Rob Watches Movies

Reviews of every film I watch. The Good, The Bad and The Mothman Prophecies.

Tag: Terry Gilliam

Twelve Monkeys – 8.5/10

“I want the future to be unknown. I want to become a whole person…”

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Time Bandits – 8.5/10

The poor are going to be absolutely thrilled. Have you met them at all?’

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Snowpiercer – 7/10

‘You know what I hate about myself? I know what people taste like. I know babies taste the best…’

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The Zero Theorem – 7/10

Bald man grapples with dystopia whilst staring at various women’s breasts.

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Anyone who has seen any of Terry Gilliams’ previous work (Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus(!) etc) will know that he is a bit of an oddball. I have always felt if he was a bit more b̶o̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ serious like Terrence Malick say, he would be a lot more appreciated in high brow circles but instead he infuses his lofty ambitions with humour and colour.

The dystopia featured in The Zero Theorem obviously owes a debt to 1984 but to be fair it is almost impossible not to and he does bring his own visual style to the table. I quite like main player Christoph Waltz (although he has never got close to equalling his performance in Inglorious Basterds). Waltz grows into the role but Matt Damon steals every scene he is in. If you are into deep and meaningful symbolic stuff and you like Gilliam’s previous work then you should definitely give this a shot. Stick with it too, the last half an hour is much better than the opening.

The Double – 7.5/10

The true story of the rivalry between Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera (Not really).

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Jesse Eisenberg is perhaps best known for his awkward on screen persona but he recently he has branched out. With Now You See Me Eisenberg was cocky and confident. With The Social Network he combined the confidence and the awkwardness to create something great. With The Double he plays all of the above split into two characters. Pretty damn impressive.

Director Richard Ayoade is less consistent with his sophomore effort. Tarantino has made a career out of wearing his influences on his sleeve to make movies that become more than the sum of their parts. Ayoade tries this with The Double but short.

The influences are obvious – From literature, the bizarre paranoia of Kafka with a splash of the absurd bureaucracy of Catch 22. From film, the work of Charlie Kaufman and Alfred Hitchcock plus massive nods to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and David Lynch’s Eraserhead and Fight Club looms large throughout as well. The difficulty here is borrowing from such highly regarded influences without becoming a pale imitation of them. Ayoade brings some tricks of his own along to give him his due. The lighting and soundtrack are eerie and disconcerting and fit perfectly and the huge list of cameo’s just about stays the right side of enjoyable without becoming distracting.

Sadly The Double doesn’t seem anywhere near as sure of itself as Ayoade’s stunning cinematic début Submarine. It is possible that he over reached himself with this brave and ambitious film but it is still a mostly successful curiosity that I look forward to watching again.

Moulin Rouge – 7.5/10.

Love him or hate him, there is no denying Baz Luhrman makes interesting movies.
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I don’t normally go for musicals much but I really enjoyed Moulin Rouge. The soundtrack is excellent and on the acting front Jim Broadbent and Nicole Kidman are superb – Ewan McGregor kind of got on my nerves a bit though. He is a bit too camp and chirpy for me. There is no need for that much chirpiness. I did enjoy his beard though in certain segments of the film so swings and roundabouts…
As always Baz Luhrman creates a feel and a look that is almost incomparable in Hollywood. Only Terry Gilliam matches Luhrman for pure imagination.
The Blues Brothers will always be my favourite musical but Moulin Rouge is definitely one that I enjoyed and would probably watch again.

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