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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity - but still a masterpiece
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...
Published on 19 May 2003 by Mr. C. Moore

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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film But Flawed 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...
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by SC From Purley


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has to be seen!, 10 April 2003
By 
This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
I can't believe that it's taken them this long to release this classic. I saw this on TV years ago and wasn't expecting much, boy was I wrong. Even now, the story is original if surreal. The humour dark and the ending defininately not the fairy tale ending that you expect from the Hollywood machine. There are so many "moments" that you could single out as defining this film, but none that would fully encapsulate the breadth of it. Watch this if you want a change from the "usual" film. If you liked 12 Monkeys, you'll love this.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intense cinematic experience, 6 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Brazil (1985) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
For years I didn't want this to be my favourite film. Whilst Gilliam fills the screen to perfection for the whole 2 hours, with creativity, nonsense and astonishment, it's the film's darkness that makes me just a little wary of it - and its closeness to the truth. If you appreciate the kind of film that needs to be watched at least twice to get it, then this video will repay its price handsomely. Don't bung it on in the corner while you're getting ready to go out, give yourself to this film.
It's the tiny flaws that make Brazil a true masterpiece.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All We Have Left Are Our Thoughts, 27 Sep 2006
By 
Vica (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Utterly cerebral, and the very definition of paradoxical, Brazil is in its most simplistic form, an art film. Yet there is nothing simple about this film. While on one level, highlighting how we dream to escape our everyday lives, it is also an attack on bureaucracy and conglomerate companies. It also proves to be a scathing assault on personal perception, and (whilst not being a sandal wearing liberal) the conformist attitude of us all "struggling" to achieve this manakin-esquire look, so that we all may drift seamlessly without disruption to the system.

Tom Stoppard, the Czech born English writer, co-wrote the screenplay with Terry Gilliam, and the resultant is something quintessentially British. Our protagonist, Sam, played by Johnathon Pryce (the devious news baron from Tomorrow Never Dies) is typically British. He is the underdog, completely hapless with no knowledge of where he is heading as events unravel around him, yet he is a gentleman to the end, fighting for justice. Brazil, is very Monty Python-esquire, and carries their trademark dry-wit humour that made them so damned funny, and extremely popular. Although, Gilliam is indeed American, and the input of Robert De Niro, proves to be an inspired choice as a counterweight in parts.

This is 1984 reworked. Directed by Terry Gilliam, the animator for the hilarious Monty Python, Brazil is surreal, yet hits very close to home, its poignancy should not be underestimated, even to this day. Brazil in essence sums up how we all would wish to live, free of state control, being allowed to become the individuals we'd wish to be, yet are confined and restricted from being. This is not necessarily Science Fiction, yet bares all the hallmarks and trademarks of such a genre. Nor is it strictly speaking a thriller, as it ambles along at a brisk stroll for most of the one hundred and fifty minutes, yet as we ourselves delve deeper into the psychological landscape, it begins to hurtle along. The story has it's tense, mysterious and macabre moments that seem to gel perfectly, while the dream sequences that Sam has were simply splendid and very hypnotic and the same goes for the haunting music score that spirals with emotion.

Brazil is dark yet amusing, thought provoking and enjoyable. It is truly an exceptionally innovative and, I do not hesitate to use the word, brilliant. It will leave a lasting impression, in a world, where nothing is ever as it seems
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like nothing else -- truly a must-see, 11 Jan 2010
By 
Raimund Steger (Duesseldorf) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
By looking at the reviews here on Amazon and elsewhere, I'd say you'll quickly get the overall right impression regarding this movie: It's brilliant and belongs into everyone's collection. Period.

That said, I could imagine having enjoyed it more had a few minor, hm, issues been avoided. First, near the ending the story gets pretty incoherent, and you watch a number of near-endings pass before the actual ending. It seems almost as if Gilliam was a bit undecided about what the real ending should be. Second, the alternate "dream reality" becomes a bit lengthy at times, particularly as it does not add more resolution to the main plot as that in the end Pryce lets his escapism feed his actions in the real world, leading to a real feeling of freedom and also to some success. Actually, these scenes constantly reminded me of The Fisher King...

Apart from that, the piece convincingly forces you to take part in a Kafka-inspired dystopian world where you're utterly defenseless against malfunctioning technology and bureaucracy, and against a million of half-justified accusations that exponentiate themselves endlessly, forming a perpetual avalanche of ever-new accusations.

All this is set in a visual style -- and for me that is the most brilliant aspect of the movie -- that is the ultimate "typewriter punk", where life takes place in an ecosystem populated by machinery in sheet metal housing. It's as creepy as if the technology of mid-20th century spy movies had gone haywire and infested every corner of the earth.

So, to sum up, if you don't own it, buy it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
I love this film, I used to have it on a ropey recorded VHS tape which was missing the start so it was a bit of a revelation when I saw the start which explains a lot of what happens afterwards! One of my favourite films of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Brazil [Blu-ray] [1985] (Blu-ray)
I bought this Blu-ray to replace my DVD, and it's like watching a new film because you notice so much more detail. I can recommend this Blu-ray. This film is a typical Gilliam film, the Blu-ray version seems to have much more content than the DVD, but it's the same old love story being told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Orwell, 19 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Brazil is a funny, scary and creative film which takes a whimsical look at the world of George Orwell's 1984. I don't think it's quite the groundbreaking masterpiece some people claim - its plot can be messy and characters unfocused - but as a dystopian satire Brazil works very well.
Jonathan Pryce plays Sam Lowry, a Ministry of Information employee. His job is soul-crushing, and he relieves the tedium with daydreams about himslf as a winged hero who saves a beautiful woman from a masked monster. These fantasies are the film's most fascinating element; they incorporate details from Sam's everyday life and create wonderful images, like a brickwork creature with the face of Sam's boss. When he sees a rebel (Kim Griest) who's the spit of the woman from his dreams he's inspired to find her and take on their repressive government.
Brazil is a satire of beauracracy. Everything in director Terry Gilliam's world, even human life, is controlled by machines and paperwork. Early on we see an innocent working-class family torn apart when their father is accused of terrorism. This turns out to be an error though it's not spotted soon enough to reverse the damage, and the government cares more about assigning blame anyway. Gilliam presents this dystopia beautifully. I loved all the weird machines which are meant to help but only hinder, like a breakfast maker that isn't as useful as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's.
Brazil's major flaw is its scattershot narrative. The plot doesn't flow so much as lurch from one point to another, leaving behind characters who seem like they should be around more. Robert De Niro and Kim Griest, for instance, are underused. I'd have liked to know more about Griest's rebel, who has few lines which don't simply push the plot forward. That said, her counterpart in Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith's lover Julia, is presented much the same way.
Ultimately, Brazil is a film of imagery and performance rather than plot. Gilliam evokes a world which is fun to explore and his satire's dead on. The ending is perfect; you'll rarely see a bleaker use of misdirection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously, Mad, Brilliant Film, 23 Feb 2007
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
"It's a gloriously mad, brilliant film, and watched from the other side of the millennium, its malfunctioning technology, idiotic consumerism, state-sponsored feelgood double-think, and inexplicable violent terrorism are as prophetic as they are satirical. It's as if Charlie Chaplin directed 1984 after watching Barbarella. There are also excellent special effects, a parade of grotesque supporting characters headed up by Helmond as Pryce's mother who undergoes warped facelifts, and a sack of restless exuberant ideas."Channel 4

"So what is Brazil about?" you ask. Te He He, How to explain Brazil. As John Kern stated "trying to explain Brazil is like trying to write about Marcel Duchamp for giraffes. Not only do the giraffes gobble up all the tasty leaves from high off the trees, leaving you the bottom bark and a formidable language barrier, but the task is too complex, too weird to ever be possibly done proper." Jonathan Pryce is Sam Lowry, a meek civil servant of 'The Ministry', a civil service like Orwell's Big Brother. He dreams of taking wings to the skies to escape his dreary existence. He has a chance meeting with a freelance repairman, Roberty De Niro, and he meets the woman who has appeared in his dreams, Kim Greist. He decides to get out of The Ministry. That's the plot. The rest of the film shows Sam's dreams and what is probable social commentary. Terry Gilliam takes on the aging process, the ironying of isolation, and a government that's inefficient at everything except striking fear into the hearts of its countrymen. Sound familiar? The fact that Terry Gilliam is a little short of crazy makes this movie all the more dear to my heart. How could anyone who was part of Monty Python do any wrong?

The DVD offers a 30 minute discussion of "What Is Brazil" It attempts to find out from cast and crew what "Brazil" is actually about. "It's half a dream and half a nightmare," says Jonathan Pryce, while Michael Palin reckons it to be "a rather chilling reality". Rather more interesting is the frank manner with which this programme deals with the movie's script problems. Tom Stoppard is interviewed on his draft, and defiantly remarks that his method of writing didn't suit Gilliam, snapping, "I haven't seen what script they're shooting." BBC review.

"Gilliam's directorial career nearly came off the rails with Brazil, which sparked a furious battle with the studio, who subsequently embarked on an anti-marketing campaign that threatened to bury what turned out to be one of the more significant cinematic visions of the decade. The former Monty Python animator was on a roll after the success of Time Bandits and secured generous funding from Universal, only to see them chip away at his integrity and work and prevaricate over a release date."

Channel 4.

The Criterion version of the DVD is the best in quality and sound. I have but touched on the story line and the visuals of 'Brazil'. It will take many more viewings before I will comprehend what Tery Gilliam wanted to say in this magnificent movie. The zaniness, lunacy and all around crispness of this film will fulfill all of your fantasy needs. It is not a laugh a minute kind of film but a chuckle and nod and a big smile on the face as you try and take in all of the inherent madness.

Recommended. prisrob 05-13-13
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally not Hollywood!, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
This is actually one of my favorite movies, just because it is so off-the-wall. Impossible to describe; very strange but very entertaining. If Kafka had been a movie director he would likely have done material like this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic, 7 Mar 2009
By 
Ms. Josephine M. Howard (Rugby UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this at an SF convention in Edinburgh, in the small hours, where I was a Guest of Honour (as Josephine Saxton) specially put on for me by a fan who wore an excellent slouch trilby at all times. Seeing it again recently I find that it has improved, and I would not have thought that possible. A lot of its material is 1984 but with humour and excitement but the first rate English Surrealism tells several 'truths' simultaneously. There is not one boring moment,much fear and a lot of prophesy, a lot of which has now happened. Work of genius, no less.
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Brazil - Criterion Collection [DVD] [1985] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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