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"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" Review

There are people - I call them morons - who believe that the only reason The Dark Knight was such a big hit was because ghoulish moviegoers wanted to see Heath Ledger's final performance as if he didn't rule as The Joker and the movie wasn't excellent. The problem is that it wasn't his final performance; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was and unfortunately, curiosity as to how director Terry Gilliam covered for his fallen star with the assistance of Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell, is the primary reason to sit through this opulent, but dull film. (Also, the new Spiderman, Andrew Garfield, has a major role as an annoying prat here.)

Gilliam has always been better with style than substance and his intricately art directed films make Tim Burton look like a kid with a crayon in comparison. But, so what, when the alternate realities and universes and time jumps serve to distance the viewer from the story, a yawner about why deals with the Devil (neatly played by an obviously cast Tom Waits) aren't recommended. The actors are fine, especially the poor Ledger fillers and the cute Lily Cole (who looks like a gringo Devon Aoki with her apple head), but in the end, it doesn't matter except to remind why most will consider The Dark Knight to be Ledger's last, and finest, outing.

Score: 4/10. Catch it on cable if you've got HD; otherwise rent the Blu-ray if only to look at the design work.


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