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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
DVD disk
04.24.2008 By: Sturdy
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen order
Director:
Terry Gilliam

Actors:
John Neville
Eric Idle
Sarah Polley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The legendary hero Baron Munchausen returns to find his legacy is being acted out on stage by a group of actors. Determined to set things right, he finds himself on another magical adventure with the help of his old friends.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In my book, Terry Gilliam is one of those directors that always gets a pass when he tries something that doesnít work. Heís done enough quality movies, and tries enough crazy stuff that heís bound to have a miss every now and again. I would say that this is one of those misses, at least as far as entertainment value is concerned.

Itís definitely not a bad film, itís just one I didnít find interesting. The story is pretty far out there and there are numerous scenes that will invoke a quizzical look on the audienceís face. One has to wonder if Gilliam didnít intend for his target audience to be under the influence of a certain illegal narcotic while watching this film. It seemed that he was trying to get weirder and more ďtrippyĒ with each passing sequence.

Ultimately, the progressive trend of the movie to get crazier and crazier was the reason I didnít enjoy it. I felt that story was sacrificed for scenes that would wow the audience visually. I appreciate the highly original story and extremely unique sequences, but again, I just didnít find them entertaining. I would say that he should have told a more linear story with less complicated sets, but then that wouldnít be a Terry Gilliam film would it?

The cast was top notch all around, with John Neville giving a wonderful performance. Almost everyone played more than one part and everyone did very well with their roles. Uma Thurman gets third billing, but she was barely in it. This was almost 20 years ago and she doesnít look that different today, which is pretty impressive.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown: Gilliam dominates the commentary as McKeown throws in a few statements here and there. They stick to whatís happening on screen, but Gilliam is full of information and is pretty enthusiastic while talking about his film. They donít give too many behind the scenes tidbits and stick mainly to the making of the film. Fans of the film will get a kick out of this and should enjoy the commentary.

The Madness and Misadventures of Munchausen (72:05): This is an exhaustive five part documentary on the making of the film. It seems to be a recently made documentary with new interviews with the cast and crew. It follows the normal structure of movie documentaries; starting with how the story came to be and ending with reactions to the film. Terry Gilliam is prevalent throughout and he provides plenty of interesting tidbits. Like with every Gilliam film, this one had its share of financial problems, which they discuss. Overall, this is a great, although long, featurette on the film.

Storyboard Sequences (30:05): Gilliam and McKeown sit down and walk you through several storyboard sequences that never made it into the film. This is pretty much a continuation of the commentary, but like the commentary, it was very interesting and detailed. The sequences themselves are boring since theyíre black and white drawings with dramatic narration.

Deleted Scenes (3:39): Most of the deleted scenes never made into actual scenes due financial limitations. These are more dialogue scenes of supporting characters and I didnít see anything that should have been left in.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iíve met fans of Gilliamís that really like this film and this newly restored DVD should more than please them. However, if youíre just a casual fan, this might be too trippy for you.
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