Brother’s Grimm is an oddball, goofy tale, nearly saved by the hilarious performances of Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. It’s a shame that they’ll never have the chance to work together again, as their charisma can make any dud watchable. That’s the case with The Brother’s Grimm.
It’s a simple story on paper, that somehow it turned into a mish-mash of ideas when it’s on-screen. Will and Jacob are the Brother’s Grimm, frauds who take advantage of people’s fears by setting up elaborate hoaxes and turning a profit by eliminating them Ghostbusters style. The problem exists when their hoax ends up being an actual event the uncoordinated and constantly feuding brothers must tackle.
Loaded with characters, including far too many villains, Brother’s Grimm never seems to get going. Terry Gilliam seems like the right choice for a goofy, off-the-wall fantasy, but his direction is an acquired taste. His weird angle choices clash with a typical Hollywood approach to other shots. It’s not repetitive, but also not that engaging.
The film is also a case of the studio jumping in to take control, causing Gilliam to drop out to make an entirely different movie only to come back and finish Grimm. Whether or not that squabble ends up in the finished film will never be known, but it had to have some effect.
Still, sit back and enjoy the antics of Damon and Ledger to make your time well spent. Who knew Damon could scream at that pitch? They toss out great lines as well, and do so with a fine delivery.
That’s not quite enough to save the film though. It makes it tolerable. The dated effects are less than stellar, falling trap to the modern “CG is king” syndrome. It pulls the viewer out of a world designed around some fine costuming and sets. In the end, the entire production is a better idea than it is as a finished product. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]
At times, this AVC encode can shine. Detail is on the level of some of the top-tier discs out there. Uniforms and faces burst with miniscule little details. Colors provide plenty of pop, and the black levels deliver on all counts.
Then, there’s the other side of this transfer, the one where DNR is heavy, black levels are far too weak, and detail is completely lost. Artifacting is routinely noticeable, and grain is inconsistent due to the over processed noise reduction. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Video]
An aggressive PCM mix immediately takes charge, loading the sound field with distinctive audio in every scene. All details are captured, from birds flying around the screen, rain falling, horses running, and of course the action. It’s a wild success. In fact, there’s not a single missed cue of positional audio to be found no matter how minor. The low end is also deep, providing that wonderful rumble every great audio presentation should. [xrr rating=5/5 label=Audio]
Only a few of DVD extras have made the hi-def trip, beginning with a solo commentary from Terry Gilliam. He continues talking over a stack of 12 deleted scenes which last a total of 15 minutes. There’s also a brief, standard featurette on the visual effects that runs for about nine minutes. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Extras]