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12 Monkeys Blu-ray

United States
Universal Studios | 1995 | 130 min | Rated R | Jul 28, 2009

12 Monkeys (Blu-ray)

Psychological thriller

Codec: VC-1 (28.66 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS 5.1
Italian: DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS 5.1

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Korean… (more)

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Region free

List price: $14.98, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.4 of 53.4
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.8 of 53.8
Based on 12 user reviews


12 Monkeys


12 Monkeys Blu-ray offers decent video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

The year is 2035, and humanity subsists in a desolate netherworld after the eradication of 99 percent of the Earth's population, a holocaust which left the planet's surface uninhabitable, and the destiny of humanity uncertain. A desperate group of scientists secure a reluctant volunteer, Cole, for a dangerous assignment: he will time travel to the year 1996, where they hope he can help unravel the mystery of the apocalypse and save the future.

For more about 12 Monkeys and the 12 Monkeys Blu-ray release, see 12 Monkeys Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: David Peoples, Janet Peoples
Starring: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer, David Morse, Jon Seda

» See full cast & crew

12 Monkeys Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.0 of 5

Let me get this out of the way right up front: 12 Monkeys will never be as sharp, as dazzling, or as striking as other notable catalog releases... regardless of how extensive a restoration it receives. Not only did Gilliam shoot the majority of his scenes with diffusion filters (to submerge the image in an unsettling, dreamlike haze), he relied on clashing light and shadow, jarring shifts in perspective and focus, and intermittent bursts of clarity and softness to keep his audience continually questioning Cole's sanity and motivations. As a result, some viewers will write off Universal's faithful 1080p/VC-1 transfer as an underwhelming fluke; a mismanaged presentation that doesn't boast the high definition swagger required to stand alongside the best catalog releases on the market. However, judging the Blu-ray edition's transfer too quickly would be a mistake. Roger Pratt's palette, drab and dreary as it often is, can be quite striking, particularly during Cole's high-contrast flashbacks. Likewise, black levels, while a bit dusty for their own good, are satisfying, leaving little doubt that Gilliam is more comfortable in the dark confines of his underground city than in the light. More importantly, detail -- as inconsistent and unpredictable as every object, edge, and texture is -- contributes to Gilliam's desired effect, and effectively enhances his increasingly surreal atmosphere.

That being said, there's still plenty of room for improvement in Universal's technical presentation. Contrast is a bit dull throughout the film, depth is wholly unconvincing, and print damage is a persistent (albeit minor) issue. Moreover, edge enhancement is a constant distraction, faint artifacting invades the proceedings on occasion, and some errant source noise manages to find its way into the intermittently grainy picture. In fact, rather than giving the film its just due, it appears as if the studio simply ported its problematic HD DVD transfer to a BD-50 disc, warts and all. Ultimately, while 12 Monkeys will never boast the snazziest catalog transfer on the block, a suitably fresh (yet faithful) overhaul would properly induct Gilliam's disquieting masterpiece into the 21st century.

12 Monkeys Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track improves matters, but not as much as I expected. LFE output has undergone the most dramatic makeover, finally matching Gilliam's bizarre imagery with legitimate weight and presence. From the first ear-splitting bah-duhm of the film's off-kilter score to the resonant roar of dreamscape gunfire, 12 Monkeys offers a series of powerful, oft-times thundering bass tones. Rear speaker activity is aggressive as well, shooting bursts of steam through underground tunnels, overwhelming a war-torn battlefield with sudden screams and shocking explosions, and packing the streets of Baltimore with the sort of pulpy, chaotic ambience Marylanders will appreciate. Moreover, directionality is precise and pans are fittingly abrupt, creating an immersive soundfield that draws the listener into Cole's ravaged world and tattered mind. Unfortunately, dialogue hasn't made an easy transition. While the majority of lines are clean and well-prioritized, a few key pieces of information are lost in the mix, overshadowed by other more bombastic elements in the soundscape. It certainly doesn't spoil the experience, but it is a frequent frustration that could have been eliminated with some further polish. Ah well, it's tough to complain. 12 Monkeys has, quite simply, never sounded better.

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12 Monkeys Blu-ray, News and Updates

12 Monkeys: Season One Blu-ray - February 26, 2015

The UK branch of Universal Studios has revealed that it plans to bring to Blu-ray 12 Monkeys: Season One. The three-disc set is scheduled to arrive on the market on May 25.

Extended Trailer for SyFy's 12 Monkeys - October 30, 2014

Syfy has released an extended trailer for its upcoming TV series 12 Monkeys, starring Aaron Stanford (Nikita), Amanda Schull (Pretty Little Liars), Noah Bean (Damages), and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe). The pilot for the show, which is set to premiere in January 2015, ...

First Look at Syfy's 12 Monkeys TV Series - July 16, 2014

Syfy has released the first official trailer for its upcoming TV series 12 Monkeys, starring Aaron Stanford (Nikita), Amanda Schull (Pretty Little Liars), Noah Bean (Damages), and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe). The pilot for the show, which is set to premiere in January ...

» Show more related news posts for 12 Monkeys Blu-ray

12 Monkeys Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

Topic Replies Last post
12 Monkeys July 28 (

Official Thread

115 Feb 08, 2015
12 Monkeys (German release) 42 Sep 27, 2007
12 Monkeys [Import] 8 Nov 20, 2008
12 Monkeys at BB 7 May 24, 2010
12 Monkeys video issue 7 Oct 29, 2009

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