Saturday, September 2, 2006

Quick Review: Terry Gilliam's Best Movie!


Of course I haven't seen them all but between us we've seen a pretty fair representation of them. Basically, the Grimm brothers are tricksters trading upon old fairy tales to go from town to town "inventing" witches and trolls and then ridding the town of them. They are arrested and taken to a place where the authorities are convinced that other con artists are pulling the same stunt, except in this town ten girls have disappeared in the nearby, sinister woods. Suffice it to say that the place is cursed and an inventive mixture of common European fairy tales is shown in thoroughly creepy style in the process. The brothers must solve the curse or they will die, either through the curse itself or through execution as punishment by the authorities.

This reminded me strongly of Tim Burton's Legend of Sleepy Hollow except that we all felt it was much better. Gilliam, as always, takes risks. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't but I can always appreciate the effort being made. That is the element that makes this less than perfect movie a much better use of time than something like Nacho Libre for example.

That said, I really appreciated Matt Damon's and Heath Ledger's acting. They turned in solid performances in roles that were much different from their usual star turns. I especially came away with an appreciation of Ledger's abilities, when taken in conjunction with his role in Lords of Dogtown. In both cases, he was virtually unrecognizable (except for his voice) and turned in very good performances in less than attractive roles. He may be someone who we will be watching with appreciation in many years to come as he matures as an actor.

(HC rating: Good despite lack of flubber)

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