[box cover]

12 Monkeys: Collector's Edition

Bruce Willis stars in this inventive, compelling sci-fi mystery as James Cole, a prisoner sent from the future to locate the origin of a deadly virus that killed five billion people in 1995. Directed in typical visionary style by Terry Gilliam, 12 Monkeys skillfully mixes suspense, comedy, social comment, and thoughtful science fiction that thankfully doesn't become over-occupied with geek minutiae and focuses instead on the desperation behind — and human consequences of — time travel. Willis gives his strongest performance as Cole, a confused brute rattled by time-lag and considered psychopathically delusional by the pre-virus society. The underrated Madeline Stowe proves a perfect companion as the empathetic psychiatrist who begins to believe Cole's story just as he becomes convinced he's insane. Credit must be given also to Chris Marker, whose plodding, pretentious 1962 short La Jetée served as inspiration for Janet and David Webb Peoples' excellent, profoundly moving screenplay. Also starring Brad Pitt, as a crazy animal-rights revolutionary, whose performance received an Academy Award nomination despite his schticky tics. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1. Commentary track by Gilliam and producer Chuck Roven, engaging 90-minute behind-the-scenes documentary The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, storyboards, production stills, and trailers. Keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

(Editor's note: 12 Monkeys is also available on DVD in a DTS Audio version without the extras.)



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