Brazil & Munchausen - Would I like?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jay Mitchosky, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Hey All

    I've always been a big fan of the movie 12 Monkeys by Terry Gilliam. I know there's a pretty fervent following for Brazil and Baron Munchausen. But I also understand they're pretty, shall we say, offbeat. [​IMG] Are either something I might enjoy based on my experience with Monkeys that would warrant an outright purchase?
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    12 Monkeys is the most coherent of the three movies, because Gilliam did not write the screenplay. The Fisher King is another movie with Gilliam at the helm, but not at the pen.

    I like them all, and I guess I fall into the class of those who followed the movies fervently (to the tune of Criterion laserdiscs). The Brazil DVD set is pretty much a port of the Criterion laserdisc, at a fraction of the price. The humor is quirky, but the story--that you can't escape reality with your dreams--is a bit of a downer. Note that there is (or at least used to be) a single-disc Universal release that was sans extras, but was the same "final, final director's cut" that appeared on the Criterion release.

    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was one of the biggest flops of 1989, right up there with The Abyss and I swear I saw it in a theater full of people that were hugely entertained by it. It continues to be a favorite. Again, the humor is quirky, but not as dark as Brazil.

    The Fisher King has a manic Robin Williams as a homeless person with serious issues. Don't let the humorous veneer fool you. While there are a couple of riotously funny moments (the late Michael Jeter doing Ethel Merman comes to mind), and Robin Williams is allowed to do some funny riffs, this is far more serious than anything we have discussed here.

    Personally, I'd try all three movies...but if you are not sure, I'd rent them first.

    BTW, I loved 12 Monkeys...my friends and I talked about it for days.

    - Steve
     
  3. Haden

    Haden Supporting Actor

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    I'll be the first to bring up the fact again that a Baron Munchausen special edition DVD is long LONG overdue.
     
  4. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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  5. Steve Tannehill

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    What a heartbreaker... a great documentary.

    - Steve
     
  6. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Brazil has Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson and Jim Broadbent.

    That's enough reason to buy it. [​IMG]
     
  7. Marc Fedderman

    Marc Fedderman Second Unit

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    I second the rental idea, if that's an option. Both films, but especially Brazil evince a much quirkier sensibility than 12 Monkeys. I really liked Brazil, though not enough to fork over big bucks for the Criterion set (yet).

    And add me to those recommending Lost In La Mancha. It's a fine documentary, offering insight into not only Gilliam's creative processes, but the trials and travails of independent filmmaking in general.
     
  8. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I thought Brazil was alright, but the Criterion DVD set is unbelievable. Until the LOTR EE's came along, this to me was the definitive special edition. The extras are astounding, and I honestly believe they made the movie work better for me.
     
  9. Ocean Phoenix

    Ocean Phoenix Supporting Actor

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    I love 12 Monkeys and it's one of my favourite movies. I wouldn't recommend Brazil. I rented it because I wanted to see more Terry Gilliam movies and heard that it has a big following and a lot of fans, and I found it very disappointing. It's one of those movies that has really cool special effects, set design, and costumes, but weak writing and acting. I put Blade Runner in the same category, although Blade Runner of course has much better special effects, since it has some of the best movie special effects of all time.

    I don't see what the big deal is about Brazil. It's one of those movies I watched and just thought to myself "I guess a lot of people let imaginative art/dazzling special effects blind them to the fact that a movie is weak in the departments that are most important for a movie to be strong in (writing, acting, etc.)". It creates a fascinating and unique visual world, but has little else that impresses me. Again, I thought the same thing about Blade Runner, so if you like Blade Runner, you might like Brazil, although Blade Runner tries to be a lot more deep and intense than Brazil does (and fails, in my opinion).
     
  10. Jacob McCraw

    Jacob McCraw Stunt Coordinator

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    Brazil is my favorite movie of all time for what it's worth (nuttin'!)

    Also you must see Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at least once. Gilliam is my favorite director and this is my second favorite film of his. Johnny Depp is great in this.

    Ooh, and check out Time Bandits too...
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I loved 12 Monkeys, greatly enjoyed
    the visuals of Baron Munchausen and
    never, ever liked nor understood Brazil
    enough to get through it the first viewing.
     
  12. Eric Emma

    Eric Emma Supporting Actor

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    I love Baron Muchausen and it's definately a movie that you should buy since you'll find yourself watching it repeatly sincei t's like sort of a like a modern wizard of oz type tale except it's by Gilliam. Brazil on the other the other hand is the type of movie you watch once because it's long and somewhat boring but the visuals and the story are quite amazing. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is nessasary viewing but again I wouldn't buy it since in my opinion it fails as a movie but it's Gilliam and the movie is sight to see.
     
  13. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

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    'Brazil' doesn't mean anything to me, but then again, none of Gilliam's films do. He's a fantasist who's vision is so loud, so pushy, that he leaves nothing to the imagination. I severely miss the concept of "subtlety" in his movies. Everything is always over the top. We're not allowed to miss anything. It's fatiquing! A classic he has yet to make.



    Alex
     
  14. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Munchausen is severely underrated, and is much more coherent than Brazil. If I remember, it's even reasonably linear. Brazil though, as you may have guessed, is a real love/hate film. I really enjoyed it, but it takes a little more effort than almost all of his other films. A rental (if you can find it) is probably a good option, but if you even remotely enjoy the film, the 3 disc Criterion release is definitely recommended (although I still haven't watched the "Love Conquers all" version).

    Be forewarned though-the Criterion disc is non-anamorphic.
     
  15. Vincent-P

    Vincent-P Second Unit

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    I can't believe all this dislike for Brazil. IMHO, it's Gilliam's 2nd best film (after 12 Monkeys) and still one of the best films of all time. I didn't see any problems with it's coherence. It's basically a more satirical take on "1984."
     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I don't get the bagging on Brazil either. It could be the love/hate people have with Gilliam and the way he makes films. Personally, I love Gilliam and most of his films, and think that Brazil is a classic.

    Munchausen is a pretty good film. Pretty light and a good movie for everyone.

    Jason
     
  17. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I wonder if some of those who dislike Brazil have only seen the shortened "Love Conquers All" cut.

    On the other hand, while it is brilliant, it won't appeal to everyone, just because it is so surreal.
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Brazil is one of my favorite movies, but it's not for everyone.

    I've only seen it in its director's cut version, besides a few glances at the love conquers all version. To be honest, anyone who saw the LCA version would wish it had been on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
     
  19. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Anytime you get a movie that is so beyond the norm you're likely to get polarized opinions. Thanks everyone for your insight. I'll try and track them down to rent but I'm guessing it will be difficult. Worst case I could buy and sell and call any losses my rental fee. [​IMG] I've seen Fisher and Vegas and was only so-so with both. Although the acting was brilliant across the board.
     
  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I love Brazil, I've seen it dozens of times over the years, it's one of the few films I can happily watch twice in one evening. Permanently placed in my all time top 20.
     

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