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.