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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars


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on 1 May 2017
Terry Gilliam films have a certain stylistic and visual flair that allows you to recognise them within a few minutes of starting. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is no exception.

The third movie in his Trilogy of Imagination (the first being Time Bandits followed by Brazil), the meandering storyline, which flits between present and past within the film's timeline, can't quite make up its mind if it is fairy tale or fantasy (I am of the opinion these are two distinct genres). This is fine by me as I adore both.

I saw this once as a child and was promptly spellbound, I couldn't get enough of the fantastical elements, the costume and set design, and the genuine eeriness and sense of peril the movie elicits in certain set pieces. Quite frankly, some parts of this film are strange, if not weird (the Robin Williams scene is a prime example), and I love that.

Is this the best movie Terry Gilliam has made? Probably not. Is this the best movie in his Imagination Trilogy? Probably not. Do I enjoy this the most? Yes, I would say so, although some of this is down to nostalgia.

The blu-ray transfer itself is perfectly good, the sound is great and there are a few extras on there. I received a region free version, I can't recall if it is a US release or otherwise, however it is in a slimline blu-ray case and doesn't have the standard UK PG rating on the disc or cover. Either way, I was extremely happy with the quality of the disc I received. Well worth the money.

If you're a fan of fantasy, fairy tales, Terry Gilliam and general oddness/weirdness, then I suspect you will enjoy this movie and I would recommend this 20th Anniversary Edition blu-ray release. Now go buy it.
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on 7 September 2017
The making of this film could be made into a comedy movie on it's own. The failures and misadventures of an english speaking crew filming in Italy with an only Italian speaking crew and a whole host of other problems and increasing budget. Just watching the making of is an adventure in it's self. The film is one of my favourite Terry Gilliam films
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on 24 July 2017
This was a film I watched many times with my children on VHS Video many years ago. The transfer to Blueray makes it seem like I had never seen it before, and I have enjoyed the film all over again as new.
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on 27 July 2017
Nice gilliam movie
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Sometimes it was funny, sometimes not. The parts with Robin Williams were unfortunately really tiresome and nearly ended the movie for me. All in all, nice to have seen it, but wouldn't recommend it.
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on 6 June 2017
brilliant
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21 years after the off-screen battles are over and unrealistic expectations have all been exorcised, Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen looks really rather wonderful. If anything it's probably too wonder-full to ever appeal to a mainstream audience as Gilliam plays out the eternal conflict between mundane and unexceptional reality and dreams and imagination in the palaces of sultans, the kingdom of the moon, the inside of Mount Etna, the belly of a whale and points inbetween as the teller of tall-tales hitches a ride on a cannonball, flies to the stars in an airship made from women's underwear and dances with Uma Thurman's goddess Venus in the air as waterfalls and cherubim surround them and Oliver Reed's rather wonderful god and munitions manufacturer Vulcan (played like a cross between a Northern mill owner and Gumby from Monty Python's Flying Circus) hops angrily up and down below them as his temperature rises to danger levels. As John Neville's Baron himself says, "This is precisely the sort of thing that people never believe."

Terry Gilliam's `Fellini film' - indeed, many of his collaborators (Giuseppe Rottuno, Dante Ferretti) are Fellini veterans - was much criticised as being all hot air and fantasy with no real foundation, but in fact the script is a lot better than it was ever given credit for. Beautifully structured as a ramshackle but ingenious play gradually becomes the Baron's `reality,' the figure of Death constantly hovering on the sidelines of the Baron's adventures that periodically rejuvenate him, it's end is somewhat disappointing as it paints itself into a fantastic corner, but getting there is a lot of fun. While there's much Pythonic humor along the way, it's not always entirely successful: the scene on the moon fares worst, largely due to a very loud and unfunny cameo by a literally off-his-head Robin Williams, here billed as Ray D. Tuto after his agent allegedly told him the film could be a career-killer (the original conception of the sequence was very different, with Sean Connery taking the role of the King of the Moon only to be dropped to keep the budget down: typically for the film, it cost more to cut it than it would to have shot it!). Yet even here it's a constantly astonishing looking film: where with fantasy films you often see amazing pre-production concept sketches that the film's visuals can never match, here they exceed them. The sheer unique old world craftsmanship the Italian artisans bring to the film is breathtaking, reminding you that this could never have been shot in a Hollywood studio. The effects work is amazing, all the more so for being largely physical effects that have more weight to them than the too often poorly integrated and lighter than air CGI. Even Michael Kamen rallies to the cause with a splendid score that captures the spirit of its vainglorious fantasist hero. Hot air and fantasy it may be, but gloriously heroic nonetheless.

After years of being available with only a trailer as extra (curiously missing from this 2-disc edition), this new special edition finally does the film justice with an audio commentary by Gilliam and co-writer Charles McKeown, deleted scenes and 72-minute documentary The Madness and Misadventures of Munchausen.
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on 25 September 2010
Others have expressed disappointment with the BluRay edition of Baron Munchausen, which made me hesitate to buy it. I'm glad I overcame my hesitations. I have now watched the BluRay edition twice (once for the film itself, once for Gilliam's narration) and am looking forward to future viewings. Fine rendering of color, the image very crisp, improved sound track. The Venus scene, the climb to the tip of the waning moon, the wrecks of ships inside the sea monster -- a treat in each case to see these in BluRay. The film itself, it has been a favorite for years, but it always made me aware of the limitations of DVD. In light of wars in progress, Munchausen is more timely than ever.
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Sometimes you despair. A new format is trust upon us - and an opportunity is presented to the movie industry to finally to do the business by their classics - and what do they do - they give us the same old dull stock and rip us off by getting us to pay more for it.

Twenty years on, Terry Gilliam's 1989 fantasy epic is still extraordinary - inventive, funny, touching, and on a scale few movies today would even dare to go near. Unfortunately, the transfer of it to the new format is more Blur-Ray than Blu-Ray. And while it's not awful all the way through - it's not far off it. For large parts of the film there's grain and blocking - the colours in some instances are better for sure - but it's also obvious that little or no restoration has been done to the print - when like "Time Bandits" - here is a fantasy film that is crying out for a clean up - and would surely have been much more commercially viable if it had been cleaned up - and a big deal made of it (even a re-launch in the cinemas?).

The extras mimic the special edition DVD issue - reviewed elsewhere - nothing great.

When you see "Cool Hand Luke" or "Zulu" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" on BLU RAY, the clean up work is immediately apparent and evident throughout the entire film - making them an enjoyable 'spot-the-difference' experience for the whole duration. But you know you're in trouble with "Munchausen" the second the washed out "Columbia" logo comes up at the beginning - I've seen crinkled videotape look better than this. What a huge disappointment and what a disservice to a really great fantasy film. I can only think of the gobsmacking beauty of Uma Thurman as she appears in a seashell to cheer myself up...

Unfortunately this release is why Amazon reviews are necessary. Avoid this overly expensive poor reissue unless you absolutely have to own it...
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on 9 July 2008
I remember watching this film as a child and being terrified and excited at the same time. If I wasn't absolutly certain a might actually have struggled to decide whether I'd dreamt the whole expeariance. Such is the nature of Baron Munchausen, It is a poetic and whimsical patchwork of frensied childhood dreams and nightmares, held together with fairy tale logic. Gilliam is the master of childlike imaginings mixing allagory, myths and his own pythonesc humour into and episodic adventure full of colourful characters, magical scenery and impossible special effects that no one these days would attempt without cgi.
There are plenty of special features on this disc which include an in-depth documentary on the making of the film and an audio commentary with Gilliam. The transfer to blu-ray is good but not perfect there are still a few moments of grainyness but this doesn't detract much from this twisted fairytale of a film.
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