Just got back from seeing The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, possibly the weirdest film in the history of film. It was directed by Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame and it does have a slight Python-esque feel to it, but it's much weirder than Python. It follows a travelling 'magic' show around London, lead by Dr Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) with his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) and some others. I don't actually remember their names, which sets the tone for the rest of this review. They come across Heath Ledger's character hanging by the neck under a bridge across the Thames and then some weird shit happens.
That's basically it. They hadn't finished the movie when Heath Ledger died, so they do some cool stuff with a couple of other actors (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell etc) to finish off the role. The acting is really good, especially, of course, from Christopher Plummer and surprisingly from Lily Cole, who it transpires is not just a pretty face. The effects are amazing, different from anything I've ever seen before, and this movie is worth seeing on the big screen just for that. The first half was good, not amazing, but good. The second half was just too weird. So weird to the point of being absolutely pointless. It was so weird that you just lost touch with what was happening. It all had to do with wagers with the devil, the whole faust thing, and the downfalls of immortality. Also the need to choose one's path and the ramifications of those choices.
It would have been better as a mini series I think, with a little more time to play around with and breaks between episodes, maybe six parts. It would have been an award winning, life-changing mini-series as well, like The Singing Detective, or Angels In America, a mind-blowing, fascinating journey of evil vs who knows, the epic sort of showdown of ancient foes, which I've only really come across in Darkwater Hall by Catherine Fisher when I was a young teenager.
This movie could have been so good, but unfortunately it is just average. Cool effects, good acting, but very little substance.