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Showing 1-10 of 123 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 312 reviews
on July 1, 2003
Brazil is Terry Gilliam's greatest achievement. In many ways it is like Orwell's 1984 and Kafka's The Trial. It is a cynical and dystopic view at a possible future. A future that is bleak and oppressive, except in Sam Lowry's dreams. In his dreams he is a silver-winged hero. He swoops in from the clouds and rescues his damsel in distress, Jill. But the real world won't let him escape to his blissful fantasy. The two worlds conflict with each other until they finally collide head on.
Brazil is the ultimate tale of man versus the state. It is loaded with hilarious satire. But it also contains very deep and important messages about society. If you want an unconventional and very creative tale of a man's struggle to be free, then Brazil is for you.
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on June 1, 2017
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on December 29, 2012
Brazil delves into the future as we 'thought' we knew it 25 years ago. You'll notice all kinds of references to the chaotic world that we've come to live in, as predicted long ago. The acting on all fronts is outstanding, delving in and out of the protagonist's dream world with the flick never losing the viewer's interest despite the movie's length. As the movie progresses I found myself more and more drawn in. Add to this an outstanding set of extras, a great video transfer, many great actors and we have a must-own!!!
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on January 14, 2013
I originally saw this film in its very short theater run in 85 and was blown away by it. Little did I know at the time all that had taken place just getting this film released and when I finally got the original Criterion 3 DVD set with the director's cut and the whole story, I was even more impressed by what Gilliam and the others who contributed to this film had accomplished. The print of the film on the DVD had some flaws, as they were apparently unable to obtain the original and/or restore it, but it is still a great acquisition for anybody who doesn't have Blu-Ray capability for whatever reason. This latest version is almost flawless as far as the actual movie, although the extras are still in the same SD, grainy, scratched state as the original 3 DVD set. This one comes on two 50 GB Blu-Ray discs and contains the same content as the 3 DL DVD set, but the 1080P movie is excellent in quality, and OF COURSE as far as content is one of the greatest movies of all time. I rank it in my top ten and I am damn critical as my top 100 currently only has 84 movies listed! I would ask anybody who has simply heard that this is just a really weird movie and not to waste time on it, to forget that and check it out. It is more timely than ever and will NEVER become dated due to the prescience shown by the creators. I agree with Gilliam that Kim may not have been the best choice for Jill, but the script and sets are so spectacular that this is a minor point and she still pulls off a very admirable performance. It is only when one looks at the enormity of the other actor's accomplishments that she seems to come up a bit short. I love To Kill a Mockingbird, but the casting of Jim (Phillip Alford) was absolutely horrible and the movie is still a great one. Kim was exponentially better in her role than Phillip in his. To sum up - GET THIS before the price goes up (I got it for less than $21 on pre-order), but get it regardless of price. If you do and regret it, pass it along to someone who might realize the sheer greatness of this masterpiece.
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on May 9, 2016
The best, the only true version of this film. This has the real original ending. The disputed "Hollywood" version ending is such a "Disney-like" feel- good disappointment that 1/2 the film is lost.
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on January 31, 2007
Brazil is in many ways a modernized version of 1984 with some odd humor and other visual elements added which balance out the serious tone of the movie and also provide some updated ideas on how the State behaves/may behave. Much of the overall story and some specific situations up until the last 30 minutes resemble 1984 greatly, though Lowry's bizarrely vivid dreams (which, for me, got old after a while) and some of the humor involving his mother and her friends/social circle certain add some balance to what is a fairly grim story. The movie also pokes fun at bureacratism in general, with General Services and their employees providing some laughs while providing a radical example of a situation anyone who has dealt with an entrenched bureacracy will at least feel is familiar. Much of the movie's scenes dealing with the State and bureacratism in general are written with some dark humor, but this is not a funny movie.

I think that while 1984 is the definitive book on negative utopia (maybe brave new world also), I would think seeing this film AFTER reading 1984 would provide the most appreciation and insight. It is amazing to realize that this movie was made before the age of computer graphics, given the rather limited sets they accomplish quite a bit.

If you haven't read 1984, don't like political satire/commentary, or are otherwise politically tone-deaf or uninterested, or just want to see this movie for the Robert de Niro cameo, this movie may/will bore you to tears, but if the genre interests you, this is THE must see movie in this genre, certainly more than the '1984' movie itself.
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on January 13, 2006
Although this Critierion 3-disc set is amazing in its treatment of the film in regards to range of extras and the like, it is inherently crippled. I love the film so much, this is quite frustrating (and can't bring myself to knock more than 1 big star from the otherwise stellar rating this movie and DVD set deserve).

In short: For those with 16:9 TVs, you're going to be quite surprised to realize that this super-deluxe edition is NOT ANAMORPHIC. That is, it's letterboxed for viewing on older analog sets, constrained to a 4:3 box. Ridiculous since the film is given such an ambitious and reverent treatment in the content and packaging. One question I have, the obvious 'Why??!', might point to the fact that the transfer isn't really all that great by modern standards and the restoration likewise... If they'd encoded it for anamorphic widescreen, that might show off these flaws all the more.

I've owned the box set since it's initial release. When I purchased a new HDTV, I went through my DVD collection to see which discs weren't mastered for 16:9 viewing. A select few--and this one was quite a sad surprise. Bad Criterion!
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on July 24, 2016
Have just now assembled the ultimate 'Brazil' set (well, imho anyway!). To wit: purchased "like new" Criterion copies of the '99 3-disc set ($3.68) as well as '06 single 'upgrade' ($.90). I already had the Universal blu ($10) from a few years back, so within a single width 4-disc case I made my own "box". Will find a home for the '99 "final cut", but now have the cleaner '06 final cut dvd (and use IT'S cover), the '99 box's dvd 2 (extras) and dvd 3 (butchered "Conquers" version), as well as a very nice Univ. blu, which has the shorter theatrical cut. '99's booklet and 2 inserts fit nicely within (just miss the plastic slipcover, but will save). Don't mean to gloat, but really, spending $20 for a full Brazil set that includes the Criterion 3 disc treatment -with '06 substitute- AND a blu release? Life. Is good. (* 'cause prices for hard copies seem to be in free fall, as result)
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on May 14, 2000
While not completely holding up over time this is still an amazing movie. This movie along with Bladerunner and visually noteworthy due to their incorporation of old and new to create a futuristic environment rather than just new(although I think Gilliam didn't intend this to necessarily be in the future). At times, and Gilliam sort of admits this during the voice over, there is a lot of pure 'stream of consciousness' themes added that, for me, don't necessarily tie in well with the rest of the movie. This is a very minor issue though. The DVD package is about all you could hope for if that is a deciding factor for a purchase.
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on July 19, 2001
Just watched it last night; Gilliam's portrayal of urban SWAT ops *precisely* matches how the Federales prefer to operate today (compare & contrast the Elian retrieval).
The use of retro-technology is brilliant, as it removes the 'time-stamp', enabling the story to seem current at any time in the future.
Not a perfect movie (some of Gilliam's story devices could be cut with no harm), but still essential viewing to inculcate:
1) understanding that our public security apparatchiks
can and do make mistakes (just see the Secret Service's raid of Steve Jackson Games in 1995, and the 2001 arrest of Skylarov in Las Vegas).
2) appreciation of the art of the hack... DeNiro is the archtypical hacker, and his last act is brilliant...
A very worthwhile experience.
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