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Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996]

Joseph Melito , Bruce Willis , Terry Gilliam    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
Price: £5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Joseph Melito, Bruce Willis, Jon Seda, Michael Chance, Vernon Campbell
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • 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: 18
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R78L
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,023 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Inspired by Chris Marker's acclaimed short film La Jetée, 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 1990s, boosted by Gilliam's visual ingenuity and one of the finest performances of Willis's career. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

12 Monkeys is a 1995 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La jetée, and starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt, with Christopher Plummer and David Morse in supporting roles. After Universal Studios acquired the rights to remake La Jetée as a full-length film, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script. Under Terry Gilliam's direction, Universal granted the filmmakers a $29.5 million budget, and filming lasted from February to May 1995. The film was shot mostly in Philadelphia and Baltimore, where the story was set. The film was released to critical praise and grossed approximately $168.4 million worldwide. Brad Pitt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won a Golden Globe for his performance. The film also won and was nominated for various categories at the Saturn Awards.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Classic 27 Jan 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is without doubt one of the best sci-fi/time travel movies ever made. 12 Monkeys demands more from the viewer than your average movie.
The plot is intelligent, the acting is superb and it looks beatifully gritty.
I never get tired of watching this film, it's a classic that constantly rewards the viewer with each subsequent viewing.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
They say it's easier to write a sad song than it is write a happy one. The same goes for reviews. A flawed, or terrible film gives you plenty to moan about. A movie were everything about it ranges from good to sublime leaves you with very little to say. And so it is with 12 Monkeys were the only complaints I can dredge up are tiny little niggles.

I'm not saying the film is perfect, but it's very close to it. The story is properly compelling, it's well told, well paced, well acted etc. It's also visually one of the most interesting looking films I've ever seen. There is often a surreal quality to the images with extensive use of Dutch angles (camera slanted to put most things in the frame on a diagonal slope). I wouldn't call it a pretty film, just that it's visually inventive and constantly attention grabbing in a pleasing way.

I think the director himself once said that the acting of Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt has a tendency to split audiences. Most people think one gives a great performance and the other one a weak, overly mannered one. I've previously thought Brad Pitt's acting was a bit fake and unconvincing. Over time I've grown to think he's good, not outstanding or anything, but appropriate for a mentally unstable person.

The child actor during the airport scene is a minor weak link as he seems to be over-emoting like crazy with his eyes. He's not bad or annoying, he's just not note perfect.

Logically the film is not one hundred percent watertight, though I doubt many, if any, time travel films ever are. There might be some holes, but the film is too good to be affected by them. Why don't they go further back in time and correct their own mistakes (the airport scene at the end throws up a few questions along this line)?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good film and interesting extras 14 April 2011
twelve monkeys
Video: 1080p high definition widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English DTS-HS Master audio 5.1: frencha canadian, italian, spanish, latin american spanish dts surround 5.1
Subtitles: english SDH, french acanadian, italian, spanish, latin american spanish, korean, swedish, danish, finnish, dutch, norwegian, portuguese, greek, traditional madarin

very good film with a good trasnfer, but the extras are all low definition, even thou they are interesting
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gilliam at his best, but an awful tranfer 12 Mar 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Much like other reviews of this film - it's a shining example of Gilliam's directorial vision, with a deliciously circuitous storyline and a fantastic ensemble cast in one of the best sci-fi flicks of the 90s.

Share the blue-ray transfer is so weak - it honestly doesn't look much better than the DVD (which I also own) put through a decent upscaler. Details are horribly soft, although grain is still very high in places. Seeing as this is a VC1 encode as opposed to the much poorer MPEG2 transfers there shouldn't really be any excuse; as it is this just seems to be another "release it on blu-ray as quickly as possible!" cash ins. Wait for a better release.

If you want a really good HD experience, give Blade Runner or Zulu a whirl first.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie - Shame about the Transfer 28 Oct 2009
This is an excellent film but unfortunately the transfer of this movie to Blu ray does not really warrant a High Definition tag. Although the movie sound has been upgraded, the picture quality is rather poor.

This Blu ray disc is worth it, only IF you can get it for a BUDGET price, as it is easily the worst picture transfer I have seen on Blu ray so far for a major movie.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible stuff. 13 Mar 2004
By Beautiful Freak VINE VOICE
It may be my short attention span, but usually so-called ‘cult’ films do not do it for me. However, the exception would have to be 12 monkeys. Treading on the border between reality and fantasy, Terry Gilliam takes you on an uncompromising, dark and chilling journey into his beautifully crafted dreamworld. This is not a simple film: you may have to watch it several times to understand it fully, and Gilliam is careful to leave some unanswered questions.
There are outstanding performances from Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt, and the plot is complex and absorbing, but in my opinion it is the hand of the director that has made this film so outstanding. Those who have seen The Ring will know that repetition of motifs and clues: things-you-know-you’ve-seen-earlier-but-you-can’t-quite-remember-where, can produce the greatest shiver up the spine, and this is certainly true here. From the mesmerising symbol of the Twelve Monkeys, showing in hallucinogenic spirals at the starting credits, to the image of a lion on a rooftop, the boy in the well, or a suitcase covered with labels, Gilliam tugs at our awareness and our senses. In certain scenes, such as the bizarre dream-sequence repeated throughout the film, reality is suspended: the characters wear bright, improbable clothes against a white background to create the question: what is real? This surrealism is echoed in other shots where we see, for instance, a herd of giraffes galloping down a motorway. Gilliam lays this bizarre beauty against the genuine terror of the voices in Bruce Willis’s head, until you can no longer be true what is the product of the bending of the laws of nature in sending people back in time, and what is the product of Cole’s disturbed mind. A chilling, apocalyptic film that should definitely be seen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love or Hate
An unusual film, sci-fi time travel? actors in unusual roles, a mystery storyline that produces detailed complex questions??? but it works.
Published 1 month ago by bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
For true movie buffs, this is a classic. Brad Pitt is excellent, like much of his early work.
Even better in blu-ray.
Published 1 month ago by D. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favourites
An all time favourite of mine, when I recently lost the video tape I had to immeadiately replace it with the DVD. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Sent promptly, exceptable quaility,
Sent promptly, exceptable quaility, gets rid of ugly Staines, fun at parties, improves your sexxx appeal, promotes Anglo - Scottish relations, buffs up to a high gloss on Cars and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr Pip S
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
I had put off watching this film for ages but liked it when I finally did. It can be a little confusing so maybe worth two watches but all together a strange and interesting film.
Published 5 months ago by R. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
A great film that leaves you thinking about what has happened by the end. A definite recommendation to film lovers.
Published 5 months ago by Nick R
3.0 out of 5 stars Douze Singes - c'est ok
La Jetee does it so much more originally (as it's the original). There isn't that much which (to my mind) is 'proper' Gilliam apart from a few moments which have the absurdist... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
I really enjoyed this movie. Brad Pitt is so funny in his role as a mad man. I had to watch till the end but I must say I worked out the twist early on but still great viewing.
Published 6 months ago by john
4.0 out of 5 stars Favourite
This movie has been one of my favourites since it came out back in the late 90's. I had a ropey VHS copy and always wanted to get a better copy and of course a blu-ray DVD was the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars Best transfer todate
This is the third and best transfer I own. There is an obvious picture improvement and massive soundtrack improvement due to the lossless track. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Vanceg
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