Episode #6: The Fisher King
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Listen to Episode 6 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In The Fisher King, Jack Lucas is a radio shock jock whose comments incite a frequent caller to commit a mass shooting at a New York club before turning the gun on himself. Years later, Jack (played by Jeff Bridges) is still distraught and plans to kill himself when Parry, a mysterious homeless man (played by Robin Williams) comes to his aid and informs Jack that he is the hero he needs to defeat the Red Knight and retrieve the Holy Grail.
Screenplay by Richard LaGravenese; Directed by Terry Gilliam and released on September 20, 1991.
PREVIEWS & COMING ATTRACTIONS
Before we get to our feature presentation, how about some coming attractions? Sometimes, if we're able to watch the movie on VHS or DVD, there will be commercials and previews for other movies and various things. Let's take a look at what was on our DVD.
The DVD had 4 trailers - 2 Robin Williams movies, starting with "Jumanji." The effects do not hold up very well. Nikki thought that the kid getting sucked into the board seen above was the worst.
Jon thinks the CG monkeys were the worst. Which is your pick?
The second movie was "Awakenings" starring Robert DeNiro. Jon hasn't seen it, but the trailer did not inspire confidence that it would be much more than pure sap.
Jeff Bridges stars in the other two trailers. "The Mirror Has Two Faces" (also written by Richard LaGravenese) also has Barbra Streisand, but we couldn't resist using this screenshot of Bridges
Saving the best for last: "Starman" Jon hasn't seen this movie either, but the trailer along with its laser wipe transitions (seen above) makes it one that deserves a watch pretty soon.
And now, our Feature Presentation
Right away it was evident that the movie was directed by Terry Gilliam and it gives off a lot of the same vibes that "Brazil" did.
A lot of playing with space, slight distortion, and crowding the camera with characters talking to the lens (like an early role from Kathy Najimy here).
We talk about the movie's handling of homelessness and mental health.
Possibly best personified by Michael Jeter (who we feel was overlooked during the awards season).
Of course, there are many great performances with well-rounded characters. Robin Williams is completely captivating and shows such heart-breaking range.
We also spend a little time reminiscing about video stores, but question why anyone would set up their store with shelves like these.
There's plenty of beauty, visual flair and magic, like an entire mass transit hub breaking into a waltz when Lydia walks through.
Contrasted by the Red Knight who is out to spoil Perry's quest. Such an incredible, impactful design.
We have no idea if this restaurant is/was real, but this is a fantastic booth and a great setting for the fantastic diversion into romantic comedy.
The whole movie is a spectacle, from start to end, but a very enjoyable one.
Awards talk - At the Golden Globes, Merecedes Ruehl won for Best Supporting Actress and Robin Williams won for Best Actor (Comedy/Musical).
At the Oscars, Mercedes Ruehl won again. We outline the other nominees for both awards shows during the episode.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
We usually try to tie some true crime information into the movie or week of release. This time, Nikki didn't have much in the true crime area so we dive right into pop culture
The Top Song of the Week was:
Bryan Adams with "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" - We'll probably be saying that a lot. It was a big song.
The top R&B Song instead:
"I Adore Mi Amor" by Color Me Badd. The extra "d" apparently stands for denim.
In general, we discuss this article from the BBC asking if September 1991 was the best month for albums ever? https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/b33c43da-5fe9-4595-9172-b4083c74e891
TV Listings - This week's TGIF featured an episode of "Family Matters" called Boom. Carl's treadmill has been booby-trapped and he can't stop jogging for fear of setting it off. Yes, this was before "Speed." [Note: In the episode, we say it was an hour-long special, but it was a normal half-hour episode]
Video Games - Bill & Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System
It's not good.
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 4 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 4 out of 4
Would you watch again? - Yes, absolutely. There are lot of layers and depth and incredible performances that warrant multiple views.
If you want to watch The Fisher King, as of this recording in March 2021, it’s available on FuboTV, PlutoTV, Digital, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings
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