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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Post from the Old Blog: Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus DVD Review

If you liked the movie, it’s worth a rent.

If you are like a lot of people, you only wanted to see this movie because it was the last thing Heath Ledger did before his untimely death. Since the film was a limited release, many of us had to wait for the DVD to see it. So, this review covers the movie and the DVD content. Enjoy…

I thought the movie itself was okay. Just okay. It took too long to explain the back story, so it was easy to get bored in the first third of the movie. Heath Ledger’s character brought some life to the story, but his slimeball-iness wasn’t properly conveyed until he became Colin Farrell at the end.  Johnny Depp played it too sweet, and Jude Law seemed more like a wide-eyed little girl during his turn in the Imaginarium. Ledger’s performance was pretty much what it should have been for the story, considering he was trying to fool everyone. He retained a tiny bit of the mannerisms from his role as The Joker, which I particularly enjoyed. The performances by Lily Cole, Verne Troyer and Andrew Garfield were funny in all the right places, and Christopher Plummer fit the role of Doctor Parnassus perfectly. Tom Waits’ Mr. Nick (aka Satan) was my favorite character and performance because of his consistently sinister humor.

The visual effects in this movie were nice. The Imaginarium itself is colorful and vibrant and looks like it was pulled from some incredible children’s books. The costumes worn during the stage shows (see photo) were a lot of fun and a throwback to Shakespeare. All in all, the movie was visually pleasing, but that hardly makes up for the choppy, slow-moving story.
The DVD’s special features do help to make sense of the choppiness of the story. There is one deleted scene, which is just more of the scene where Anton is finding the boy who accidentally goes through the mirror. It really only makes sense to purchase the DVD for the special features if you are a superfan of Heath Ledger though, because most of them are about him.

My final word on this DVD is 'meh'. If you like it, rent it. If you obsess about Heath Ledger or any of the other man candy (Depp, Farrell, Law) buy it.

2.5 out of 5.

Available on DVD and BluRay.

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