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12 Monkeys Special Edition—Universal

Video: 4
Audio: 3
Extras: 2
Based on the short French film La Jetée, 12 Monkeys follows poor, hapless convict and time traveler Cole. He is tasked with preventing a plague that wiped out most of humanity. Time travel not being an exact sport, he is tossed around a bit, and everybody thinks he's insane. Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam directs one of the best science fiction movies of the 1990s. Bruce Willis plays poor Cole, while Brad Pitt is truly incredible as nutcase Jeffrey Goines.

The box cover promises an "all-new digitally remastered picture." Indeed, it has slightly better color, slightly more detail, and slightly less noise than the 1998 collector's edition. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture also has significant underscan in the first few chapters. This shows incompetence on someone's part, as this underscan wasn't in the previous release, and it disappears in the middle of a chapter. Lame. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix is about the same, with a good-sounding mix overall, but the dialogue is still too low.

The extras are also the same. There is commentary by Gilliam and producer Charles Roven and a making-of documentary. This is the worst example of rereleasing a DVD just to squeeze out a few more sales. The increase in picture quality isn't really worth buying the movie again. If you don't already own it, I guess this is the one to buy. That is, unless the previous version is really cheap.

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