Saturday, September 19, 2009

#465: 12 Monkeys (1995)

Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe & Brad Pitt

Time travel movies always provide a good time, and Twelve Monkeys is no exception. Psychologists in 1990 aren’t sure what to make of the case of James Cole. He seems to be suffering from severe mental illness, claiming that he is from the future, and that five-billion people will die from a disease in 1997. But that’s not where the curiosity lies. James Cole vanished from his locked cell while strapped into his bed.

The storytelling in this film is wonderful. The nonlinearity isn’t a hindrance at all to the film. Despite jumping through time, it’s an easy plotline to trace. Unfortunately, 14 years after the making of this film, I feel like I’ve seen every twist a time travel film can provide, so it’s also pretty easy to see where the story is taking you. Thankfully, there’s one big twist at the end that I doubt anyone could have seen coming.

In my opinion, it’s not some amazing film that you can watch over and over again and catch something new every time. But, it’s a whole lot of fun, so I’ll give it a thumb and a half.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):

  • Terry Gilliam gave Bruce Willis a list of "Willis acting clich├ęs" not to be used during the film, including the "steely blue eyes look".
  • Terry Gilliam was afraid that Brad Pitt wouldn't be able to pull off the nervous, rapid speech. He sent him to a speech coach but in the end he just took away Pitt's cigarettes, and Pitt played the part exactly as Gilliam wanted.
  • In the 24 hour Hitchcock Theater, Katheryn (Stowe) and James (Willis) are watching Vertigo (1958), then she transforms herself with a blonde wig and James saw her emerge within a red light. The scene perfectly match the scene where Kim Novak transforms herself as a blond and Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) saw her emerge within a green light. It can hear the same score written by Bernard Herrmann. Also Katherine wears the same coat as 'Kim Novak' wearing in the first part of Vertigo.

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