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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY SPECS:
Due to a curious lack of professional reviews and details about this blu-ray, I have decided to provide information I would have found helpful prior to buying this release. Firstly, this surely has to be the same transfer used for the Region A Criterion version. The film runs at 2hrs 23min 20sec, with the 20th Century Fox logo taking up 23sec of that. This version of the...
Published 5 months ago by Cheeky Monkey

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66 of 70 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY SPECS:, 20 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Brazil [Blu-ray] [1985] (Blu-ray)
Due to a curious lack of professional reviews and details about this blu-ray, I have decided to provide information I would have found helpful prior to buying this release. Firstly, this surely has to be the same transfer used for the Region A Criterion version. The film runs at 2hrs 23min 20sec, with the 20th Century Fox logo taking up 23sec of that. This version of the film also opens in the clouds, which has been accredited to the Criterion version. The other thing that makes me suspect it is the same transfer is the superb picture quality.

PQ: There is a healthy layer of grain that was only noticeable when viewed up close. The image was sharp, stable, colours were vibrant and natural, with no discernible print damage. Neither did I notice any scratches, dirt or debris (except on a couple of process shots.) In a nutshell, the film has never looked better to me.

AQ: I can't comment on the surround sound, but the audio through my stereo TV speakers was well-balanced and crisp, with dialogue sounding clearer than any previous version I've watched.

Extras: The minimal extras have been ported over from the previous DVD release. They comprise a 3-minute theatrical trailer, and the 30-minute vintage documentary "What is Brazil?".

So, if you can't play Region A discs then this is a far from disappointing alternative, and a fraction of the price of the Criterion disc. Dystopia has never been funnier.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film But Flawed Blu-Ray, 27 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Brazil [Blu-ray] [1985] (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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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity - but still a masterpiece, 19 May 2003
By 
Mr. C. Moore "chris79320" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (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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2 of 2 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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why can't we have it all?, 22 Jun. 2012
By 
A. Stimpson "Rabid Consumer" (Hullborea) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brazil [Blu-ray] [1985] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Python meets Orwell, 19 Jan. 2009
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (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.

Despite all this, the DVD itself is rather spartan - no subtitles and only one rather dull special feature, which in my view would have dropped a star from the rating had it not been for Ms Greist's charms.

"Just me and my little knife! Snip snip - slice slice..."
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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
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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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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark fairytale, 12 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Where on earth do you start when you try describing Brazil? Terry Gilliam does a spectacular job portraying a dark fantasy world where society is taken over by a sinister bureaucracy which creates the nightmare scenario where individuals don't know who to trust or where to turn for help. What makes Brazil particularly uncomfortable and even prophetic, is that we can identify with the leading character (played by Johnathon Price) and his lonely plight into a dystopian hell. For anyone who has been enraged by being fobbed off by something like an electronic answering service in a bank, multiply Price's anguish by ten. He lives in an inhuman world which has nothing left other than red tape and faceless autocrats. Gilliam proves that you don't need any of the tactics employed by the horror genre to a create a terrifying and riveting scenario.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984 meets Monty Python, 5 Dec. 2003
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brazil [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
This film is bizarre, fantastic, flawed, and utterly delicious - all the ingredients you'd expect from the febrile imagination of Terry Gilliam. It's a cartoon come to life and gone wild; packed with the sort of detail and flights of fancy you could normally only expect to find in a novel. Watching it again after some years was a treat, partly to catch up with some of the delightful nuances Gilliam has hidden within his richly decorated but highly indigestible chocolate box world. This parallel universe in which society has been shaken into a nightmarish but strangely incompetent bureaucratic police state closely reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. How Orwell might have envisioned his alternative reality, had he been less po-faced and been in possession of a darkly chaotic sense of humour!
Beautifully judged performances abound: Jonathan Pryce's Sam Lowry (a cog in the wheel but dreams himself a winged hero) is exactly the right mix of naive everyman and common-sense superhero; Michael Palin's civilised torturer is joyful to watch; Bob Hoskins as the frustrated official heating engineer perfect, while Robert de Niro plays his rogue counterpart; and many more - a shame to pick out anyone. And Brazil? It's that infectiously catchy latin tune running through the film.
This is far from perfect, but then removing the flaws would leave a bland and anodyne movie. Accept it, warts and all. In Gilliam's own cut, this is an experience not to be missed.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a dark satire on bureaucracy gone mad, 2 Dec. 2001
By 
jt (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brazil (1985) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Imagine something darker and more miserable than Bladerunner but with laughs - and you'll find yourself in Brazil. It is this very paradox which makes this film so fascinating yet disturbing at the same time. I have seen it many times and yet it still holds its magic. What makes it so engrossing for me is the extremes to which the viewer is taken - from Michael Palin's evil torturer having spasms as he "cleans up" after another victim (while wearing a mask that makes him look like child) to the laugh-out-loud scene when one of his daughters tells Pryce's cringingly embarrassed Sam Lowry "I can see your willy!" Then there are the comic - yet still disturbing - turns from Bob Hoskins as a violent and threatening "official" maintenance engineer and Katherine Helmond as Sam's plastic surgery obsessed mother. (Seeing her doctor literally "pull" her face in different directions is still hilarious) One moment you're laughing out loud, the next you're stunned into shocked silence. Brilliant. One final similie - imagine being on a rollercaster ride. Some bits are scary, some bits are thrilling, some bits are terrifying. But as soon as you come to the end you want to do it all over again. This particular rollercoaster ride is called "Brazil".
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Brazil [1985] [DVD]
Brazil [1985] [DVD] by Terry Gilliam (DVD - 2003)
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