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Brazil (The Criterion Collection 3-Disc Boxed Set) (1985)

Jonathan Pryce , Robert De Niro , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (549 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 1999
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (549 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022181
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brazil (The Criterion Collection 3-Disc Boxed Set)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with co-writer Tom Stoppard
  • Production and publicity stills
  • "The Production Notebook", screenwriters Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown illuminate the script's development through 3 drafts and 3 treatments. Production designer Norman Garwood displays his design's for Brazil's unique sets. Costume designer 'James Acheson'  explores the couture of fashion, fantasy and fascism. Terry Gilliam's original dream sequences, in storyboards, include hundreds of shots that never made it to the screen. Composer Michael Kamen unveils the sources of his score. A study of the special effects includes footage of unused effects
  • "What Is Brazil?", Rob Hedden's rare 30 minute witty on-set documentary features Terry Gilliam and other key members of the cast and crew
  • "The Battle of Brazil: A Video History", Battle of "Brazil" author Jack Mathews reassembles the players in the famous battle of "Brazil"'s US Release in this original 1996 Criterion documentary. Terry Gilliam, producer Arnon Milchan, and several studio executives close the book on one of the noisiest, most unusual, and most instructive controversies in Hollywood history
  • "Brazil: The Love Conquers All Version", with audio annotation by 'David Morgan' , this 94 minute version of "Brazil", rearranged in the hope of making the film commercial, stands as a fascinating document of the power of editing to change a movie

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--this is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. However, Brazil was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam sure captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.

The movie presents such an unrelentingly imaginative and savage vision of 20th-century bureaucracy that it almost became a victim of small-minded studio management itself--until Gilliam surreptitiously screened his cut for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, who named it the best movie of 1985 and virtually embarrassed Universal into releasing it. This DVD version of Brazil is the special director's cut that first appeared in Criterion's comprehensive (and expensive) six-disc laser package in 1996. --Jim Emerson


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
156 of 169 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Terry Gilliam's classic satire returns to DVD in a spiffed up edition from Criterion. Featuring a high definition anamorphic remaster the picture looks great (and it has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs so it will fill the screen)the sound has been remastered as well. Is it worth picking up again? Absolutely if you're a fan of the film. The single disc edition is basically the same as the first disc in the three disc set--it includes Gilliam's commentary track as part of the package as well as the "Final Cut" version of the film that runs 142 minutes (vs. 131 for the regular DVD release).

The good news is that unlike the previous edition,"Brazil" has been digitally remastered with special attention paid to cleaning up the film so we don't have all the bits of dirt and debris that occasionally marred the original DVD transfer (which was essentially a DVD transfer of the original laserdisc version).

If you purchased the three disc set and want to upgrade you could just pick up this single disc edition as the extras are exactly the same as the previous edition (unless you want the remastered "Love Conquers All" 92 minute edit done by Universal to make it more commercial). Be aware though that the single disc edition doesn't have any of the material from the third disc of the boxed set. That disc documented the insanity that surrounded the film when Universal deemed it not commercial enough.

Why it took Criterion so long to get this new improved version to market is anyone's guess (and why it took them so long to adopt anamorphic transfers as well). This really is the way it should have been released in the first place. Either way this edition looks and sounds great. It has a terrific commentary track by director Gilliam, an essay but no other extras.
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356 of 396 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but what about this Criterion box set itself? January 6, 2004
Format:DVD
There are a million different takes on the actual movie "Brazil," but what I hope to do in this review is actually rate the collection put together by Criterion.
The 3-DVD box set of "Brazil" starts off with the "final final" director's cut of the film, topping out at 142 minutes. (There are eight minutes of footage added to this release.) The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 dimensions. Fact is, the transfer of the movie is so-so.
For all the Criterion hoopla, the print here is flawed. The notes pay tribute to a few digital scratch removers, but I was truly surprised by the amount of garbage in the print (dirt, empty spots, and such) that litter the frames. One of Sam's initial dream flights has considerable gunk inhabiting the lower left corner, and any frame by frame analysis will reveal an endless parade of bits of stuff inhabiting every shot. To be honest, I expected a lot more here and if there is any criticism of this collection, it lies with this fault primarily. They could have cleaned everything up considerably more than they did. And that's a shame at this price.
Colors and contrast in the print look good, though, and the sound is fabulous. They pulled out a full stereo soundtrack and made it sing, so kudos there, too. The sound is clean and vibrant.
The booklet detailing the film is good, but not the best I've seen, even for a lesser boxset. The content listings for the other two DVDs are little more than a single overview sheets.
Director Terry Gilliam's commentary track on the first disc is priceless and fascinating, almost worthy of the cost for the set alone. As a film geek, I personally find all director commentaries to be interesting, so I may not be the best judge.
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216 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the reason DVD was invented November 27, 1999
Format:DVD
Three discs? *Three* discs? That's what you're probably thinking if you're looking at this and *not* a fan of one of the finest films of our time. But this exquisite three-disc treatment is probably the best argument for DVD (and thankfully, for Criterion) that I can give you: Watch these discs, listen to the extensive audio commentary, compare Gilliam's brilliant vision with the Hollywood Studio "Love Conquers All" bastardization, er, sorry, recutting (how many directors would include a admittedly contradictory vision of his film on a DVD set just to *show* how Hollywood can drastically reshape a vision?), watch the documentary...you'll come away from this boxed set experience understanding more about film and directing, and sadly, studio politics, than you'll ever get from reading "Variety" (certainly more than I got from filmmaking college courses!) At the heart of it all, though, the many extras and made-with-care package would add up to nothing if the original film itself weren't so bloody brilliant. There's very few modern *directors* who will pull me into the box office just to see a new film...Gilliam is one of them. Even his flops or misfires are more interesting than most. But when he hits on all cylinders (excuse the mixed metaphor) as in "Brazil"...the result is purely sublime. Bravo to Gilliam; bravo to Criterion for giving us the definitive home version of the film(s)--a version impossible on VHS. I love my DVD player!
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
By DA MAN
Format:DVD
This is the re-release of Brazil by Criterion, which stars Robert DeNiro, Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins and many more, and directored by Terry Gilliam.... this is the ulitmate movie that all science fiction buffs must own...

So what is the difference between this release and the previous 3 disc collection???? Well primarily, it's for the new Anamorphic presentation of the film, it will otherwise be the same as the previous release......

For those who already own the previous release, my suggestion is to go for the single discer to replace the older non Anamorphic feature disc, but for those who don't have a copy... what are u waiting for ???? Get this boxset today!!!!This is the very defintion of what eXtras on a dvd collector's set should have..... Criterion accomplished the untinkiable!!!

For the benefit of those who do not have the previous release, this is the breakdown of all the dvd details....

142 minutes, Color,1.78:1 Aspect Ratio, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0

Anamorphically enhanced, English.

DISC ONE:

All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terry Gilliam, with a remastered Dolby stereo surround soundtrack--NOW IN ANAMORPHIC!!

Audio commentary by Gilliam

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: An essay by Jack Mathews

DISC TWO:

A treasure trove of Brazil-iana:

30-minute on-set documentary What Is Brazil?

Criterion's original exposé The Battle of "Brazil": A Video History, which reassembles players in the battle over the film's U.S.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars And softly murmured, someday soon...
Brazil is... unique. It doesn't quite compare to any other film I've seen. That being said, it is a fantastic melding together of artwork, entertainment, and politics. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Andrew Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
something different
Published 9 days ago by Dark-Shadow
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Bizarre...
Can't comment on the bonus footage as I haven't watched it yet. But if you haven't seen this bizarre film, do yourself a favor and give it a show. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Gonnzo
5.0 out of 5 stars you love it. Or you're a government agent
If you've seen it, you love it. Or you're a government agent. If you haven't, prepare to get infected with that sick type of love.
Published 14 days ago by 4thDegree
5.0 out of 5 stars a cult classic, but a cult worth joining. (no kool-aid, i promise)
A real and deep satire.not for the dim-witted or faint of heart. This film takes a look at the world of 1980s alternative britain, with mysterious terrorists, overwhelming... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Devon M. Roberson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Film That Gets Better With Age
I have seen this movie 4 or 5 times. I wonderful zany film.
Published 21 days ago by Margaret D
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate work? Feel marginalized
A Terry Gilliam masterpiece that only improves over time. Hate work? Feel marginalized? Feel bullied by heartless bureaucracy? This film is for you.
Published 25 days ago by Mark Paul Suszko
5.0 out of 5 stars wow...what a weird movie
Never had heard of this movie so I bought it because of the actor.Remionds me of an Orwellian world.Futuristic and also realistically scary.
Published 1 month ago by fast cars
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Slightly Dated
The average young viewer will find this a bit hard to follow. It's a classic, though, and certainly worth seeing to the end.
Published 1 month ago by Joshua Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece.
I realize this is an acquired taste movie, but it really is a masterpiece. The symbolism and wisdom are among the greatest works every created by man. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stickman
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anamorphic or not????
The original release of the Criterion 3 disc set was not anamorphic. Recently, Criterion reissued the set in anamorphic. At the same time they issued the one disc anamorphic edition.
Jan 8, 2007 by B. Saunders |  See all 10 posts
Which ending?
Both Criterion Collection versions have the Terry Gilliam ending, the real one. If you get the triple disc version of the Criterion Collection, then you get both the original version of the film and the 90 minute edited to hell version.
Jun 4, 2008 by William Hoffknecht |  See all 3 posts
Prognostications of our modern times Be the first to reply
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