The Brothers Grimm [DVD]
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Terry Gilliam's adventure starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. Will (Damon) and Jake (Ledger) Grimm dazzle small towns with their imaginative folklore and elaborate illusions, but when the brothers journey into a real enchanted forest to help a village rid itself of an evil witch, they encounter many of the fantastic characters and thrilling situations found in their beloved fairy tales.
Fairy tales come vividly to life in The Brothers Grimm, a long-delayed fantasy/horror comedy that greatly benefits from the ingenuity of director Terry Gilliam. In lesser hands, the ambitious screenplay by prolific horror specialist Ehren Kruger (who wrote the American versions of The Ring and The Ring 2) might have turned into an erratic monster mash like Van Helsing. But Gilliam's maverick sensibility makes the film more closely comparable to Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow and Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves, with the added benefit of impressive CGI effects and lavish (though cost-efficient) production design, making the most of a challenging $75 million budget.
Kruger's clever conceit is to turn "folklore collectors" Wilhem and Jacob Grimm (Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, respectively) into 19th-century con artists who perform bogus exorcisms of "evil enchantments" while travelling from village to village in French-occupied Germany. The two soon find themselves ensnared in a genuinely supernatural crisis involving the curse of the Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci) and such fantastical marvels as the Big Bad Wolf, the Gingerbread Man, and a host of other truly enchanted (and not altogether friendly) flora and fauna.
It's kind of a mess, switching from over-the-top humour (mostly from Peter Stormare as a manic villain) to serious fantasy involving the beautiful Angelika (Lena Headey), who proves to be the Grimm Brothers' most reliable ally. And like many of Gilliam's films, Grimm suffered from production delays (during which Gilliam filmed Tideland), distributor fallout, and several changes in its theatrical release date, but none of these issues prevent the film from being a welcomed addition to Gilliam's remarkable list of credits.--Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a fantastical comedy, or a comical fantasy, but with dark overtones featuring toad-licking, wolves, ravens, and assorted creepy-crawlies. It does have a happy ending, though, which was disconcerting for Gilliam since he doesn't usually do happy endings. Indeed, it was a surprise to learn that he was asked to direct this film rather than he coming up with the idea for it himself, given that the subject-matter is classic Gilliam territory.
Filmed in the Czech Republic, there are numerous references to tales of Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, the Gingerbread Man and Rapunzel. But the core of the story involves ..., well that would be giving the game away. It sometimes feels like a poor cousin of `Lord of the Rings'. The script, written by Ehren Kruger, is perhaps unnecessarily complicated and overly contrived. The film itself suffers from some poor ADR (especially Peter Stormare and even Jonathan Pryce), and I'm not sure that the cockney accent of our two heroes works either; as Gilliam says, we have here an American and an Australian playing Germans with English accents. He doesn't mention also the Swede playing an Italian and a Welshman playing a Frenchman.
There is a good commentary supplied by Terry Gilliam.Read more ›
Now before I go on, let us remember that this is The Brothers Grimm, a tale that encompasses as many fairy tale references as it can. Fairy tale is the key here. If you're sat there watching it and you think "but that doesn't make sense", well neither do moving trees, feeling a pea under a pile of mattresses, or a walking, talking ginger-bread man.
Quick summary; Two brothers, one of logical thinking, one of fantasy thinking, con villages out of money by pretending to vanquish witches and monsters. After one successful con, they are dragged to the authoritative figure of the French invasion who sends them after the people responsible for the disappearance of young girls in a secluded village. It isn't long before the brothers find that this is a real curse.
To be honest, that's pretty much it, so what people are finding so messy and confusing I have no idea.
Acting is pretty decent. I've certainly seen a lot worse. Okay, so their accents may not be 100% perfect, but this is a light-hearted fantasy, why should they be? The special effects are pretty decent too. The characterisation was good, I really felt for the two brothers, especially Jacob. Script was almost faultless. Agreed, it could've been better, but that doesn't mean it has any faults.
A recurring theme - this film is not perfect by any means. The ending is awfully cliché, but it's a fairy tale, why shouldn't it be?Read more ›
It's different and I liked it and it was hard to predict where it was going! Which was good. It features the abduction of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood among others, a Woodsman turned Werewolf, a Sleeping Once was Beauty and a distracted, disturbed damsel with "issues". There is a gruesome take on the Gingerbread man that is completely unexpected and creepy!! The film has elements of the Princess Bride, Shrek, Snow White and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but is a modern film, set in mediaeval times with humour interjected throughout.
The forest, which is definitely alive, centres around a high tower where, what used to be, a beautiful raven haired princess is determined to regain her youth and life force through manipulative means. A mixture of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, with the Mirror revealing both reality and illusion. It weaves elements of Grimm's fairytales into one and is a dark, enchanted tapestry.
The Wolf was very well done, suitably supernatural and not the type of creature you'd want to run into in a forest, but this film is definitely not on a league with A Company of Wolves. It was horror in a shrek rather than a hammer way! Definitely room for improvements, but enjoyable. If you like the myth and legend of fairy tales, the supernatural, horror, fantasy and comedy, you should enjoy this. Very different and Definitely entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great movie, in terms of plot and acting. Well worth watching if you haven't. It's genre is fantasy - it incorporates fairy tale and I'm pleased to see a strong female... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TonkLover