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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > Literature > The Brothers Grimm (Blu-ray)

The Brothers Grimm (Blu-ray)


Picture: B†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C†††† Film: C-



Back in 1962, MGM produced an elaborate epic fantasy production called The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm and it was even in big-screen Cinerama.It had a huge all-star cast and is one of the most ambitious undertakings of the classic literary material ever filmed.When it was announced that Terry Gilliam was going to do his own Brothers Grimm film, many expected something at least as wondrous as his own successful version of Baron Munchausen.When we heard Matt Damon and a then-in-commercial-overkill Heath Ledger would play the brothers, we wondered if that was a bad omen.Unfortunately, it was.


As Wilhelm (Damon) and Jacob (Ledger) first surface, they are not just writers anymore.Gilliam has turned them into participants in their stories and real life, telling us that they just were not brilliant enough to create these ideas on their own, but that they were reporting real life experiences and many went to them to solve their supernatural problems.On one level, that is obviously insulting, but if we suspend that aspect, does the film still work?No!


Instead, it is overedited, incoherent in the worst way and a mess that even Gilliam complained about upon its theatrical release.Peter Stormare, Lena Hedley, Jonathan Pryce and Monica Bellucci also show up, but they cannot save the film either.Once again, as with Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (reviewed on HD-DVD elsewhere on this site), Gilliam tries to make the film a direct experience and fails miserably.The visual effects are cheaper and lamer than usual, which is what seems to happen when a Gilliam film goes wrong.


The 1080p digital High Definition image does look decent, as shot by Bryan Singerís usual cinematographer Newton Thomas Siegel, A.S.C. in what is still badly edited though not bad looking.There are still some minor issues with detail and color, but this is above what a standard DVD would deliver.The PCM 5.1 16bit/48kHz mix is the best here and is not bad, better than what you get form the Dolby Digital 5.1 and also suffers from odd sound editing.Still, the combination of fidelity is above regular DVD and we need to give credit where it is due.


Despite Gilliamís unhappiness with this theatrical cut, here he is doing an audio commentary for the film and for deleted scenes.Keep his criticisms in mind as you listen.You also get a feature that showcases highlights of the film that only the Blu-ray format can offer.Since this is a 25GB Blu-ray, maybe Gilliam is hoping for a directorís cut if this gets reissued in a 50GB version.If that can improve that, well, that will be something to see.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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