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Brazil [Blu-ray]
Brazil [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Jonathan Pryce
Price: $13.08
33 used & new from $9.07

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLU RAY is the 132 minute Original U.S. Theatrical Cut FINALLY!!!!, July 11, 2011
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This review is from: Brazil [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Brazil [Blu-ray]

On this Blu-ray for the first time ever we get the ORIGINAL 132 minute version of the film as was shown in U.S. theaters.
(Note: This is NOT the "Love Conquers All" Sheinberg/TV Edit.)
All the DVD releases before this have been the European Version/Director's Cut of the film. Even the original Universal DVD release that said Theatrical Cut on the box actually had the European Version/Director's Cut.

Unfortunately, Universal didn't really spend any time cleaning up the negative for Hi-Definition (there is very noticeable instances of dirt and debris on the negative) but it still beats the image quality found on the Universal SD DVD, and they do include an amazing DTS-HD Master 5.1. We'll just have to wait for the Criterion Blu-ray of Brazil for image perfection but serious fans of Brazil will want to get this Blu-ray edition just to have this version of the film as it was originally seen in theaters in 1985.

I actually find this 132-minute version is in many ways a superior cut of the film. Here are the differences in detail:

*In the 132-minute version you cut from Sam in bed with Jill, police sack goes
over head, then CUT TO Pull off police sack to reveal Sam in Torture
Chamber/Interrogation chair. This one cut is simply brilliant and very powerful.
In the Criterion Version you have the added scene of Mr. Helpman as Father
Christmas (completely out of charcater from the rest of the film) and the whole
interrogation scene of Sam hanging from the rack inside the police/mail pouch
which becomes narratively redundant and dilutes the impact of the final scene.

*To end it with cooling tower/interrogation room fade to clouds was a great Gilliam
wink of subversion and irreverence to the cliche Hollywood Ending. As opposed to
the European cut of just credits over cooling tower/interrogation room.

*The Samurai Scene is divided into 3 separate scenes in the 132-minute version
versus 1 LONG scene in the European cut. And you know what? Like most things,
it works better in 3's.

*The 132-minute version cuts straight to the Dinner Scene with Ida (his mother)
ordering numero deux, trois, etc. while the European version has the entrance to
the restaurant of going through the metal detector which really doesn't add
anything and is again a bit redundant when the bomb does eventually go off in
the restaurant. With the scene, you're signaling to the audience we are looking for a bomb, so we expect a bomb. Without the added scene, the bombing is unexpected and it actually shocks you so you're both horrified and laughing. The unexpectedness also works as it builds upon the bomb motif from the first explosion at the beginning of Brazil during the Ducts advert.

*And finally I just love that the 132-minute version opens on those clouds (outtakes
from The Never-Ending Story) then goes to the Central Services advert about
Ducts: "Are your ducts old-fashioned, out-of-date... " Now the Criterion version
also has the clouds opening (The Original European Cut didn't) but it's funny
because the Studio asked Gilliam to start off with the clouds for the US Cut and he
actually prefers it as quoted in his Director's commentary. Hilarious.

Little changes that add up to a tighter and overall, better film.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2011 1:38 PM PDT

The Cinema of Robert Zemeckis
The Cinema of Robert Zemeckis
by Norman Kagan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.41
72 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Robert Zemeckis-Best Director vs. Norman Kagan-Worst Book, May 29, 2004
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The cinema of Robert Zemeckis is simply AMAZING! People may knock him for making films that are both technically astute and successfully commercial but that is a subjective point of view. One thing no one can knock is that Robert Zemeckis can tell a great story!
As for the book by Norman Kagan, it is TERRBILE! I suspect Norman Kagan used the name Robert Zemeckis to sell more copies of the book. For when you actually read the book, like I did, Kagan spends more time telling us why Kagan thinks Zemeckis is a hack director and his films shallow. It just baffles the mind that someone would write a book only to try to discredit any talent the director might possess. Any insight we get into the technical aspects of Zemeckis's films are very superficial and actually have been taken from other sources. Kagan is more interested in Zemeckis's personal life and actually tries to psychoanalyze why Kagan thinks Zemeckis made the decision he did regarding each film. If this is serious research and critcal film studies, than it surely proves that some (not all) critics like Kagan, are fat, acne-ridden child-men who envy the seemingly easy success of others while they are condemned to write about it rather than make films themselves.
If you truly study Zemeckis you will realize that he had many commercial failures early in his career but more importantly he never gave up. Before Romancing the Stone, Zemeckis couldn't get arrested in Hollywood, afterwards, he was able to make Back to The Future. A film that you may say is dated, but is great example of the perfectly crafted script. The rest, as they say is history.
Seriously, if you want the best source of information on any Zemeckis film, watch the DVDs with Robert Zemeckis Director's Commentary ON. Zemeckis and his colleagues tell you exactly how they accomplished not only the technical aspects of his films, but how Zemeckis finds the truth to every story. You will discover the motivation behind his decisions and then see the result, right there in the film. I would even go so far as to say it's better than going to film school.

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