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Fisher King, the

Jeff Bridges , Robin Williams , Terry Gilliam    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Arthurian mythology and modern day decay seem perfect complements to each other in this Terry Gilliam drama/comedy/fantasy. Shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) makes an off-handed radio remark that causes a man to go on a killing spree, leaving Lucas unhinged with guilt. Lucas's later, chance meeting with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man suffering from dementia, gets him involved in the unlikely quest for the Holy Grail. The rickety, and patently unrealistic stand that insanity is just a wonderful place to be, and that the homeless are all errant knights, wears awfully thin, but there are numerous moments of sad grace and violent beauty in this film. The screenplay by Richard LaGravenese launched his successful career and his smart wordplay helped garner Mercedes Ruehl an Oscar as Lucas's girlfriend. --Keith Simanton

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bungled and the Botched strike back Dec 27 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Terry Gilliam's post-Python oeuvre usually strikes me as rather cold and overly intellectualized. I 'like' his movies very much, but can rarely get close enough to 'love' them. "Brazil" and "Twelve Monkeys" being chief offenders in this complaint. I enjoyed their visions of futuristic dystopias, but never felt involved on an emotional level. Sure, "Baron Munchausen" tickled my whimsy-bone, and "Time Bandits" gave me kid-sized guffaws, but both those films also had a good dose of textbook thinking behind them, enough to keep the audience always an arm's length away.
"The Fisher King", like no other film in Gilliam's catalog, hits me on an emotional level. It is a visceral experience, unlike anything else I've seen from this offbeat director. Layered with tangible romance and pathos, Gilliam has created a film that will stand the test of time, even when its highbrow ideas become irrelevant.
Two scenes in particular illustrate the human beauty that this film is so adept at conveying. The first involves Parry (Robin Williams) and his daily routine: watching and following Lydia (Amanda Plummer), his from-afar crush, on her morning commute to work. Camped out in Grand Central Station, all we see are the throngs of people crowding and pushing their way to their trains. But when Parry sees Lydia, all that stops. Or rather, it changes. The music starts, tasteful glowing light emanates from the ceiling, and all the commuters take partners for a waltz. It's a ridiculously sublime moment, beautiful in all ways. It goes on until Parry suddenly loses Lydia in the crowd, and the dancing abruptly stops.
The other scene also involves Parry and Lydia, who are this time joined by Jack (Jeff Bridges) and Anne (Mercedes Ruehl).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 5 movies Feb. 24 2004
By A Customer
Somehow I managed to miss The Fisher King in its first run theatre edition. My wife and I went to see a different film several years ago and it was surprisingly playing as a double-feature, and to this day I was so struck by this film that I can't remember what the other film was we originally went to see. The Fisher King is a remarkable achievement and tremendously uplifting. It expresses one of the universe's great truths: a being is only as valuable as he can help others. The point where a person feels he cannot help or is a detriment to others is where he begins to die. Jeff Bridge's character can only redeem himself and his life when he proves to himself that he can actually help Robbin Williams' character. While it might be argued that the film is too pat or simplistic in dealing with the issues of insanity -- that's not the message of the film. It's not meant to be a documentary statement. It is an artistic statement and delivers a very important message for our modern culture, that the ability and willingness to help those around you is what makes self-respect possible. If you have an excessively cynical nature you will probably have little time for this film. At the same time, this is a film that would be the best thing for you to watch at least 3 or 4 times back to back until you get the message. I rate The Fisher King as one of my top 5 favorite films of all time and recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The journey homeward... Aug. 26 2002
A breathtakingly beautiful film. The Fisher King is one of the most perfectly executed movies of all time, from the stunning and highly imaginative screenplay to the haunting quality of the direction and the sheer genius of Williams and Bridges, who both turned in the performance of a lifetime. Add to that a supporting cast made in heaven and you basically can't go wrong.
While the film succeeds brilliantly even as a basic story of star-crossed individuals working out their joint karma, it is the concept of the soul's journey homeward that drives the deeper levels of The Fisher King.
As Barbara G. Walker and others have pointed out, the Grail is actually a representation of the Womb of the Great Mother, from which we all came, and to which we shall all return. Like Finnegan and Bloom/Ulysses, The Fisher King's two heroes find salvation in the simplicity of surrender and in the almost Faustian embracing of the Sacred Feminine, as embodied by the two female leads. Carrie Moss's Trinity (The Triple Goddess) also provides this transcendent nurturing to Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix.
If you were to buy The Fisher King, The Matrix, Groundhog Day and Jacob's Ladder, you would have in your possession some of the most profound philosophical insights in the history of the human race.
A true masterpiece. Dang, it even features a cameo by Tom Waits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HEALING THE HEARTS OF MEN July 1 2002
In my humble opinion, Terry Gilliam is a genius -- without question one of the most talented and imaginative direcors working in film today. All of his work -- BRAZIL, TIME BANDITS, 12 MONKEYS, &c -- stands up head and shoulders above almost everything else the motion picture industry spews out, but THE FISHER KING is, I believe, his greatest achievement.
All of the actors are superbly cast -- and each of them throws themselves completely into their assigned roles, to the point of BECOMING their character, which, unless I miss my guess, is what acting is about. Robin Williams couldn't be more perfect as Perry, the heartsick man with a shattered heart, who has lost his beloved wife in an act of senseless violence. Jeff Bridges, as the radio 'shock-jock' whose flippant comment to a disturbed listener triggered the shooting, is utterly convincing as the guilt-ridden Jack, locked into a downward spiral, despite the love and care vested on him by his girlfriend (Mercedes Reuhl). Then there's Amanda Plummer, portraying the hapless, mousy Lydia -- with whom, as soon as he sees her, Williams falls head over heels in love.
There are four characters here in a great deal of pain, each trying in their own way to deal with it -- with varying degrees of succcess. The way in which their paths cross, and merge, in this story, and the impact they have on each other's lives, makes for one of the most moving tales of love/pain/healing that has ever been brought to the screen. Gilliam's own unique vision guides it along nicely -- you can see his most obvious touch in the visions experience by Williams of the Red Knight, one of the most frightening apparitions you'll ever run across.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fisher King Rules
One of Robin Williams best performances. A terrific heart-warming movie.
Published 1 day ago by Brian McHugh
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fisher King
This is a movie that you should probably already know if you like it or not, and this movie might not be for everyone. But those who like it actually love it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Nathan J. Scrutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Watch
Fisher King [Blu-ray]

I was thrilled to see that this flick was available on blu ray. This is probably one of my favourite shows featuring Robin Williams. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2011 by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars there are so many things to love about this movie
this is one of my all time favorites, for so many reasons. Robin Williams gives an amazing performance. Mercedes Ruehl has many of the best lines in the film-an awesome actress. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by msresp
5.0 out of 5 stars Saundra's favorite
I've seen A LOT of movies but this one is my favorite of all time. Starts out slow but makes up for it later. Read more
Published on April 3 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars "I am the janitor of God."
With lines like that strewn throughout this odd but extremely likable film it is easy to see why Robin Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for his manic, yet heartfelt... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2004 by D. Knouse
1.0 out of 5 stars No redeeming value whatsoever.
I *nearly* hated this film. I am a former film student, current film lover, reader, researcher, and all-around film nerd. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2002 by Andy Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Williams (Perry) is a homeless genius who lives in a fantasy world of Red Knights and King Arthur. Bridges is Jack, a radio personality whose career is destroyed after a listener... Read more
Published on June 2 2002 by D. D'Eugenio
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Arthurian movies going
I have a passionate love for the Arthurian legends. To paraphrase Robertson Davies, however, these tales have a poor history of being adapted to stage or screen. Read more
Published on May 15 2002 by J. Angus Macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars "I love New York in June!"
Former Monty Python regular Terry Gilliam has directed 13 movies, including the mythical "Baron Munchausen" in 1988, and 2 obvious classics, "Brazil", and "Monty Python and the... Read more
Published on April 18 2002 by Brad Baker
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