Brazil 1985

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(110) IMDb 8/10
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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.

Starring:
Michael Palin, Ian Holm
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 17 minutes
Starring Michael Palin, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Kim Greist, Barbara Hicks, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Vaughan
Director Terry Gilliam
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comedy
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 19 May 2003
Main languages English
Subtitles Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By SC From Purley on 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 By Mr. C. Moore on 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 By Crookedmouth HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jan 2009
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 By A. Stimpson on 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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