Tag Archives: Heath Ledger

Movie Review: Ledger’s final performance haunts the ‘Imaginarium’

14 Jan

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The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (PG-13) Directed by: Terry Gilliam. Written by: Terry Gilliam & Charles McKeown Starring: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger, Tom Waits, Verne Troyer, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell

 

  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Terry Gilliam film that has stirred in me any sense of wonder or joy.

At last then, here is a new picture from the director that does both of those things. For that reason alone The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is a work to treasure. Filled with elaborate, mind-boggling visuals and moments of madcap fantasy, Parnassus is also one of the more thoughtful Gilliam concoctions; taking the concept of the storyteller trapped within a world of the mundane and tweaking it to create a film that feels like his most personal yet. Continue reading

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Trailer Round-Up: The Expendables, Toy Story 3, Parnassus and more..

14 Oct

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Oct 14th, 2009–

Welcome back to another installment of Trailer Round-Up. This one is gonna be short and sweet but not lacking in content. Here are some of the latest and greatest trailers buzzing out there on the net.

Of most notice right now is the sneak peak at Sly Stallone’s 80s-charged action flick that brings the Italian Stallon into the orbit of action mainstays like Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and then throws in colorful faces like Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Terry Crewes and a hinted at Ahnuld cameo. The trailer itself looks like what you would expect, and chances are it will be all that the fanbase hopes for and everything those waiting for Stallone ‘s return to his indie  roots (ala Rocky)  feared it would be. Continue reading

Gilliam’s Parnassus enchants at Cannes and the reviews are coming in!

22 May
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Christopher Plummer as the titular character in Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

 Terry Gilliam is one of the most unique directors working today. Alas, just because he has been working today, doesn’t mean there has been much fruit as of late. Mostly, it’s not his fault. The infamous The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp crumbled under events outside of his control. His follow-up film The Brothers Grimm was entertaining enough but it was hacked and hampered by the Weinstein Bros and his next venture, Tideland, felt like the artist in meltdown mode. He was cramming every irreverant idea he had into a thin little whisp of a movie and without any sort of constraints it exploded into delirious, over-cooked pieces.

Then, he began work on The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, an all-out folk fantasy with a great cast; Christopher Plummer, Heath Ledger, and Tom Waits. It sounded like the kind of great stuff that had made me fall in love with the man’s work originally. I still consider his trilogy of Time Bandits, Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to be some of the finest examples of fantasy filmmaking ever concieved.

When Ledger died, it seemed like the curse of Gilliam had struck again. But, remarkably, Parnassus was raised from the ashes like a Pheonix when Depp, Law and Farrell came alongside Gilliam and allowed him to finish making the movie by playing different facets of Ledger’s character, and donating all of their salary to Heath’s family in the process.

So this week, the amazing happened. A new Gilliam film premiered at Cannes. And so far, the word is great. Right now the idea of a great new Gilliam movie is a bit overwhelming. All of the current reviews, including ones written prior to Cannes, are available below. I’ll keep updating as they come in.

Variety’s Todd McCarthy gives Gilliam his due HERE.

Kenneth Turan applauds Parnassus and Gilliam’s gumption HERE.

Aint It Cool News’ Harry Knowles cheerfully slobbers over it HERE.

Another AICN alumn, Quint, calls Parnassus “unadulterated Gilliam” HERE.