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DVD Reviews

HTF Mini Review: Brazil (1 disc anamorphic reissue)



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#1 of 46 OFFLINE   PatWahlquist

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Posted September 01 2006 - 02:41 AM


Brazil (1 disc anamorphic reissue)

Studio: The Criterion Collection #51
Rated: R (language, violence, and some sexuality)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 enhanced for 16x9 displays
Audio: English DD Stereo
Subtitles: English
Time: 142 minutes
Disc Format: 1 DVD-9
Case Style: Keep case
Theatrical Release Date: 1985
DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006

Criterion has taken the demands of the fans seriously and re-issued Brazil with an anamorphic transfer. They are re-releasing the three disc set from 1998 as well as a single disc of the first disc of the set which contains the movie with the new anamorphic transfer. For those of us who already own the great three disc set, it is a very welcome surprise to be able to buy the first disc on its own. Due to the nature of this release, I am only going to do a quick comment on the one disc and the new transfer.

Video:
The picture has been re-framed at 1.78:1 and it is, finally, an anamorphic transfer. I am unsure why Criterion, and, obviously, Gilliam have reframed the picture to 1.78 as it was originally shot 1.85. I will email Criterion to get some clarification on this change. Criterion is good enough to provide us with more information about the transfer itself, so I will pass this along: “This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit Datacine from a new 35mm interpositive, under the supervision of Terry Gilliam. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System.” The picture is very similar to the original edition in that it appears as if it was shot in 1985. While the sets themselves hold up in their timelessness (a mark of a good set decorator), the picture itself shows its age. In comparing the two images, this edition and the non-anamorphic one, this new transfer exhibits greater detail, but it seems to lack the sharpness of the original. That is not necessarily a bad thing as this new version looks more film like. Black levels are improved and there is a noticeable detail in the shadows. Edge enhancement was minor and there were not compression artifacts or video noise. Flesh tones and color fidelity overall are improved with deeper saturation; the original edition seems a little washed out. Film grain is noticeable but not obtrusive.


Audio:
I watched the disc with the Dolby Digital stereo track engaged as this is the only audio option. The new edition seems to have more presence than the previous one, which may simply be due to the use of newer equipment and audio cleaning processes during encoding. Both editions note, “The soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from the 35mm Dolby stereo magnetic tracks…”, but the new version notes the use of “audio restoration tools”. LFE’s were minimal in this new release as they were in the original.


Bonus Material:
Commentary with director Terry Gilliam: This is the commentary from the 1996 Criterion laser disc and the original DVD release, so it’s nothing new.

Also included in the package is a booklet featuring an edited essay by Jack Matthews. The entire booklet has various changes to suit this one disc edition since the extras that are mentioned in the three disc set are obviously not in this edition.

Conclusions:
Criterion has played fair with those of us who own the original three disc version of Brazil by releasing this new anamorphic version on its own. Those of you who have yet to buy this excellent film should spend the cash on the re-release of the three disc version, which includes the disc reviewed here, for that and the wealth of extras.
ISO "Lost" ARG prints from Kevin Tong, Olly Moss, Eric Tan and Methane Studios.  PM me if you want to sell!

All reviews done on a Marantz VP11S1 1080p DLP projector.

Displays professionally calibrated by Gregg Loewen of Lion AV.

#2 of 46 OFFLINE   James D S

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Posted September 01 2006 - 07:36 AM

The hits just keep on coming.

Thanks Criterion.

#3 of 46 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted September 01 2006 - 07:48 AM

The 1.78:1 AR is a non issue to me, since it's a standard practice for many 1.85:1 films.

I'll be getting the deluxe box set, since I never bought the nonanamorphic boxset.

#4 of 46 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted September 01 2006 - 11:09 AM

Does this come out Tues with the new SS 3-disc reissue?

#5 of 46 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 01 2006 - 05:14 PM

It's not hugely high on my want list (unlike Seven Samurai and Playtime), but I'm eager to pick up the single-disc to add to my 3-disc set. The AR doesn't really matter since Terry Gilliam supervised the transfer. That's all I need to know! Posted Image

(Brazil is one of my favorite movies)

#6 of 46 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted September 01 2006 - 07:58 PM

I just ordered the one-disk; I have the LD box-set and since the two other discs aren't anamorphic, I'm not losing out on much.

#7 of 46 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted September 01 2006 - 09:55 PM

a fantastic film indeed
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#8 of 46 OFFLINE   GlennWD

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Posted September 02 2006 - 03:30 AM

This is a great film, I will be getting the new 3-Disc set, for some reason I never picked up the previous release.
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#9 of 46 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted September 02 2006 - 04:20 AM

Will be replacing my movie disc with the single disc, which will slide into the plastic case with the other SE discs.

It will now be permissable to add the Brazil set to the list of all-time greats of DVD.

#10 of 46 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted September 02 2006 - 05:52 AM

Count me in for the 3-disc. The only things holding me back intially were the price (when I first found it $99.99 Cdn) and the lack of anamorphic enhancement. Thankfully, both of these have now been rectified. Thanks, Criterion.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#11 of 46 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted September 03 2006 - 07:53 AM

Okay, I just bought the new 3 disc set, but the problem is, disc 1 is missing the essay with Jack Matthews! The insert is missing! Should I contact Criterion, or the store I bought it from?

#12 of 46 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted September 03 2006 - 05:07 PM

I'd contact Criterion, just because there is a chance that if you go back to the store, the next copy you pick up won't have the insert either.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#13 of 46 OFFLINE   The Void

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Posted September 05 2006 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kim
Okay, I just bought the new 3 disc set, but the problem is, disc 1 is missing the essay with Jack Matthews! The insert is missing! Should I contact Criterion, or the store I bought it from?
I have a question about the new 3 disc set. Is it packaged like the previous set, 3 discs in 3 keep cases inside an outer box? I have the new 3 disc set ordered but haven't received it yet.

#14 of 46 OFFLINE   Shawn.F

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Posted September 06 2006 - 04:52 AM

I too was missing my booklet. I emailed Criterion but haven't heard back from them yet.

The packaging on the reissue of the 3-disc set is identical to the original DVD release.

And, in terms of the Aspect Ratio, Brazil was matted for theatrical release.

http://www.imdb.com/...88846/technical

#15 of 46 OFFLINE   Kevin*Kerouac

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Posted September 06 2006 - 09:32 AM

What is this? In the three-disc set the graphics are the same as the old release. No booklet or pamphlet either - just table of contents cards for discs two and three (nothing in disc ones case aside from dvd).

The dvd menus are all the same too. Is it even really anamorphic? I can't tell because I have a tube tv.

What I expected in the new 3-disc edition was this single disc anamorphic re-master with all the new graphics, menus booklets etc. Therefore, Criterion would have had to redo the graphics for the other dvd cases in order to tie the package together.

To me, it just looks like they slapped a new sticker on the outside of the box, and sold the old release of the 3-disc box set, while removing the pamphlet from disc one's case (if there was one originally).

Pathetic

#16 of 46 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted September 06 2006 - 10:29 AM

Are you sure you bought the re-release?Posted Image
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#17 of 46 OFFLINE   Patrick H.

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Posted September 06 2006 - 10:35 AM

I'd expected that they would probably keep the boxed set largely unchanged from its prior configuration, but the essay should still be in there somewhere. I saw this on the shelf yesterday at Borders (definitely the reissue), and it's clearly listed on the slipcover as being included. Can anybody confirm getting the new set WITH the essay? Mine's still in transit from Amazon...

#18 of 46 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 06 2006 - 05:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin*Kerouac
What is this? In the three-disc set the graphics are the same as the old release. No booklet or pamphlet either - just table of contents cards for discs two and three (nothing in disc ones case aside from dvd).

The dvd menus are all the same too. Is it even really anamorphic? I can't tell because I have a tube tv.

What I expected in the new 3-disc edition was this single disc anamorphic re-master with all the new graphics, menus booklets etc. Therefore, Criterion would have had to redo the graphics for the other dvd cases in order to tie the package together.

To me, it just looks like they slapped a new sticker on the outside of the box, and sold the old release of the 3-disc box set, while removing the pamphlet from disc one's case (if there was one originally).

Pathetic

Why should Criterion change anything on the 2nd and 3rd discs? The only change they made was the use of a new remaster of the film itself, so only the first disc required alterations.

#19 of 46 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted September 07 2006 - 05:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin*Kerouac
Pathetic

Wow... some people can be disappointed by anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Cappelletty
I just ordered the one-disk; I have the LD box-set and since the two other discs aren't anamorphic, I'm not losing out on much.

Exactly what I plan to do! To this day, I feel physical pain when I think of how long I waited and how much I spent on that Criterion LD set.

#20 of 46 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted September 07 2006 - 05:24 AM

I never had a Laserdisc player, but I used to read all of the reviews and information about LD releases at the time, hoping one day to get one -- and then DVD came out. I remember reading about the Brazil LD and I wanted that sucker badly. I was so happy when the DVD set came out originally!


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