11/19/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Breed (2001)

"Quit the Anne Rice routine. We're not amused."
- Lucy Westenra (Bai Ling)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: November 20, 2001

Stars: Adrian Paul, Bokeem Woodbine, Bai Ling
Other Stars: John Booth, Jake Eberle
Director: Michael Oblowitz

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore, language and some sexuality
Run Time: 01h:31m:05s
Release Date: November 20, 2001
UPC: 043396067837
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+CA- C+

DVD Review

The Breed is set in the former Soviet Union, where FBI Agent Steven Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) is hot on the trail of the perpetrator of a bizarre series of vampiric murders. Working with the local security agency, Grant is teamed with Aaron Gray (Adrian Paul), a talented detective who also happens to be a vampire. Together, Grant and Gray uncover plots and counterplots designed to encourage and/or sabotage the integration of the country's four thousand vampires into society at large—synthetic blood substitutes, biological agents and political intrigue abound as they try to discover the truth of the matter. When Grant becomes romantically involved with a beautiful vampiress named Lucy Westenra (Bai Ling), his loyalties and preconceptions are seriously challenged.

Filmed in Budapest, The Breed takes full advantage of its exotic locations, with intricate spires and Old World architecture serving as a rich backdrop for the action. And the story concept has a lot of strong points—it's certainly not the same old vampire trope, and there's a lot of dramatic potential in the societal implications of a viable vampire population. Unfortunately, The Breed doesn't fully exploit its advantages—after an intriguing first act, the film becomes a standard-issue buddy movie cum political thriller, with vampires taking the place of renegade nuclear scientists and corrupt officials. There are some interesting background details—for example, we learn that Gray is a Polish Jew whose family was killed by the Nazis; he was given immortality to help fight Hitler's forces. But these colorful, thoughtful touches become lost in a morass of intrigue that plays more like a television pilot than a self-contained story.

The production is inconsistent as well—competent performances by Adrian Paul and Bai Ling (as well as several supporting characters) are unfortunately counterbalanced by Bokeem Woodbine's awkward star turn. Woodbine is a talented actor who has done fine work in The Big Hit and on HBO's The Sopranos, but he has a tough time delivering his profanity-laden lines here—he always seems uncomfortable with the dialogue, and his tendency to smile at inappropriate times makes it hard to take him seriously. Director Michael Oblowitz uses lighting and low, dramatic camera angles with skill and taste, but he makes some serious missteps as well. His arch, stylized treatment of the National Security Agency office, intended as an homage to Terry Gilliam's Brazil, is so completely at odds with the rest of the film that the agency's first appearance seems like a dream sequence. And some interesting secondary characters are introduced, then discarded, to the point that it becomes difficult to keep track of who's who. Some special effects are well-executed, with slightly sloppy but effective wire rigging and gore effects, while other sequences look cheesy and obviously budget-constrained. And the script's nods to vampire lore are sometimes strained—characters are named Graf Orlock and Lucy Westenra, for example, but the usage seems thrown in, with no irony or thematic import.

The Breed deserves credit for its attempt to use vampires in a different, more sympathetic and more truly interesting manner. Unfortunately, the finished film falls into the trap of another genre—it's ultimately just another conspiracy thriller, and not a particularly interesting one at that. For vampire movie completists only.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: The Breed arrives on a double-sided DVD—one side presents the film in a 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio, while the flipside presents a modified 1.33:1 version. The anamorphic widescreen transfer appears to be the intended ratio—the 4:3 version alternates between open-matte shots, with awkward empty spaces at the top and bottom of the frame, and pan-and-scan/zoomed-in shots, often where special effects are involved. The source print exhibits quite a few dirt flecks for such a recent film, and colors and lighting are often muted and drab, though shadow detail is handled well. The single-layer digital transfer seems to present the source accurately with no distracting compression artifacts, but the film has a soft, low-budget look, and the anamorphic transfer isn't dramatically sharper than the nonanamorphic full-screen version (which presents the opening credit sequence in letterboxed format). A competent presentation, nothing more.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The disc includes two English soundtracks, presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround formats. The 5.1 track is impressive, with aggressive surrounds that place voices, sound effects and elements of the musical score prominently along the "back" of the soundstage, and substantial bass that lends atmosphere and punch to the mix. The 2.0 track (which is the default presentation, in a bit of a throwback to the early days of DVD) sounds very flat and simple by comparison, and is clearly intended for low-end systems—dialogue and music remain clear and audible, but atmospheric impact is greatly reduced. (Contrary to the keepcase copy, there is no French 2.0 track.) Well-mixed and energetic without sounding gimmicky, the 5.1 audio track is the most impressive aspect of this release.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Forsaken, Bram Stoker's Dracula, John Carpenter's Vampires, Hollow Man
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Michael Oblowitz and star Adrian Paul
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Columbia TriStar's The Breed DVD features 28 picture-menu chapter stops, subtitles in 7 languages, and a number of standard extras:

The most substantial supplement is a running Commentary contributed by director Michael Oblowitz and star Adrian Paul. The two were recorded together, and they sound like old friends, reminiscing about the film's budget limitations, special effects problems, technical notes and conflicts with the producers. We're also given some insight into the script's evolution and Oblowitz's intended vision, most of which comes through in the final film, even if it doesn't always suit the material well. An entertaining and insightful track, with very little "dead air" and a commendable degree of honesty about the challenges and disappointments of low budget filmmaking.

Selected Filmographies are provided for director Michael Oblovitz and stars Bai Ling, Adrian Paul and Bokeem Woodbine.

The Trailers section begins with the theatrical promotion for The Breed, an R-rated "red band" trailer, though the content isn't particularly explicit. It's presented in 1.33:1 open-matte format with Dolby 2.0 Surround audio, and it runs about one-and-a-half minutes in length; it's a standard-issue trailer, notable mostly for the hilariously meaningless tag line, "The night has a breed of its own." Several other Columbia TriStar vampire titles are also featured, with trailers for The Forsaken (1.85:1 anamorphic, DS 2.0, 01:54), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1.85:1 nonanamorphic letterbox, DS 2.0, 02:30), John Carpenter's Vampires (1.33:1 pan-and-scan, DS 2.0, 01:37, and fairly graphic), and Hollow Man (1.85:1 nonanamorphic letterbox, Dolby Digital 5.1, 02:30).

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

The Breed contains some interesting ideas, but the film ultimately sinks under the weight of stylistic inconsistencies and Hollywood clichés. Columbia TriStar's DVD features a competent transfer and some worthwhile supplements, but it's hard to recommend this vampire flick over its plentiful competition.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store