Monday, January 18, 2010

The Doctor is in (trouble?)

Former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam has a new movie out. If that first sentence doesn't mean anything to you, then don't go. Even if you realize this is Heath Ledger's final film. Remember when you heard that Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Ferrell agreed to take roles because the movie wasn't finished when Heath died. That's not enough reason to go.

Now that's not saying Terry Gilliam has made a bad movie. Well, its not great.  But as always with Gilliam its interesting, even if it's just an interesting failure. Visually wild and weird like everything he does. I've spent a couple days marinating on this movie to figure out which side of good / bad it lands. The biggest problem with this movie are the characters. One of the best things in Gilliam films are unusual characters. This movie doesn't have that. I would almost believe this is someone trying to copy one of Gilliam's movie if I didn't know it was actually made by him.

There's a question about who should be / is the main character. Is it Tony? Is it Parnassus? Is it Lily / Scrumpy? Is it the Devil? No one knows. And no one really cares. They're paper thin. The movie is long but we don't really get to know anything about anyone. What we do learn about Tony is muddy at best and doesn't really let us choose a side (like him/ don't like him/ don't care). Should we care that Lily had her life path chosen for her? Does she really want to get away to another life? What's up with Parnassus? I don't even have the energy to talk about his scenes.

Originally, I felt there were more things to like than to not like. But now, I'd say this is best classified as "interesting failure". Its a no go for anyone other than Gilliam completists.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?
No way, Jose.

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?

Possibly if Dan LaRetes was over.


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