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Added by johanlefourbe

on 5 Sep 2012 03:00

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A Complete review of Terry Gilliam's work

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People who added this item 24  Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.7 
1. The Wholly Family (2011)


What was it about?
It is about an American family in the streets of Naples.

My two cents:
It is an advertisement that Gilliam has directed and it was funded by the Garofalo Pasta Company. Apparently, he got carte blanche to do whatever he wanted as long as it was made in Naples and nobody was killed. The version I saw was in Italian without subtitles so I was barely able to follow the dialogs and I can’t say I was really blown away by the whole thing. Still, it remains a nice little feature, a typical effort by Gilliam, and it was a nice way to wait until his next project.

My rating: 06/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2233  Average listal rating (1250 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating 6.9 
2. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)


Cast : Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Peter Stormare

What was it about?
A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.

My two cents:
Basically, it is one of those typical Gilliam feature. It is definitely an acquired taste and you either love them or you don't. The story is rather messy and confusing but it is definitely one of the most visually ambitious movie directed by Gilliam. Indeed, this time, he goes all CGI on us and, I must say, the end-result was quite impressive. So, the plot is a little bit shabby but, considering they lost their main actor in the middle of the production, they did a pretty good job recovering the whole thing. Anyway, in my opinion, it is fortunate that we had the chance to see Heath Ledger's last feature film and it is really unfortunate we won't see him again.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 814  Average listal rating (385 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.6 
3. Tideland (2005)


Cast : Jodelle Ferland, Jennifer Tilly, Jeff Bridges

What was it about?
Because of the actions of her irresponsible parents, a young girl is left alone on a decrepit country estate and survives inside her fantastic imagination.

My two cents:
I thought it was rather bleak and creepy... I mean, I have seen some tough sh*t but this one is pretty hardcore. I can't say I didn't like this movie though because the actors were really good and Gilliam is a damned good director and it shows on the picture but he spends actually all his time in this movie basically antagonizing his audience that it made it impossible for me to really enjoy this movie in any way.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2646  Average listal rating (1619 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 5.9 
4. The Brothers Grimm (2005)


Cast : Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci

What was it about?
Will and Jake Grimm are travelling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires genuine courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.

My two cents:
It is probably the least apreciated movie made by Gilliam, especially among his die-hard fans. Personally, I actually liked it. Of course, there is evidence of studio tempering throughout the whole thing and it is nothing really amazing but it is just a fun flick and Damon and Ledger made a terrific duo.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 240  Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.4 
5. Lost in La Mancha (2002)
Of course, this movie was not directed by Terry Gilliam but by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe. Still, I think it gives a great idea about the way Gilliam creates his movies. Furthermore, we get a glimpse of his dream project which he still didn't manage to make. I sure would have loved to see his Don Quichote starring Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis but it wasn't meant to be.
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2915  Average listal rating (1735 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.7 
6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)


Cast : Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey, Lyle Lovett, Flea, Harry Dean Stanton, Cameron Diaz, Verne Troyer, Christina Ricci

What was it about?
An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychadelic escapades.

My two cents:
I saw it in the theater when it came out and since then, it has gained a huge cult following. Personally, I always had some mixed feelings about this one. I mean, it is visually impressive, the performances are pretty cool, and it is definitely wacked sometimes. Still, I couldn't help thinking that the whole thing was rather pointless (Roger Ebert even said that the movie was an horrible mess). I guess this one needs a rewatch to make up my mind for good.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 3740  Average listal rating (2492 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating 8.1 
7. 12 Monkeys (1995)


Cast : Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt

What was it about?
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

My two cents:
This movie is probably Terry Gilliam's most successful feature, at least financially speaking. Fortunately, it happens to be a good movie as well. If I remember, i saw it twice when it came out and I thought the whole thing was just spellbinding. Since then, I have also seen 'La Jetée', the short movie which inspired this flick and together, they are some awesome companion pieces. It is also a proof that a remake can be really interesting when treated properly. Basically, it is my favorite movie directed by Terry Gilliam.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 719  Average listal rating (468 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.6 
8. The Fisher King (1991)


Cast : Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Amanda Plummer, Tom Waits

What was it about?
A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

My two cents:
It is a really striking dark modern fairy tale with a great performance by Jeff Bridges. For once, Robin Williams hysterical way of acting was pitch perfect and just fit the story well. I still think the way their lifes were intertwined was rather convoluted and the story never really reaches its full potential but it remains a solid flick. Personally, it has been a while since I saw this one and it probably needs a rewatch.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 656  Average listal rating (389 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating 7.2 
9. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)


Cast : John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed, Jonathan Pryce, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams

What was it about?
An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

My two cents:
The production on this movie is maybe even more notorious than the movie itself. Numerous production problems and cost overruns occurred, Gilliam almost got fired during this nightmarish shooting. The end result is indeed pretty messed up but not bad at all and the whole thing looked pretty gorgeus. All in all, it remains a solid Gilliam feature, in spite of its reputation.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1963  Average listal rating (1130 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
10. Brazil (1985)


Cast : Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Jim Broadbent

What was it about?
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

My two cents:
It is considered by many as Gilliam's ultimate masterpiece and I can't say it doesn't deserve its prestigious reputation. It is a visually impressive and the plot is quite spellbinding to follow. Basically, it is one of those tales taking place in a dystopian future with Gilliam's weird visual style. I definitely need to rewatch this one.

My rating: 08/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1561  Average listal rating (1028 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.6 
11. The Meaning of Life (1983)
I wasn't sure if I should add the Monty Python movies since they are definitely a group effort but since it is a huge part of Gilliam's career, I decided to add them anyway. He did direct 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance' as his own separate project and it is definitely own of the best sketches. The rest is pretty decent and entertaining but it is a little too random for me but it is a trademark inherent to their work.
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 672  Average listal rating (431 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating
12. Time Bandits (1981)


Cast : John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Jim Broadbent

What was it about?
A young boy accidently joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.

My two cents:
It is another cult classic by Mr Gilliam. Personally, even though it was visually impressive, I didn't really enjoy it very much. I don't know, the story was allright but it was not really entertaining and I was bored pretty often watching this flick. Still worth a look though.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2254  Average listal rating (1490 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 8.2 
13. Life of Brian (1979)
Once again, even though he did direct a few scenes, Terry Gilliam wasn't credited as a director for this flick. Personally, I think it is the best thing made by the Monty Python. Indeed, I though the whole thing was just hilarious and it is even one of the best comedies ever made, in my opinion. Basically, it is a great classic and a must see for any decent movie lover.
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 239  Average listal rating (123 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.2 
14. Jabberwocky (1977)


Cast : Michael Palin

What was it about?
A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom's only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside.

My two cents:
It is Terry Gilliam's first official directing credit. It is a decent watch but nothing really amazing, above all compared to what he has done later on. As usual, Gilliam didn't have really a big budget at this disposal and many of the scenes were shot in a single take, as there was not enough time or money to afford multiple tries. Still, it is pretty awesome to see this wizard finally working on his own.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 3365  Average listal rating (2226 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 8.4 
15. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
This time around, Terry Gilliam did get a directing credit but, as usual, it is more a group effort. Anyway, it was the Monty Python first 'real' movie and it has been a huge classic ever since. Honestly, I have watched it already a couples of times and I have never actually really enjoyed it. I don't know, I have never really connected with the jokes which I always find more stupid than funny. Maybe I should give it another try.
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 368  Average listal rating (225 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.6 
16. And Now for Something Completely Different (1971)
Once again, Gilliam didn't direct this one. It was the first movie released by the Monthy Python and, basically, it is an anthology of their best sketches from season 1 and 2. I thought it was pretty good but it was still too random for my taste. Still, it is definitely worth a look though.
johanlefourbe's rating:


 

The 7th list in this serie wil focus on Terry Gilliam. Even though I'm not necessarily a fan of his work, he is definitely one of the most creative directors that ever lived. Enjoy!

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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 2 months ago at Sep 22 18:12
Nicely done again dude. Gilliam is definitely an acquired taste, so it's cool to see someone's views on his films that isn't as much of a fan. I like that you included Lost in La Mancha (which I sadly still need to watch) & the Python films too. All the ones you said you should probably re-watch I encourage you to do so...like the Coens I feel like his films get better with repeat viewings.
Posted: 2 years, 1 month ago at Nov 4 17:11
Nice list. I just watched Time Bandits this morning.
Posted: 2 years, 1 month ago at Nov 5 10:08
I'm actually less of a fan than you are, but I dig lists that flex creative/intellectual muscle. Well done buddy!

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