Posted on 1/06/10 03:56 PM
I was looking forward to Imaginarium being a fan of most of Gilliam's (as well as Heath Ledger's later) work, and I left this one disappointed. Imaginarium suffers from some of the same drawbacks as another film I was looking forward to: James Cameron's Avatar. Both films employ artistic and thoughtfully conceived visuals that deserve respect but they also both contained underdeveloped characters (however eccentric they seem in Imaginarium) and sometimes amateurish sounding dialog that prevented or distracted me from empathizing with them. Of the two films, Imaginarium had a much more unique plot, but just as in Avatar, the real magic and inspiration was saved for the artistry of the visual effects. The difference between the two was that in Avatar, the visual spectacle is top dollar (literally), constitutes the majority of the film, and comes together with thrilling action sequences to form a world of staggeringly immersive detail; it commanded my interest throughout its considerable length and this is part what allowed me to leave the theater still satisfied and with a fair amount of enthusiasm for the experience despite its storytelling shortcomings. On the other hand, Imaginarium's visual effects portions, while admittedly artistic in design, used CGI that ranged from beautiful to occasionally cheap-looking and were somewhat far between in occurrence. This served to emphasize the parts of the film I found to be lacking so that I perceived Imaginarium's much shorter length to sprawl out past Avatar's much longer one.