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Brazil (The Criterion Collection)

Jonathan Pryce , Kim Greist , Terry Gilliam    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
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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.


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

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Film of '85 Oct. 2 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars the definitive look at this masterpiece Sept. 19 2003
By Cubist
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie about dreams and hope March 13 2002
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Symboism+Laughs="Brazil" May 7 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Filled with deep symbolism and dark humor, "Brazil" is a dynamic movie that, in Terry Gilliam's words, is not about the future, "but the present." There are some moments of sheer genius in this film. One is the restaurant scene in which a terrorist bomb explodes on the other side of where some characters are eating. The unharmed patrons pause for a moment, then, unblinking and without turning, go back to their meals and conversation. The musicians, some slightly charred, resume playing. And, capping it off, Sam's youth-obsessed mother, Ida (the divine Katherine Helmond) says to her friend, "What were we saying?" as workers scramble to set up a screen so that the dying and burning cannot distort the lovely view. This is Grade-A commentary on the way civilians ignore horrible crimes because of their commonplace occurrances. It often takes a presidential assassination, a bombed federal building with millions trapped inside, a downed airplane lost at sea, a Columbine High School, a Titanic, or a towering inferno to make everyone look up for two seconds before you hear them say "Oh, God, is that STILL in the papers?" Another shining moment is actually several moments. Ida's gruesome but intriguing plastic surgery, along with her increasing youth throughout the picture, goes up alongside her friend. This friend, visiting an "acid man," rapidly deteriorates throughout the film until she is a nasty, gelatinous mess, tipping its hat (so to speak) to the Beverly Hills facelift crowd. The other great achievement is the repeated appearance of forms. Forms, forms, you can't repair a wire, or even get another form, without one. Beauracracy is another great target of "Brazil. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously Funny
It's premise is absurd of course but hilarious, I could watch this movie over and over again, and now that it is released on Blue Ray maes it all the more enjoyable.
Published 6 months ago by Bysshe
5.0 out of 5 stars '70's Scifi is last decades reality
This is a classic that you should see once. There is some psychological and physical violence that should disturb you, and great absurdist comedy that will make the reality... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Velma Darlene Facchi
5.0 out of 5 stars WOnderful Movie
I saw this movie years ago and loved it. The copy I purchased is new and just as wonderfully fresh and when I last saw it. Thank you for prompt service and a perfect copy!
Published 15 months ago by macagirl
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing, funny, adventure, love story.
This review applies to Brazil (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ASIN: B009D004X6.

An amazing, funny, adventure, love story, and I'd say surreal & wacky with some... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Keith Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love it!!!
In a nutshell, if you love a movie that is NOT main stream and eccentric, you will love this one. The whole cinematography is a masterpiece. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Andrey Shmatov
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Own For Fans
This is one of the most widely requested Blu-Ray transfers from the Criterion collection and it does not disappoint. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Wayne Santos
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantsy Epic
If you haven't seen this film, I think you should. Terry Gilliam makes fantastic movies, full of fantasy and a front seat view of crazy town. Read more
Published on May 31 2012 by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic box set. Worth every penny
This movie is incredible. Neat special effects, strange gadgets, memorable characters (Sam Lowry, Harry Tuttle and Harvey Lime to name a few), and a mixture of action, romance... Read more
Published on June 6 2010 by J. Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Brazil
Brazil is an excellent postmodern take on totalitarianism in the bureaucratic world. The show dashingly flips between absurdist satire and existential tragedy.
Published on March 11 2010 by Donna M. Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Acid before Watching this one...
This was a very interesting film. I could see how someone could be confused when watching this movie. You really have to watch it start to finish, or you could easily get lost. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2006 by Crack Daddy Crane
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