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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 311 Average listal rating (139 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.1


Cast : Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis, Mélanie Thierry, Matt Damon

What was it about?
A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

My two cents:
Eventually, even though I really wanted to like it, I have to admit that it didn't manage to keep my interest until the very end. Indeed, basically, it was pretty much some kind of psychotic surrealist nightmare mixed with a production designer's wet dream, which is something that could be said about most of the work delivered by Gilliam. It is interesting that, thanks to the current wave of CGI technology, there are virtually no more boundaries for this visionary who can pretty much go all the way to create the most intricate worlds you could think off. Unfortunately, Gilliam decided to mainly remain in one place, Qohen's mad house/church/headquarters and you just get an handful of characters who didn't have much interesting to do or to tell. So, there must have been some more or less hidden message there somewhere but I'm afraid I missed it but, to be honest, I don't think I really mind.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6


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
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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 that we won't see him again.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 861 Average listal rating (406 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
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:
Unfortunately, I didn’t like it much and, honestly, I thought it was rather bleak and creepy... I mean, I have seen some tough sh*t through the years but this one was actually pretty hardcore. You don't believe me? In the first 10 minutes, the mother of the main character (a 12 year old girl) dies of overdose and then in the following 15 minutes, she helps her father to shoot heroine and he also dies of overdose and until the end of the movie, this little girl spends a good chunk of her time talking to her dead rotting corpse of a father... I can't say I didn't like this movie because the actors were really good and Gilliam is a damned fine director and it shows on the picture but he spent 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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People who added this item 2762 Average listal rating (1666 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.9


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 pretty obvious that it is one of his least personal projects and that there was some major studio interfering during the production and as a result, many Gilliam fans tend to dismiss this flick. Personally, even I tend to agree that it is a minor effort, I still think it is actually pretty enjoyable. Indeed, I thought it was a real cool concept to make a movie about the Grimm Brothers, Matt Damon and Heath Ledger were great choices and delivered some solid performances and the whole thing looked pretty awesome which is always expected when watching a Gilliam's features. Of course, I have to admit it, when watching this, you get the feeling that the plot is rather pedestrian and, that somewhere, there is actually a great movie hiding but I thought it was a fun movie to watch, better than your standard studio production and not as alienating as some other movies made by Gilliam such as 'Tideland'.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 264 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
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.
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People who added this item 3073 Average listal rating (1814 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7


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:
To be honest, I always had some mixed feelings about this movie. In fact, I even saw it in the theater when it came out and, ever since then, it has gained a huge cult following but I'm not sure if it really deserved all these praises (apparently, I'm not the only one and, according to Roger Ebert, the whole thing was just an horrible mess). I mean, sure, it was visually pretty impressive, the performances by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro were pretty cool and it definitely had some wacky moments. And, yet, even though the material was pretty awesome, somehow, I still had a hard time to really connect with the damned thing. Basically, I couldn't help thinking that the whole thing was rather pointless and it was certainly really random. I guess this one needs a re-watch to make up my mind for good.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 3985 Average listal rating (2611 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
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 really good movie as well. If I remember it correctly, I saw it twice when it came out and I thought the whole thing was just spellbinding. Like most of the movies dealing with time travel, many things didn't make much sense but Gilliam didn't even try to rationalize what was going on whereas lesser movies would spend a terrible amount of time trying to convince you that the whole thing is actually making any sense. Since then, I have also seen 'La Jetée', the short movie which has 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, even though I’m not sure if this movie should be called a remake,. So, the directing was pretty impressive but the acting was really good too. Indeed, Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis both show that they have some range delivering some of their best performances.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 795 Average listal rating (506 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6


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:
Even though I consider Terry Gilliam one of the most interesting directors in the world, I have noticed that I have actually sometimes a hard time to really connect with his movies because they are very often so surrealist and so over-the-top. Well, even though there was still some weird stuff, this movie was definitely one of Gilliam’s more straightforward projects and maybe that's why it was slightly more enjoyable than his usual work. Basically, it is a really striking dark modern fairy tale with another very good performance by Jeff BridgesAnother thing I enjoyed about this movie is that, for once, Robin Williams's hysterical acting style was really pitch perfect and it just worked very well with this story. Eventually, I still think the way their lives were intertwined was rather convoluted and the story never really reached its full potential but it remains a solid flick.

My rating: 07/10

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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:
This movie is pretty much the stuff of legend. Indeed, the production on this movie was so messed up and convoluted (it has become somehow a trademark with Terry Gilliam) and the making-off has maybe become even more notorious than the movie itself. For example, after many delays, the film was already $2 million over budget before they even started to shoot and, eventually, the budget went from $23.5 million and almost doubled. It is reported that, when they finally started to shoot damned thing after whole week, they only managed to get about 17 minutes of footage. Following all these production problems and cost overruns occurred, Terry Gilliam actually almost got fired during this nightmarish shooting but, somehow, he still managed to finish this movie. Well, if you manage to put aside all this, I still think it is actually a decent watch. I mean, sure, the end result was indeed pretty messed up but I thought it was still fairly entertaining and the whole thing was above quite gorgeous.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 2095 Average listal rating (1203 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
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:
To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. It is considered by many as Terry Gilliam's Magnum Opus and even though it might not be my favorite movie he made (I think I actually prefer ‘12 Monkeys’), it is still pretty obvious that this movie completely deserves its prestigious reputation. Surprisingly, Roger Ebert really didn’t like it at all but he was an expection as the movie was really well received when it was released. Somehow, I still can understand Ebert thogh. Indeed, I really believe that Gillim is one of the most imaginative directors out there and for already more than 30 years but his movies are always confused and confusing and they can be sometimes rather frustrating to watch. Still, as usual with this director, the whole thing was visually impressive but there was also something quite quite spellbinding about this tale. Personally, I always had a weak spot for futuristic dystopian stories and this must be one of the most famous movies in this genre.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 1659 Average listal rating (1068 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
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.
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People who added this item 732 Average listal rating (457 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
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:
Basically, it is another cult classic directed by Gilliam but, to be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, like many other movies coming from this interesting director, I thought that it was visually impressive but I actually had a rather hard time to connect with the story. I don't know, I guess, the story was not bad but, somehow I didn’t think it was really entertaining and I was rather bored from time to time while watching this flick. On the other hand, it has been a while since I have seen this movie so I should definitely re-watch it at some point to make up my mind for good about the damned thing. 4 years later, Gilliam would come with up ‘Brazil’ which would be a huge critical hit and it has been considered as Terry Gilliam’s magnum opus ever since.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 2406 Average listal rating (1549 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
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.
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People who added this item 258 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.2
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:
Up to that point, Gilliam was working as a member of the Monty Python, it was his first stand-alone feature and that was pretty obvious. I mean, you can see that even though he was already a visionary, especially concerning the visual style and his trademark dark humor, Gilliam was still searching himself and, on top of that, as usual, he didn't have really a big budget at his 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, even though it didn’t really blow me away, it remains a decent watch but, at the end of the day, it is nothing really amazing in my opinion, above all compared to what he has done later on in his career.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 3539 Average listal rating (2313 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
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.
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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.
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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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36 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' work (41 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 4 years, 4 months ago 7 comments
5 votes
A Complete review of various directors' work (8 lists)
list by chandu
Published 4 years, 2 months ago



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Comments

Posted: 4 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: 4 years, 1 month ago at Nov 4 17:11
Nice list. I just watched Time Bandits this morning.
Posted: 4 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!
Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at Mar 3 2:00
Great list. I'm curious, as to if you have seen his latest film, The Zero Theorem, yet?
Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at Mar 3 6:03
No, I haven't seen it yet :(
Posted: 1 year, 2 months ago at Sep 30 21:44
Now, I have finally watched his last movie. I thought it was rather disappointing though.

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