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12 Monkeys (Special Edition) (1996)

Bruce Willis , Madeleine Stowe , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (434 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito, Jon Seda
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Chris Marker, David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples
  • Producers: Charles Roven, Gary Levinsohn, Kelley Smith-Wait, Lloyd Phillips
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (434 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PALZ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,249 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "12 Monkeys (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Hamster Factor and Other Tales" featurette
  • Archives and production notes

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

The main difference between the 2005 Special Edition and the old Collector's Edition is that the Special Edition has been digitally remastered. If you're finicky about packaging, you'll notice the special edition comes in a gold amaray case. The bonus features on both editions are exactly the same. --Ryan Boudinot

Product Description

THE YEAR IS 2035 AND HUMANKIND SUBSISTS IN A DESOLATE NETHERWORLD FOLLOWING AN AIRBORNE VIRAL HOLOCAUST. DESPERATE SCIENTISTS TIME-SHUTTLE A CONVICT, JAMES COLE, TO THE PAST IN HOPES OF DISCOVERING A MEANS OF SAVING THE FUTURE. WHEN COLE ARRIVES IN 1996, HE'S DEEMED MAD AND PLACED IN AN ASYLUM.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great DVD! February 17, 2000
By Tcaalaw
Format:DVD
When I saw "12 Monkeys" in the theaters, I thought to myself, "This is one of the greatest films of the past ten years." Despite working with a script written by others and under some stringent studio restrictions, Terry Gilliam more than managed to infuse the story with his trademark approach to movie-making.
I had some reservations going in about the choice of Brad Pitt to play the role of a mentally unbalanced eco-terroist, but Pitt did a marvelous job and really made the character his own. (Viewers who like Pitt in "12 Monkeys" would probably do well to check out his performance in "Fight Club". Tyler Durden is what Jeffery Goins could be if he were less manic.) Bruce Willis and Madeline Stowe also turn in terrific performances, especially Willis for whom this was one of his first non-action films. Fans of the old "Batman" TV show will be amused to see Frank Gorshin (the Riddler) as the chief psychiatrist at the mental institution were much of the early part of the film takes place. Christopher Plummer is not given much screen time, but he does an excellent job with what little he has.
As for the story itself, even though many people try to claim that it is about the line between sanity and madness(in the vein of Gilliam's "The Fisher King"), I just do not see it as such. I never doubted Cole's sanity, the future world was too real to make me think that it was a figment of Cole's imagination. And if one did have that impression at first, there was too much revealed early in the film to sustain that belief.
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120 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening. June 13, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good Science Fiction (weather a book, a movie, tv, whatever) has the power to make us look at ourselves as a society. The events in this movie metaphorically mimic events in our everyday lives. Even though we have not yet discovered time travel, all of the other events in this movie could happen, which is absolutely frightening. This is a dark movie, not for everyone, which has a deep high-minded script and plot (it may take a few watchings to fully understand this one.) The cinematography, directing, and acting are wonderful. Bruce Willis proves that he can do other movies besides his normal action type. He also proved it later in The 6th Sense, but I think this is one of his best performences. As for Brad Pitt, it is his best performance. It's so real that by the end, you'll think he's crazy.
Another important thing to note is to buy the DVD, but not the DTS one. The non-DTS version has an insightful long documentary on the making of the film, the DTS version does not have this. Plus the Dolby Digital sound is excellent in itself.
Most Highly Reccomended.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film fascinating, fun and frustrating January 31, 2006
By Sanpete
Format:DVD
12 Monkeys is a convoluted tale of time travel, insanity, apocalypse, and who-done-it, with some romance thrown in. What I enjoyed most about it was the twisting and ambiguous path it followed, which was fresh and well thought out, to a point.

Bruce Willis plays Cole, a prisoner in a post-apocalyptic future recruited to do some dangerous time-travel work in the past for a group of very odd scientists. The goal of the work only becomes apparent later, and by then there is confusion about whether Cole is really on the mission he thinks he is or is just deluded. Brad Pitt has a major supporting role hamming it up as another who may or may not be insane.

Ultimately, while I don't think the film does full justice to its premises and possibilities, it does well enough to be entertaining and thought provoking. Director Terry Gilliam's surrealism adds much. The acting is very good on the whole, itself rather surreal in some of the supporting roles. There is some violence showing how disturbed Willis's character is, not bad for an R-rated movie. It's definitely worth seeing to judge for yourself what it's really about.

I want to comment on the things you think about after the film is over, to see how well it holds up. I'll have to go into details you may not want to know about if you haven't seen the film yet, thus the spoiler alert. If you'd like to know what my general conclusions are, without any spoilers, just skip to the last couple paragraphs headed "In Sum."

*SPOILER ALERT*

Madness

There are many points designed to suggest that parts of the film are delusions, but they're balanced by points seeming to show the opposite. There is the over-the-top strangeness of the future (the video ball, serenading scientists, etc.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, except for some nits to pick. November 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie intrigues, stimulates thought, and fully provokes attention. I want to address the various criticisms. First, the movie does drag somewhat, especially at the asylum, yet all this is forgivable because virtually every fact exposed in that segment serves as foundation for the rest of the film. Second, the romance is depicted awkwardly and is indeed unconvincing, but not entirely unbelievable; hence, this is a small flaw, especially in a movie not intended as a romance. Third, the ending is strange, and not entirely logical. I believe this resulted from Gilliam's own indecision and ambivalence: It's nearly impossible to have an ending that is deliberately subtle and unexplained, and leaves the audience debating, and yet remain logical and coherent. The woman on the plane - the scientist - is there to get a sample (if I understood the director's comments), yet she is exposing herself to the virus. In the beginning, Cole was told that a break in his suit would bar him from returning from the surface, presumably because he would be carrying the virus. How then is the scientist supposed to go back if she has been similarly exposed? There are a few possibilities, but they are embarrassingly far-fetched. Convoluted? Yes, but this movie has substance, unlike so many "hits" that should shame their directors, producers and other garbage men. The DVD (Collectors Edition) is very well done. The commentary augments the experience a lot, and the "Making of..." is interesting. The video quality is good, though not the best possible for a DVD. Unlike most DVD purchasers, I tend to be parsimonious in my ratings. A 4.5 would be the most accurate because of the few minor flaws in this package.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I have ever seen!
This film just was not very good all around. It was slow to the point of bordom. The good actors Willis, Pitt, and Stowe are wasted on this pile of trash of a script. Read more
Published 4 days ago by kelly Groce
5.0 out of 5 stars ... an academy award if not outright won one for best picture! An...
This movie should at least have been nominated for an academy award if not outright won one for best picture! Read more
Published 5 days ago by Jeff Botz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My Collection
Published 6 days ago by Barbara M.
2.0 out of 5 stars I was very disappointed in this movie
I was very disappointed in this movie. I watched it because I read a review of the unique element of the main character seeing a man shot at the airport and it turns out that the... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Rich
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't get too hyped up about it
This is a dystopian movie that has many plot holes and feeds you tiny bits of information to keep you confused. Read more
Published 14 days ago by bokemono
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the test of time.
As you may know, this was based on a French short film from 1962, La Jetee. It is full of homage to things French: music, history, and even architecture. Read more
Published 14 days ago by C. Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Watch This
This is the most brilliant science fiction movie ever made. As such, it is very disturbing. It will definitely rock your world. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Robert M Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 MONKEYS
THIS WAS A BRUCE WILLIS MOVIE, WITH ALL OF THE ACTION I WOULD EXPECT FROM HIS MOVIES...ACTION FILLED, AND VERY ENTERTAINING!!!
Published 29 days ago by Lawrence Shelton
4.0 out of 5 stars Terry Gilliam for the masses
Terry Gilliam movies can be hard to stomach especially when he has final editing privileges. Sometime his ego gets in the way and you end up with good but bloated movies like... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bubbagrundy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Flick - Older but still good
I forgot that i had seen this before, but i enjoyed watching it again- Pretty good for a 20year old movie
Published 2 months ago by M. Larimore
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Blu-Ray release?
HD's been scrapped, so no worries. But, no, it's not showin on the next few months of releases. Hopefully they'll pull out the stops on production and put this one out!
Oct 27, 2008 by Robert S. |  See all 2 posts
How can I access the extras in this DVD? My special edition has no...
Unless I'm seriously mistaken, Amazon.com has a generous return/exchange policy. I'm pretty sure they'll agree to an exchange, especially once you explain that the DVD you received was different from the one that was advertised.

That said, I'm surprised that there would be no features... Read More
Feb 23, 2009 by K. J. Huang |  See all 4 posts
12 Mokkeys and other Blu-ray sold here..Is this normal? Be the first to reply
about extras... Be the first to reply
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