“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is fairy tale of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick (Tom Waits), in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday she would become the property of Mr Nick. His daughter, Valentina (Lily Cole), is now rapidly approaching this coming-of-age milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever saves the first five souls, promising his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Terry Gilliam brings us, what he calls, his most mature and immature film. I think he said it best, because it is his most mature film as a director, bringing us his best visual experience to date while delivering a fairy tale that is immature in all the right ways.
I’m not a huge Gilliam fan. I think he’s hit and miss. I’m not at all a fan of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Brazil” is highly overrated. But this movie brings us a true morality fairy tale about choosing between evil and good, and asks whether redemption is possible. Ledger gives a nice performance in his last film before his death, and he’s surrounded by excellent characters and performances. The film starts slowly, and it takes time to adjust to the concepts and visuals, but once it gets going, it’s hard to turn off. I’m a big fan of fairy tales. If you enjoyed “Pan’s Labyrinth,” you’ll enjoy this film.
Forced to marry Camille (Sienna Miller), the sheriff’s niece, parolee Silas (James Franco) takes his bride on a Niagara Falls honeymoon, where he plans to escape to Canada. Certain the trip will rehabilitate Silas, Camille remains enthusiastic — even after she dies in a crash. Now, Silas must deal with Camille’s denial about her death and her slow decomposition. David Carradine co-stars in this quirky romantic comedy.
Rating: 5 out of 10
This movie started very promising. We’re set up with a stick-sweet, innocent country gal who marries the totally wrong man. She’s so goodhearted that no matter how rotten he is, we feel for her. But then something happens on their doomed honeymoon — she dies. However, she doesn’t know she’s dead, or at least hasn’t come to terms with it, and her body still continues to live. It seems strange and a huge leap, but this movie made it work for the most part.
From here, we’re catapulted into a fairy tale stylized story that moves nicely. There is genuine conflict within and between our two main characters, played well by Miller and Franco. They have little adventures and moments where they grow closer and even begin to love each other. But they’re constantly dealing with her death. She begins to decompose, her skin color fades to a pale white, and her hair begins to fall out. But they remain endearing characters that we care about.
Where this movie goes wrong is in its last act, where it gets completely cheesy and takes some really easy outs. SPOILER ALERT: They literally leap into a rainbow, riding a unicorn to end the movie, if that clues you in on how corny it got.
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