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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Classic
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.
Published on 27 Jan. 2008 by Frozen Flame

versus
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gilliam at his best, but an awful tranfer
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...
Published on 12 Mar. 2010 by Zarniwoop


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4.0 out of 5 stars The Movie Never Changes But you're Different, 16 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
12 Monkeys did for Bruce Willis what Blade runner did for Harrison Ford: give him a role to show his acting chops. Ford was Han Solo/Indiana Jones, laconic and almost a cartoon hero, played a bored, jaded policeman who was emotionally detached from his job to the point where even the act of killing replicants had the convenient and less emotional demanding term 'retirement'. While famous for Moonlighting/Die Hard had to play vulnerability and child-like wonder in a character who is also a violent psychopath.

James Cole is haunted by the same dream of a shooting he witnessed as a child. He is a prisoner in a future society driven underground by a plague that decimated the human race. He may also be a schizophrenic stalking a group of terrorists called The Army Of The Twelve Monkeys in the 1990s. Images and incidents blur this distinction so that the audience will question the reality of what they are seeing. A sense of inescapable doom dragging us to a tragic ending permeates the film but there is a hint of optimism in the final frames.

The cast are superb throughout the emotional rollercoaster of incidents with Willis and Madeline Stowes Doctor/patient relationship at the core. The supporting cast include Christopher Plummer, Simon Jones and Brad Pitt whose Geoffrey Goines is a very disturbed individual with an influence that outstrips his mental ability to control...seemingly. Without a doubt this is one of the best science fiction movies of the 90s, and easily the top 100 of all time.

Terry Gilliams struggles to bring his vision to the screen are documented in the single extra on the DVD, 'The Hamster Factor'. We see doubt, anger, resignation but like the fim itself there is an optimistic ending that Gilliam has overcome all obstacles and created a thought provoking piece of cinema. It is a five star film. One star deducted because the region 2 DVD lacks the commentary, trailer and production archives availabe on the region 1 version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Complex time travelling mystery with a preaching edge, 3 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Terminator, Donnie Darko and Bill and Ted's excellent adventure have all debated the mystic art of travelling to and from collective points in time. Throughout this wonderfully colourful and exuberant picture Gilliam contests the implications of time travel and how it affects society.

Bruce Willis is the time traveller as he is sent from the future to suss out the beginning of the end for humanity. This complex ideology provokes meaning of health, disease in the face of humans and animals and strikes a provocative note for the way the world is being run. 14 years since its release and issues with animal testing and time travel are still present in our world and with this being a good preacher, alerting us to the environment's dangers; this is also a timeless picture, easily watchable again and again.

Like Donnie Darko you will need to watch it over and over to fully comprehend the hidden messages. The climax is heavily debated and open to many depictions. This is a very good picture owing to its preaching ideologies and masterful open situations.

However there are a few issues to be debated. For one the ending whilst brilliantly open still leaves a massive weight to be decided. There is an overload of characters with not a strong depiction on many except the central three. Though you will want to watch it again the first viewing gives the viewer an awful lot to deal with but it is certainly worth it come the finale.

Willis is good as the central protagonist keeping a clever restraint on his character's emotions whilst Brad Pitt's elaborately provocative protagonist excels in being mentally unstable but with a hidden agenda that adds delicious mystery and tension at all the right places. His Oscar nomination fully deserved.

Gilliam, a master of the unusual, brings his elaborate styling to this picture with the future depicted as cellmate survivors chosen to go into the past and the guard ruling from high chairs. The selection process is wonderfully weird with Cole's brief future stint on the earth's surface exceptionally breathtaking. This particular scene marks the picture's cinematography highlight with the snow and the lion placing the picture right into its main point, the future. There are occasional over steps, such as the weird ball shaped object Cole looks into before travelling in time and the section in the war seemed a bit unnecessary.

Whilst there are minor slip ups this is a wonderfully imaginative picture that excels on its issues of real life and the climate we live in. Gilliam shines with profound imagination with the story revolving and turning till the excellent end scene.

7.5/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Python meets Terminator, 17 Aug. 2013
By 
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
`Twelve Monkeys' is Terry Gilliam's mind-bending time travel epic which tells the story of convict, Bruce Willis, being repeatedly sent back in time to discover the cause of a mysterious virus which wiped out 99% of humanity.

It doesn't have Terminator's action sequences, but the plot is kind of similar, plus Gilliam shows his flair for depicting his weird vision of the future by showing us a world that is a cross between Brazil and Time Bandits.

Despite Bruce Willis not always receiving that much praise for his acting abilities, he comes across pretty well here as a vulnerable and confused man, trying to make sense of the weird situation he finds himself in. (A very young) Brad Pitt also co-stars and steals every scene with his odd eyes and borderline psychotic personality disorders.

It's a great film, but you have to be in the mood for it. I've watched it about three times in the space of nearly twenty years and loved it every time. I have to feel like sitting down and really trying to get my head around who's doing what and why.

Like I said, it's not just like Terminator where bad guys fight good guys. You may have to think a little with this one. If you're a fan of Terry Gilliam's work, you should love this. If you've never seen anything he's done before, you may have to tread carefully with this one and check out some more reviews before you decide to commit over two hours to looking into his twisted mind.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie - Shame about the Transfer, 28 Oct. 2009
By 
Ian R. Wylie - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray][Region Free] [1995] (Blu-ray)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, deserves to be seen more than once., 21 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Not for everyone's cup of tea but for all its worth, "Twelve Monkeys" is simply mind-blowing, a real cult classic. Demonstrates how great sci-fi can be made without special effects and gargantuan budgets. After a messy start, Gilliam sent us into a post-apocalyptic world, then makes us travel back and forth in time, and manipulates us brillantly about what's delusion and what's reality with exerting great control from beginning to end. Apart from great non-linear storytelling and dazzling cinematography, mentally divergent Willis and psychotic Pitt deliver unforgettable performances.

The plot may seem bizarre and intriguing, but clues are finely scattered throughout the film. For viewers who believe the story is left very open-ended, second viewing might be helpful to find out what's going on over there. But, after two viewings I still think that the question whether the `past' can really be changed is left unanswered.

The other thing I find paradoxical is that nearly 40 years after the virus outbreak, the underground survivors have reached a technological level high enough to discover time travelling (though still not perfect!!). It's a sci-fi movie and let's assume it's OK. But, under such a technological state, how they did not afford to find a cure for the virus, that's really unbelievable!! (3.8/5)
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4.0 out of 5 stars How did I miss this?, 12 July 2011
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
I like to think I'm a keen science fiction reader and watcher; proper SF, you know, with a story an' all - not the fantasy/horror stuff that often gets labelled as SF. However, somehow, I didn't know about this film and came across it largely by accident when following links about Terry Gilliam, and took a punt at buying it. Just how had I missed this? - it's excellent!

Well, the -story- is excellent, and well told. Time travel and circular time-lines are tricky at the best of times, but this is very well done with the sense of tension building steadily and credibly to the final distressing moments. Personally some of the future-time sets are just too bizarre for credibility which diminishes the overall impact of the film, but put those to one side and this is one of the better SF films of the past couple of decades.

I've given it 4/5. The idea and story is 5/5, but the weird sets just mess it up for me. No problems at all with the DVD.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on the monkeys!, 24 Nov. 2006
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
For the first part of this film you'll be entertained and midly confused.

But the pieces slot into place and you see the full scope of what is being said, this goes from being a piece-by-piece jigsaw, to being a masterpiece!

Bruce Willis plays a great part and is 100% believeable in the role.

This film is best watched twice, on the second viewing you see references you may have missed the first time round, but seem obvious in hindsight.

This is one of those films that stays with you after you've watched it, and rightly so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tightly-made sci-fi wonder, 16 July 2012
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jasonhad (Brussels - Oregon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray][Region Free] [1995] (Blu-ray)
Bruce Willis heads a first-rate cast in a film that won't soon be forgot - it's believable sci-fi, involving time rather than space warps, demanding a little more attention than the usual action flick. Brad Pitt gives an extraordinary performance as a psychotic inmate of an asylum, while Willis does an understated job ferreting out the bad guy who threatens humanity with biological agents. Madeline Stow plays her role of psychologist with subtlety and passion, as Willis' character grids through the veil of "The Twelve Monkeys" and finds . . . nothing behind the veil. The plot isn't all that complex, but the flashbacks and time twists tweak the mind as it tries to unravel what exactly is going on.

You'll probably view the film two or three times before the excellence of this film is indelibly ingrained - it's more than worth the small investment in £ and minutes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, 18 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Though I like the film very much I think the story/screenplay are a little weak, there could have been less chasing around in the present and more exposition of the future world which isn't really explored at all. However, the real strength of the film is in the performances. Brad Pitt got an Oscar nom for his portrayal of a nutter with a tic and it was intriguing to see him in this which was an obvious move to counter the potential heart-throb roles he could have played. But for me this is Bruce Willis' film. He had started to be pigeon-holed as an 'action hero' but all those of us who loved him as David Addison in Moonlighting knew how he could flip the switch between joker and hero, action man and comedian. This role gave him the opportunity to show how good he really is. Shame he did not get the plaudits he deserved. This is an interesting and thought provoking film and well worth watching, even if only to marvel at Bruce's performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitt stole the show., 6 Feb. 2013
By 
Dr John S Maxwell (Hungary & Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray][Region Free] [1995] (Blu-ray)
excellent movies, while Bruce Willis played himself he was at shone by a brilliant performance by Brad Pitt. it is no wonder that he went on to further fame. f you have not seen the movie and want to see a simple but complex plot acted out very well, then this is for you.
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Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray][Region Free] [1995]
Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray][Region Free] [1995] by Terry Gilliam (Blu-ray - 2009)
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