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Brazil [1985] [DVD]

Jonathan Pryce , Kim Greist , Terry Gilliam    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
Price: 4.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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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: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 19 May 2003
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008WQ62
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,017 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--Brazil is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. In fact it was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek government clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. It's not a software bug but a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets squashed 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 unravelling this bureaucratic tangle, he himself winds up labelled 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. --Jim Emerson

On the DVD: Brazil comes to DVD in a welcome anamorphic print of the full director's cut--here running some 136 minutes. Disappointingly the only extra feature is the 30-minute making-of documentary "What Is Brazil?", which consists of on-set and behind-the-scenes interviews. There's nothing about the film's controversial release history (covered so comprehensively on the North American Criterion Collection release), nor is Gilliam's illuminating, irreverent directorial commentary anywhere to be found. The only other extra here is the ubiquitous theatrical trailer. A welcome release of a real classic, then, but something of a missed opportunity. --Mark Walker

Product Description

In the future, a clerk at the all-powerful Ministry of Information sticks to his ideals and ends up crushed by the system in this half comedy, half horror story from former 'Monty Python' animator Terry Gilliam. Like Orwell's novel '1984', which it echoes, the future is seen from a 1940's perspective. Jonathan Pryce stars, with Robert De Niro making a cameo appearance as an excessively diligent sewage inspector.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film But Flawed Blu-Ray 27 Dec 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Weird but excellent film, been one of my favourites for years and was looking forward to the blu-ray release.

However, what is the point of blu-rays when compared to DVDs? Ah, yes, superior visuals and sound quality, or at least supposedly.

Visually, the transfer is pretty good for a 25+ year old film (though no great improvement over an upscaled DVD).

Audio is another matter. This is standard 2.0 Dolby Digital and compares to the USA multi-region release that is DTS-HD Master and which sounds much better than the UK version (yes, I know it's sad, but I did buy the US version after my disappointment with the UK version).

So, Fox, why is it that you think the UK should put up with inferior sound quality compared to the US edition? Was it really impossible to use the same master? And again, what is the point in blu-ray if the production companies bundle the disc with a sound format that is no better than DVD (actually, worse, my old Criterion edition at least has 2.1 Dolby Digital - well, I did say it was one of my favourite films...).
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity - but still a masterpiece 19 May 2003
Format:DVD
It's hard to be objective about a film i know and love as much as Brazil, but here goes. Firstly the bad news, no director's commentary, Gilliam always provides illuminating and witty commentaries so it's a glaring omission. Secondly, 'What is Brazil?' is an only mildly interesting extra, not adding much to our understanding of the film. Hence, a missed opportunity.
Now the good news. If you like surrealist cinema, pitch black humour and bizarre imagery (think Lynch here), then this could well turn out to be one of your favourite films too. A sort of Gilliam vision of nineteen eighty four, the film depicts a futuristic society in which bureaucracy subjugates free will and peoples' lives become computer printouts. Love, as in 1984 is the enemy of the state, and Sam is the civil servant who commits the heinous crime of falling in love with a suspected terrorist. I won't spoil the ending, but it is both uplifting and devastating.
If you prefer straightforward story telling and narrative closure then you might prefer to avoid this film. Subjectively I would say this is one of only a few films that has left an enduring impression upon me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Python meets Orwell 19 Jan 2009
By Crookedmouth HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
I have to apologise for the awful cliche in the header to this review - I couldn't resist. However, as this is probably one of the best films to come out of the 20th century, I think I can let myself off.

Some reviewers have berated the film for a lack of plot, but in my opinion they have missed the point. Brazil does have a plot, but it is a very simple one - a love story - and is easily missed. That simplicity of plot allows Gilliam to weave, unhindered, a dark, richly comic yet ultimately tragic story set in a dystopia that owes as much to Thatcher's '80's as it does to Orwell's '40's and 50's. Gilliam is showing us a future that might have seemed almost inevitable at the time (1985) the film was made and one reason the film remains so watchable is that we can easily say, "there but for the grace of god go I".

Pryce's bewildered hero lives in a dark, impersonal industrialised world where "all the modern conveniences" means telephones that ring like strangled ducks, recalcitrant, brain damaged computers, services are delivered by enormous, intrusive "ducts" and maintained by nationalised and rabidly unionised workers.

The cast is an eclectic one, yet every performance adds to the film. De Niro is wonderfully cast as a guerilla heating engineer (!) and Ian Holm is masterful (as always) as Pryce's ineffectual boss. Then there is the gorgeous Kim Greist - we even get to see her in the altogether which alone justifies a five star rating! A number of other more or less well known British actors pop up in unexpected places in the film - Gordon Kaye, Ian Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Bob Hoskins ("Where'd you get this from, eh? Out yer nostril?") and Don Henderson. I also have to congratulate Gilliam for not casting bloody David Jason anywhere in this film.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why can't we have it all? 22 Jun 2012
Format:Blu-ray
The good news is that the UK blu-ray release of Brazil is the 143 minute Terry Gilliam Director's Cut previously available as a Criterion release in the US (despite the listed running time of 136 minutes here on Amazon and on the case itself). The transfer is not perfect but is a massive upgrade from the DVD edition. Despite what some reviewers on here have claimed it is head and shoulders above an upscaled DVD with fine detail like skin pores and fibres on woollen suits showing up clearly. A full restoration would have been nice but you can't have everything.

What I would have expected on a blu-ray released in 2011 is a decent soundtrack but all we get here is 2.0 Dolby stereo. The American release has a DTS Master lossless soundtrack but is the shortest cut of the film so it isn't really a decent alternative. It would appear that the best release is the French digibook which not only has nice packaging but boasts the longer 142 minute cut AND a DTS MA soundtrack. That said this UK release will set you back less than half of the sheckles required to import the french disc so if you're on a budget it is still worth the splurge, warts and all. Perfectionists however should head to Amazon Fr and pick up the digibook.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Film Ever Made
This is, without doubt, the best film ever made. Each time I watch it, I get something different. Watch it. Change your life.
Published 3 days ago by T. W. P. Esq
4.0 out of 5 stars Brazil
Crazy mixed up film, stick it out it is good
Published 1 month ago by David Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing
Published 1 month ago by D. Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic!
Published 1 month ago by Richard Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars love brazil criterion edition
i saw this film or rather both version s on the criterion three disc set and its weird but very enjoyable especially kim griest dont buy the one disc version get the criterion one... Read more
Published 1 month ago by dale h
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
no idea it was a present
Published 1 month ago by philip burley
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984, Kafka, Koestler, Dali and Chaplin all rolled into one!
Gilliam's unquestioned masterpiece. No one, burt no one, makes movies like his, and he is to be treasured. (My review site, revbobsblog.blogspot, says more!)
Published 1 month ago by Bob Vernon
4.0 out of 5 stars What is Brazil?
Brazil is a visually spectacular fantasy drama from Terry Gilliam, and while it does follow the story of the classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, it is easily one... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gatekeeper197
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ENTERTAINING
Published 2 months ago by djwmps
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended.
A1. Product packaged well and delivered in good time. Johnathon Price, Bob Hoskins and Robert De Niro in the same film. Rare and magical film, very much worth watching. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gary
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