"The Brothers Grimm"
Directed by Terry Gilliam.
Written by Ehren Kruger.
Starring Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare and Monica
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 9/5/05
A piece of fucking awful dogshit from the
word go, "The Brothers Grimm" was so bad that my man Ross and I
still couldn't stop talking about it days later in terms of its
utter fuckity-shitness. This is even more shocking when you
consider the resumes of the crew involved:
Director: Terry Gilliam. Has
made unquestionably-great films in "Brazil", "Monty Python and
the Holy Grail" and "12 Monkeys."
Hottie: Monica Bellucci. The
"Irreversible" who made waves in the two sequels to "The
Scribe: Ehren Kruger. Wrote
and "Arlington Road."
Star: Matt Damon, who since his
career nadir in
"Gerry" has picked very well over the last three years
(including the Jason Bourne films,
Twelve" and hilarious cameos in
"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and
Given all of this, you wouldn't have a Hard
Vice rating top of mind...but, then again, this film was dumped into
theaters in August, the traditional shitground of American releases
that just don't have "it." And from the beginning, it is VERY
obvious why the film was slotted here; "The Brothers Grimm" is
devoid of everything that makes a movie even kinda good, be it an
interesting plot, well-written characters, magical whimsy (trust me,
good films have it), adventure, action, or just plain logic.
The Brothers themselves, Wil (Damon) and Jacob (Heath Ledger,
certainly the most unlucky Aussie star working in the U.S. today),
have zero chemistry and are therefore unwatchable in their scenes
together; apart, things aren't much better. The special
effects look a little cheap given the pieces assembled here; the
score is uninspired; even Peter Stormare (most famously in "Fargo")
is awful, and worse, Gilliam seems to use takes of his dialogue that
are total aural blurs.
Wow, I couldn't believe how bad this was,
and like some other films this year, seems to not know when to cut
bad off...so, the film runs for just over two hours, when it seemed
like the Brothers' mission of taking out an evil dead queen (Bellucci)
should have taken two trips into the Enchanted Forest and then been
completed. Even the fairy tale references to other stories
didn't work for me; seeing Hansel and Gretel was ineffective, and
then a surprisingly weird/violent Gingerbread Man sequence left the
20 people in my theater all wondering if Gilliam has completely lost
his fucking mind. Jonathan Pryce, another great actor that
seems to always be in the wrong films, plays the general of the
French army that has occupied Germany in the early 1800s...he, too,
is useless in his role.
Jeez. Right now, this is the
front-runner for the worst film of the year...but, I have a feeling
that something else could overtake it when 2005 is said and done.
But right now, I've still got that bad taste in my mouth!
Rating: Hard Vice
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard