Adventures Of Baron Munchausen BRAY Cover Art
SRP $28.95 1.85:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SONY
 

Terry Gilliam has arguably done some fine work(12 Monkeys), but many more that are just too convoluted for their own good(FISHER KING, TIDELAND). "THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN" falls somewhere in between. While it has epic aspirations, this overly-long film follows the mis-adventures of the 18th century character, as he travels in a hot air balloon to the moon(?) beneath the earth, amidst sea monsters and more. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no attempt at any sense of realism in the film, and it works to the film's detriment. Everything just feels absurd from beginning to end. That said, Uma Thurman has never looked as beautiful as she does in her too brief appearance. Unfortunately, Robin Williams proves that even in a brief appearance, (here as "King of the Moon") he can be extremely annoying.

SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release.  Director Gilliam has given the film a bizarre storybook look design, and the vibrant colors compliment this theme throughout, without ever succumbing to over-saturation. Detail is excellent, and there are numerous scenes that look simply dazzling, especially compared to the newly remastered dvd release. However, there is excessive grain throughout and many dark scenes lack the depth found on other superior SONY blu-ray releases.  While it's often a fine looking transfer, most of the imagery falls flat.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. The mix is severely limited by its age. While surrounds are more active than on the laserdisc and dvd counterpart, there are no apparent "discrete" effects and dynamic range is more limited than on many of Sony's superior blu-ray releases.  Dialogue is perfectly intelligible throughout and the wonderful score is perfectly complimented here, offering the best utilization of the TrueHD in the mix.

Due to this blu-ray marking the 20th Anniversary of the film's original release, SONY has loaded it with extras!  A commentary with Gilliam and the co-writer is included(generally insightful, but generally dry).  A 3-part documentary has its share of entertaining and dull parts. There are deleted scenes and storyboard sequences, that may appeal to die-hard fans of the film, although this reviewer found them disappointing.  The best extra is the blu-ray exclusive: "MARVELOUS WORLD OF MUNCHAUSEN" a pop-up trivia feature that is more entertaining than the film itself, when enabled.