12 Monkeys 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 261, May/June 2022

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Arrow Video
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Violence and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Terry Gilliam
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"12 Monkeys" is based on the film "La Jetee," where between the past and the future lies the mystery of the Twelve Monkeys. The year is 2035 and humankind subsists under the Earth's surface in a desolate netherworld following an airborne viral holocaust. Desperately, scientists time shuttle convict James Cole (Bruce Willis) to the past in hopes of discovering a means of saving the future. When Cole arrives in 1996, his tale of global annihilation deems him mad and he is placed in an asylum where he meets Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the delusional son of a renowned scientist. Cole is treated by Dr. Kathryn Railly (Stowe), a psychiatrist who comes to believe him. Their only clue to the mystery of the virus is a series of puzzling symbols from a group known only as the Army Of The Twelve Monkeys. (Suzanne Hodges)

Special features include commentary with Director Terry Gilliam and Producer Charles Roven, Louis Pepe's original documentary "The Hamster Factor And Other Tales Of Twelve Monkeys" (HD 87:34), The Film Exchange interview with Gilliam and critic Jonathan Romney (HD 23:51), Apprecialtion by Ian Chrislle, author "Gilliam on Gillian" (HD 16:10) the theatrical trailer, archives and an illustrate collector's booklet.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on Eastman film stock using the Moviecam Compact camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The film was restored by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original 35 mm camera negative at Silver Salt Restoration in London and overseen and approved by Director Terry Gilliam. The stereo and 5.1 mixes were remastered by NBC Universal. This is an effectively stylized picture that uses diffusion filters, which creates a perception of softness. The imaginative imagery shifts between the past and present as Bruce Willis, the hope of the future, returns to the past to trace down the source of the virus that killed billions of people and forced survivors to live below the surface. Color fidelity is excellent with natural hues and saturation. Flesh tones are perfectly natural. HDR contrast is wide with excellent natural black and shadow delineation levels. White levels are at time stylized but generally natural. Resolution varies from revealing good detail to stylized softness. Still the stylization delivers excellent realism and dimensionality. This is definitely the best 12 Monkeys has ever looked. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Mastre Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack features a terrific music score with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds. Sound effects sound dynamic and are directionalized in the surrounds. Bass extension is deep, but not overpowering, Atmospherics are realistic. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with generally good spatial integration. This is an effectively creative soundtrack with a good holosonic® presence. The LPCM 2.0 stereo is far less engaging. (Gary Reber)