Movie Review: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Before we get into the review itself, I want to apologize for my absence for almost two weeks. First I was busy, and then I got really sick. But now I’m back! Woo!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Brothers Grimm”.

Jake (Heath Ledger, R.I.P) and Will (Matt Damon) are a pair of brothers who travel from town to town, defeating demons for the people. And by defeating demons I mean that they set up a fake demon based on local folklore, “defeat it”, and then get paid by the people of those towns. But these dirty rotten scoundrels are about to come face to face with something they never thought they’d run into… a forest filled with actual magical creatures. So now we have our dark fairy tail. And is this plot any good? There’s a lot of good ideas here, but in the end it’s a fucking mess. At times it’s a comedy, at times it’s a horror movie, at times it’s a whimsical fantasy, at times a family drama. It creates an inconsistent and messy blend that doesn’t work.

The characters in this I can see the potential of, but we only ever skim the surface of them. Heath Ledger (May he rest in peace) plays Jake, one of the two titular brothers. He has a love of fairy tales, and often shows signs of believing in them (at least more than his brother). He’s also a little bit of an idiot and a coward. He’s probably the closest we have here to a compelling character. Though that could also be because Heath Ledger is really good in the role. Matt Damon plays Will, the second Grimm brother. He’s more or less the leader of the two, and can be a bit of a jerk at times. And his character is… meh. Damon’s good though. Then we have Peter Stormare as an Italian soldier that the brothers travel with through the movie. He’s a bit of an idiot and chews all the scenery. And yes, Stormare is glorious in the role. Then we have Lena Headey as Angelika, a young hunter that the brothers run into during their quest and eventually join forces with. She’s a no-nonsense badass with a mysterious past, and while that sounds interesting, it’s only surface-level. But Headey is really good in the role. And we get some okay supporting turns from people like Jonathan Pryce, Mackenzie Crook, Monica Bellucci, Richard Ridings, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Dario Marianelli, and I think he did a good job with it. His score is bombastic, emotional, quirky, and even has a bit of a fairy tale feel to it. It somehow elevates the movie above it’s mediocrity. It’s almost too good for whatever the hell is on screen at any given time.

This movie was directed by Terry Gilliam and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, his direction really helps sell the fairy tale style and even builds a lot of atmosphere. But it is devoid of any real tension, despite being part horror flick. And the CGI in this movie, good fucking god… it’s awful. I can usually excuse a little bit of bad CGI, but when you have so many awesome practical sets/costumes/props, the bad CG gets quite distracting, especially when it’s as prominent as it is here.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 38% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

While “The Brothers Grimm” has some good things going for it, I’d say it’s a bit too messy to recommend. It has a very messy plot, meh characters, good performances, good music, okay directing, and awful effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Brothers Grimm” is a 4,98/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Brothers Grimm” is now completed.

Feels good to be back.

Movie Review: Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Something something, action movies. Honestly, I’m too sick to think of a clever intro somehow relating back to this movie. So let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Shoot ‘Em Up”.

After having delivered a baby, a homeless man named Smith (Clive Owen) has to protect the newly born baby from a crazy hitman named Hertz (Paul Giamatti). I know it sounds like I’m making some weird shit up, but that’s the actual plot of the movie… and I’m okay with that, because it’s handled in such a way that makes it work. Some movies would try to make it a serious movie where the baby would have a dramatic point, which I feel wouldn’t entirely work. Instead this is handled as a fast-paced/fucking insane action plot that never takes itself too seriously. It’s quite a self-aware plot that gleefully embraces the ridiculousness of the situation, and that’s what I love about it.

The characters aren’t necessarily that deep and compelling, but they’re still quite interesting and incredibly fun to watch. Clive Owen plays Smith as a combination of Clint Eastwood in “A Fistful of Dollars” and Bugs Bunny. That’s right, he’s a pretty much nameless badass that chomps carrots, and Owen is great in the role. Paul Giamatti plays the head hitman who’s going after Smith and the baby. He’s kind of a crazy asshole and Giamatti is terrific in the role. We also get Monica Bellucci as a lactating hooker (yes, you read that right) that reluctantly helps Smith take care of the baby. And Bellucci is really good in the role. We also get Stephen McHattie as a gun manufacturer named Hammerson, and he’s really good in the role. It’s overall a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Paul Haslinger and it is awesome. It’s heavily based in rock with traces of electronica, and it perfectly fits the non-stop action pace perfectly. They also used a bunch of licensed rock/metal tracks throughout and they too fit the movie perfectly. Then it’s also a treat for me because, as you probably know by now, I mainly listen to rock and metal. But seriously, AC/DC, Motörhead, Wolfmother… so much good music here! Really, the music in this movie is overall great and it fits the movie perfectly.

This movie was directed by Michael Davis and I think he did a great job here. There’s a lot of frenetic energy in his directing, which keeps the movie from getting boring. There’s very little time between action scenes, which is fun to see. Speaking of the action scenes, fuck me, it’s rare to find action this fun in a modern action movie. For one, YOU CAN SEE IT! No shaky-cam bullshit, everything can be seen. What’s also interesting is that most of the action (about 95%) is gun-centric. And I don’t mean just *pop out of cover, shoot* *pop out of cover, shoot*. They do a lot of creative things with the gunplay here which makes it all feel fresh and fun. Also, this is a really violent movie. So if you hate blood and gore, then you’ve been warned. There’s also a good amount of comedy throughout the movie and I thought it was quite funny.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Shoot ‘Em Up” isn’t a particularly deep movie, but that doesn’t matter because it’s an incredibly entertaining action flick! It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, great directing, and really good comedy. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Shoot ‘Em Up” is a 9,87/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Shoot ‘Em Up” is now completed.

This is one of the most video game-y movies I’ve ever seen.