Remember Scooby Doo? There were five of them. Fred, the preppy blond, Velma, the nerdy one in the orange cardigan and purple skirt, Daphne, in her one piece purple outfit, Shaggy, the stoner, and Scooby, cowardly, but faithful dog? Each Saturday morning, they'd investigate supernatural occurrences, only to discover it was someone in a mask? I'd have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids?
Remember they decided to slim down the cast so there were only three, instead of five? It was Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy? No more mysteries! These were real ghosts and goblins, and mostly consisted of Scooby and Shaggy running around scared, as usual, and Scrappy trying to beat up the baddies?
That's the Brothers Grimm
There's no denying that Terry Gilliam presents a word as fantastic as any that Tim Burton has created. Yet, Burton seems to be able to keep a consistent tone and genre throughout his film.
If the Brothers Grimm has problems, it's that it mixes all sorts of stories together. The Brothers, played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, are con-men, who pretend they can deal with the supernatural, mostly because they are the ones who conjure them up. Now that's an angle that The Mystery Machine never took. What if our beloved gang were the ones causing the ghosts, and solving it?
Yet, then the story veers from con-men to a rural German village where little girls have been kidnapped---ten, so far. The French, who occupy Germany, ask the Brothers Grimm to solve the mystery, except this time it's real. Trees walk. A castle of sorts on top of a large tree. Crows that fly everywhere. An oversized wolf that wanders around. Enchanted forests, a queen who seeks eternal youth, and Peter Stomare playing an Italian torturer. Grazie, signore.
In the end, the brothers learn a valuable lesson. Trust in one another. And kiss the fair maiden.
If the film has a problem, it's that the stories that the Grimm brothers were noted for, are interwoven in the film, and it makes little sense. These stories, so I'm told, were in fact, not so fit for kids, being more gory and black than sweet and innocent. Yet, their presence in this film feels forced. Jack and the Beanstalk is really how Jacob, the younger, took money for magical beans, even as their sister was dying and in need of medicine.
If there's anything positive, it's in the acting. Both Damon and Ledger, and especially Ledger, play against stereotype. Ledger plays a scholarly type, full of twitches, and never as confident as Damon. There's at least some hope that he'll do a good job in Brokeback Mountain which should come out around December. I had read concerns that Heath was too much the pretty boy, and would be unable to play a convincing character.
Peter Stomare plays Calvadi, the Italian, who tortures for the French, who occupy Germany. It's truly an international gathering. All the non-Germans are played with over the top faux accents, including Brit, Jonathan Pryce, as Delatombe, the French commander who compels the Grimm brothers to help, lest they be tortured. Only Monica Bellucci, who presumably is Italian, is speaking in her accented English as she normally does.
On a 1 to 10 scale, it's a 4. Visually inventive, yet, the mishmash of differing tones, makes it tough to accept.
corrections - - Chick Corea (note the spelling) was a member of Miles Davis' band. - Graham Chapman, the only Graham in the group, is the only deceased mem...
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