Some interesting facts:
The director claims they didn’t use special effects. I don’t believe this (look at the monkey and the birds flying out of the mystic’s mouth) but they certainly didn’t use very many. Instead they shot the film in 18 different countries, in some very interesting buildings.
The little girl didn’t know English, she just memorized her lines. They did all her scenes chronologically and kept her in the dark so she was learning the story along with the audience. They also (unintentionally) had her believe that Lee Pace was actually paralyzed during the first bit of shooting.
The movie was fantastic. Fantastic in that it depicted various fantasy dreamscapes. Although it was very good, it certainly wasn’t without its flaws. The visuals were pretty amazing throughout, even when they were just in the hospital. And while most of the actors didn’t have anything challenging to do, the two leads both did very well. Lee Pace was more interesting here than in Pushing Daisies, which I was pretty happy about. Tarsem has greatly improved his work from The Cell by adding deeper story to accompany his beautiful visuals. Although this film did lack J.Lo. It seems likely that J.Lo and deep story are incompatible.
Runner Up: Pineapple Express
A pretty stark contrast, I realize. This wasn’t as funny as Rogen’s previous work, but it was still plenty funny. In annoying internet speak, it was LOL but never made it to ROFL. These guys are hilarious, but they seriously need some better editors. It may be too much to ask for a stoner movie to have tight pacing.
Runner Runner Up (Runner Up Up?): Burn After Reading
A much smarter comedy than Pineapple, but also less comedic. Brad Pitt and George Clooney elicited some laughs, and JK Simmons was hilarious, but a lot of the rest fell flat. And it’s annoying that Brad Pitt is in all the commercials when he’s a minor character. But in all fairness, I often like Coen movies better a couple weeks after watching them. I’ll catch it again when it comes out on DVD and see how it hits me.
50 hours without power, FYI