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12 Monkeys (Special Edition)

Bruce Willis , Madeleine Stowe , Terry Gilliam    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


Inspired by Chris Marker's acclaimed short film La Jetée (which is included on the DVD Short 2: Dreams), 12 Monkeys combines intricate, intelligent storytelling with the uniquely imaginative vision of director Terry Gilliam. The story opens in the wintry wasteland of the year 2035, where a virulent plague has forced humans to live in a squalid, oppressively regimented underground. Bruce Willis plays a societal outcast who is given the opportunity to erase his criminal record by "volunteering" to time-travel into the past to obtain a pure sample of the deadly virus that will help future scientists to develop a cure. But in bouncing from 1918 to the early and mid-1990s, he undergoes an ordeal that forces him to question his own perceptions of reality. Caught between the dangers of the past and the devastation of the future, he encounters a psychiatrist (Madeleine Stowe) who is initially convinced he's insane, and a wacky mental patient (Brad Pitt in a twitchy Oscar-nominated role) with links to a radical group that may have unleashed the deadly virus. Equal parts mystery, tragedy, psychological thriller, and apocalyptic drama, 12 Monkeys ranks as one of the best science fiction films of the '90s, boosted by Gilliam's visual ingenuity and one of the finest performances of Willis's career. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Willis/Pitt/Stowe ~ 12 Monkeys

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Monkeys July 10 2004
Despite the cheesy special effects and some unnecessarily silly scenes that greatly detract from the movie, 12 Monkeys is a very good science fiction movie.
Set in the year 2035, a plague has wiped out much of the human race and they are forced to live deep underground. Scientists of the era send criminals back in time, using imperfect time machine technology, to try to discover the origins of the virus so they can bring a sample back to the future to find a cure, and take back the planet. Bruce Willis plays Cole, who is sent back to find out who the 12 Monkeys are, which are believed to be a terrorist group responsible for the unleashing the virus. Unfortunately, he sent back to wrong time and finds himself in a mental institution. While there he is treated by a psychiatrist played by Madeline Stowe and runs into Brad Pitt - a wacky mental patient. It's hard to tell much more about the plot without giving the movie away, but these two characters play a vital role in the plot.
The director does an excellent job with the time travel elements of the story, an aspect that become quickly inconsistent and ruinous to a movie of this nature without careful attention to detail. The acting is also superb. I would highly recommend the movie.
Also note, the "Making Of" feature on the DVD is one of the few that I actually enjoyed and found quite interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best acting of Bruce Willis to date! July 8 2004
Willis plays a time traveler from the future . His mission is to save the mankind from extinction. It's a must for you to watch the La jetée of Cris Maker in 1962, film that inspired Gilliam.
Once more the journey of the hero is a huge cycle . He comes from the future and will try to stop the unavoidable destiny of the world loaded for misery , pollution , overpopulation and hopeless. Gillliam handles the camera like Gods with that masterful so typical from him, Pitt as the madman is powerful too.
Art direction of first rate , dazzling direction and amazing visual effects ; add to all this a magnificent script and hera you have: one of the major achievements of Gilliam in his brilliant career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Inspired by the 1962 French short LA JETÉE--an unusual film from director Chris Marker that relays its narrative via a collage of still images--the sci-fi flick 12 MONKEYS tells the story of a tough convict (Bruce Willis) from circa 2040 C.E. who "volunteers" to travel backwards in time to the 1990s on a mission to locate the source of a viral pandemic that will wipe out more than 90% of the Earth's population before the year 2000. This opus from auteur Terry Gilliam is more earnest and convincing than many of his previous efforts, and it is arguably his best film to date. The convoluted plot does require viewers to be attentive and exercise the gray matter, but the audience is rewarded for the effort with a fascinating and satisfying cinematic experience.
The acting in 12 MONKEYS is top-notch, especially the work of the three principals. As the time-traveling antihero, Bruce Willis delivers one of his greatest performances and is touchingly emotive as his character tries to accomplish his task while also retaining his health and sanity. Playing a psychiatrist who eventually becomes Willis' love interest, the pretty Madeleine Stowe is convincingly as strong and intense or as vulnerable as the role demands. And in his hilarious portrayal of a demented anarchist who also happens to be the son of a famous virologist, Brad Pitt fervently chews the scenery and nearly upstages his more experienced costars.
Willis' struggle with the psychological aporia and culture shock of traveling backwards in time while he also pieces together a complicated but vital puzzle makes for a literate yet gripping science-fiction thriller that keeps viewers guessing right up to the final scene.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Terry Gilliam fans Feb. 11 2009
If you're a fan of Director, Terry Gilliam films (Time Bandits, Brazil, Monty Python and the Holy Grail), you'll find 12 Monkeys very satisfying. The performances by Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Madeleine Stowe are top-notch, along with those of a strong supporting cast. This is a multi-layered, sci-fi thriller, that keeps you guessing and theorizing throughout. You'll want to watch it several times, and will keep noticing new details and plot points each time. It'll definitely stay with you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Accurate Yet surreal account of the future Jan. 12 2005
By lglen
Format:VHS Tape
Twelve Monkeys is an excellent film by Terry Gilliam. It takes place in a future world which mirrors our current world; however, a flu virus has destroyed a majority of the population of the world. Bruce Willis portrays a prisoner who volunteers for an experiment involving time travel-- his mission: to discover where the flu virus was first released. Each time he enters the past using an insane assylum as a porthole, a horrifying chain of events occurs. This is a visually stunning and edgy film. The performances by all of the actors -- Bruce Willis, Madelaine Stowe, and Brad Pit-- offers a grim yet real glimpse into the reality of a future pandemic. I would definately suggest this film to anyone who enjoys good art direction, surrealistic sci fi, and great acting. Ligeia
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Most recent customer reviews
Yet another film that views the future of humanity as a grunge pit, about as darkly as Gilliam's own "Brazil", but houses a fiendishly perfect underlying message. Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Shashank Tripathi
3.0 out of 5 stars Captain Brad Sparrow
Well, this is one of those movies that keeps you hoping, keeps you wrapped up in its potential only to be let down at the very end with an unsatisfying and disheartening ending. Read more
Published on June 19 2004 by C. A. Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing destiny
This is one of those movies which you almost hate watching, simply because it's so infuriating in that you know what will happen. Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Nabih B. Bulos
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool
This is not only one of Terry Gilliam's best movies but one of the finest time-travel films ever made. Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by John S. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Why those who hate this movie are wrong - I SAY SO!!
When approaching a subject such as time travel one has to decide which school of thought they attend. First School; Time is linear and will be altered by any outside interference. Read more
Published on March 20 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars rare, but still typical?
This is a really great movie. But, there is a but. I did not like the plot, where someone from the future goes back to the past - and the future results in something because the... Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by John Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Man was not meant to Live in two Dimensions
This is one of the best time travel movies ever made. James Cole (Willis) lives underground with the 1% of remaining human civilization in the 2038. What happened? Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by djhexane
"Brazil" is the other one. "12 Monkeys" is a perfect example of the creative talent of the director Terry Gilliam, not only he is a gifted comedian, he is also a great science... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Alejandro Cortes
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