"Lost in La Mancha"
Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe.
Starring Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 2/3/03
Sign That Justin Might Really Be Going to
Hell After All: I’m sorry, but I have been shocked at the amount of
coverage the space shuttle explosion has been getting. Honestly, I
read the news pretty regularly, but I didn’t even know that we had a
shuttle in orbit. Only seven people were killed on that ship and in
my mind, that is acceptable given the sheer number of people that
have been up in space in the 40+ years of the space program and that
have landed successfully. I watched about an hour of coverage about
this on Saturday morning here in San Francisco, and the newsfolks
had exactly nothing to say, almost like they KNEW this was a minor
tragedy, but reminisced about ’86 and the Challenger so they figured
they needed to report on the fact that they had no information. The
experts knew nothing, NASA was saying nothing, and President Bush
was saying nothing. I know that we have lost troops in skirmishes
in the Middle East in the last month; why the fuck are they not
getting any coverage, while seven astronauts are? Tragedies in this
country are SO out of whack. Don’t get me wrong--I feel bad for the
families of the astronauts that were lost. But, don’t we have a war
to worry about?
Whew. Enough about that...on the movie
front, I just couldn’t get myself up to seeing any of the bigger new
releases, so I opted for an indie instead. Even the thought of
“Kangaroo Jack”--now expected to reach $75 million in grosses,
shocking news indeed--was enough to make me wonder what the hell I
am going to do in February. Please,
“Old School”, open soon...
“Lost in La Mancha”, for all intents and
purposes, should have been called “Project Greenlight--Terry
Gilliam’s Nightmare”, because that would have drawn more people to
theaters to see this great film. “Lost in La Mancha” is a
documentary that follows director Terry Gilliam (the genius behind
“Brazil”, “Time Bandits”, and “12 Monkeys”) as he attempts to get
his labor of love “The Man Who Shot Don Quixote” made in Spain a
couple of years ago. As you might have guessed, the film never
finished principal photography...so, we get to watch all manner of
things go wrong as Gilliam tries valiantly to work around a number
of problems to get this Johnny Depp vehicle off the ground.
An exquisite behind-the-scenes look at how
difficult it can be to just shoot one scene, directors Keith Fulton
and Louis Pepe have a great set of footage detailing preproduction
meetings with Gilliam, Depp, French legend Jean Rochefort and the
producers of the film as they miss deadline after deadline on the
way to a disastrous conclusion. Like the HBO series “Project
Greenlight” from last year, it is pure fun watching the day-by-day
process which filmmakers go through to get the perfect shot on film
with the limited resources that the “Quixote” crew is working with.
There is also a lot to learn from the mistakes made here, especially
if you have aspirations to work on the production side sometime down
The film does start off quite slowly, and
that meant that I almost lost it in the first 20 minutes as I
battled the fact that I had taken no nap yet. But, once the actors
begin to show up in Madrid for the start of filming, the film takes
on an air that is almost too much to be believed...until you realize
that this all really happened! Might be hard to find in your area
but if you can, check it out. Interesting look at the difficulty of
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$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