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Brazil (The Criterion Collection Single Disc Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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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, Tom Stoppard
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Patrick Cassavetti
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Sept. 5 2006
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000G8NXZA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,864 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Pitting the imagination of common man Sam Lowry (the brilliantly befuddled Jonathan Pryce) against the oppressive storm troopers of the Ministry of Information, Terry Gilliam's Brazil has come to be regarded as an anti-totalitarianism cautionary tale equal to the works of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Gathering footage from both the European and American versions of this masterpiece, Gilliam has assembled the ultimate, 142-minute director’s cut of his most celebrated film.

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of the most widely requested Blu-Ray transfers from the Criterion collection and it does not disappoint. There's no point going into the details of one of the great, critically acclaimed films in Terry Gilliam's body of work, there's already massive amounts of critique and analysis dedicated to that. What's important is that Criterion finally stepped up and gave fans of the movie an alternative to the bare bones, Universal edition that came out previously.

While both transfers are generally comparable in quality, the new Criterion edition still slightly edges out the Universal transfer for overall quality. There's still a layer of film grain apparent, especially in effects heavy portions like Sam's dream sequences, where the softness of the shots due to optical effects really stands out now. Also for sticklers of digital noise reduction, if there is any used here, it's not as apparent to scrutiny at it was in the Universal release. Best of all of course, is the gamut of Criterion extras included here, all of which come from the previous DVD release, including the studio "Love Conquers All" version and the attendant documentaries. For fans of Brazil, there is simply no question; this is the best the film has ever been to date. For people that have somehow never seen this movie, this is a good place to start.
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Format: DVD
Brazil(released Feb/85)stars,among others,Jonathan Pryce,Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond,Ian Holm,Bob Hoskins and Michael Palin.Ex Monty Python-er Terry Gilliam directs this dystopian nightmare designed to shock and awe throughout.The Monty Python troupe often railed against the establishment in their works and this is that taken to the extreme.
The story finds Pryce in a hum drum position within the government.In a Walter-Mitty-ish behaviour, he often dreams of conquering a giant samurai and rescuing a beautiful girl.One day he literally sees his dream girl in real life and realizes the only way to find her is to take a promotion to a higher department.That higher department it turns out is also looking for the girl.When he finally does meet her the two try and break away.He takes her to his mothers house and returns to his work to delete her off the files so they won't look for her.When he returns his peers come looking for her and both are taken in to custody.Pryce is interrogated by a good friend of his,but it is interrupted by an outside group who rescue them. They flee and live in an idyllic abode way in the country,but this scene is cut short as we find Pryce is really back in the interrogation chair.As the film ends he is oblivious to all around him,and enjoying his new reality and humming the title song.
Was the entire film just a dream of Pryce's mind?Or was it a dream from the interrogation onward?The film is open to many interpretations,and symbolism and sly movie and literary references are everywhere.Terry Gilliam himself makes a brief cameo as what modern X-Files fans would call,Cancer or Cigarette man.The phrase"We're all in it together" that DeNiro speaks and is on a poster, is oh so true of our world.
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