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Brothers Grimm ~ Yet Again, The Mad Doc Bucks the Trend
Aug 29, 2006
Review by drdevience
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Ledger and Damon, the story, everydamnthing
The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line is the fairest of them all.
The Brothers Grimm are best known for having traveled around gathering fairy tales and having then compiled them into a book for all to adore. These are usually dark tales which are sure to cause nightmares. I, of course, adore them for it.
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This movie is not about that, though. Not really. This one takes Jake and Will and sets them up as bumbling (yet lovable) con men traveling about Germany and setting up things to look like fairy tales horrors have come to life. Then they, of course, come to the rescue of the townsfolk and save them from the various boogey men in a shower of elaborate special effects... until they come face to face with a really real evil queen trapped in a tower.
Brothers Grimm has been panned to hell and back by critics coast-to-coast. This, of course, meant I had to buy the DVD. As I suspected, I fell in love with the tale.
Director Terry Gilliam had originally figured to put Heath Ledger in the role of serious Will, and Matt Damon into the role of dreamer Jake, but when he met separately with each actor prior to filming, Ledger and Damon turned the tables on Gilliam and finagled their way into the opposite roles, which was against their usual type. This, as it turns out, was the best thing that could have happened with the casting.
While Damon has in the past taken on some serious roles, he is more often than not the more playful of the cast. His Loki in Kevin Smith's Dogma was to die for hysterical. His version of Will Grimm was just as good. He is ever so serious and all about the details, with little real imagination at all. Damon nailed this part.
Ledger, although extremely playful in A Knight's Tale, has been cast more often in serious kind of roles such as the son in the movie Monsters Ball. As Jake Grimm I hardly recognized him at all. He took on the character of the dreamer in the family and just gives it everything he's got. Perfection, I tell you!
What the two did right, besides trading roles, was to become good friends prior to and during filming of the movie. As most folks tend to do, they began taking on little bits of each others traits here and there, which transfered to the movie and gave it credibility. What I mean to say is that you have no problem believing these two are brothers because they have similar mannerisms. Their comedic timing is spot on, and the uneasy commeraderie between the two brothers was palpable.
Some of the special effects were just on the inside edge of hokiness, but for me that just added to the fun element of this film. Yes, it is a dark conglomeration of a myriad of childhood baddies and the stories are reworked and twisted to fit the movie, but mostly I took Brothers Grimm as being a dark comedy and those schlock moments just became icing on the fun cake.
I was delighted to find a wonderful kind of Making Of as an extra on this DVD. From this I learned that Gillian's aim meshed perfectly with my perception of what the movie meant to be, along with some of the facts in this review on the actors having switched their roles.
Additionally, there is a commentary, but I've not yet watched that, and there is a delightful little extra showing how they did the magic of the movie. Very worth watching, that. The Deleted Scenes extra wasn't all that, though.
This 2 hours movie is Rated PG-13 for violence, frightening sequences and brief suggestive material. Sweden says 11 and up. Guess who I side with? Actually, I say more like 8 and up, but you have to decide for yourself as a parent whether your child is prone to night terrors or not, and if they can handle the scarier scenes based on that. I will warn you that a cute little cuddly kitten meets a rather gorey end in this, a scene which had me in stitches of laughter... but one which may upset more sensitive types.
Ignore the bad reviews. Five full stars for the very fun Brothers Grimm, and I do recommend it to folks who simply adore dark humor. This one is going on my Top 10 Films of 2005 list post haste.
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