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#059 Terry Gilliam: Twelve Monkeys vs. The Brothers Grimm

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Terry Gilliam's best and worst rated films, Twelve Monkeys (1995) and The Brothers Grimm (2005), respectively. Nate doesn't hate the worst movie for once, Austin forgets our segment, and they both sound exhausted. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST for our 60th milestone episode where we will compare Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) and Tonight for Sure (1962), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this interview with Terry Gilliam about Twelve Monkeys:

The Brothers Grimm Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.
  • Ratings: IMDb 5.9 | RT 38% C / 39% A
  • Released: 2005
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Writer(s): Ehren Kruger
  • Cinematographer: Newton Thomas Sigel (Drive, Three Kings, The Usual Suspects)
  • Notable actors: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Mackenzie Crook, Richard Ridings, Peter Stomare, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci
  • Budget: $88 million
  • Box office: $105.3 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Matt Damon and Heath Ledger were originally cast in opposite roles. They petitioned and switched their roles.
    • Because of problems with the Writers Guild of America, Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni were not able to credit themselves as writers of the screenplay, despite the many changes they made to Ehren Kruger's original script. They invented a credit for themselves as "Dress Pattern Makers" and were quoted as saying that the film was made from a "dress pattern," not necessarily made a "screenplay."
    • Robin Williams turned down the part of Woodsman, eventually played by TomΓ‘s HanΓ‘k.

Twelve Monkeys Notes

Best Rated

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.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 88% C / 88% A
  • Released: 1995
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Writer(s): Chris Marker (film La Jetee), David Webb Peoples & Janet Peoples (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Roger Pratt (Troy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
  • Notable actors: Bruce Willis, Jon Seda, Vernon Campbell, Bob Adrian, Simon Jones, Bill Raymond, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Frederick Strother, Frank Gorshin, David Morse, Christopher Plummer
  • Budget: $29.5 million
  • Box office: $168.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Bruce Willis took a lower salary than his star-status would normally entitle, partly because of budget restrictions, but mostly because he wanted to work with Terry Gilliam. Actually Bruce did the movie for free. It was only after the movie was released that he was paid.
    • Terry Gilliam was afraid that Brad Pitt wouldn't be able to pull off the nervous, rapid speech. He sent him to a speech coach but in the end he just took away Pitt's cigarettes, and Pitt played the part exactly as Gilliam wanted.
    • Terry Gilliam gave Bruce Willis a list of "Willis acting clichΓ©s" not to be used during the film, including the "steely blue eyes look".
    • When Cole is drawing blood from himself, the shadow of a hamster in a hamster wheel can be seen on the wall. This scene would normally be shot in 5 minutes, but took a whole day because the hamster would not move, and Terry Gilliam is such a perfectionist, that he insisted that even this detail should work as intended. For the rest of the production, Gilliam's perfectionism was nicknamed "The Hamster Factor".
    • Director Terry Gilliam first met Bruce Willis while casting his film The Fisher King (1991). He was impressed by the sensitivity shown by Willis in the scene from Die Hard (1988) where McClane (Willis) talks about his wife while pulling glass from his feet. Talking to Willis, Gilliam discovered that this part was ad-libbed by Willis. Gilliam remembered this, and was convinced to cast him in this film.
    • A tagline originally suggested for this film was; "The future is in the hands of a man who has none." This was considered to be a confusing tagline, as it made it sound as though he had no hands, as opposed to having no future.
    • Terry Gilliam's first choice for the lead role was Jeff Bridges, whom he had enjoyed working with on The Fisher King (1991), but the studio wanted a bigger star, so he cast Bruce Willis. Ironically, Willis had originally auditioned for "The Fisher King", but lost out to Bridges.
    • Most of the actors took a pay cut just so they could get the chance to work with Terry Gilliam.
    • Brad Pitt was signed to this movie for a relatively small salary, when he was still an "up and coming" actor. By the time of the movie's release, however, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Legends of the Fall (1994), and Se7en (1995) had been released, making Pitt a top-salary actor.
    • Brad Pitt received his first Golden Globe for his performance as Jeffrey Goines.
    • The final cut didn't do too well in the test screenings and so those involved discussed making major changes to the movie, but Terry Gilliam eventually decided to keep it as it was. When released, it went on to make over five times its budget.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0

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