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A Couple Of Reactions To Terry Gilliam's GRIMM!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I can’t wait to get a look at this one. Early on, I heard numerous rumors about Gilliam pretty much going through the motions, treating this like his “get out of jail free” card, doing whatever he had to do to make a hit so that he could go back and make films he cared about again. But even if he’s making a “commercial” film, this is Terry Gilliam we’re talking about. I have my fingers crossed that he’s made something really special out of this, and so reading these reviews, I’m extra-interested.

First up, we’ve got a mixed reaction, but optimistic nonetheless...

Hi Harry,

You used my review of the HELLBOY New York sneak peek; I hope you can use this too.

Saw a test screening of Gilliam’s THE BROTHERS GRIMM (starring Matt Damon, Ben Af… er… Heath Ledger, and Monica Bellucci) last night at the Loew’s 19th Street theaters in NYC, and I must say that I was pretty disappointed. Which is not to say that there’s no hope for this movie, it was obvious that there’s a lot of potential, but, again, the version I saw – complete but with unfinished special effects, music, etc – just doesn’t cut it.

Gilliam was there (I saw him talking with some people in front of the theater, out of sight of the side door where attendees lined up and entered), but he didn’t make his presence known to the audience before or after the screening. It appears that THE BROTHERS GRIMM is supposed to be a humorous PG-13 fantasy/adventure movie, and it comes off as being so.

The acting, for the most part, is solid, there are a lot of good visuals and nice allusions to many classic fairy tales, action, suspense, and plenty of humorous moments – even the plot is good – however the movie in its present form simply doesn’t work. The first half didn’t compel me to care one way or another about the outcome of the movie.

The following is absolutly spoiler free.

As the movie begins we see a little girl in a red hooded cape make her way through a dark forest. Soon enough, and just before she reaches her village, she’s kidnapped or killed or whatever, by whom or what we’re not sure, but in any event some distressed, anonymous, old man calls out to her and the scene ends. We’re then introduced to the Brothers Grimm in rather dramatic fashion, and shortly thereafter we see how they go about making their living. After this exciting sequence they get in trouble with Napoleon’ s occupying army and must do a “job” for the government to save their heads. At the site of their new job, where nine young girls have gone missing in the nearby forest, we meet their mutual love interest, Angelica, who has lost various members of her family (all of them actually) to the dark, cursed forest. Reluctantly Angelica leads the Brothers and the accompanying French soldiers into the forest, where they are accosted by a fairly bad ass wolf, moving trees and a swarm of insects – needless to say this is when the really creepy shit starts to happen and where we are introduced to the main antagonist(s).

So far the plot was good enough for me, but at this point I still didn’t give half a shit about any of the characters. We’re introduced to the Brothers and then immediately thereafter the plot starts to roll – I dunno, perhaps Gilliam could add some more introductory material. Also, maybe it’s just because I’m an asshole, but to me at least, knowing that nine little girls are missing and caring about the fact that nine little girls are missing do not necessarily go hand in hand. Finding these missing girls, well her two sisters anyways, is Angelica’s main motivation – since I didn’t care about her motivation I didn’t care about her either. Perhaps Gilliam could solve this problem by introducing Angelica in the beginning as Little Red Riding Hood’s older sister (i.e. Angelica calls out to Little Red Riding Hood rather than the anonymous, potentially insane old man/woman) - but again what do I know about storytelling/film-making. At any rate my point is that there were a lot of great elements here but they weren’t all brought together to make a great movie. As it is, I don’t think the movie is very good, nor do I think it would perform very well in theaters, but I think a few changes would make this a fantastic movie.


Cool. Thanks, man. Let’s see what the other scooper had to say about it...

Hey guys,

I wasnt going to attend tonights screening of The Brothers Grimm because im usually beat on a Monday night,but my sister convinced me to to. I had only heard bits and pieces about the film until tonight. Before the film started a woman from Dimension Films who never gave her name stated that what we were about to see was an unfinished work. Effects involving a wolf and moving trees were not quite finished and also you may see a bit of wire work. So I cant be too judgmental of the film.

The film opens beautifully with a scene in black & white and the only color we see is the blood red cloak,of who i assumed was Red Riding Hood,as she is being stalked by the wolf which for now we only see in shadow. After that we are introduced to The Brothers Grimm :Think Ghosbusters circa 1805.They go on and on to scared townspeople of how they can remove the witch that has been haunting them.Matt Damon is the pessimistic,womanizing,money loving Will Grimm,and Heath Ledger is the hopeful,bookish,hopeless romantic Jake Grimm.Of course its all a ruse,and Soon their tricks catch the eye of Jonathan Pryce as French emperor Delatombe who threatens them with torture unless they find 11 missing children who Delatombe believes were kidnapped by similar tricksters. Delatombe also places his italian aide Peter Stormare as Cavaldi to keep a close eye on the brothers.Arriving at the town in which the children have vanished they meet the beautiful Lena Headey as Angelika,think a female Davey Crocket of course both brothers become quite taken with her.

As i mentioned before i cant really judge the films look because its unfinished while some scenes were beautiful and flawless others were grainy. Damon and Ledger work well together and are fun to watch. Pryce was a bit annoying at times. And it seems Stormare was playing the same character from Armageddon, except this time instead of a proud russian he's a proud italian, but he was still fun to watch. The film overstays its welcome for about 20 minutes i clocked the running time at 140 minutes. Most of the effects work The women of the film are beautiful, Monica Belluci is as beautiful and voluptuous as ever but she has as much screen time as she did in the Matrix films. Lena Headey was pretty good as the tough but beautiful love interest. Some parts of the story are not explained especially the part of the story concerning Angelika's father.

In the end i liked the film and would love to see the completed work. Im a big fan of Director Terry Gilliam's work,i think out of all of his films this one was the easiest to decipher.

if this is posted call me Darknight

Strangled syntax aside, both of these responses seem to be fairly promising. I hope the film isn’t much shorter than the 140 minutes the second guy mentions. Personally, I can’t get enough of Gilliam’s worlds once we get into them, and I’m pleased to hear that so much of this seems to be working already, even in such a rough state.

"Moriarty" out.

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