all : the plot as such is totallyunbelievable if not ridiculous, the characters (experienced loner copversusyounger one, quite fascinated) quite predictable, the ending totally murkyand impossible to understand (maybe after several viewings but you'd havetohave a masochistic tendency for that ; the idea being you have to read thebook to understand fully what it's all about)and the acting isbad.Was the basic idea to show that French film makers are able to do as wellasAmericans in the genre that include "Seven" and "Silence of the lambs" ?Ifso, it is a total failure.It was quite a success though (and has a sort of cult-status as the firstFrench serial killer film)and, it seems, considered as a good product toexport. Strange.
So this is what promising auteurs of the French cinema are now turningtheir hands to: Mindless entertainment with a sauce of pointless style,the whole served up on a bed of re-hashed American mass-market junk.Not even after the Second World War was French cinema in such a direstate that a mess like this would be served up! Even its supporters donot seek to conceal its glaring flaws.We should have realized that something was seriously wrong withcontemporary French film culture when Bertolucci's 'The dreamers'actually turned the Nouvelle Vague into a nostalgic costume-drama: Thevery tendency which provoked the most important revolution in filmtheory and practice has become - ironically, but unfortunately withoutintending to express irony, - a retrograde parody of itself, dressed inpapa's cast-offs.Such disappointing and worthless films in fact represent, with supremecynicism, a revival of the Cahiers-du-cinema-derided 'Cinema du papa'in the superficially plausible guise of mass appeal to the most shallowvalues of youth: Fat, elderly businessmen - or physically culturedferal ones in killer fashions - sit in the unsubtle glare of back roomsand fleece unadventurous, disillusioned and ill-educated youth of theirmoney, in exchange for an empty fairground sensation.Even the best new French films, like 'Laisser passer', seem largelynostalgic, when they are not pale imitations of Hollywood, or essays indisillusioned yet obsessional sexual morbidity incapable of achievingthe vital freedom and balance of genuine, forward-looking creativity.Like its greater geo-political parent, the French revolution in filmart has finally betrayed the fresh hopes of the new dawn, and led theintellectual romanticism of Truffaut into the squalor and decadence -albeit intellectualised - of films like 'The pornographer,' or theterror unleashed in 'Baise moi.'You only have to look at the now ruined visage of Jean-Pierre Leaud tosee the living death of Antoine Doinel.Only in the almost hermetic reserve of Rivette, Godard, and Rohmer, whohave practically retired into the silence of their private communionwith personal values, do we see any possible source of inspiration.Unfortunately for us and for culture at large, the maturity of suchcontemplative dreamers intimidates any engagement with the world ofinstant gratification. Even Godard's aggressive politics seems to havedespaired of the world. He keeps up merely the stance of a polemicist,for form's sake.In the West we live, I regret to say, in a society profoundly inimicalto personal values of this kind. The grace of the youthful revelationwhich the Nouvelle Vague gave us has long since faded into the commontwilight of the prostituted urban day.As with sex, the walk from the mystery of the outwardly darkened yetinteriorly-illuminated auditorium into the anonymous and indifferentthrong of the street is a saddening journey out of the rare illusion wetreasure as the creative process, and into the commercial glare ofmass-production. And we know that no return journey will now bepossible, as the street is no longer the street of Paris in the 1960s.For a while, we were all privileged to inhabit an idealised,intellectualized, Paris. That great city has been swallowed up in theruthlessly global village. Olivier Assayas even makes his films fromthe anonymity of crowded Hong Kong. From that perspective, his 'IrmaVepp' recalled the streets of Paris in Feuillade's early, silent,thriller, which were haunted by the absence of all those people who hadbeen drawn away by the vampire of international war-capitalism. That remembered Paris is nothing but a ghost-town, except that it isnot to the War that people today have gone, but to Disneyworld, andFrench cinema has become little more than an aspect of theindustrialization of leisure. Where are artistry and integrity to comefrom in this culture of naked consumerism?The rivers of inspiration have dried up, and only contribute to a staleand dusty pool of evaporating memories. One would wish to translateinto French terms that great image of disillusion from 'Once upon atime in the West' where the quintessetial thrust of a Europeansensibility through the dream of an American West ends, exhausted, noton the crashing shores of the great Pacific Ocean, but on the filthymargins of a transient puddle in the middle of nowhere.But a certain pretentiousness still clinging to these latter-dayfailures of the French film industry reveals only a profound lack ofself-knowledge that does not even know how to expire decently. Theirfilms are as full of animated corpses as that cemetery of light inHollywood.Perhaps the small and perfectly poised, but irrelevant, film essays ofGodard represent the truest farewell to cinema's impossible dream, andits weird swan-song? His mysterious removal from our world ofrestricted reference at least preserves the concept of alternativepossibilities - an absence, a zero: Place-holder in the binary union ofnight-and-day which maintains our persistence of vision. And one fineday, by another mysterious accomplishment of grace, we, also, may findourselves once more translated by and into the light. And so Truffaut steps aboard an illuminated cloud at the end ofSpielberg's 'Close encounters of the third kind'. Perhaps in anotherforty years he will be returned to us?Perhaps at least we shall be able to pick up his original message againon some Orphic, Cocteauesque medium of secretive cultural resistance,as an oracular modulation in the ether ...?For at present it is the lead strip's expectant stream of silence whichis the most engaging portion of any film. For onto this brief glimpseof possibilities we may project the whole of our own interior life. Thefilms that follow now largely intrude upon this contemplation, whichalone would enable us to grasp reality again. Cinema was nothing less than an engine of thought; the movies are nomore than a trick of the light. We have surrendered our critical rolein the creative process to a synthetic dream of mindless satisfaction.Welcome to the soul-destroying trip to be embarked upon in 'The matrix'or 'Demonlover.'Welcome to a world of alien avatars, or technological succubi batteningupon our sleeping reason, threatening our oblivious humanity.Now there's a crime - there's a horror story - and there is real humaninterest: 'The invasion of the body-snatchers' for the post-Cold Wargenerations, indeed. And it is the international conglomerates andtheir creatures, the corporate states, which draw sustenance from thoseliving corpses which they animate by means of empty materialism.Such creaking mechanisms as 'The purple rivers' serve only to diverttalent and attention towards indulgence in transient and illusorypleasures, which provide no satisfaction at all. Such blatantcommercialism only robs and beggars society. You will be the poorer forseeing this film.
In Guernon, an isolated mountain area where the local University rulesthe town, the Chief Inspector Pierre Niemans (Jean Reno) arrives fromParis to investigate a hideous crime, when the victim was tortured andmutilated before dying. Meanwhile, Detective Max Kerkerian (VincentCassel) comes to the same place, following the investigation of aprofaned tomb of a young girl. They join forces and find a plot ofeugenics in the University, with abductions, murders and revenge.Yesterday I saw this great movie again, trying to find some answers toquestions I raised the first time I saw it four years ago.Unfortunately, they have no explanations along the story. "Les RiviÃ¨resPourpres" has magnificent locations, maybe the most beautifullandscapes I have seen in a crime movie. The cast is outstanding,highlighting the charismatic Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel. However, thescreenplay has flaws and presents a deceptive conclusion. My questionsare: (1) If Judith was kidnapped in the nursery of the hospital,exchanged by the daughter of another person, what happened to the otherchild? (2) Who raised Judith, if her mother got crazy and went to adark cell in a convent? (3) If her mother knew where her other daughterwas, why didn't she go to the French justice and fight to retrieve thechild? (4) How Judith found and approached Fanny? Anyway, usuallyworths watching serial killer stories and this one is very above theaverage. My vote is eight.Title (Brazil): "Rio Vermelhos" ("Red Rivers")
This is the most awesome French movie I ever saw! great acting by Reno.Impressive scenario. Good directing... perfect movie. I don't know iftheres a English version of it, but i suggest to watch the Frenchversion
The TOTAL FILM review online hits the mark. This film misfires mainly because the dialogue soundtrack is dubbed badly and the English is stupid. The background music is too loud and the words are quiet. I wished that I had seen it with the original soundtrack with English subtitles. Because of all that, the plot does not make sense, and it is obvious that the dialogue is truncated and large chunks of plot are omitted. I compare this attempt to the American version of GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, which fails miserably. I still enjoyed Crimson Rivers, mainly because of Jean Reno and the fantastic Alpine setting, and the horrificly gruesome murdered bodies; but all of the plus-es do not salvage an incomprehensible plot.
This film looked great, had an interesting plot, great suspense....BUTdubbing a film should be a crime. The voice is one of the most importantfeatures of the art of acting. You might just as well dub the MetropolitanOpera into English, or fix the smile on the Mona Lisa. In the idealsituation, film is ART as well as entertainment, and seeing as this movieobviously has great artistic value, dubbing the voices betrayed everyoneinvolved.
From the first second until the last one, this movie offers a realalternative to the U.S. productions focussing on similarplots.First of all one has to mention, that it is rather the main characters andthe unique alpine scenery that create the movies atmosphere.The viewer quickly realizes the fact, that the story is not too complex, butthe great duo of the two commissaires make up for this.In my eyes one of the best european suspense-thrillers.
This is a classic example of an increasing problem with films. Why isthe background noise and the soundtrack dramatically louder than thedialogue? What sense does that make? This film isn't alone. Most filmsseem to do this now. For 2 years, I wondered if it was just somethingwrong with my TV, but then I got a new TV & there it is again.BACKGROUND noise that could be taking place a city block behind theactors drowns out the dialogue.It was even more distracting in this film because, in the Englishversion anyway, the woman mumbles constantly. I kept hoping Jean Renowould say "Excuse me, would you speak up or get the marbles out of yourmouth." If you watch it on DVD & you have even high-school French, Irecommend the French version with subtitles.I give it 4 because Reno was so good in Leon. People rave about thescenery, but I saw it on a TV & I lived in the Rockies for a few years,so "Enh".
Watching this movie made me think of what a wonderful book it would make! It had mystery, gruesome murders, great humor, action, fantastic landscape of the Alps and it was twists and turns of intrigue and a guessing game of "who did it?" But don't get me wrong, I loved it as a movie, just that it reminds me of the type of horror books I always read. Jean Reno has always been one of my favorite actors, his cold stare, that pointy nose, the sarcasm and that ticking brain are always a great pairing when he plays a cop on a trail of hot murders. He is joined in this movie by Vincent Cassel who was brilliant in Brotherhood of The Wolf but he was insanely witty and funny while kicking some criminal booty in this one. As the viewer we get to see these two cops who start of working on two separate cases come together smack center in a middle of a mystery. Reno follows a slew of mutilated corpses with no eyes and their hand cut off while Cassel investigates a tomb disgraced by spray painted swastikas. It seems that the girl who was dead is walking among the living but that is not entirely the case. And when Reno runs into someone who looks just like the dead girl things get even trickier. The person who they search for is both a target and a suspect.The concept of "Crimson Rivers" and it's sequel ; "Crimson Rivers, Angels of Apocalypse" is very interesting. It has to do with purification of the blood, and of breeding "perfect" human species. How that is tied to this story is not something I can tell, for spoiling a movie or a book is a huge crime! All I can say is that the views of the Alps are breathtaking, the action is tight, there's fighting and chases, and so many twists and turns in the mystery that the end is a sweet reward. Fun movie if you want to spend a nice afternoon in from of the TV, wrapped in a warm blanket watching the snowy scenery and solving the puzzle along with our heroes.I would also recommend the sequel which I watched twice all ready which was even better but very different in comparison to they way this was done.
PIERRE NIEMANS is France's leading serial killer investigator, whoinvestigates several grisly crimes in which the victims eyes & handshave been removed before death, with a help of a Detective named MAX,he discovers that the murders are some how tied to the death of a younggirl many years prior & sets out to solve the puzzle & to stop thisdepraved lunatic, before more people falls prey to him. But he soonrealizes that there was more to the crimes than what he thought & whathe knows about the killings is only half right & the killer once herealizes that Niemans is on his trail, sets out to stop him & hispartner, from ever finding out the real truth. THE CRIMSON RIVERSturned out to be a well made & well shot movie, based on the novel REDBLOOD RIVERS by JOHN CHRISTOPHE, each frame of this thriller is eyecatching, the camera work splendid, the actors were fantastic, thescenery beautiful, & the film never lets up, always giving us somethingto watch & keeping us interested. The characters were well drawn out &the mystery of who this is that's killing & why, is intriguing, withplenty of plot twists & a neat twist ending that I never saw coming.Highly recommended & better than many glossy Hollywood thrillers!Dubbed in English & followed by a sequel, CRIMSON RIVERS 2.**** stars