DVD REVIEW: The Brothers Grimm

Movie ••• Picture/Sound •••½ Extras •••
Madcap director and former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam would seem the perfect match for the warped fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Yet this reimagining of the storytellers as 19th-century con men never manages the breathtaking flights of fancy that characterize Gilliam's best movies. The frenetic pace seems more exhausting than exhilarating, despite inspired performances by Heath Ledger and Matt Damon. The director's visual panache is far from absent - each scene is crammed with props and gadgets that are best savored on DVD - but the addition of sophisticated digital imaging to Gilliam's arsenal actually makes his work seem less charming and idiosyncratic. The mostly first-rate picture is only occasionally murky in dealing with dim, grungy sets. The soundtrack is clean, with effects popping and clanging throughout. Extras include a surprisingly conventional director's commentary, two featurettes exploring the challenge of the tales, and 15 minutes of good deleted scenes. [PG-13] English, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (1.78:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.