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"The Brothers Grimm"

Directed by Terry Gilliam.
Written by Ehren Kruger.
Starring Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare and Monica Bellucci.
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 star of "Irreversible" who made waves in the two sequels to "The Matrix."

  • Scribe:  Ehren Kruger.  Wrote "Scream 3" 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, "Ocean's Twelve" and hilarious cameos in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "Eurotrip."

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, 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 "Office Space"). 

"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, 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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09