The Meaning of Life (1983)

Director: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam

Writer: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin (Screenplay)

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleverland

 

Plot: The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.


Tagline – It took God six days to create the earth, and Monty Python just 90 minutes to screw it up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for the Fans

 

Story: The Meaning of Life is a series of different ideas of the meaning of life from point of views, we enter into different class, different religions and different careers. Each chapter connects to the previous which adds to the bigger point in the comedy behind just what is being poked fun at.

 

Thoughts on The Meaning of Life

 

StoryWith this being a series of sketches it doesn’t make it difficult to talk about the story, we have so many different mini stories which are clearly put together to show the different stages of life, from birth to death as the search for the meaning of life is put together. Most of the sketches generally miss which end up feeling flat as they just don’t build up to the moment of comedy required, it has also ended up feeling very dated with the way it handles everything in a not so subtle manor.

ComedyThe comedy in this film is all about taste, if you are not a fan of the Monty Python team, you won’t enjoy the comedy through the film, bit like myself. If you are a fan you will get to laugh more.

SettingsThe film takes us to multiply locations for each sketches, each will become clear for the message trying to be told.


Scene of the Movie –
Catholic and Protestants

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the comedy misses.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sketch movie that tries to play through important moments in history and only feels too forced for anything to really be anything special.

 

Overall: Sketch show comedy.

Rating

 

 

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

mmonkeysDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, David Morse, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic of Time Travel Genre

 

Story: Twelve Monkeys starts as we learn 7 billion people died thanks to virus released and the animals have taken control of the planet once more. The remaining humans live underground and we follow James Cole (Willis) a prisoner who is assigned to visit the surface before being selected to visit the past to try and stop the virus outbreak.

When James is sent back to 1990 he finds himself being set to a mental institute thanks to the doctor Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who sees his ramblings of a mad man as he searches for the army of the 12 monkeys. On his time in the mental home he meets the eccentric Jeffrey Goines (Pitt) who has to show him around and preach his beliefs.

Failing on his first mission Cole gets sent back again and again until he works with Kathryn to uncover the truth behind the secrets of the twelve monkeys and the virus who destroyed the world.

Twelve Monkeys gives us a time travel movie that is also plays out as a virus outbreak that has happened. We get a time travel story that does try to solve the mystery of how the virus came about as we have to put together loose clues sent back. The mystery is great to see how it gets solved even though we get a false lead for most of the film. There are certain moments in the film which could have given us more mystery for example one big side to the story is whether Cole is sane or not and there is never a doubt that he has time travelled and I believe creating that doubt could add another dimension to this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Bruce Willis: James Cole comes from the future to try and uncover the truth about a virus which wiped out humanity while he was just a child. Each time he returns he uncovers more clues working with doctor Kathryn Railly they search for the answers to what will create the future where humans have been whittled down to 1%. Bruce is great showing how he can work the more serious roles stepping away from the action genre.

Madeleine Stowe: Kathryn Railly is a psychologist that has been treated Cole on his first visit only for when he disappears. When he returns she finds herself believing everything and working with him to save the human race. Madeleine is a good supporting character working with Bruce very well.

Brad Pitt: Jeffrey Goines is the leader of the army of the twelve monkeys who is going against his powerful father that has been experimenting on animals but is he the guy that released the virus? Brad gives us a performance that did truly break him out of the current roles of a pretty boy he had been making his name in.

David Morse: Dr Peters works for the animal trials where he gets close up information on what the monkeys are receiving making him just as much of a suspect as Jeffrey. David is only just a supporting role but he does well in the few scenes he has.

Support Cast: Twelve Monkeys has a supporting cast which interact with our main cast with the strange scientists in the future who are Terry Gilliam written all over them.

Director Review: Terry GilliamTerry unique style is all over this fil even with the most important part of the film coming off serious we get small elements which keep this being his own work.

 

Mystery: Twelve Monkeys keeps us wondering throughout the film to where the virus really came from even though the element of time travel will always stick to the fact he was a time traveller.

Sci-Fi: Twelve Monkeys has the idea that the world has been destroyed by a virus as well as having time travel shows the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: Twelve Monkeys keeps the past and present looking very different so we can easily tell the two apart from Cole’s journeys.
Special Effects
: Twelve Monkeys has good effects when needed without turning to them too often.

Suggestion: Twelve Monkeys is one I suggest everyone who is into time travel to watch at least once to see if they can understand the spin on an outbreak film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The time travel spin on a virus film.

Worst Part: You may need a couple of viewings to understand parts of the film

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $29 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: The future is history

 

Overall: One of the best mind-bending time travel films out there.

Ratingtwelve

 

 

The Zero Theorem (2013)

logoDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Pat Rushin (Screenplay)

Starring: Christoph Waltz, Lily Cole, David Thewlis, Ben Whishaw, Peter Stormare, Melanie Thierry, Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Lucas Hedges

 

Plot: A computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; namely, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Asking the Question We All Ask

 

Story: The Zero Theorem starts by Qohen (Waltz) working on his computer trying to find the answers. He enters into the futuristic world with talking billboards controlled by Mancom where Qohen happens to work for. Joby (Thewlis) his boss is trying to keep everything together by Qohen is trying to find the answers to life but wants to talk to Management (Damon). Qohen is trying to get disability time off or working from home but he does get a chance to meet management at a party held by Joby.

Qohen meeting with Management didn’t go as well but upon a second meeting he gets given a chance to work on a special project for Management. The next project means he can work at how and along with hardware tech Bob (Hedges) he starts the job that could take up the rest of his life. Struggling to reach the same levels off work at home, because the project is much harder than first thought. Joby sends help Bainsley (Thierry) to help take his mind off the work and clean up the place. Qohen is searching for answers to make him feeling unique in the world instead of just be part of the system.

The Zero Theorem uses the very core question that gets asked by plenty of people through time ‘what are we here for?’ as I find myself asking this question I could relate to the ideas that Qohen was feeling with the search for answers because without them everything seems meaningless. The confusing side of the story comes with the job these people work on where the search for theorem answers is their main goal. I liked the intereaction between the character showing how top boss will give you a chance the supervisor will pretend to friend you while the young assistants help in their own way. This film will end up making you think which is alway a good thing in a film. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Christoph Waltz: Qohen Leth a lonely man who wants to find a purpose for his life in a world where he is just part of the system, he is good at his job and ends up taking a difficult project to try and help his need to achieve more. Christoph does a good job in this role showing how he always has that thinking look in his eyes. (7/10)

 waltz

David Thewlis: Joby supervisor who helps Qohen gets the task he wants trying to keep things together. David gives a solid supporting performance and clearly becomes the quirky one of the group. (6/10)

joby

Melanie Thierry: Bainsley a call girl who becomes friends with Qohen trying to help him come from outside his shell. Melanie does a good job as the sexy distraction in Qohen’s life. (7/10)

 bainsey

Matt Damon: Management who gives Qohen a chance to prove his worth but demands things don’t done. Matt does a solid job in this small supporting role (6/10)

 

Lucas Hedges: Bob son of Management who is the tech guy who is set to help Qohen keep everything working so he can find his solution. Lucas gives the best performance of the cast as he sums up how Qohen could have felt as a youngster and how he will feel when he is older. (8/10)

bob

Support Cast: The Zero Theorem doesn’t have much else in way of supporting cast anybody else is just small parts that try to help the story continue.

 

Director Review: Terry Gilliam – Terry always gives us something weird and wonderful to watch and this doesn’t let us down. (7/10)

 

Fantasy: The Zero Theorem enters into a potential fantasy future we are not aware of yet. (6/10)

Sci-Fi: The Zero Theorem uses a future world where anything could become possible to create a solid sci-fi element to the story. (8/10)

Settings: The Zero Theorem keeps the reality world settings dark but the fantasy world bright to make a good contrast between the two worlds. (8/10)
Special Effects
: The Zero Theorem uses good special effects to make the fantasy happen. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Zero Theorem is one to try it will make you think which could put people off, but it is worth it in the end. (Try It)

 

Best Part: First beach trip.

Worst Part: Slightly too much thinking.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Brazil

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing is everything.

 

Overall: Finding out the answers to everything is not always what you want it to be.

Rating 72

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

logoDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci

 

Plot: The Brothers Grimm Wilhelm (Damon), Jacob (Ledger) go round from town to town taking advantage of the suppositious locals and their myths and fairy tales. While Cavaldi (Stormare) is determined to expose the truth about the legend and General Delatombe (Pryce) sends the Brothers to a small village to uncover the truth behind a mysterious number of disappearances of the children of the village.

 

When the Brothers arrive in the village they are treated rather unwelcomely and have to join forces with local hunter Angelika (Headey). After they discover that the mystery is real they must learn to accept that they will need to fight a real supernatural being to save the village and their reputations.

 

Verdict: Twisted Fantasy Fun

 

Story: When you hear the name Brothers Grimm you know you are going to have a twisted fairy tale, this follows that have plenty of references to this fairy tales. We get to see how pretenders become heroes after going up against their own fears. I feel it could have been more twisted for what the subject idea is but it works well for gentle fun. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Matt Damon: Wilhelm Grimm the showman of the brothers who always seems to be out for himself and holding Jacob’s mistake against him. Good performance from Damon who shows he has comedy skills. (8/10)

 damon

Heath Ledger: Jacob Grimm the smarter of the two brothers who is also more accepting of the idea of supernatural. Good performance from Heath showing that he really could do just about any role. (8/10)

ledger

Peter Stormare: Cavaldi a man hunting down the brothers and their hoaxing but ends up having to work with them to solve the case of the missing children. Solid from Peter showing he makes a great supporting star. (8/10)

 

Jonathan Pryce: Delatombe a general trying to rid the country of the Brothers and their tricks. Good supporting performance filled with plenty of eccentricity. (7/10)

 

Lena Headey: Angelika a local hunter who is believed to be cursed because he sisters were the first to go missing. Good supporting role that also ends up becoming a love interest for the brothers. (7/10)

 lena

Director Review: Terry Gilliam – For what we are wanted to expected from Terry this one comes off a bit tame for him even though it is very entertaining. (7/10)

 

Action: Mostly fantasy adventure action. (7/10)

Adventure: Good sense of adventure felt throughout. (8/10)

Comedy: A few laughs but that just eases the serious side of the story. (6/10)

Settings: Good authentic settings used, and the creepy woods add to the atmosphere. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Solid special effects but the CGI is clear to see. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is only to try, if you want to see the stars in different roles than you are used it works well, but its more something we have seen before. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The darker moments.

Worst Part: Not enough dark moments

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Scariest Scene: The mud monster from the well.

Believability: All fairy tales come from stories this could be true but this story goes a bit far. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is left open for a sequel, but it is unlikely.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $105,316,267

Budget: $88mil

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: This isn’t the way to Grandmother’s house.

Trivia:Damon and Ledger were cast in each other roles but petitions to swap.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Fantasy Action

Rating 71