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Wasn't feeling the very best today, but had to get on with it anyway,
as you do, you know, and, when I finally got a chance to sit down in my
own living room this afternoon who should come bursting thru the door
but my 6 year old son and about 7 of his friends... JUST as this movie,
which I've always adored, came on one of The SKY movie channels. I
closed the living room curtains for cinematic effect and we all sat
down and watched it. They were all entranced by it, even tho' some of
them had seen it already.
I've seen "The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen" myself many times and it never fails to fascinate me. It goes a very long way to explain many things that are omnipresent in life (war, sex romance, childhood innocence, adult disillusionment) by illustrating, and somehow making real, well-known classical myths and fairy tales. Oliver Reed deserved some sort of award for his portrayal of the god Vulcan. I read that Sean Connery was slated for the part of King of The Moon but it HAD to be Robin Williams. Mork calling Orson indeed....
This is my first review in this forum and, therefore, I will not go on at great length except to say that viewing this movie again made me determined to state that my favourite movies are movies like "The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen", "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Yellow Submarine". May you all develop a talent for living happily ever after!
This is NOT a movie for everyone. This is not a movie for people who want a fantasy plot... according to the rules of fantasy movies. This is a movie which has one great ambition and has ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, UTTERLY, FULLY, UNQUESTIONABLY fulfilled: to present the story of Baron Munchausen as the real one would have seen it. This is a great piece of visualization of the culture of 18th-century Enlightenment (did you notice that the bad guys all wore uniforms from the Napoleonic age - as a sign of when this great period of human cultural achievement finished?). It is a movie in which the sets and costumes are THE ESSENCE - the mechanical giant fish, Venus getting out of the pearl, the small amours with the pink garlands, the pinkish clouds, the two-dimensional buildings on the Moon, the separation of the head from the body, the exoticising of the "Grand Turk" - these are all correct reproductions of both the imagery from, and the topics relevant for, the Baroque period. IT IS success.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is one of those films that you either love or hate. You may hate it because the inner child in you has not been released. You may love it because the inner child in you have full reign and want a wonderful fairy tale. This film has all the elements, flying ships (A balloon made of ladies knickers), monsters (A gigantic whale that looks like an island), and a little girl observing all the fantastical adventures. A city is under siege and a theater troupe is trying to perform a play during all of this. In comes an elderly man (The wonderful John Neville)who claims that the troupe has it all wrong and that he, himself, is the real Baron and wants to tell the story straight. From there, his adventure really takes off. He and Sally (The cute as a button Sarah Polley)go off in search of his friends to help save the city: Berthold (Clever Eric Idle), the fastest man around; Albrecht, the strongest man in the world; Adolphus, the man with the sharpest sight around and Gustavus, the man with the keen hearing and breath that can blow elephants off their feet. The gangs adventures bring them to the Moon, where the King (Wild as ever Robin Williams)has trouble holding on to his head, to the Underworld, where Venus (Beautiful Uma Thurman)drives her hubby Vulcan (The wonderful Oliver Reed) insane with jealousy. The story and the visuals (Especially the Moon) are beautiful and the ending is interesting. You get so caught up in the story that the viewer gets lost in what is real and what is not. Great for teens and up. Kids may get scared at some of the scenes.
A young Sarah Polly is swept on a grand storybook adventure when her
father's theater is visited by the source of its drama; the real Baron
himself (perfectly played by John Neville). The town is under siege by
the Turks and only Munchausen and his band of curious adventurers can
save it, so long as Death or a doctor doesn't catch him.
Terry Gilliam, having hit his stride with the 1984-and-a-half classic Brazil, went on to fulfill his ultimate fantasy film with a great cast of actors (Jonathan Price included), beautifully detailed sets and costumes, and a very strange yarn of a tale indeed. Bit parts are filled out by Robin Williams, the late Oliver Reed (seen most recently as Proximo in Gladiator) serving up a fiery Vulcan - husband to a young (not to mention stunning) Uma Thurman as Venus.
A great deal of the magic that sparkled in Brazil seems to have been rekindled here, and while it may have been panned at the time of its release, time has treated it well. The effects have that pre-cg feeling that makes me warm and fuzzy inside, and while its a little slow to get started, it surprises around every turn.
Fans of Gilliam's work (and those who still possess that curious inner child) will find much to enjoy here - even if it is nothing more than wonderful nonsense.
A magical film about the power and importance of story telling and
imagination. The creation of the ever fecund mind of Terry Gilliam, this may
very well be my favorite movie (ah, but it is so very hard to choose).
Filled with a spirit of adventure, and a deftness far too rare these days,
it is the delightful tale of the adventurous life of Baron Munchausen. He is
a hero of the grand old sort, a kind of 17th century James Bond.
Baron Munchausen has a knowledge of fine wines, is popular with the ladies, and is the finest soldier in the kingdom. He has a band of sidekicks (the fastest man, the strongest, one with amazing sight, another with amazing lungs and hearing) who assist him in fighting the Turks; traveling to meet the King of the Moon; falling into the center of the earth to meet Vulcan and Aphrodite; and playing cards with the Grim reaper, after being swallowed by an enormous monster-fish the size of an island.
Along the way Gilliam's wit skewers rationalism, science, realism, practicality and pragmatics. As much an explication of faith as a depiction of what makes life truly worth living, and what is worth dying for, I rent this again and again. It is only my own foolishness that has prevented me from purchasing a copy. Literally wonderful.
Watch for fabulous cameos from a whole host of unexpected people, including Robin Williams and Sting.
I've only known one other person who has even heard of this movie(also the only other one who's heard of and liked Mel Brooks' the Twelve Chairs). This is certainly one of the most bizarre and unique movies I've ever seen but the more times I see it, the more I like it. Robin Williams and Eric Idle are great of course, but Neville does a good job too. The story is truly unique, leaving you wondering where fiction ends and reality begins. In fact, it's much like "Adaptation" in that respect, come to think of it. While not on par with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this is a good piece of work. My advice: let your brain take a vacation for a couple of hours and just absorb it. You'll appreciate it better if you try not to make too much sense of it. If it really confuses you, read the book. Yes, there is a book and there really was a man who called himself Baron Munchausen. The book is called <u>The Adventures of Baron Munchausen</u> and the edition I had explained his whole story. Terry Gilliam did a great job of bringing this man to screen and I highly recommend it if you're tired of the usual Hollywood fluff.
This has to be one of my favourite films ever, I'll admit it's not the
greatest work of art ever made and to be honest it never tries to be. I
get very annoyed with these armchair film experts who think just
because they've sat on their backsides for twenty years, neglecting
everything except their expanding waist lines feel they have a god
given right to pass judgement on a great film maker's hard work. I've
made films and let me tell you EXPERTS out their it's the hardest thing
you could ever undertake, harder even than getting off your butts and
getting some exercise.
Baron Munchausen is in my opinion a visionary masterpiece, like Brazil and Time Bandits its pure escapism, but intelligent python-Esq escapism. I sat down recently and watched all three films with my girlfriend, (not in one night) and was dismayed when she started yawning and checking her watch every five minutes. I think I've come to a conclusion why......
Munchausen is a film that people with an imagination will enjoy, but if sadly your a member of the Ally Mcbeal, lets go shopping watch American Pie and wear what every other moron wears generation, you won't get this film. Mainly because Gilliam is far more intelligent than you, both in his use of visual metaphors and sexual innuendo but also in the fact as a director he thinks of things even Tim Burton would be jealous of.
Okay the film tales off towards the end, but after to been subjected to such a rich bombardment of visual genius can you blame Terry for being tired.
9 out of 10 And my favourite bit is when Eric Idle chases the bullet!!!!! GENIUS!!!
Yet another wild, whacked out fantasy from Terry Gilliam, the only
American born member of the Monty Python comedy troupe.
This is the story of Baron Munchausen (Neville), an old man still being chased by an Arabian king because after winning a bet Munchausen took too much money out of the king's vaults and now the king and his army are apparently attacking a colony because Munchausen's there. With the help of toothy little girl (Sarah Polley before she grew up to do the remake of "Dawn of the Dead") and rounding up his old comrades (among them Eric Idle, the "third tallest member of Monty Python"). All sorts of wild insanity ensues.
This was the last of Gilliam's "trilogy of the imagination", the other two entries in this so called trilogy being "Time Bandits" and "Brazil". If Terry Gilliam has a flaw with his fantasies, it may very well be that he drags out some gags too long, even if its a really good gag. Though I'm not entirely sure I enjoy his work, I must say I admire Gilliam and the recklessness of his projects, because at least he's got the balls to try to do things differently. To this day, he still ranks as being one of the most off the wall, unconventional director chaps out there.
All in all, I think I liked this one better than either "Time Bandits" or "Brazil" (though "Brazil" probably has the most racy commentary of Gilliam's so called trilogy).
Best line: "We're out of virgins." - Jonathan Pryce
My kids, who are great Monty Python fans found this movie at the
library. Thinking that I knew about all the successful Monty Python
related movies I figured that this movie must have been a sleeper. I
was greatly surprised by the movie.
In my opinion this movie was much better than Time Bandits. Time Bandits was weak mainly because of the weak (or non-existent) ending. This movie had a much better conclusion. Plus, this movie also had a very strong thread running through the movie, without hitting you over the head with it.
I also enjoyed the literary references and Robin Williams as the king of the Moon. My favorite reference was when Venus came out of the giant clam. It reminded me of Kilgore Trout's "Venus on the Half Shell." (Kurt Vonegut). That was a very nice touch.
In the late Eighteenth Century, a European town is under siege of the
Turkish army. Meanwhile, the theater company owned by Henry Salt (Bill
Paterson) entertains the dwellers with the production of "The
Adventures of Baron Munchausen". Out of the blue, an old man interrupts
the presentation claiming that he is Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron
von Munchausen (John Neville) and he tells that he is the one to be
blamed by the Turkish attack.
The Baron Munchausen tells how he had won a bet against the Sultan (Petter Jeffrey) with the abilities of his servants Berthold (Eric Idle); Adolphus (Charles McKeown}; Albrecht (Winston Dennis); and Gustavus (Jack Purvis) and earned his treasure. Further, he offers to help the locals against the Turks and builds a balloon to seek out his missing servants.
During his journey, he finds the girl Sally (Sarah Polley) hidden in the balloon and they travel to the moon, where they meet the deranged King of the Moon Roger (Robin Williams) with his detachable head, and his wife, the Queen of the Moon Ariadne (Valentina Cortese) that has a crush on the Baron. They are arrested by the jealous Roger and find Berthold in the cage, but Ariadne releases them. When they escape from the moon, they meet Adolphus working to Vulcan (Oliver Reed) inside a volcano. The Baron Munchausen seduces the gorgeous Vulcan's wife Venus (Uma Thurman) and the jealous god throws them in a whirlpool. They are swallowed by a monster and they meet Albrecht and Gustavus in a ship inside the monster. They escape and return to the town to help the people against the invaders. But they are very old and their abilities are gone.
"The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" is one of the most delightful, non- sense and visually stunning fantasies of cinema history. "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" is also among my favorite books of my childhood and I first saw this film in the late 80's and then on VHS. I have just bought the imported DVD that surprisingly has Portuguese subtitles and today I have seen this film again.
Terry Gilliam directs with his peculiar surrealistic and ironic style and uses magnificent special effects for a 1988 film. It is amazing to realize that twenty-three years have passed since this film was released. The sweet Sarah Polley shows her talent with a great performance in one lead role. Uma Thurman is in the top of her eternal beauty. Robin Williams is an unknown actor and uncredited in the role of Roger, The King of the Moon. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "As Aventuras do Barão de Münchausen" ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen")
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