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12 Monkeys


  • Arrow Video (4K-Blu-ray / Blu-ray)
  • Original version
Release: May 21, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the Blu-ray (2018) / 4K-Blu-ray (2022) by Arrow Video (released both in the US and UK) and the US Blu-ray by Universal

- One changed scene
- No time difference

12 Monkeys by Terry Gilliam has earned its cult status for quite some time and already in 2018 the British-American label Arrow Video presented a new 4K restoration. At the time, only a Blu-ray was release. Since 25th April 2022 the corresponding 4K-Blu-ray is available in the UK and US, marking the film's UHD premiere. But then fans noticed a wrong sequence of scenes. The audio is still correct, but a few shots have been swapped here. In the 40th minute, Bruce Willis' character is interrogated and the tracking shots and close-ups of the researchers questioning him are duplicated. A rather strange moment and perhaps not immediately noticeable: The whole scene with several tracking shots around Willis should naturally have a grueling atmosphere and doubled shots here virtually contribute to the confusion. Examing it closer reveals though that this was certainly not intended by Gilliam.

Many fans contacted Arrow Video and on May 09, 2022 the label released a short statement. They admitted that this was a mistake, and vowed to correct this error soon, i.e. a replacement program should follow shortly. So it's a pretty similar case to the Arrow's faulty 4K release of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. On 20th May 2022 the Henry replacement programme was already initiated, so hopefully it'll follow soon for 12 Monkeys as well.

Sadly, we have identified a fault on our 12 Monkeys UHD disc (FCD2191/AV380), where at approximately 41 minutes some footage is briefly repeated with no interruption to the soundtrack. This error was not spotted by the producers, the facility that carried out the work or the filmmaker who approved the restoration. The fault was traced to the initial 4K data when one of the scanned reels contained some overlap in content and this wasn't flagged in the initial conform.

We are continuing to review our workflow processes to prevent these issues from happening in the future. Please hold on to your copy and we will follow up with further information as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience, we look forward to resolving this for you soon.

Interesting was the reference to the "initial 4K data", which was already used for the in-house Arrow Blu-ray in 2018. And lo and behold: If you look back a bit to 2018 in international forums, you will find isolated posts in which people already pointed out this scene. However, it obviously didn't make as big a fuss back then as it does now with the UHD premiere.

Since it is not clear yet whether the older 2018 Blu-ray will be replaced as well and the alternate cut is thus already extensively in circulation worldwide, we have documented it in the present cut report. The Blu-rays released before 2018 in e.g. America by Universal and Germany by Concorde contain the correct sequence of shots in this scene.

Runtimes are arranged according to
Arrow Video 4K Blu-ray / Universal Blu-ray
The US Blu-ray has 1 sec of additional black screen to start.

40:52-41:13 (bzw. -41:25) / 40:53-41:14 (bzw. -41:26)

After the question "Did you waste it on drugs? Women?" the alternative segment begins. A total of 21 sec are arranged incorrectly here, of which 12 sec are simply duplicated.

In the original version, you just see a long tracking shot around James here.
The 4K restoration shows instead only the last 9 sec of it. Then the 12 sec, which actually can be seen after this shot, play out a first time: Reaction shots of the researchers, the "12 Monkeys" logo and another shot of Jeff. All of this is thus repeated twice in a row on Arrow Video.

No runtime difference

Arrow Video Blu-ray / 4K-Blu-rayUniversal Blu-ray

At least on the Blu-ray, there is still the MPAA rating card to see after the credits, which explains the slightly longer running time.

Slipcase and reverse cover of the UK 4K-Blu-ray by Arrow Video: