Release Date: August 26th, 2005 by Dimension Films.
The Cast: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Headey, Petere Stormare.
Directed by Terry Gilliam.
BASIC PREMISE: Will and Jake Grimm (Damon and Ledger), con artists who spread made-up folklore, are put to the test when they must save a village from a magically cursed forest after children mysteriously disappear.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This is a very visually-stunning and exciting movie. The special effects really kick in midway, as the brothers enter the magically cursed forest. In this forest, there are trees with roots that slither around like snakes and, at one point, there is a menacing wolf-like creature. The most imaginative scene is when a young boy's face is literally wiped out by a dark brown liquid from a well. This liquid then turns into the Gingerbread Man--but he has special powers that can extend his arms and swallow the little boy by whole. There are fundamentally two basic tensions or conflicts that add suspense to the plot. One is set up from the very beginning, which is whether or not Will and Jake will uncover the mystery behind the children's disappearances so that they can save both the village and their own lives. The second is once they find the source of the cursed forest, will they be able to reverse it? Damon and Ledger are both gleefully type-cast and their energy along with their conviction justifies how much they enjoy their roles. Pryce gives a good performance as the evil Italian inquisitor Delatombe who forces the brothers to go on the mission in the first place. Stormare is particularly hilarious as Calvadi, Delatombe's assistant who travels along with Will and Jake. There is one very disgusting yet darkly comical scene when a beautiful woman (Headey) nonchalantly skins an animal while she talks to the brothers. There are other gruesome scenes, but none of them are excessive. The make-up, costumes, and the settings are all impressive, well-designed, and very realistic. It is both fun and surprising to watch Will and Jake go through their exciting adventure through the supernatural.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: There is not much to think about because this is purely an action adventure/fantasy. There aren't any moving or romantic scenes--just a lot of excitement and thrills.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: This is one of the most thrilling action-adventures of the year with dazzling special effects. A must-see for Terry Gilliam fans!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "B" Menu