The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a review by Rick
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Enter a dazzling world of fantasy in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, director Terry Gilliam's magical adventure tale starring Heath Ledger in his last film role along with Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. In exchange for extraordinary powers, Doctor Parnassus (Plummer) makes a deal with the Devil to turn over any child of his when they turn sixteen. But as his daughter Valentine's (Lily Cole) birthday approaches, a mysterious stranger (Ledger) arrives with the power to change everything. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Doctor Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles - and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all!
Forget the hype about this being Heath Ledger's last movie and forget for a minute it's a Terry Gilliam movie. This movie is an imaginative look at good versus evil. Plain and simple. That is the underlying theme throughout from the beginning to the end and shows itself in many of the sub plots. The movies uniqueness is a welcome change from a lot of what you typically expect to see. Everything immediately surrounding the Doctor and his cast of characters could be transported to 1900 and would fit right in yet the movie takes place in our current time. While I found it bizarre I was drawn in and wanted to see how the story would play out, if good or evil would win.
Now let's add Terry Gilliam back into the mix. I am a fan of his since I used to watch Monty Python's Flying Circus in the early 1970s on the local PBS station (Sunday night - 10:00 I believe). You know when he is involved with a movie, especially as the writer, it is going to be an experience. You can definitely see his influence all over this movie. For me that is a good thing. The 'through the mirror' scenes are just flat out trippy and would probably be even more appreciated under the influence of some mind altering drug but I'm way too old for that crap so I had to just enjoy them with a clear head. Even at that though there was one particular sequence where I felt my mind was altered ... perhaps some sort of early eighties flashback . I have never seen Brazil (I know ). After watching this movie I certainly intend to rectify that as I understand it is one of Gilliam's best. Add to that Imaginarium is also co-written by Charles McKeown who helped Gilliam write Brazil. Makes me want to watch it even more. I do believe I'll wait for a blu-ray to be released though.
As everyone here knows (I'm guessing anyay) this was Heath Ledgers last performance movie. He died before they were able to finish it. Fortunately they seem to have done all, or at least enough, of the reality side of the mirror filming so he wasn't needed to finish the movie. They simply used other actors for the inside the mirror scenes. They either added a scene at the very beginning or changed the existing scene to show you that when you are on the inside of the mirror you may not look like yourself. Bam. Instant plausible explanation. Something that actually added to the movie if you ask me and probably made it even better.
Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell played Ledger's character for his imagination scenes. All three did a fine job. Their parts were short but worked. I thought Gilliam did a good job putting each of them into the right scene. Of the three I would say Colin Farrell did the best but that could be because he was at the end when the story was about over. Heath Ledger was very good in this. Parts of his performance seemed to have a bit of the Joker's influence in it. Maybe that's just Ledger's manic mode. I also found I couldn't help but compare a lot of what he was doing to Johnny Depp's past performances. I wonder if Depp was an influence for Ledger I don't know if Ledger would have ever been one of the great ones but I do know I typically enjoyed his acting, including this role. It is a shame he was taken so early in his career. With this movie being about good vs evil and a deal with the devil it made me think. I've always wondered about these performers whose careers seem to burn bright for such a limited time then they are taken... Ever since that goofy Ralph Macchio movie Crossroads
There is a great relationship between Christopher Plummer's character and Verne Troyer's character. You don't fully understand just how deep it is until the final scene. The rest of the actors are basically nobodies, but that works. Lily Cole, whose character is actually what the entire story revolves around, seems to fit in perfectly with what I mentioned before. She works in the current world but you can easily see her same character 100+ years ago.
I need to watch this movie again. I'm sure there are many little things I missed the first time around. If you enjoy unique storytelling with interesting characters and the occasional mind trip then this movie is for you.
(From Rick's "Vowels Only" Marathon Reviews on August 2nd, 2010)
Jonah Hex, a review by dfmorgan
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Cast: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox
Overview: Out of the pages of the legendary comics and graphic novels steps Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort. Jonah's past catches up with him when the U.S. military offers to wipe out the warrants on his head if he hunts and stops dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich).
Watched: 8th. Jan 2011
My Thoughts: OK what can I say. First of all I haven't seen the comics this was based upon and whilst I realize that hitting you with the back story from the off can be awkward the constant drip-feed here, and not necessarily in the right order, made this a little more confusing to me. Plus they never explained why a Confederate General turned to wholesale slaughter and terrorism. Some touches were nice in making this look like a Spaghetti Western but in the end the action and acting didn't save it for me.
My Rating: A confused 2
(From Dave's DVD/Blu-ray Reviews on January 9th, 2011)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd
Season 2: Disc 4
13. Surprise (Part 1)
Drusilla reassembles the Judge, an unstoppable demon; Buffy and Angel consummate their relationship.
The first part of a great 2 parter. The first time they have Buffy's Birthday on the show... which becomes pretty much a topic that comes up once each season.
14. Innocence (Part 2)
Angel loses his soul and his demon self takes over; Buffy must deal with him and stop the Judge.
A great second part... Angel becomes the "Big Bad" of the season after a night of total happiness with Buffy. I thought Angel made a great bad guy... very cool. And I must say... I loved the way Buffy dealt with The Judge... not to mention the fight between her and Angel.
The gang tries to save a werewolf from a poacher.
Another episode I really liked a lot... I remember when I first started to watch the series... I was wondering if they would touch on werewolves at all... and they really did!... making a werewolf be one of the main recurring characters for a couple seasons.
16. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Things get dangerous when all the women in Sunnydale - except Cordelia - are after Xander due to a love spell gone wrong.
This is a good strong episode... but more of a fun episode then anything else.
Season 2: Disc 5
Angel continues to torment Buffy; Jenny tries to curse Angel with a soul again.
This one is an excellent episode!... and one where we must say goodbye to a recurring character.
18. Killed by Death
A raging fever sends Buffy to the hospital, where her fever enables her to see a normally invisible monster that preys on children.
Another really strong episode... one that I definitely enjoyed.
19. I Only Have Eyes For You
The tortured ghost of a former student haunts SHS, reenacting the murder/suicide he committed.
Another episode I liked a lot... and deals with ghosts... another subgenre that I liked a lot... and would have liked to seen Buffy face more in the show.
20. Go Fish
When it appears that something is targeting the swim team, Xander goes undercover to find the truth.
This one... even though a good episode... it is not one I would call a favorite. I have no particular reason for it being on a lower scale for me.... but for some reason just did not impress me as much.
Season 2: Disc 6
21. Becoming (Part 1)
Angel prepares a ritual to awaken a demon that will suck the world into hell.
The first part of the season finale... which is always good strong episodes... well for the most part.. can think of one finale that didn't make much sense to me... but that will come in a later day. Not only does Buffy and the group find out that they have a chance to restore Angel's soul... but we see the return of Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
22. Becoming (Part 2)
Buffy's life is a mess when her mother discovers her secret life, and she's expelled from school and forced to make a heart-wrenching decision when both Angel's and Willow's rituals succeed
An excellent ending to the second season. We see the ongoing and upcoming changes to Buffy's world in this episode.
Over-All Thoughts of Season 2:
This was a great season... arguably the best season of the series! I thought Angel made a great "Big Bad" and that David Boreanaz did a wonderful job playing both Angel and Angelus. There is one problem I have with this set... and has nothing to do with the shows themselves... That is the animated menu on these discs... I thought they were very cool the first time I ever saw this set... but it quickly got tiresome having to go to 2 to 3 different screens just to turn on each episode! Way too over done for practical use. Which brings us to another thing I don't like about these sets... but this one is for all the season sets.... what is with not having a play all feature! I especially miss this feature when I am having these marathons! Other then that... it is a great set for an awesome season!
(From Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon on November 12th, 2007)