Never has a film made the realization more clear that there is indeed a ‘Key’ in ‘Monkey’ as Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys did. The psychological, time travel, mind fuck is Gilliam at the top of his game and is simultaneously one of his most mainstream accepted films. The folks over at Arrow have gone back in time on this release, to give us a best of special features from previous releases of the film that makes this the ultimate Twelve Monkeys must have.
The film follows James Cole, (Bruce Willis) an ‘observer’ who lives underground with other remnants of mankind. Cole spends his time in the post apocalyptic world trying to gather clues on the earths surface to point out what caused a deadly outbreak. Eventually, he is tasked with going back in time in order to find the source of a virus that all but wiped out humanity. The path puts him face to face with his own sanity, as well as a group of radicals known as the Twelve Monkeys, who may be responsible for humanities demise.
Over the years, the film has seen several releases onto their respective formats including Laserdisc, VHS and DVD. Each release having a gem of their own unique special features.
The Arrow disc compiles all those special features in one place and gives us a sort of winding, technical glimpse into Gilliam’s directorial mind and reflective process over the years.
If you are an aspiring filmmaker this disc is absolutely for you. It digs deep into the sausage making side of the process, and gives you a specific look at the joys and frustrations of putting what is in your head up on the big screen from a deeply visual standpoint.
The full-length doc, The Hamster Factory and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys is seriously great all on its and comes from the same team as the equally amazing deep dive doc, Lost in La Mancha.
A list of features includes:
- Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Terry Gilliam
- Optional DTS 5.1 Master Audio and 2.0 stereo soundtracks
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Audio commentary by Terry Gilliam and producer Charles Roven
- The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, feature-length making-of documentary by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha)
- The Film Exchange with Terry Gilliam, a 1996 interview with Gilliam and critic Jonathan Romney, recorded at the London Film Festival
- Brand-new appreciation by Ian Christie, author of Gilliam on Gilliam
- The Twelve Monkeys Archives
- Theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
Twelve Monkeys is out now over here.