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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful morality play for the 21st century
I thought the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus was bloody wonderful, but it has many of Terry's interesting problems that he tends to build into his movies.

For a start it is perhaps too complex and rich. There is sometimes things going on in the background and indeed, the foreground which can be confusing and you always suspect that you've missed something. The...
Published on 12 May 2010 by Theo M. King

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mildly entertaining way to spend 2 hours
This film is no Dark Night, Tigerland or...sorry can't think of a decent Jude Law film! The cinematography is spectacular but the whole movie feels like a play and if I wanted to see a play I would have gone to a play. Ledger is the outstanding performer as you would expect and watching him show up his straight out of drama school English co-'stars' just makes you wish he...
Published on 1 Aug 2011 by Viva Barry Norman


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars farewell heath., 27 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
this film will always be known for being the last film that heath ledger made. it is also however the best film that terry gilliam has made in years. while heath ledger is good in it, and it is a good tribute to him, heath isn't the best one in the film. that would be either christopher plummer or tom waits.
visually superb, though very confusing to follow, you'll have to really concentrate here people! very well acted and well made, with johnny depp, colin farrell and jude law filling in for heath ledger in such a clever way that if you hadn't known better and hadn't known that heath ledger had died, you'd think it was what terry gilliam had intended all along. specacular to look at and great fun to watch, don't just watch this for heath ledger.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 1 Nov 2009
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Ms. Sj Phelps "sweetiepie1" (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
I will be honest this is not the type of film I would normally see, I saw it purely because it was Heath Ledger's last film, and the promise of Johnny Depp. I was quite unsure weather I would end up liking the film but I really did. Visually the film is stunning, really very impressive. The actor who plays Anton is the most talented of the enselmble (excluding those who play Tony) The producers were very lucky in that all the scenes containing Heath in the 'real world' were completed before his death. There was only one scene I think may have been adapted beacuse of his absence. My only complaint is that Johnny Depp's role was far too short. He was awesome! He mirrored Heath's portrail of Tony brilliantly. Much better than Jude Law and Colin Farrell who's scene's in the imaginarium were longer!!! However I may be biased here as I think Johnny Depp is the most talented film star of recent years and gorgeous!! So much fun to look at!!! Anyway all in all I thought the film was wonderful. I can understand why some people find it boring. You do need to have an apperciation for the weird and wonderful and also an appreciation for pure acting talent as it is that and the visual effects (rather than action and adrenaline)that make this film wonderful. This is not a brain dead Jason Statham action film it has character and story and actually requires the use of more than 4 brain cells!! Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Imagination, Small Budget, 7 Dec 2010
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Just after Heath Ledger's untimely death many people mistakenly believed that his Oscar winning performance as The Joker in `The Dark Knight' was to be his last. However, he had filmed half of the latest film by Terry Gilliam in the form of `The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'. As homage to the actor, Gilliam decided to complete the film and use three well known actors in the form of Law, Farrell and Depp to replace Ledger in key dream sequences. Is the film a worthy end to a talented actor's career? Unfortunately; not really.

The ideas behind `Dr P.' are pure Gilliam and hark back to the days of `Brazil' and `Baron Munchausen'. Dr P is a man who can allow people to step into his mind and he is in a timeless battle against the devil for people's souls. The dreamlike sequences allow Gilliam the freedom to use CGI to recreate similar sequences as seen in his Python animation work. However, rather than being the quaint hand drawn and cut out work of yore, it is actually pretty ugly and cheap CGI and has less impact than some of the work he did more than 30 years ago. As a filmmaker Gilliam has been sidelined and his budgets cannot match his imagination, in the case of `Dr P' this is almost enough to ruin the film. The BluRay does not aid the special effects as it enhances some of the best sequences, but also highlights the worst.

Despite some so-so visuals the ideas are still great, but they too must cope with an odd cast. Some performances are outstanding; Tom Waits as the devil and a surprisingly good turn from Verne Troyer. However, Lily Cole is beautiful to look at, but no actress and Andrew Garfield is a good actor, but a little strange here. The weird tone continues with Ledger himself with his Londoner cum Australian character who you never get to fully understand what his character's motives are. This is probably down to Gilliam having to edit around his lead actor not being there any more. In the end the film is a real mishmash of ideas that fail as often as succeed. As a fan of the director I still enjoyed the film, but realise that it is no masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Heath!, 13 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
i cannot imagine a better film to say goodbye to heath ledger to! It is magical, it is funny, it is dramatic, it is mysterious. The effects are simple mind boggling, the story is so quirky it doesn't matter if you dont get it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and flawed, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
Star reviews become pointless with films like this because theres so much thats great about it and so much that isnt.
The design, cast and ideas are all quite beautiful and this is the kind of fantasy film I love from gilliam. Its very 'time bandits' in some ways which I like. My issues with it are that after the first hour or so it goes into CGI land and while some of this is actually very nice visually (in a cartoon way) the film kind of looses its emotion in these sections. Theres a lot of barely explained weirdness going on which isnt a problem if the drama is there but for some reason it isnt. Its a film that promises so much in places but never delivers. I wasnt moved emotionally at the end which is a shame because it could have been a realy sweet and original film.
However Im still realy glad it exists and whats good about it makes it well worth a spin. As fantasy films go its certainly not tossed off standard issue product, its just a shame the script wasnt put ahead of the effects. the relationship between Tom waits(satan) and Plummer (the doctor) is quite charming and funny. cole was actually a good choice and ledger etc deliver decent performances. A valiant atteampt, but no cigar
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and brilliant., 13 May 2012
By 
C. Stocker (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
The film is perhaps a little clunky at the start but after the first 15 mins pass, the viewer is drawn in. Dealing with some rather deep philosophical issues regarding the good and bad choices we make, the lavish and inventive production delivers tenfold. The way in which the production team abd cast has dealt with the untimely departure of Heath Ledger before the end of filming is utterly brilliant and brings even more to this wonderful film. A must see and a must buy, especially given the low price. Buy and enjoy. Keep a playful and open mind and you will enjoy the film just as you will enjoy your life with the same mentality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, 24 Sep 2011
I really enjoyed this movie. It was a bit strange and really unpredictable. A bit like Alice in Wonderland meets Twilight Zone! It was great how the face of the leading man Tony kept changing! The highlight for me was seeing one of my all-time favorite actors again - Christopher Plummer. Even at around 80 years old, he is a terrific actor and a joy to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!, 5 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
This is probably the biggest and best fantasy film that has ever been made in England! It's sometimes hard to keep up with (well for me anyway) but it really pays off and is like no film I have ever seen before. Seriously, it's a must see!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never seen fantasy like that before, 20 Aug 2011
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" was directed by Terry Giliam (other works of his include "12 Monkeys"). This movie got quite a lot of attention not only because of the people involved, but mostly due to Heath Legder's death during the filming. That made the conception of the movie very much harder, but after a while Gilliam had the genius and creative idea of replacing some Ledger's scenes with other actors, bringing in Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.

The movie in itself is about a bet that Doctor Parnassus made with a strange being called Mr. Nick (don't worry, it is explained in the movie). After Parnassus won the bet, Mr. Nick granted him immortality and things went off smoothly. That is until they made another bet... and another and possibly even more bets.

In the present time of movie, the Doctor is travelling with his sixteen year old daughter, Valentina, and two aides (Anton and Percy), in a mismatched RV/stage performing miserable shows in the streets in order to win the bet. Only when they find a mysterious man hanging beneath a bridge and our ragtag actors harbor him, the story gets really complicated.

The most interesting parts of this movie were, obviously, when Parnassus was able to lure people into his mental experience, translating in settings filled with impossible and entertaining images. The trade of Heath Legder during the mental experiences was a real good move, because it added a lot more depth and sense to the imaginations of the "victims" (again, it will be explained during the movie). Literally, the best scenes were when we were seeing Ledger's character but with a different aspect.

If the story was just the ramblings of an old man, reality or simply part of someone else imaginarium (well, it must because someone had to write the story), it doesn't matter. The truth be said I enjoyed the movie and this confusion only made things better.

Recommend highly, even just to watch Ledger's last half-movie.

Till next time,
M.I.T.H. (ManInsideTheHelm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 23 Feb 2011
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] (DVD)
In `The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' we see the Doctor, who made a bet with the devil, fight to keep his daughter out of his clutches. Through a variety of bets the Doctor and devil interact and fight for the souls of viewers of the doctors travelling carnival show, within which the Doctor can guide their imaginations.

Despite being set in the present time this film has lots of fantasy elements and as we have come to expect from Terry Gilliam, some of these can be a touch bizarre or disquieting. Also some of these fantasy scenes are a touch `python-esque' as well, especially where there is a troop of dancing policemen in fish-net tights!!

Heath Ledger is very good in his role and his untimely death during filming is dealt with as well as can be in the circumstance and Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell all step in to fulfil the role he starts.

However good this film is, I also found it quite disjointed and the fantasy aspects don't sit well next to the present day scenes. For films where this is carried out to perfection see `The Fall' which blends the present day and fantasy scenes with mastery and skill. Also, sadly, due to Ledgers death his character never feels fully rounded and you never fully appreciate what drives him throughout the film. I think some of my ambivalence towards this film is that I never fully cared what happened to any of the characters, I happily watched them on screen, but wasn't bothered what happened to them one way or the other. Saying this Andrew Garfield played his role excellently and there is some good acting from all involved.

All in all this is a good film, but it feels as if something key to it's success is lacking. It passed the time well enough and I enjoyed it for the duration of the viewing, but it's not one I'll rush to watch again any time soon.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus  [DVD]
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [DVD] by Terry Gilliam (DVD - 2010)
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