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Vidocq

3.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Vidocq est mort !" Jamais l'annonce de la disparition d'un voleur n'aura à ce point bouleversé le Tout-Paris. Et pour cause ! Passé du clan des chassés à celui des chasseurs, cet ex-bagnard, devenu préfet de police sous l'Empire et la Restauration, était

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Guillaume Canet, Inés Sastre, André Dussollier, Edith Scob
  • Directors: Pitof
  • Writers: Pitof, François-Eugène Vidocq, Jean-Christophe Grangé
  • Producers: Dominique Farrugia, Olivier Granier
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000067DFC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vidocq" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Williams on January 4, 2007
Format: DVD
As a photographer I really enjoyed the cinematography and camera work of this film, very dramatic. The plot was very clever and the settings couldn't have been better. Unless you have very poor eyesight I have to suggest you watch it in French, the English dubbing is pathetic. The fight scenes were very cool and the special effects were effective and not overdone. I say this movie isn't for everyone because it doesn't have a very mainstream Hollywood blockbuster feel, it has a very foreign essence to it. I venture to say if you liked Brotherhood Of The Wolf then you will probably like this one to. The mood at atmosphere of the film are brilliantly captured and every scene would make a wonderful still photograph. Be prepared to sit down and watch it without distractions, if you miss even a few minutes you might become confused. There are a lot of subtle flashbacks throughout the movie which may prove confusing if you're not paying attention. Anyway go out a rent this movie if you're looking for something other than your typical Hollywood style film. I have nothing against the French, when I visited southern France a few years ago I loved the people and the country and I have always loved their films and here's just another example why.
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Format: DVD
The story takes place in summer of 1830 in the French capital, Paris. Vidocq (Gerard Depardieu), a former convicted criminal, has turned his back on crime and become a vigilant detective for hire as he is investigating a bizarre murder where someone used lightening to kill two victims. However, Vidocq is not so fortunate as he is murdered by a strange killer in the beginning shortly after he has seen his face, which is hidden behind a mirrored mask. A young journalist has been asked by Vidocq to write his memories, and now when he is dead the journalist wants to find the killer of Vidocq.

Vidocq is shot with a short wide angled lens, which distorts distances and the images within each frame. Most scenes contain vibrant colors that feel out of place and are combined with peculiar zooms and camera angles that coerce the audience into a visual bizarre matrix. There is also wide use of computer generated images which makes the whole thing look nightmarish. The lens, colors, cinematography, and the CGI enhance the bizarre story, which is well-written. As the film snowballs it becomes more complex as it leads toward the true identity of the killer, which in the end offers a pretty good cinematic experience as the many elements of film making break new ground for cinema.
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Format: DVD
Pitof, the one named director of Vidocq, has recently come unto infamy by being the director of Catwoman. This is a shame, because Vidocq is like nothing you have ever seen, whereas I am sure Catwoman will be the opposite. Regardless of his recent films, Pitof has been responsible for the visual effects of the Jeunet and Caro films "Delicatessen" and "City of Lost Children" and "Alien 4" (although again, like Catwoman, in 'Alien 4' these were French craftsman trying to translate to an American audience). I think I would not be in the minority if I were to say that the visual effects of those films (even Alien 4) were incredible, and revolutionary.

What Vidocq is, is nothing short of a mark for cinemaphiles. It is the first all-digitally produced film. It is a great gothic tapestry woven over an hour and a half that ends in a great showdown... But overall, it is an example of a film that was created outside of Hollywood, and using more European conventions to tell the story. It was very enjoyable to watch this film, because the story was not immediately obvious.

The visuals are INCREDIBLE! The sequence in the field with the lightning (you will know when you see it) is magnificent. I think that this is a template for what can (and will) be done in the future of digital filmmaking. I highly recommend this film.
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A Kid's Review on August 3, 2008
Format: DVD
One of the best action films of the last decade! This movie has everything: compelling and twisted story line that keeps you second guessing until the very end, fantastic special effects that actually look believable, beautiful cinematography, great cast and well placed and performed action scenes. I would highly recommend this film for anyone who enjoys action packed mystery movies.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
VIDOCQ (unnecessarily a/k/a DARK PORTALS: THE CHRONICLES OF VIDOCQ, 2001, dir. Pitof, opened 19 September, 2001, in Belgium) - The incredibly bloated Gérard Depardieu plays real-life detective/criminologist Francois Vidocq in this fast-paced, dizzying "steampunk" adventure set around 1830. (And the French had no compunction claiming this was partly based on Vidocq's actual memoirs.)

Vidocq is hot on the trail of three men he considers dangerous perverts with dark motives. They lead him to The Alchemist (Guillaume Canet), an urban legend Vidocq has been studying for some time. He concludes correctly that The Alchemist is a real man - and tracks him down mercilessly.

The twists in the plot are not all that labyrinthine; some are quite predictable whilst others are silly. The end is half expected, half total surprise. What astonishes me is not only the technological achievements of the film, but the fact that as early as 2001, someone in France was wise enough to do the first "steampunk" film with Vidocq as its central character. As has been indicated, this, not George Lucas' ATTACK OF THE CLONES, is the first film ever to be shot 100% digitally (with the Sony digital 1080p 24 fps).

It matters little; the film has a made-for-TV look to it that I cannot quite accustom myself to watching. Yet it held me riveted, fascinated, as much for its excellence, cinema for cinema's sake, as for the films it clearly inspired. VIDOCQ started a movement that one could say began with the very first HARRY POTTER, all HARRY POTTER films, and certainly will not end with SHERLOCK HOLMES or SHERLOCK HOLMES 2. Most likely the slightly cheaper production values and the unfortunate timing buried VIDOCQ. Let's resurrect it!
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