Folklore collectors and con artists, Jake and Will Grimm, travel from village to village pretending to protect townsfolk from enchanted creatures and performing exorcisms. They are put to the test, however, when they encounter a real magical curse in a haunted forest with real magical beings, requiring genuine courage.Written by
Not the fairest one of all...though with some marvelous compensations
Squabbling brothers in France-occupied Germany circa 1811 have manufactured a heroic image for themselves as witch-hunters and tall-tale tellers, but when a decrepit witch in an enchanted forest begins stealing maidens for their youthful blood, the duo find themselves up against real evil for the first time. Terry Gilliam-directed fantasy has incredible production values, cinematography and scoring (not to mention two appealing lead performances by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger), yet it takes a good hour to get this picture off the ground. The narrative is heavy-going and, while not a hodgepodge, the film could certainly use a bit more heart and soul rather than CGI effects. Gilliam's handling takes on a more robust, old-fashioned flavor in the second hour, and the movie improves tremendously as a result. The witch's palace (set atop a skyscraper tree) is dazzling, and the initial entrance into her raven-laden lair is deliciously giddy. Jonathan Pryce is well-cast as an evil general who attempts to torch the two men in an impressive forest fire, however the charm of the piece (and the glue holding the adventure together) lies with Damon and Ledger, and they are by turns wily, funny, strapping, childish, and heroic. **1/2 from ****
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