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Brazil (The Criterion Collection)


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Brazil (The Criterion Collection) + Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The / L'imaginarium du Docteur Parnassus (Bilingual) + Time Bandits
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Charles McKeown, Terry Gilliam, Jack Mathews, Tom Stoppard
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Patrick Cassavetti
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022181
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,027 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Pitting the imagination of a common man against the oppressive storm troopers of the Ministry of Information, this bitter parable for the Information Age is more relevant than ever. Gathering footage from both the European and American versions, Terry Gilliam has assembled the ultimate 142-minute director's cut of his most celebrated film, then annotated it with a shot-by-shot commentary on an alternate audio channel.

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If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--this is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. However, Brazil was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam sure captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.

The movie presents such an unrelentingly imaginative and savage vision of 20th-century bureaucracy that it almost became a victim of small-minded studio management itself--until Gilliam surreptitiously screened his cut for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, who named it the best movie of 1985 and virtually embarrassed Universal into releasing it. This DVD version of Brazil is the special director's cut that first appeared in Criterion's comprehensive (and expensive) six-disc laser package in 1996. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Campbell on Oct. 2 2006
Format: DVD
Brazil is a masterpiece of cinematic brilliance, and arguably Terry Gilliam's best film. I loved this movie when I first saw it in 1985 and still do today, having just purchased the newly released 3 disc HD Criterion edition. This is one of the best sci-fi's ever shot, reminiscent of 1984 but with a comedic slant. The visuals are fantastic and bizarre, thus the oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration. Terry and company also won for best screenplay. This movie is one of a kind, though that can be said for most of Gilliam's work. The plot follows one Sam Lowry, a government employee, through his quest to find justice for a man wrongly accused of a crime due to a typographical error on a government form. Some of it won't make sense right away, but be patient. Whatever you do, do not rent or buy the abbreviated 94 minute version.

The full version clocks in at 142 minutes and is

thoroughly enjoyable. A true visionary made this film and it needs to be seen by any open-minded movie buff.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on Sept. 19 2003
Format: DVD
Brazil is, arguably, Terry Gilliam's crowning achievement. Originally called 1984 1/2, this film was embroiled in an infamous battle to be distributed. The studio didn't like Gilliam's version and cut together one of their own. Gilliam went to the press and got the L.A. critics behind his movie and finally shamed the studio into releasing his version.
Criterion's 3-DVD set documents the struggle Gilliam went through to get his film shown. Disc One contains his cut of the film with an informative and entertaining commentary by the director. The second DVD contains the bulk of the extra material. Not only is Gilliam's struggle documented but also various aspects of the production are examined -- including the screenplay, costumes, art direction, etc. The final disc contains the studio's ....py cut with a film historian's audio commentary documenting why this version sucks.
Once again, Criterion comes through with an exhaustive look at an important film of modern cinema. Brazil is a brilliant satire of a dystopian society run amok by pointless bureaucracy. Anyone who has worked a souless job in an office will immediately empathise with the protagonist's plight. Like any great work of science fiction, Brazil offers more questions than answers -- not everything is wrapped up neatly, instead the viewer is left questioning certain aspects of our modern society. Great stuff.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Mcdowell on March 13 2002
Format: DVD
Brazil, despite the science fiction, social commentary and surrealism, is at it's core a film about a man who trapped by the mundanity of life, imagines himself in a more fantastic world.
Jonathan Pryce stars as a tiny unimportant member of a vast hyper-capitalistic society. Life is cold and dreary for everyone. All his spare time is spent dreaming of magical romantic worlds and the beautiful woman who lives there. One day, a simple beaucratic mistake causes a monumental disaster. Not that anyone cares... they just don't want to be blamed. Sent to solve the problem, or maybe to be a scapegoat, Pryce accidentally meets the literal woman of his dreams. As he pursues her, he brings suspicion on himself of being a terrorist (the scourge of the government), and his dreams begin to invade his waking thoughts.
A suprising list of talent lend themselves to the film and is written, minus Kafka and Orwell themes, by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam so expect some obvious humor and much biting satire throughout. Depressing and magical without losing it's hope, any person who can identify with the main character should find themselves entranced.
Despite being made in 1985 the special effects prove to be suprisingly effective (although easily noticed). I personally think this movie is the second best Science Fiction film, 2001 being first, and the best 1984 type movie ever made.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen on Jan. 6 2004
Format: DVD
There are a million different takes on the actual movie "Brazil," but what I hope to do in this review is actually rate the collection put together by Criterion.
The 3-DVD box set of "Brazil" starts off with the "final final" director's cut of the film, topping out at 142 minutes. (There are eight minutes of footage added to this release.) The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 dimensions. Fact is, the transfer of the movie is so-so.
For all the Criterion hoopla, the print here is flawed. The notes pay tribute to a few digital scratch removers, but I was truly surprised by the amount of garbage in the print (dirt, empty spots, and such) that litter the frames. One of Sam's initial dream flights has considerable gunk inhabiting the lower left corner, and any frame by frame analysis will reveal an endless parade of bits of stuff inhabiting every shot. To be honest, I expected a lot more here and if there is any criticism of this collection, it lies with this fault primarily. They could have cleaned everything up considerably more than they did. And that's a shame at this price.
Colors and contrast in the print look good, though, and the sound is fabulous. They pulled out a full stereo soundtrack and made it sing, so kudos there, too. The sound is clean and vibrant.
The booklet detailing the film is good, but not the best I've seen, even for a lesser boxset. The content listings for the other two DVDs are little more than a single overview sheets.
Director Terry Gilliam's commentary track on the first disc is priceless and fascinating, almost worthy of the cost for the set alone. As a film geek, I personally find all director commentaries to be interesting, so I may not be the best judge.
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