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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, but this is Gilliam at his best.
This is an adaptation of Mitch Cullin's Tideland, a category defying film that is at turns poetic, disgusting, absurd, and darkly funny (think the languid pacing of Spirit of the Beehive, the fever dream of Alice in Wonderland, the wry insanity Psycho, and a large dose of Terence Malik gone insane).

In many ways, this is the purest Gilliam film since Brazil (a...
Published on 29 Jan 2007 by Charles Wolf

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In-toxins and playtime
I am unsure what to make of this film and/or Terry Gilliam as a whole. I think he is an amazing writer/director in every aspect: from comedy in the Monty Python and Brazil, to his more unusual subjects in Fear and Loathing, The Fisher King, and this, Tideland. He always emphasises the bests aspects of the story and the characters to make them believable and expressive, no...
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by words with wonder


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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, but this is Gilliam at his best., 29 Jan 2007
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
This is an adaptation of Mitch Cullin's Tideland, a category defying film that is at turns poetic, disgusting, absurd, and darkly funny (think the languid pacing of Spirit of the Beehive, the fever dream of Alice in Wonderland, the wry insanity Psycho, and a large dose of Terence Malik gone insane).

In many ways, this is the purest Gilliam film since Brazil (a film that also borrowed liberally from other sources while maintaining its own originality), and hearkens back to the days when auteurs were not only allowed to follow their wildest muse but were expected to do so. And that, too, presents what will no doubt be Tideland's greatest failing, as well as its highest achievement. Cinema has become so cynical in the last twenty years, so narrow in scope and so entertainment driven, that anything which requires viewers to experience a motion picture on its own terms is usually greeted with scorn.

These would be very tough times, indeed, for the likes of a young Fellini, Kubrick, and Lynch. That's not to say Tideland is a perfectly misunderstood creation, although it should be pointed out that those who are screaming foul about this film being pointless, self indulgent, and too weird are likely the very same people who ridiculed Grimm for being unoriginal, mainstream, and plain. Yes, there were walkouts at its screenings, gasps of shock, even angry grumbling. There were also laughs, applause, and continued debates concerning what the film was really about (how often does that occur these days after a screening?).

In the end, Tideland will likely please a select group who prefer to experience cinema rather than opposing it with their own expectations (there were those who were still talking about it two days following its premiere, even when they hated it). But for those who are anxiously wanting Time Bandits 2 or desire some degree of Pythonesque humor, Tideland will disturb, bore, and profoundly bother to the point of contempt. Nevertheless, it is a very unique and, at times, incredible film, infused with at least two amazing performances, beautiful photography, and one of the most enigmatic endings I've seen in ages.

Hate it or love it, few will be able to deny the lingering, ineffable vibrations left by this film, or that it stands as further proof that its director has stayed true to himself. Of course, prepare for the yin/yang laments to come in spades: Grimm would have been a better film had Gilliam been left to his own devices; Tideland would have been a better film had Gilliam not been left to his own devices. Poor Terry Gilliam; apparently he can do no right even when he does.

Me? I loved every minute of it and I am putting this beside Fear and Loathing in the cult section.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depends what you expect!, 19 Jun 2007
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
I feel compelled to review this if only to counter all the negativity here and up the average of the star rating! This is Gilliam - you can't expect something ordinary so don't complain you don't get plots and happy endings! This is a whimsical, beautifully shot and superbly acted, sinister but strangly charming sort of day(or few days)-in-the-life of a little girl and the part fantasy world she imagines or creates in order to cope/enjoy/better experience - whatever - the 'real' one. Don't expect anything conventional or even profound - it's an Alice in Wonderland story; not the quirky Disney ones though, rather the frequently weird and constantly intriguing Lewis Carrol novels. If you like them you may well enjoy this.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but not for everyone, 31 Jan 2007
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD has an introduction from Terry Gilliam at the beginning of the film, in it he says "I've got a confession to make, a lot of you aren't going to like this film." It's sad, but it's true, it's true because there are some very controversial scenes in the film, it's sad because a lot people won't be able to look past that, and see what a brilliant film this really is. No, these scenes don't have to be in the film, but maybe Gilliam's making a point about how we see the world; "If it's disturbing it's because it's innocent." Tideland is the story of a little girl named Jeliza- Rose who travels to a small house in the country with her father, the film shows how she deals with her difficult life with imagination, the film's dark and disturbing, but ultimately optimistic.

There's a lot for Gilliam fans here, the camera angles, the odd fantasy elements and the strange dark humour.

This film could have been terrible if it hadn't been done properly, but the film stays interesting and gripping because of the connection Gilliam gives us to Jeliza-Rose.

I'm not here to judge, and if people don't like this film they're entitled to, but all I'm saying is give it a chance, because a fair few of you, like me, are going to love it for the beautiful film it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The young star is worth the watch., 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: Tideland [DVD] (DVD)
Comic, compelling, creepy. The young star is just astonishing and if everything else were terrible, she would make it worth watching. Luckily, everything else is not terrible, just very unsettling. Drug overdoses, retardation, child sexual abuse, and hints at complete insanity are present here but so are dark humor and a great acting job by Ferland. I'm guessing this will be more appreciated in the future. Just don't expect "12 Monkeys" or "The Fisher King."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful dark and innocent, 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
terry gilliam demonstrates his sensitivity and wonder in this film. an adaptation of a book inspired by art, dreams and childhood vision, this film is hard to digest at parts but worth the discomfort.

in order to fully embrace the point of this film you should lose yourself to the child's perspective, it is hard not to read into all the disturbing suggestive content but as a child of 9 you would not see things the way we do now. the point of the film will be lost the more you cling to an adult view.

the main character jeliza-rose played by jodelle ferland (the best performance ive ever seen in any film) is a young girl in an extreemly adult world. hyper sureal and twisted, tideland takes you into her wonderland.

this film contains drug use, sexual content and morbidly disturbed behaviour which all involves this 9 year old girl, but in her world she doesnt see the danger and the real hiddeousness of the people she encounters; she just wants to make friends.

this is so beautiful, but not particularly for the faint hearted and some scenes may ofend.

i was not expecting anything like this - more like tim burton's BIG FISH - believe me it is nothing like that. but to gilliam's credit, it delivers a grim tale with sensitive, deep, innocent humour and truth.

this is a very psychological and emotional story, that falls within many genres: fantasy, horror, thriller, black comedy...

beautifully shot, scripted and performed it is one of the most charming but heartbreaking films. an intelligent portrayal of a lonely children's imagination - one of the best of its kind.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tide coming in, 19 Mar 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Terry Gilliam has always made astoundingly weird movies, from his little Monty Python cartoons to the classic "Brazil." Nobody knows how to combine childlike wonder with creepy darkness.

So it doesn't exactly startle that he's tackled Mitch Cullin's southern gothic novel, and turned it into an eerie sort of "Brazil-Meets-Alice-In-Wonderland." It lacks much of a cohesive plot, but Gilliam can still make a creepy, exquisite storyline that takes place half in the weirdness of this world, half in a little girl's head.

When her crazed mother ODs and dies, Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland) and her washed-up dad Noah (Jeff Bridges) move to a decrepit Texas farm. But like most junkies, Noah soon dies as well. Jeliza-Rose seems to go into denial, letting her father's body sit in the house as she explores the rippling grass -- like a sea -- around her house, spinning a series of dreamlike fantasies.

She's accompanied by four doll's heads and a variety of fantastical visions, all to help her cope with her loneliness. But then she befriends the child-man Dickens (Brendan Fletcher) and his eccentric sister Dell (Janet McTeer). A darker side starts to creep into Jeliza-Rose's world, as Dickens' vendetta against the Monster Shark leads to disaster.

Terry Gilliam has basically made a career out of being weird, and all the movies he's made reflect that. Sometimes his movies are absolutely brilliant ("Brazil"), and sometimes it's just average ("Brothers Grimm"). It's too soon to judge how "Tideland" will be remembered, but I'm thinking that it will be remembered as one of Gilliam's most moving films.

The plot is pretty simple -- incomprehensible to those expecting a "normal" story -- but it sort of drifts off after Noah's demise. It would have been nice to have a bit more complexity there. But Gilliam does keep it afloat by relying mostly on Jeliza-Rose's imagination to keep the story going, sort of like Alice in Wonderland did.

Gilliam has always been great at surreal stuff, and he has all sorts here -- talking squirrels, the talking doll-heads, a house sinking into the earth, and a guy who prowls around the prairie in SCUBA gear. Even the landscape -- golden seas of grass, gnarled trees -- has a weird, unearthly look.

But for all this whimsy, Gilliam keeps his eye on the dark side of things -- Jeliza-Rose is trying to escape the horrors of her reality, through a sort of controlled madness. Even when she returns to reality, she won't be able to escape the death and sorrow -- so maybe a little madness is necessary to keep sane.

Jodelle Ferland deserves a special shout-out, especially since she's the center of the entire movie. Her Jeliza-Rose is a wonderful kid -- precocious, intelligent, creative and surprisingly innocent considering that we see her prepping heroin for her dad. But she's still a child, with all of a child's vulnerabilities and fears, and Ferland makes us feel that as well.

"Tideland" is not a fun movie -- it's disturbing, macabre, and very funny, with some charmingly whimsical visuals. Hate it, love it, but nobody will be on the fence about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tideland, 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
Fantastic movie, what more is there to say? Jeff Bridges best performance , all be it a bit brief! Amen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Through the eyes of a child ..., 18 Aug 2011
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
A much better film than most reviewers would have you believe. There is horror and unpleasantness in abundance - yes - but focus on Terry Gilliam's own comment that this is a world viewed through a child's eyes - allow yourself to see through those eyes and all will become much clearer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In-toxins and playtime, 29 Jun 2010
This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
I am unsure what to make of this film and/or Terry Gilliam as a whole. I think he is an amazing writer/director in every aspect: from comedy in the Monty Python and Brazil, to his more unusual subjects in Fear and Loathing, The Fisher King, and this, Tideland. He always emphasises the bests aspects of the story and the characters to make them believable and expressive, no matter how strange both of them are. Though, I feel a lot like a bystander rather than actually been involved with what is happening. I find it difficult to relate or get emotionally entwined to the characters; although I believe in them I really do not care what happens to them. The subjects of drugs and hardship is used heavily in his films; I am unsure whether this uncertainty of mine is an intentional act from Terry Gilliam, to make a point of just how little people associate with bizarre subjects, or, I am not able to relate to the "beauty" of the bizarre and tainted because I am more normal than I think. Former or the latter, he makes it really difficult for me to be bothered past noticing and observing to just what happens in his films. Jeliza-Rose was starving in the film and the story just continued with "playtime" all the time!
Saying all of that. I really do enjoy this film; as brilliant entertainment and a captivating story that keeps you spiritually involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but watchable - not for family viewing, 22 April 2010
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This review is from: Tideland [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
I like Gilliam films. This is a strange one. Not as bad as the very negative reviews would have led me to believe.
I watched it in the afternoon. I think I might have had trouble sleeping had I watched it at night.
Felt slightly disturbed that the lead character is a 9 year old girl, played by a 9 year old girl.
I would feel quite bad if I was her parent and had allowed her to be in this film as the subject matter is not something you'd want a 9 year old thinking about; drugs, child abuse, paedophilia, mental illness. Don't expect to be cheerful during or afterward.

The first 15 mins are really quite disturbing. It takes a while to realise that Jeff Bridges is dead in the chair.
Still he gets embalmed and becomes part of a very weird family life.

As someone else says its more like Brazil than anything else, but without any real humour.
I'm not sure I'll want to watch it again.
I am impressed by the sets, lighting and staging.
The whole cast succeeds in being very convincingly mad.

However how it got a 15 certificate is beyond me.
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Tideland [2006] [DVD]
Tideland [2006] [DVD] by Terry Gilliam (DVD - 2007)
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