directed by Billy Ray
USA 2007

 

In the spring of 2002, an assistant director at the F.B.I. explained Mr. Hanssen’s success as a spy this way: “Succinctly put, security, other than physical security, was not inculcated into the culture as a priority that must be practiced, observed and improved upon every day.” No kidding. For many of the 25 years he worked at the F.B.I., he covertly thrived in that culture, like a stealth malignancy. On the February 2001 morning of his arrest, he attended Mass at a Roman Catholic church where the services were in Latin and many in the congregation belonged to Opus Dei. Later that day, he dropped a garbage bag stuffed with intelligence secrets in a Virginia park not far from his home.

One of the strengths of Breach, a thriller that manages to excite and unnerve despite our knowing the ending, is how well it captures the utter banality of this man and his world. Unlike Kim Philby, an aristocratic figure who swanned across the world while passing classified British and American information to the Soviets, Mr. Hanssen, played by the stellar Chris Cooper, comes across as a middle manager type, a drone in a suit. The real double agent practiced his tradecraft in Washington and New York, not Cairo and Istanbul, and delivered the goods — more than 6,000 pages — in garbage bags secured with tape. With his weekend casuals and Ford Taurus, he might have been just another suburban dad bagging leaves.

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Posters

Theatrical Release: 16 February 2007

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

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Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:49:56
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Subtitles Optional English, Spanish, and French
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by writer/director Billy Ray and Eric O'Neill
• eight deleted scenes
• two alternate scenes
• Breaching the Truth
• Anatomy of a Character
• The Mole (Dateline segment)

DVD Release Date: 12 June 2007
keepcase

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: HD/SD Combo package is reviewed HERE.

Video:
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image has slight black bars on the top and bottom to preserve the 1.85:1 frame instead of being opened at the top and bottom to fit the 1.78:1 frames of 16x9 TVs. The picture is mostly dark due to the wintry D.C. settings, and there’s a bit of noise and faint blocking in backgrounds. Otherwise, this is a nice SD-DVD transfer.

Audio:
The Dolby Digital 5.1 English track is clean and fairly robust. Though not an action movie, gunfire can be startling.

You can watch the movie with a DD 5.1 French dub.

Optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles support the audio.

Extras:
Upon loading, the DVD plays promos for other Universal products.

You can watch the movie with an audio commentary by writer/director Billy Ray and the real Eric O’Neill (played by Ryan Phillippe). Since Breach is based on O’Neill’s real-life events, he provides valuable insights into what the movie got right and the perils that he faced that were far more dangerous than what any movie could ever suggest. The audio commentary is subtitled, so you can watch the movie with the commentary subtitle track.

Next up are eight deleted scenes and two alternate scenes. You can watch them with optional commentary by Billy Ray and editor Jeffrey Ford.

“Breaching the Truth” is a promotional making-of featurette.

“Anatomy of a Character” is a profile of Chris Cooper’s portrayal of Robert Hanssen.

“The Mole” is a TV report about Robert Hanssen shown on NBC’s Dateline program back in 2001.

--Miscellaneous--
An insert booklet advertises Universal’s HD-DVDs.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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