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Saturday, June 12, 2010

sometimes, I'm a harsh critic

I just watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I didn't cry. I didn't feel anything. It may be one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

I posted a review of it on Amazon (I'm working on reviewing more things). Here's what I wrote:

I wanted to like this.

I've been a fan of Gilliam's for years. I love his work on Python, and Twelve Monkeys is one of my favorite films. I even loved Baron Muchausen. So I was prepared for weird. Absurd. Outlandish.

I've also been an avid fan and ardent mourner of Heath Ledger. I knew the challenges presented to the director trying to film around scenes that were already shot and could never be added to. The death of Ledger left an absence in the screen that would be hard to correct.

What I was not prepared for was a film so disjointed, so incoherent, it scarcely had a plot.

The CGI was so terrible - particularly in the scene where Valentina is running through broken glass. I've seen better graphics in a SyFy movie.

And the Devil? I don't even know what to make of him. I'm not sure what happened in the end, and I'm sure I was supposed to be pulling for Anton, but I could care less.

That's the problem too. There was no character development whatsoever. I never cared about any of them. Not even Heath Ledger or Christopher Plummer, who I have a strong affinity for no matter what they do. To make me disinterested in the final performance of Heath, in the final images I'll ever see of him on screen, is quite a feat indeed, yet Gilliam managed to accomplish that.

On top of that, the character of Tony written for Heath does not seem to be the same character written for Colin Farrell. This is not a  discredit Colin Farrell. I feel like he did a good job with what he had, the way most of the actors seemed to do - they just had nothing to work with. Heath's version of Tony seemed to be a bit... iffy. He was clearly a con man, but he also seemed to have some redeeming qualities. Colin's character seemed random and distracted and vaguely maniacal. He also apparently sold starving kids to have their organs harvested.

Some of the film did have beautiful costume direction, and the sets - when they were sets and not cartoonishy CGI - were lovely. In a few abstracted moments, the genius behind Gilliam did show through - but most of that is already shown in previews. Watch a trailer and you'll see the best the film has to offer.

Johnny Depp and Jude Law - who are normally captivating - gave forgettable and unnecessary performances. They truly did not add anything to the film nor did they need to be in it. However, I applaud them for giving their salary to Matilda Ledger.

I ordered the film On Demand tonight, and I planned on buying it anyway, because even if I didn't like it, I felt like I ought to own the last film Heath Ledger was in it. I will not be buying this film.

In fact, I felt like its a disservice to his memory. It's unfair to put his name on this piece of garbage and have this be the last thing people remember him for.

3 comments:

  1. Wow sorry you didn't like the movie...I was opposite...It could have been that I just love anything Heath is in...But I enjoyed the movie...It wasn't the best, but for me the parts that were good were really good. Some of the dance sequences were a bit weird though...I think most people will remember Heath for the Joker...

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  2. I did think Heath did a good job, and maybe I didn't emphasize that enough. I just didn't completely understand what the motivation for his character was. He obviously wanted money, but they didn't have any money, so I didn't know how he really thought he was going to get it from them. I don't know.

    I also really, really, really hate CGI, so I didn't enjoy the parts inside the Imaganarium because of that.

    I am glad I saw it, and I still have my favorites by both Heath and Gilliam to keep me happy.

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  3. Well Amanda, I have to agree with your opinion about that movie. Saw it last week and have to congratulate on voicing precisely what I thought about it, though you say it much better than I could .

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