Elephant's spoiler free Brothers Grimm review

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  • Elephant's spoiler free Brothers Grimm review

    Ah...the return of Terry Gilliam. So you're probably wondering if this thing is any good?

    Well, I'm in the middle of the road on this one, although I'd swerve off to the positive side more often than not. I think it's a wonderful premise with many wonderful possibilities. And it starts off well. There's something charming about the Grimms' hoaxes, fighting off made-up evil as Matt Damon's Will earns money and cheap women and Heath Ledger's Jake earns ideas for his stories. And there is something to these brothers. They have a few personal demons and some unfinished business between them. There is enough development to grab you.

    There is also humor. Damon is underrated as a comedic actor. And so is Ledger. And it's Ledger who really steals the show. He shows much more range, vulernability, and quirkiness than Damon. But there are enough awkward moments and physical laughs to keep it moving. Well...until the last half. But more on that later. Also, look for Peter Stormare as an Italian. Always amusing.

    As the Brothers learn that these curses can indeed be real, we see a nice change in them. Their evolution to genuine fear is believable and worked for me. There are many elements driving them forward to fight this evil. It works on many levels. And the fairy tale elements are nice. We do see Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Ridding Hood, The Big Bad Wolf, and many more. Even if they're not called out as such. But the point is that Gilliam offers up a living fairy tale. It's very enchanting and draws us in. There's a great sense of reality mixed in as the Brothers are caught in the middle of the French-German conflict. This only helps make the fairy tales seem even more magical. You can also see Gilliam's revenge from the Don Quixote fiasco. There's a similar wide-eyed wonder in some of the characters, particularly in Ledger later on. The production design is exactly what you would expect for LaMancha. At least in my mind's eye. There's scope and grandeur to many of the shots and set pieces. Gilliam is sort of putting up a hoax of his own -- giving us a "fake" version of Don Quixote. But it's nothing that takes away from Grimm, it just sort of shows that Gilliam had more to say about the other project before his nuts were cut off by the studio.

    Speaking of nuts being cut off, there's a lot of talk about the Weinsteins' interference. Plus the fact that the movie comes out in August isn't the best sign. Honestly, none of that shows as a problem. The problem with the movie is that humor, the mystery, and the sense of curiosity diminish in the last 45 minutes in favor of procedural action. While it's still reasonably entertaining, the magic that kept you drawn in virtually vanishes. The resolution of the mystery is rather tame and simplistic. The final battle becomes a bit muddled and there's a bit too much "fairy tale" stuff thrown in for lack of better ways to resolve the story's hanging threads. Another problem is that we've seen living trees before on screen. We've seen werewolves and magic mirrors and all of that stuff before. And although Gilliam's presentation of these things avoids being hacky, it still has less impact. Also, prepare yourself for disappointment as one exciting sequence in the trailer didn't make the final cut. Apparently, Gilliam said it was too early in the movie for such an exciting scene -- he wouldn't be able to out-do himelf later.

    So overall, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give this one a 6. It's not a masterpiece. It has its flaws. But those flaws don't smash you over the head. They can usually be overlooked in favor of Gilliam's vision. And as August movie fare goes, it's a pleasant surprise.

    Ele...

  • #2
    Re: Elephant's spoiler free Brothers Grimm review

    How could your review be that long and not have spoilers?


    C-

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    • #3
      Re: Elephant's spoiler free Brothers Grimm review

      Poor reviews will not diminish my excitement.

      I can't see the forest for the trees on Gilliam.
      They cursed us forever, making us prefer dreams to lives.

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      • #4
        Re: Elephant's spoiler free Brothers Grimm review

        Anyone want to give a synopsis to the review? It's longer than the screenplay for the movie.

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