Review: Brazil Blu-ray

Brazil Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Terry Gilliam | CAST: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
7/12/11 | PRICE: Blu-ray $26.98
BD Live features, pocket BLU app
R | 132 min. | Science-fiction | 1.85:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Brazil movie scene

Something nasty and futuristic is afoot in Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

Arguably the defining film in the Terry Gilliam (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) oeuvre, 1985’s Brazil made its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut from Universal and, happily, it looks and sounds great.

But if you’re a big fan of the film — and there are many — then you’d better hold on to your old Criterion DVD editions, because all you’re gonna get here is a fine rendition of just one of the film’s different versions. Equally absent are the zillions of supplemental features that made Criterion’s 1999 DVD edition a landmark disc back in the early days of digitalization.

The Universal Blu-ray offers the 132-minute cut of Gilliam’s rich portrait of a dystopian future populated by rogue repairmen (Robert De Niro, Stone), facelift-loving mothers (Katherine Helmond, Time Bandits) and a poor Everyman (Jonathan Pryce, Breaking Glass) who’s just trying to live his life. That’s 10 minutes shorter than Gilliam’s preferred version of the film, but a helluva lot longer than the awful studio-ed ited version that also crept onto the scene years back (without Gilliam’s approval).

Again, they’re all available on previous Criterion DVD editions for you to compare, but they aren’t as glorious-looking as this one. It’s as good an argument as any to pick up this one and have them both in your collection.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.