The Air I Breathe on DVD – The DVDfever Review

The Air I Breathe
The Air I Breathe is a film that deals with the interconnectedness of things and, for a film with so many big Hollywood names, is rather a low-budget one with an estimated cost of $10m. That said, despite the star cast it never took off anywhere. In fact, the attraction for me was that it was clearly something a bit different – an arthouse-style film having a well-known cast and that’s why I requested a review copy, although when I heard nothing back I figured they’d run out. Then, a few months later, it popped through my letterbox and I was very glad it did as, while it’s not perfect, it’s a great little movie and well worth a look.

Most of the cast have feelings where their names should be, which is a little odd and something I didn’t realise until after watching it and working out that I hadn’t actually heard some of the cast’s names used. That said, we begin with Forest Whittaker (Happiness) playing a man unfulfilled in his stockmarket job and his life in general. In a bid to make things more satisfying he places a disastrous bet on a racehorse in an illegal betting den. Partly due to the fact that he likes butterflies and that the horse is called ‘Butterfly’, the owner, Fingers (Andy Garcia), takes rather a distinctive disliking to this and now if he doesn’t pay all the money back soon then his life is in danger…

Next up is Brendan Fraser (Pleasure), his best customer and a faultless trader, who also shows up later with a rare talent as well as us seeing that he, too, has a connection with Fingers – he works as his personal debt collector. Sarah Michelle Gellar (Sorrow) plays a singer, the new starlet of her generation and looking like she’s just stepped off the set of American Idol, who becomes a great part of Brendan’s life. Finally, there’s Kevin Bacon (Love) as a doctor. His best friend, Gina (Julie Delpy), is someone with whom he goes way back and he always regrets that he never plucked up the courage to ask her to marry him because before long she married his best friend.

Overall, The Air I Breathe is a good film, but fairly predictable a lot of the time. That said, it makes a rare change to see Brendan Fraser playing the tough guy – far better than bland comedy/family movie roles he usually seems to end up in and I haven’t enjoyed seeing him in a role since his occasional appearances in Scrubs as Perry’s brother, the last episode being particularly clever and one I had to watch twice in order to fully get the picture.

Presented in the original 2.35:1 anamorphic ratio, the image is crystal clear and works great for scenes during any time of day and in any light with no problems at all, viewed upscaled to a 37″ plasma screen via an Xbox 360, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is mostly used for ambience and occasional music and the dialogue is fine.

The extras are simply a trailer (2:14, 16:9 anamorphic) – which is a bit annoying as it gives away something that happens right in the final scene which I don’t appreciate and I’m glad I didn’t see it before seeing the whole film (although if you really can’t wait, a slightly longer trailer can be seen below); and a Photo Gallery, which sets a handful of pictures to some soft music for about a minute or so.

The menu features a short piece of music from the film against a mostly static background, there are subtitles in English only and the disc contains 16 chapters which is not too bad for a film that only runs 91 minutes in total, but a few more wouldn’t hurt. There were some trailers for other films shown prior to the main menu but these should really be in with the extras and, as such, I’m not going to list them here as this kind of ‘rental video’ philosophy annoys me.


Detailed specs:

Running time: 97 minutes
Studio: Entertainment in Video
Year: 2008
Released: September 15th 2008
Region(s): 2, PAL
Chapters: 16
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
Widescreen: 2.35:1
16:9-Enhanced: Yes
Macrovision: No
Disc Format: DVD 9

Director: Jieho Lee
Producers: Emilio Diez Barroso and Paul Schiff
Screenplay: Jieho Lee and Bob DeRosa
Music: Marcelo Zarvos

Love: Kevin Bacon
Gina: Julie Delpy
Pleasure: Brendan Fraser
Fingers: Andy Garcia
Sorrow: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Henry: Clark Gregg
Tony: Emile Hirsch
Happiness: Forest Whittaker
Jiyoung: Kelly Hu
Danny: Evan Parke
Sorrow’s Father: Taylor Nichols
Eddie: Victor Rivers
Allison: Cecilia Suárez
Frank: Todd Stashwick
Interviewer: Jon Bernthal
Mr Parks: Will Maier
Young Pleasure: Jason Dolley
Young Sorrow: Sasha Pieterse
Young Love: Fervio Castillo