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The Fisher King Criterion 4K UHD Review

“The Fisher King” is pure Terry Gilliam.

In 1991’s “The Fisher King,” the story revolves around a disc jockey named Jack Lucas whose life falls apart after a listener goes on a horrific murder spree due to his comments. 3 years pass and Jack is now working at a video store with his girlfriend (Anne), but he’s perpetually drunk and on the verge of suicide. Jack finds himself being saved by a delusional homeless man (Perry) who sees himself as a Knight on a quest for the Holy Grail. Perry believes Jack is meant to help him. Jack learns that Perry’s mental state is connected to an event from his own life and decides to help him out. Moreover, Jack wants to help Perry find love again with a woman (Lydia) that Perry has an immense crush on. 

Since the beginning of his career, director Terry Gilliam has told fantastical tales like “The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen” and “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” “The Fisher King” is another story that dives into the fantasy genre, but at its heart, this is a film about the human condition. In fact, it might even be more poignant now than it was at the time of its release due to the content involving gun violence, mental health, grief, and trauma. As heartbreaking and tragic as the story can be, the movie is filled with heart as well with themes about love, connections, friendship and redemption. In a typically auteurist fashion, Gilliam’s film is also frequently strange and funny. Basically, there’s a lot going on here. 

As one might also expect from a Gilliam film, the production design and visuals are nothing short of striking. Gilliam and his creative teams are masters of world building even when it’s set in the real world (in this case New York). 

Casts don’t get much better than this. Robin Williams gives an extraordinary performance that really showcases the range that he was capable of. Jeff Bridges has had a career full of award worthy performances and this is one of them. His chemistry with Williams is perfect too. Mercedes Ruehl earned an Oscar nomination for her scene stealing supporting performance. Amanda Plummer (who is currently crushing it on “Star Trek: Picard”) is in peak form here as is character actor Michael Jeter. 


Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p With Dolby Vision HDR. How does it look? This new 4K digital restoration is an improvement over the Blu-ray release. The grain is less harsh and the image quality is so sharp that you are able to notice more little details in each frame. 

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The 5.1 track handles the audio well. 

* A fold-out booklet/poster with an essay by writer Bilge Ebiri.
* A 1991 commentary by Terry Gilliam (on the 4K and Blu-ray)
* 6 deleted scenes. Commentary by Terry Gilliam is optional.
* 5 trailers for “The Fisher King.”
* Costume tests for the 4 main cast members.
* “Jeff’s Tale”- Jeff Bridges narrates his own photos.
* “The Tale Of The Red Knight”- Artists Vincent Jefferds and Keith Greco talk about creating the Red Knight design.
* “Jeff And Jack”- A Jeff Bridges interview in which he talks about how he approached the role of Jack.
* “The Tale Of The Fisher King”- An hour long two-part making of documentary with cast and crew interviews.
* “Robin’s Tale”- A 2006 interview with the late great Robin Williams. 


April 10, 2023 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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