26 February 2009

Brothers Grimm

Movies like this are, in some sense, the raison d'etre of the blog. In that it's a movie that you've probably heard is total crap and had no plans to watch, and I'm here to tell you it's awesome, and tell you why. 

Ok, so admittedly, my expectations for this film were very, very low. To be totally honest, I've got somewhat mixed feelings towards Terry Gilliam. While I love Monty Python, I've never been that into Brazil, I really didn't like 12 Monkeys, and I thought Tideland was, well, really fucking weird. I respect him as an artist, but I don't necessarily enjoy watching his films. I had this sneaking suspicion though, that Brothers Grimm might be the movie for me. What I was hoping for on the basis of the terrible reviews was a kind of watered down, slightly more mainstream Terry Gilliam movie, one that would really piss off his fans, but would still be too weird for most average viewers. And I think that's basically what I got. 

Brothers Grimm is definitely a very strange movie. It's also dark, creepy, and occasionally quite disturbing, but nowhere near as extreme as his other works (seriously. Tideland. oh my god). It also stars lots of big name actors - Heath Ledger! Matt Damon! along with some other good talent like Jonathan Pryce, Peter Stormare (I love that guy!) and Monica Belluci. Aside from being nice and eerie though, it's hilariously funny. Also, the visuals are stunning - it's absolutely gorgeous. And the story, which has been roundly panned, is actually a lot of fun. Ok, so it's probably more exciting if you're kind of a lit dork and really appreciate clever intertwining of text and reality, but whatever, I got a kick out of it. It kind of reminded me of something Neil Gaiman would try to do and fail utterly at. And if you wanna really nerd out on it, it's kind of an interesting reflection on technology, magic, and the art of storytelling. There's this nice transition where the film moves from storytelling as the basis of artificial wonder to genuine wonder as the basis of storytelling, and then back again. It's kind of cool.

Anyways,  it's gloriously entertaining. Check it out.

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