Check out Richard’s cineplex.com article on Monty Python as the Beatles of Comedy.
“’I’ve got two legs from my hips to the ground, and when I move them, they walk around,’ isn’t a line with the elegance of, ‘Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,’ but it is a lot funnier.
“Comparing the work of Monty Python and The Beatles might seem like equating apples to oranges, or guitars to crunchy frogs, but it really isn’t that much of a stretch. Eric (Idle), Graham (Chapman), Michael (Palin), John (Cleese) and a couple of Terrys (Gilliam and Jones) have a lot in common with John, Paul, George and Ringo.
“Monty Python has been called the most influential comedy troupe of all time. Their absurdist brand…” Read the whole thing HERE!
Read Richard’s Cineplex.com listing of the top Monty Python quotes of all time and the stories behind them!
“Monty Python may well be the most quoted comedy troupe in history. There is a Facebook page dedicated to lines from their sketches and movies and it’s not an argument until somebody says, “This isn’t an argument! It’s just contradiction!” Their lines have become part of the of the international comedy conversation and even thought they have been making people laugh for generations, they still seem as outrageous now as they did when they were first written…”
“The Double” plays like a movie made by the love child of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam. Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky novella about a man who finds his life being usurped by his doppelgänger, it is a quietly surreal story about the existential misfortune of a man (Jesse Eisenberg) with no sense of himself.
Eisenberg is Simon, an insecure twenty-something trying to make a name for himself, personally and professionally, to no avail. His boss (Wallace Shawn) ignores his ideas and even his mother isn’t a fan. He’s in love with co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), who lives in an apartment across the street from him, but like everyone else Hannah looks right through Simon.
“I have all these things that I want to say to her,” he says, “like how I can tell she’s a lonely person, even if other people can’t. Cause I know what it feels like to be lost and lonely and invisible.”
Everything changes when James (Eisenberg again) is hired at work. Physically he’s Simon’s doppelgänger, an exact match, but personality-wise he a polar opposite. Confident and charismatic, he excels at work and worst of all, Hannah wants to date him.
In front of the camera “The Double” writer-director Richard Ayoade is best known for playing computer nerd Maurice Moss on the much-loved British sitcom “The IT Crowd.” Behind the camera his work takes a much more darkly comedic approach. His first film, “Submarine,” was an edgy coming-of-age story that earned him a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
“The Double” strays into even stranger territory. Imagine “The Nutty Professor’s” Professor Julius Kelp / Buddy Love filtered through Dostoevsky’s “mystery of spiritual existence.” Ayoade creates a personal dystopia, inhabited by Simon, Hannah and James; a stylized study of paranoia with a few laughs thrown in. It’s an unabashedly weird movie that lets its freak flag fly.
This is Eisenberg’s film. He and Michael Cera (who tread on similar dual character territory in 2009’s “Youth in Revolt”) have made careers playing up the socially awkward nature of their characters, so half of “The Social Network” actor’s performance is no surprise. His work as Simon is something we’ve seen before from him, but his take on James is fresh, accomplished with shifts in body language. He effectively plays two characters in one movie.
In the end “The Double” stands as a unique movie, rich in Orwellian details and with good performances, but marred by a difficult, confusing story that may alienate less adventurous viewers.
The news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sudden passing was met with a heartfelt outpouring of grief from fans and those who worked with him.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation,” Lionsgate, the studio behind the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, said in a written statement. “We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
Hoffman played head -games-maker-turned-rebel leader Plutarch Heavensbee in the successful series. It is a pivotal role.
In the wake of the actor’s death, questions arose as to whether the uncompleted blockbusters-in-waiting would be completed in time for their scheduled November 21, 2014 for Part 1 and November 20, 2015 for Part 2 release dates.
Hollywood studios have handled the sudden death of cast members in many different ways. In some cases, films are even abandoned.
Production on Something’s Got to Give was shut down permanently after Marilyn Monroe’s August 1962 barbiturate overdose.
Dark Blood, River Phoenix’s final film, was put into cold storage when the young actor died before filming several crucial scenes. But both movies were eventually resurrected. The documentary Marilyn: The Final Days used footage from Monroe’s aborted film while Dark Blood sat for 19 years before being finished and shown at film festivals.
Father and son Bruce and Brandon Lee both died early, leaving behind unfinished films. The elder martial arts legend had completed 100 minutes of The Game of Death when a cerebral edema took his life.
Even more tragically, Brandon was killed on the set of The Crow in an accident involving a prop handgun.
Both films were salvaged with the use of stand-ins.
When Oliver Reed collapsed of a heart attack at a Malta pub after out-drinking a group of Royal Navy sailors, the editing crew of Gladiator replaced him digitally in the remaining scenes of the film.
More recently, Heath Ledger unexpectedly died during the production of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. He was replaced in the surreal story by three actors.
“I just started calling friends of Heath,” director Terry Gilliam said. “It’s as simple as that.”
“Johnny (Depp), Colin (Farrell) and Jude (Law) turned up. It was important that they were friends, because I wanted to keep it in the family. I wanted people who were close to him because, as Colin said when he was doing his part, he was channelling Heath part of the time, so Heath was very much still alive in some sense.
“Contractually, it was supposed to be a Terry Gilliam Film,” said Gilliam. “That’s what the lawyers said, but I said, ‘No way it’s going to be that. It’s going to be a film from Heath Ledger and friends.’ The cast sat around one night and that idea came up and I said, ‘This is it. Perfect. That’s how we do it.’”
As for the upcoming Hunger Games films, reports now confirm that Hoffman completed work on Part 1 and had just seven days left of shooting on Part 2.
His absence will not require any recasting, just a rewrite of one scene. And so Mockingjay Part 2 becomes the final film in Hoffman’s remarkable career.
“Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking,” reads a statement released by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, the films’ director Francis Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and star Jennifer Lawrence.
Synopsis: Out with the old and in with the new: 2013 contained many magnificent movie moments (and some bad ones as well, but let’s not dwell on those) for the Reel Guys and it looks like 2014 will be just as bountiful. This week we gaze into our cinematic crystal balls and choose the films we’re looking forward to in the new year.
Richard: Mark, years ago I loved a show called The Equalizer. It starred Edward Woodward as a private detective who helped people in need “equalize the odds.” It was a cool show, and as much as movie versions of programs like The A-Team and Starsky and Hutch have disappointed, I’m looking forward to this. Denzel Washington is masterful at playing ambiguous antiheroes and reteaming him with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua seems like a good idea to me.
Mark: Richard, I don’t know the show but I do like Denzel, I do like Fuqua and I do like the concept. One movie I am looking forward to is The Monuments Men with George Clooney, Matt Damon and John Goodman as civilians pressed into battle during the Second World War to save art treasures from the Nazis. This should hit all the bases for me.
RC: Clooney is always cool, and he also directed the movie, so I’m keen to see it. I’m also very excited for The Zero Theorem. Terry Gilliam says his new film is the third part of the trilogy he began with Brazil and continued with 12 Monkeys. If that isn’t enough, it stars Christoph Waltz and Matt Damon. And did I mention it sprung from the wild mind of Terry Gilliam?
MB: Reality check: Whose last movie was the unwatchable The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. When Gilliam stinks he stinks up the whole room. Just saying…. If it’s sci-fi you’re looking for, how about the RoboCop reboot, a franchise that’s had more reboots than an Ugg store? Or Transcendence, which has a Philip K. Dick meets Body Snatchers sound to it. Appeals to the paranoid side of my split personality Richard…
RC: I liked Parnassus! It was like a Salvador Dali painting come to life! Gilliam Rules! But there are other things I’m looking forward to, like Maleficent. The creepy but beautiful Sleeping Beauty villain is a role Angelina Jolie’s cheekbones were born to play. If the movie is as cool looking as the clips I’ve seen, I’ll go for the art direction alone.
MB: Sure, but I think we’re both ignoring what must be the Greatest Movie of 2014 — the cinematic adaptation of the great novel Fifty Shades of Grey. C’mon, Richard, admit it, you’ll be second in line to see it, only because I got there the night before… and I understand James Franco is playing the handcuffs.
What did Terry Gilliam say after reading “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils”? Well, let me tell you…
“The Devil is in the details.. and to appreciate why so many film makers are possessed by Ken Russell’s outrageous masterpiece, this book is a must… The book is great. I learned a lot. Far more than I have storage space.”
As you may have guessed from the title “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is an odd movie. Directed by Terry Gilliam, it is the strange tale of a mysterious immortal who complicates his life by making deals with the devil. Complicating Gilliam’s life during production was the unexpected death of his star Heath Ledger but, the show, as they say, must go on and here we are after the untimely January 2008 passing of the young actor, with a completed film. How did Gilliam finish the movie? A new credit, “A Film from Heath Ledger and Friends” tells the tale. Three of Ledger’s buddies, Johnny Depp (seen dancing on a leaf!), Colin Farrell and Jude Law, stepped in to play “through the looking glass” versions of the late actor.
Set in present day London the film begins with a look at Doctor Parnassus’s (Christopher Plummer) bizarre traveling show which offers people a chance to step through Dr.P’s magical mirror into an alternate reality. He’s selling imagination, but his gift of mind’s eye manipulation came with a heavy price. Eons before he made a trade with the devil (Tom Waits)—remarkable power in exchange for his first born daughter on her sixteenth birthday. That anniversary is now days away but with the help of a mysterious stranger named Tony (played by Ledger, Depp Law and Farrell) and the magic mirror Dr. P just may be able to save her.
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is more a piece of surrealist art than a traditional movie. Imagine watching a Salvador Dali painting come to life and you’ll get the idea. Gilliam, who co-wrote the script as well as directed, has allowed his imagination to run riot. While the story meanders to and fro he fills the screen with unforgettable images; Old Nick dangling Dr. P from the end of a branch or a multi-eyed hot air balloon shaped like a man’s head or the ensemble of skirt wearing, dancing Bobbies. Visually it’ll make your eyeballs do the Watusi.
The story, however, may leave some a bit baffled, but so what if it warps the brain a bit? The film oozes Gilliam’s trademarked anarchic spirit—he might be the only filmmaker who could replace his leading man with three other actors and actually pull it off—and is the most original movie of the year.
Monty Python has been called the most influential comedy troupe of all time. Their absurdist brand of humour spawned a new word, “pythonesque,” (look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary) and is in the DNA of everything from Saturday Night Live to South Park, from Kids in the Hall to 30 Rock.
Mike Myers says, “If comedy had a periodic element table, Python would have more than one atom on it,” and their impact is often compared to The Beatles’ effect on music.
Everyone remarks on the importance of Monty Python. Everyone, that is, except the members of the troupe itself. “I don’t see it as a legacy really,” says founding funnyman Terry Jones. “I can’t see it. I think people talk about it. I have no idea what impact we had on comedy.”
Even though Jones says surviving Pythons have “a limited amount of interest” in new Python projects — “Terry Gilliam is off shooting something in Romania and John Cleese is off in Monaco avoiding paying English tax and getting married again. Never learns,” he says — Cleese, Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin reunited to commemorate Graham Chapman.
Chapman, who co-authored the classic Parrot Sketch and played lead roles in two of Python’s hit films, Holy Grail and Life of Brian, died in 1989 on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In typical Python form Jones called his passing “the worst case of party-pooping in all history.”
The animated film, A Liar’s Autobiography — The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, is a fanciful account of the comedian’s life. Featuring vocal input from his former partners, it also contains a suitably surreal selling point — a return from the grave performance by Chapman, courtesy of recently uncovered audio recordings.
“I kind of felt it was very easy and natural to hear Graham’s voice again,” says Jones of the interacting on tape with his old friend. “It felt like he just walked out of the door.”
Despite their long association, however, Jones says Chapman was “a bit of a mystery to anyone who knew and worked with him. I don’t think we ever felt like we knew him.” He adds that Chapman would “be very pleased with (the film). I think it captures his essence. It captures his oddness, his looniness and a little bit of the mystery.”
Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp
As you may have guessed from the title, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is an odd movie. Directed by Terry Gilliam, it’s the strange tale of a mysterious immortal who complicates his life by making deals with the devil.
Complicating Gilliam’s life during production was the unexpected death of his star, Heath Ledger, but, the show, as they say, must go on and here we are after the untimely January 2008 passing of the young actor with a completed film. How did Gilliam finish the movie? A new credit, A Film from Heath Ledger and Friends tells the tale.
Three of Ledger’s buddies, Johnny Depp (seen dancing on a leaf!), Colin Farrell and Jude Law, stepped in to play “through the looking glass” versions of the late actor.
Set in present day London, the film begins with a look at Doctor Parnassus’ (Christopher Plummer) bizarre travelling show that offers people a chance to step through Dr. P’s magical mirror into an alternate reality. He’s selling imagination, but his gift of mind’s eye manipulation came with a heavy price.
Eons before, he made a trade with the devil (Tom Waits): Remarkable power in exchange for his first born daughter on her sixteenth birthday. That anniversary is now days away but with the help of a mysterious stranger named Tony (played by Ledger, Depp, Law and Farrell) and the magic mirror, Dr. P just may be able to save her.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is more a piece of surrealist art than a traditional movie. Imagine watching a Salvador Dali painting come to life and you’ll get the idea. Gilliam, who co-wrote the script as well as directed, has allowed his imagination to run riot.
While the story meanders to and fro he fills the screen with unforgettable images; Old Nick dangling Dr. P from the end of a branch or a multi-eyed hot air balloon shaped like a man’s head or the ensemble of skirt-wearing, dancing Bobbies. Visually, it’ll make your eyeballs do the Watusi.
The story, however, may leave some a bit baffled, but so what if it warps the brain a bit? The film oozes Gilliam’s trademarked anarchic spirit — he might be the only filmmaker who could replace his leading man with three other actors and actually pull it off — and is the most original movie of the year.