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12 Monkeys cover

Blu-ray Reviews: 12 Monkeys

Not previously published
Last updated 28 March 2010

12 Monkeys
1995 - Universal Pictures (Australasia) Pty Ltd
Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Joseph Melito, Bruce Willis, Jon Seda, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Nell Johnson, Frederick Strother, Frank Gorshin, David Morse, Christopher Plummer and Christopher Meloni

Movie: 5 Picture: 4.0 Sound: 4.0 Extras: 3.5

No review as yet.

Running time: 130 minutes
Picture: 1.84:1 (1.73:1 during opening credits), 1080p24, VC1 @ 28.66Mbps
Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 24/48 3/2.1 @ 4192kbps (Core: DTS 24/48, 3/2.1 @ 1509kbps); Spanish, French, Italian, Spanish: DTS 24/48, 3/2.1 @ 768kbps; Commentary: Dolby Digital 2/0.0 @ 640kbps
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired, Spanish, French
Extras: BD-Live (General Universal); My Scenes bookmarks; Slideshow gallery: '12 Monkeys Archives' (237 stills, 1080p24, MPEG2, no audio); Documentary: 'The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys' (4:3, 480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 88 mins); Trailer (4:3, 480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 2 mins)
Restrictions: Rated M (Australian rating); Region Free

The following video bitrate graph was generated by BDInfo 0.5.3:

12 Monkeys video bitrate graph

Comparison: Blu-ray vs PAL DVD

Here are some comparisons between the Australian PAL DVD and the Australia Blu-ray version of this movie. The Blu-ray was supplied to me by Universal Pictures (Australasia) Pty Ltd. The PAL DVD was purchased by me some years ago.

At the top of each is the full frame (suitably shrunk down) used in the comparison, with a 250 pixel wide detail from the frame underneath. The left side is from the PAL DVD. The image was captured digitally from the disc, scaled up from its native 720 by 576 pixel resolution to 1,024 by 576 (to present in the correct aspect ratio) by the application. I then scaled it, in order for it to be comparable to the Blu-ray version, to 1,920 by 1,080 pixels.

The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray. This has not been scaled at all. Different applications were used to capture the two frames, so some caution should be exercised in judging colour and brightness.

For visitors from NTSC lands, generally the PAL DVD is just a touch sharper than the NTSC DVD.

There is significant differences between the framing of the two versions in different parts of the movie, with obvious size difference results in these comparisons, such as here:

Comparison 1

Comparison 2

12 Monkeys may not be the sharpest Blu-ray on the block, but even so, try reading the text on the truck in the DVD version:

Comparison 3

Brad Pitt excelled in his early career as a lunatic:

Comparison 4

Don't look only at the much clearer text on the Blu-ray version; check out the texture of the tunic as well:

Comparison 5

Comparison 6

© 2002-2010, Stephen Dawson