Sunday, July 26, 2015

THE FISHER KING (1991) Blu-Ray from Criterion Collection

I once thought that Terry Gilliam's Brazil was the director's one and only masterpiece. I also had a soft spot for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and considered it one of my top five favorite films of all time. I considered Gilliam's 1991 major studio made, American, made from someone else's script The Fisher King to be "minor Gilliam." I was so, so wrong and offer my apologies to the film gods and goddesses. THE FISHER KING is a masterpiece. Tragic, heartbreaking, hilarious, gorgeous, masterful. Sometimes it is incredibly important to revisit the films you once wrote off as minor, because they might change your outlook. Jeff Bridges plays an egotistical, misanthropic shock jock who inadvertantly inspires a disturbed, unhinged individual to go on a killing spree. The tragic event results in a scandal for Jack (Bridges), the over-the-top radio personality. A series of events leads Jack into the world of the homeless population of Manhattan and into the arms of Parry, a homeless man on the search for the Holy Grail. The two men are linked in a very tragic way, and Jack begins down a road of redemption by helping Parry find love and the holy grail. I'm finding my words are not even beginning to due the magic of this film justice, so I'll stop here and just urge everyone to go out and pick up the Criterion Collection blu ray of The Fisher King.

Like all Criterion Collection releases, The Fisher King is chock full of supplemental goodies, starting with a commentary from 1991 with Terry Gilliam. It's very rarely silent and often specific to what's happening on screen. It's an incredibly tight and on point commentary and very entertaining to listen to. Top notch commentary.

Next up are six deleted scenes, each with optional commentary by Gilliam. Interesting to watch, but clear why they were cut from the final product.

Two of the best supplements on the disc are the two documentaries (totaling over 90 minutes) concerned with the making of the film.

The Tale of the Red Knight, a 22 minute documentary chronicles the difficulties in creating Terry Gilliam's vision of the red knight in the film.

There is a fantastic 2006 interview with Robin Williams about his experiences on the film, costume tests, and Jeff Bridges interviews and on-set footage.

This disc is a MUST BUY. I won't say anything further, just GET IT. It must be on your shelf.

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