Mercedes Ruehl

The Fisher King

Back in the 1990s, Terry Gilliam provided a commentary track for The Fisher King, which has since gone out of print. Now, thanks to the magic of YouTube and MP3s and internet tubes, it’s possible to listen to this commentary track even if the disc itself is hard to come by. Not only does this commentary give an intimate look into one of Gilliam’s best, it also lives on in cyberspace to allow film nerds like us to learn more about the production. Due to differences in running time, you can’t simply synch all versions of the video with Gilliam’s commentary. For example, the Netflix version of The Fisher King runs 131 minutes instead of the unaltered 137-minute disc and theatrical presentation. Still, with the background soundtrack intact, you have a pretty good idea of where he is in his own timeline.

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big scenes we love

Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of Big, the movie that boosted Tom Hanks from being just a funny leading man to an Oscar-worthy movie star. It’s also the comedy that put filmmaker Gary Ross on the map as he too earned an Academy Award nomination for this, his first feature script (co-written by Steven Spielberg’s sister, Anne). Directed by Penny Marshall, it was a word of mouth kind of hit, having opened in second place behind Crocodile Dundee II in its second week then going on to become the fourth highest grossing movie of 1988. For those of us around the same age as Josh Haskins (David Moscow/Hanks) at the time, it was a thought-provoking What If? situation even if most of us found a lot of the scenarios and behavior to be well-below the character’s maturity level. The tricky thing about Big in terms of highlighting its best moments is that it’s really only good as a whole, the sum of its parts. Yes, there are a lot of memorable scenes, but without the context of the, um, big picture, a lot of them are pretty silly or the comedy just falls flat (maybe this is why it’s so hard to find embeddable clips online). Still, I loved Big then and I love it now, albeit more so today as something to prod and study in terms of the fantasy scenario and how much of the humor seems so unremarkable in today’s regular manboy world. We can’t be sure […]

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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