Oh my god! You actually can see Terry Gilliam on screen! And he has a perfect role of a man claiming to own a diamond mine which is in fact just a rock mine! But he`s not the main star of this film which he has directed. Michael Palin is. Gilliam`s old friend from the Monty Python days is Dennis Cooper who is a cooper`s apprentice looking for a job in a medieval town which is terrorised by the vicious jabberwocky from Lewis Carrols poem. What else matters is Dennises beloved Griselda who is fat and ugly and doesn`t care for him at all. What this film is - it`s a realistic take on the middle ages, where everyone starting with the king and ending with the beggars is dirty, filthy and stupid. The king himself is called Bruno the Questionable, his castle is a mess, he`s an even bigger mess, he enjoys knight competitions and lets his best men die for no particular reason. Due to a misunderstanding the kings daughter thinks that Dennis is a prince who`s come to rescue her, and after he accidentally kills the dragon, he marries the princess despite his heart belonging to the fat Griselda. This film is not a comedy, that`s one thing I can say about it, although it has its funny moments, and it has its dull moments - for example, there are quite manny pissing scenes in this film. But it is different from almost everything you`ve seen before and after.
Terry Gilliam of Monty Python directed this movie with John Cleese, Michael Palin and Sean Connery among members of the cast. The story goes in the same direction as the one of Labyrinth - it`s some sort of a fairy-tale about a young boy who joins a group of dwarves posessing a map of time-holes in the history which they use for commiting robberies. Napoleon, Mychenae, Robbin Hood, Titanic - that`s the sort of things they`re after while the Supreme Being and Evil are after them. Somehow the film didn`t work for me. If it was supposed to be a comedy (which it I guess was) it wasn`t very funny - at least not even close to what I could expect from Terry Gilliam. If it was supposed to be a story for children (which I guess it was) it wasn`t very much entertaining. Michael Palin and John Cleese are great as usually, Sean Connery has a boring role and he doesn`t deliver anything special. The ogre is quite good and some parts of the dialogue are also pretty strong. But overall - not better than Labyrinth, and I didn`t really like that movie in the first place.
Now this is a bit complicated. One can certainly feel George Orwell influences in this film but it is somewhat special. Not a comedy though, contrary to the information provided in IMDB. I don`t really know how to rate it or what to think about. It`s good I suppose. The burreacrats are good, so is the ending which I found to be stronger than in Citizen Kane but overall - I don`t know. Perhaps it would be a good idea to watch the film once again. Maybe not, I shall think about it some time.
Terry Gilliam certainly takes his time in directing films. In thirty years that he`s been in the business he has directed just 11 films, with two out of those being Monty Python films, while the two most recent films came out just last year. I am now actually pretty close to having seen all of his works - only "Tideland" (the latest film that hasn`t been actually released yet) and "Twelve monkeys" remain on my "to see" list, so I guess I can call myself pretty comprehensively educated in Terry Gilliam`s filmmaking. I had quite a lot of trouble getting this film in question, for it isn`t particulary popular and the first version of it I got was in Russian. Then I said to myself - who on earth would want to watch a Terry Gilliam film in some crappy translation? Not me, for sure. So I deleted it and completely forgot about this. But now, almost a year after my last unsuccessful attempt to watch it I managed to get this film once again, and this time in much better quality. Alas, I was hugely dissapointed when I found out that this version of the film was in fact... in French. Damn! Anyhow I decided to watch it even in French, for I doubted that I ever would find an English version. But some ten minutes into the film I thought to myself - why don`t I check whether the film doesn`t have a second audio track. And it did have a separate audio track in English indeed. And there was much rejoicing. So now I`ve seen "Baron Munchausen" in English. What is this film about? It`s about Munchausen, of course - the fool who tells his stories about strange adventures he has had. Now he`s old and wrinkled and his companions are just like him, but his heart is still young and still burning and he`s still capable of great deeds. And the world`s fastest man, Bernard, is played by Eric Idle. That`s positive. The film isn`t just funny, just like any Gilliam comedy it leaves you with questions and who cares that this is supposed to be a film for the entire family. In fact it`s quite similar to some other Gilliam`s works - most notably "Jabberwocky", "Time bandits" and "The Brothers Grimm". I can`t say that it`s the absolutely best film of his career, but it`s good enough for me.
Today is a rare occasion. I`m probably the most conservative person in the world - my feelings towards any kind of art artefact usually is tightly connected with my attitude towards the people behind it. If a book is written by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, a very high possibility exists for me to like it. If a film is starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger I`m not likely to become a fan of it. And I believe that everything that glitters under the name of Terry Gilliam is gold. Or at least I used to believe until yesterday. So I never fell for "Time Bandits" but I had my reasons for that - the film just had too many flaws for me to enjoy it more than anything. Maybe I didn`t find "Brazil" the best epic of all times, but it was very good after all. I even liked "The Brothers Grimm" despite this film being considered the worst Gilliam had ever made. But "The Fisher King" for me was just too senseless. Tim Robbins`s character was at least mildly memorable, but everything concerning the formerly great DJ who`s played by an actor who`s name I keep forgetting was just a bit too dull for my taste. I have to agree that some moments of this film show the genius of Gilliam still alive but most of the time it just doesn`t work for me. I probably could have given this film a higher rating in order to show that I`m an elitist and that I know a good film when I see one. Maybe I don`t but who cares.
Finally I have completed the task of watching every single film directed by Terry Gilliam and it was concluded with "12 monkeys" - one of his most famous Hollywood works. For this film Terry gathered quite an impressive cast featuring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. Bruce`s character James Cole is a convinct in the future where he is offered to return to the past (1996) in order to obtain some info about a deadly virus that will eliminate most of the human race. An underground group with the title "Army of the twelve monkeys" is blamed for that and Brad Pitt`s character who suffers from some kind of mental disease is it`s leader. Yet little do the people of the future know that Brad isn`t that dangerous as he may seem. The film is classified as Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller on the IMDB and I guess I can agree with that. Just like any other film Gilliam has made this one isn`t quite realistic and you do have your questions about everything that goes on. And what`s weird about it is the twist at the end - for in its essence it isn`t that much of a twist, it`s just a conclusion to a logical chain of action, and that`s it. A very good film by the way, certainly worth watching.
Jaunākā Terija Giljema filma "Tideland" nebūtu nosaucama par jebkāda veida panākumu - kritiķi par to nepavisam nav sajūsmā (Rottentomatoes vērtējums 29%), skatītāji arī gluži par meistardarbu to nesauc (6.6 no IMDb). Lai raksturotu šīs filmas izraisīto reakciju, sniegšu pāris citātus:
This was one of the few films I was really waiting for. Terry Gilliam hadn`t done a film for quite a while and I was certainly eager to find out what he`s managed to come up with. Will it be as great as "Brazil"? As silly as "Jabberwocky"? As crazy as "Fear and loathing in Las Vegas"? As useless as "Time Bandits"? It had a bit of it all. Will and Jake Grimm are two con artists travelling around Germany in early 1800s and fighting the dark spirits which they themselves create. But when they have to go to a forest where a group of their peers supposedly work they find out that strange things have a place in their world. A wicked witch played by the beautiful Monica Belucci, a child-eating horse and lots of other stuff for your pleasure. Gilliam has been better and he has been worse. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger are the brothers Grimm. THey aren`t really those two folk tales collecting weirdos from the history. They are way too cool for that. The film is quite a creepy one, but it`s not really what I`d dream it would be. Yet I wasn`t dissapointed - after the very low standarts of expectations different people like Roger Ebert provided with their reviews I was ready to be happy about anything Terry would give me. What was missed was at least a single MPFC member in a silly little role. But that`s the sad thing with those films nowadays.
Terija Giljema projektu liktenis bieži nav no tiem veiksmīgākajiem, un "Doktora Paranasa iedomu pasaule" bija ļoti tuvu tam, lai ietu "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", " A Tale of Two Cities", "Time Bandits 2" utt. Protams, diez vai Hīta Ledžera nāvē pats traģiskākais bija tas, ka tā apturēja Giljema filmas attīstību, taču skaidrs, ka Giljemam galvenās lomas atveidotāja nāve kļuva par triecienu arī šī iemesla dēļ.
Pēdējā laikā tapušās Terija Giljema filmas sevišķas simpātijas no kritikas neizpelnās (varbūt ar izņēmumu Doktora Parnasa gadījumā, bet gan jau, ka tur galvenais iemesls bija Hīta Ledžera nāve). Man gan jāatzīst, ka patika ne tikai "Doktors", bet arī "Tideland" un "The Brothers Grimm". Tālab loģiski, ka "Nulles teorēmu es gaidīju ar lielu nepacietību" un, iespējams, gluži vienkārši pārdegu savās neadekvātajās cerībās.