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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 103 minutes, no extras

STUDIO: Dimension/ Millennium Films

RELEASE DATE: 3-7-2006

DEN OF LIONS is a film driven by the characters and not the plot which isn't the most driven at times. The plot is like an afterthought as DEN OF LIONS mostly like to focus on the relationships between a Russian Mafia boss, Darius Paskevik (Bob Hoskins), and his daughter Katya (Laura Fraser), and the relationship each have with undercover FBI Agent Mike Vargas (Stephen Dorff). darius doesn't trust anyone even though Mike appears to be working for him and Katya has fallen for Mike. Freko (the right hand man of Darius) doesn't trust Mike. The FBI has put Mike undercover in Budapest to help the Yugoslavia Police bust Darius. Whether it is running of prostitutes or the sale of a nuclear detonator stolen from a Ukraine Army base, the relationships between the characters still take front and center. Mike also gets in touch with his family roots as his grandfather is gypsy. Also he seems to be at odds with his FBI handler.

DEN OF LIONS is an enjoyable film. The characters kept me watching despite the plot taking second to those relationships. Roy Hay's score is one of the best I have heard. It fit the movie. I hope Roy goes on to score even bigger movies. The title sequence proves that title sequences still can be very artistic.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (anamorphic Widescreen)

Despite the colors and image detail being OK, I did notice aliasing throughout the movie.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

The dialogue is clear, but I did have to turn up the sound a little.

Extras: I liked DEN OF LIONS, but maybe I am a little spoiled from other DVDs. I wish this DVD had extras like a trailer or even a audio commentary.

FINAL ANLYSIS: DEN OF LIONS is all about the relationships between characters. It is step above many direct to video movies that are on the shelves at video stores. Go rent it.

this review is (c)3-2-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com