Skip to main content

The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus


For those of you not in the know, this was the movie that Heath Ledger was filming at the time of his demise. The film wasn't completed at the time, and so for certain portions, his character is played by one of three different actors, being Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. Of course, none of these men look anything like Ledger, although that's not really an issue given the nature of the film.

Dr Parnassus is a two thousand year old monk of sorts, with a gambling problem, and a long time gambling partner in the Devil. Throughout the ages the Devil has approached him, and made various wagers, which is where the good doctor's immortality came from. In the present, Parnassus wanders around performing shows with his daughter, played by Lilly Cole (a relatively new face, who has that same problem that Cristina Ricci does, her face makes her look more like a porcelain doll than a real person), a dwarf played by Vern Troyer, and some other guy who's in love with the daughter, and is ultimately forgettable.

Their apparent purpose is to travel around, and convince people to enter a fake carnival mirror which takes them to the Imaginarium, which in turn is actually the inside of the doctor's mind. Once in the Imaginarium, their imaginations become real, and they eventually make a choice between selfless enlightenment, or selfish greed. Typically the nature of the bets between Parnassus and the Devil revolve around who gets the most souls from this practice.

Ledger's character Tony is found by the trip, hanging by his neck under a bridge, and he miraculously survives because of a pipe whistle that he lodged in his throat. The stand-ins occur whenever Tony enters the Imaginarium, and thus takes on a different self image, because of his imagination.

Ultimately, I'm not sure that I liked the story of this movie, there were no real heroes, a lot of imperfect people, and one Devil. Regardless of how I felt about the story, visually the movie is very stunning, from the vagabond rags of the travelling troupe, to the Devil's black bowler, and of course, the acid trip worthy Imaginarium sequences, the movie always has a clear idea of what feeling each scene should have, and executes it with a style that I find impossible not to love.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Toy Review: Tekkaman Blade & Pegas

Today I've got Tekkaman Blade & Pegas from Bandai's Soul of Chogokin SPEC line. SPEC is a subset of the Soul of Chogokin, and is supposed to feature more modern characters, in more toy like incarnations, also typically with less metal content. This is the first SPEC toy that I've ever picked up. There have been a couple of different cartoons feature the Tekkaman character, none of which have I seen, but from what I've gathered, this toy is based on the designs from the 90's OVA Tekkaman Blade. In the cartoon an invading alien force abducts humans and turns them into cyborg warriors called Tekkamen. Blade is the title character, and he manages to escape being fully brainwashed, in order to return to Earth and thwart the invasion. The conversion process being icomplete, he has some disadvantages, which require him to use the larger mech, Pegas as a means of transforming into his Tekkaman form, also he can only stay in his Tekkaman form for 30 minutes, or risk goin…

GX- 59 Daltanious: Robbed Of Being Voltron

One of the things that I love about doing reviews for these old super robots is reading up on their back story and finding all kinds of interesting facts. So, quick! What's the first thing that you think of when I say "Voltron"? Pretty much, if you even know what Voltron is, you're going to think of this first:



Five robot lions that combine to make a giant humanoid robot. If you were a male child raised in the '80s, then you know who Voltron is. A smaller subset will remember that there were two Voltrons, the lion Voltron, and then a Voltron made out of 15 vehicles, often just called Vehicle Voltron:

An even smaller subset will remember that there were actually three Voltrons, the third being made of three smaller humanoid robots, and called Gladiator Voltron:



What's the deal with all of the Voltrons? Voltron was a similar project to Hasbro's Transformers, and Tonka's Gobots, where a company took existing toy properties from Japan, and used them to la…

Optimus Prime World Tour Stop 8: Armada Optimus Prime

So, last time I covered Robots In Disguise Optimus Prime, which was the first Prime toy I bought as an adult, but what actually got me back into collecting was reading a Toy Fair magazine that had a feature on the upcoming Armada toy line. As I recall, the article didn't even have any pictures of the new toys, just some descriptions of a few samples, and an overall theme for the line. In the article, at least, Armada was described as the first full collaboration between Hasbro and Takara, prior to Armada, each company worked more or less independently, and would choose to use media or toys from the sister companies on a case by case basis. Most of the US cartoons were brought to Japan at some point, while Robots In Disguise was the first Japanese TF cartoon to be brought to the states.
So, what was Armada supposed to be about? The idea was Mini-cons, a new name for an old idea, which is little tiny Transformers. Look back at Star Convoy. The difference this time was that there wa…