Skip or Double Dip is a monthly column that takes a closer look at those movies hitting shelves again to see if their new, updated editions are worth your attention.
Terry Gilliam's dystopian sci-fi fantasy classic follows Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce)—a low-level government employee who fantasizes about finding a woman who appears in his dreams while he works in a boring job and lives in a cramped apartment. A Universal edition of Brazil first debuted on Blu-ray in June 2011 followed by a Criterion Collection version on December 4, 2012.
What's New?: The bare-bones Universal Blu-ray had no extras and featured the 132-minute cut of the film. The new Criterion Collection release has both the full 142-minute cut of the film as well as the 94-minute "Love Conquers All" edit. In addition to being packaged with a 16-page booklet containing an essay about Brazil by film professor David Sterritt as well as an audio commentary by Gilliam recorded in 1996, there is a bonus disc with a "Production Notebook" (interviews, photos and short pieces), a 55-minute documentary, and an on-set documentary titled "What Is Brazil?"
Skip or Double Dip?: For the casual fan, the Universal edition is probably sufficient. But since Brazil is a cult favorite and its fans aren't usually of the casual variety, most will want to double dip for the full 142-minute Criterion Collection version with a side of meaty supplements.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy
Can you believe that there were three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies? All three movies about a quartet of radioactive reptiles turned crime fighters—1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and 1993's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time—made their Blu-ray debut in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collector's edition box set in 2009. This November, Warner Bros. released the three movies bundled together again as a triple-feature collection, and on December 18 the studio released the movies individually on Blu-ray for the first time.
What's New?: Although there are no bonus features of any note on the discs themselves, the 2009 collector's edition comes housed in what looks like a pizza box and is packaged with a "radical beanie" cap, a comic book, a "signed" sketch and eight oversized character cards. The more recent triple feature as well as the individual releases have no bonus features.
Skip or Double Dip?: The original collector's edition with all the swag now goes for a whopping $147.89 on Amazon (hurry… only one left!). The new triple feature will set you back only $9.99 on Amazon, whereas you can buy the individual release of the first movie for $4.99 (if you want one or more of the sequels, you might as well drop 10 bucks for the triple feature). If you already own the collector's edition that is now worth almost $150, you'd have to be oozing radioactive waste out of your ears to spend even another $10 to get the same three movies again with no additional bonus features or gimmicky collectibles.
Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection
This set contains five films by Francis Ford Coppola—Apocalypse Now, Apocalypse Now Redux, One from the Heart, Tetro and The Conversation—on Blu-ray. One from the Heart and The Conversation make their Blu-ray debuts in this collection and, currently, this is the only way to buy these two movies on Blu-ray.
What's New?: Aside from two Francis Ford Coppola Blu-ray debuts, there is nothing new in the way of extras. In fact, the fantastic three-disc Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition released in October 2010 has more supplemental material than what is included in this five-film collection.
Skip or Double Dip?: If you already own the Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition, you'll want to hang onto it even if you double dip on this set to get one or more of the other movies. However, the most attractive quality of this collection is value: you can get five Coppola films on Blu-ray for less than $29 on Amazon. Just buying new individual Blu-rays of Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure and Tetro on Amazon will set you back $42.64 ("the horror… the horror"), and this set tosses in two more movies for less than that.