Here we go

Posted: August 9, 2009 in Threat Quality

The Tom Waits as the Devil movie that we’ve all been waiting for.  (See, Ghost Rider?  See how stupid you were to overlook quality details in order to make 40-year-old pop culture references?)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus–Heath Ledger’s last movie, in which is role is taken over by Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell.  I’m actually kind of excited about this; I feel like Terry Gilliam’s been off, lately, and I’m hoping that Doctor Parnassus may represent a return to form.  It is co-written by Charles McKeown, whose last collaborations with Gilliam gave us Brazil and The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen.  So:  OPTIMISM!

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Comments
  1. Hsiang says:

    Is anyone else reminded of The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, only more so? I’m seeing a constant stream of visually stunning set pieces and something about the power of imagination and the shmoopy wumbleness of the human spirit. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. Much more so than Burton’s Alice thing.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Well, golly.

    Tom Waits will get me to most any movie, and I’m genuinely curious how splitting the Ledger role between Farrell and Depp works out.

    But even if it’s bad, “Gilliam Bad” isn’t the same as “regular bad.” Gilliam Bad can be sucky, but still an interesting kind of sucky (I’m thinking of “Brothers Grimm” here).

  3. braak says:

    Hah. I was about to make fun of you for saying “Tom waits will get me to most any movie…” thinking that this meant you must have watched the crap out of Mystery Men.

    Then I looked him up on IMDB, and the guy’s been an actor in, like, thirty movies.

    Including Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Really?!?!?! WTF?

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    Oh, he was quite the Renfield. I think his insane histrionics were there to balance the twin wooden planks that were Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder.

  5. V.I.P. Referee says:

    But Holland, didn’t you appreciate Keanu Reeves’ work in Kenneth Branaugh’s “Much Ado About Nothing”? There was a particular scene where he was being oiled-up by a valet, before being dressed in tights. I don’t remember what he was saying during that scene, what murkier emotions he was trying to communicate or if he was even what we’d call, “acting”, but whatever it was he was doing, it was done very well. Actually, in all fairness to Keanu Reeves, he was very funny while mocking/lampooning himself in Chris Kattan’s recent “Bollywood Hero” series.

    “But even if it’s bad, ‘Gilliam Bad’ isn’t the same as ‘regular bad.’ Gilliam Bad can be sucky, but still an interesting kind of sucky (I’m thinking of ‘Brothers Grimm’ here).”

    That’s the best way of describing Gilliam’s weird talents; even the work of Gilliam’s that could be considered “awful” as a full composition, can be fascinating in its components. While a superior film should include well-baked plots, solid acting and balanced or inspired imagery, Gilliam’s stuff seems made specifically for an audience of technical production nerds; you can focus on one aspect of his filmaking at the exclusion of all else and be satisfied with that. You can watch his work in pieces–like having the privilege of reviewing it for technical and creative value through the director’s eyes–and not feel a total sense of time-loss, afterward. This doesn’t fly for everyone, of course, but I sense that few it does work for, feel pretty pleased with themselves (of course, I’m not including my self in that groups) for being able to appreciate it in such a way, so he’s protected himself with his methods (“No guys, that main party was for the squares—the real party, for all the cool people, begins after-hours!”). For example, the plot of “The Brothers Grimm” was hazy and didn’t quite communicate what his visuals were hoping to convey–but the entire thing was painted like a “Gustaf Tengrim” illustration, i.e., “Ooo—pretty…”

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