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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Burton’

The Black Cauldron

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

When it comes to Summer of 1985 fantasy movies that might be a little too dark and scary for their family audiences, RETURN TO OZ was not all Disney had up their sleeve. They also had an animated feature about swords and quests and undead armies that tried to push their artform into new territory. It was the most expensive animated movie that had ever been made, the only one besides SLEEPING BEAUTY that was shot on 70mm, Disney’s first that was rated PG, and the first to integrate some computer generated imagery. It’s adapted from a series of children’s novels called The Chronicles of Prydain by Llloyd Alexander, and they chose not to turn it into a musical (which took some restraint, since one of the main characters is a bard who carries a harp around). It has a mostly serious tone, with a score by Elmer Bernstein and a willingness to start out quiet and ominous, with slow fades between scenes.

Its hero is Taran (Grant Bardsley, George Cukor’s THE BLUE BIRD), a dorky young “assistant pig-keeper” unhappy with his weird job of helping his boss Dallben (Freddie Jones, FIREFOX, FIRESTARTER, WILD AT HEART) take care of one single pig named Hen Wen. He thinks he should be “a famous warrior” having adventures and shit, which he practices for by swinging a stick at imaginary enemies, narrating about how fearless he is and how scared and cowardly they are. (read the rest of this shit…)

After Hours

Friday, April 24th, 2020

“I just wanted to leave my apartment, maybe meet a nice girl. And now I’ve got to die for it!”

AFTER HOURS is Martin Scorsese’s take on the “staying up all night and a bunch of crazy shit happens” movie (see also INTO THE NIGHT, MIRACLE MILE, EDMOND). This one follows Paul (Griffin Dunne), a young word-processing drone who lives alone in a small apartment in New York City. After a boring day at work he goes to a cafe to re-read what he says is his favorite book, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. A woman named Marcy (Rosanna Arquette, same year as SILVERADO) is by herself at a nearby table, notices what he’s reading and says “I love that book.” He doesn’t even hear her at first. But she starts trying to quote it.

Suddenly she moves to his table to get him to look at the weird cashier (Rocco Sisto, INNOCENT BLOOD, ERASER, THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT), who seems to be practicing dance moves. She’s about to leave but they have a short, weird conversation that includes 1) telling him she’s staying with her friend Kiki Bridges and 2) giving him Kiki’s phone number so he can inquire about her sculptures of bagels and cream cheese. (read the rest of this shit…)

Batman

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Tim Burton’s BATMAN is a movie about a feeling – a feeling called Batman. It’s a lonely, broken, hanging out in a cave with the bats feeling. A sad about my dead parents but trying to be me feeling. A doing a bad job of passing for a normal person but fuck you I’m gonna dress and drive how I want and do what I want at night feeling. An okay it’s true that I am legitimately crazy and even sometimes hang upside down like a bat when I can’t sleep but does that have to mean I can’t have a girlfriend feeling. The feeling is evoked by shadowy alleys, towering gothic structures (thanks to brilliant production design by FULL METAL JACKET‘s Anton Furst), matte black metal and Danny Elfman’s low, murmuring horns that climb to the rooftops, step to the edge and spread their gargoyle wings in a thunderous explosion of marching drums and rococo instrumentation.

Man, that score. There aren’t many I like better than this one. It’s as eternal as the concept of Batman itself.

Now, just as we’re in a groove here – as Batman (in a place that looks sort of like the ’40s, sort of like the ’80s, sort of like a future that never happened) is terrifying muggers, chasing gangsters in fedoras, dodging old timey reporters with similar hats, sitting in his cave looking at scans of old newspaper articles on his computer that looks sturdier than a submarine, or out of costume hiding away in his big empty manor, stewing in a mood that’s black, blue and overcast – here comes this walking splatter of white, green and purple called The Joker. The nerve of this asshole to hold himself as a parallel to Batman! Sure, we understand the need for self expression, the rebellion against conformity, the back and forth between masking and glorying in his disfigurement. And yeah, he knows how to be a funny jerk. His arrogance can be kinda charming. “You look fine.” “I didn’t ask.” (read the rest of this shit…)

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Friday, October 7th, 2016

tn_missperegrineMISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN takes place in a quirky, goth-y world of young outcast monsters, a story for young people who enjoy the macabre, a premise that sounds like X-MEN but plays more like THE ADDAMS FAMILY. It seems tailor made for a Tim Burton comeback film. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe he needs to find something off the rack that looks good on him. No, actually that’s probly what he did here. Maybe he needs to sew something himself. I don’t know. This metaphor got away from me.

Asa Butterfield (HUGO) plays Jake, our protagonist and first person narrator, who lives a boring life in a Scissorhandsian Florida suburb until one day he finds his Grandpa (Terence Stamp, ELEKTRA, THE PHANTOM MENACE) dead in the woods with his fucking eyeballs plucked out. (The police soothe him by explaining that dogs ate ’em.) Also he sees a giant.

Kinda like BIG FISH, he finds himself tracing the seemingly-fantastical tales Grandpa told him and left behind in letters, journals, photos and maps. (Burton has been past his prime long enough that he’s harkening back to movies from past his prime.) He convinces his dad (Chris O’Dowd, CALVARY) to bring him to Wales to see this children’s home where Grandpa once lived. (read the rest of this shit…)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

From the time I heard about the book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter until the second before I saw the trailer for the movie version, I had no interest in the concept. Yeah, I get it – history and horror cliches moosh-up. Wocka wocka wocka. But one second later I saw that trailer and I realized that I hadn’t gotten it at all. As far as you could tell from the trailer, this movie was gonna be treated dead serious. A historical drama that for some reason is also a horror action movie. It looked amazing.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Dark Shadows

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

tn_darkshadowsa.k.a. TIM BURTON’S WHITE BLACULA

I didn’t expect to write a review of this movie, but I think I liked it more than everybody else, so I figured I should stick up for it. I mean, I don’t necessarily plan to watch it again in my life, but it has an odd tone that I enjoyed and shows signs of life in ol’ Tim Burton. (read the rest of this shit…)

Planet of the Apes (2001 remake)

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
tn_pota2001
chapter 10

logo_summer2001smallreleased July 27, 2001

Well, so far this summer of 2001 we’ve been having hasn’t been too hot. But at least we got that new Tim Burton movie coming out, right? I don’t know why they gotta remake PLANET OF THE APES but it’s a great cast and that guy knows what he’s doing, I’m sure he’ll do something interesting with it.

Nope. 10 years later I’m not sure I need to explain why the PLANET OF THE APES remake is no good. I don’t remember there being an argument about it at the time, or ever encountering anybody that liked it in the decade since. It was a bad idea, it was not good, let’s all pretend it never happened. The end.

But I’m doing this thing so let’s do it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

tn_aliceinwonderland2010ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Louis Carroll or whoever is one of the most beloved and iconic children’s literatures of our times. It has also been one of the most adapted, referenced and re-interpreted. Ever since the books Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and A2: Rise of the Looking Glass were first published in such and such a year, I myself as a child growing up was inspired by, blah blah blah and you know the rest. In 1951 Walt Disney, etc.

As an adaptation of the original book, ALICE IN WONDERLAND is not entirely faithful. Like many versions it combines characters from the first book and the sequel (Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Humpty Dumpty were from the second book according to Wikipedia, a popular websight). However it’s not meant as a straightforward translation of the book, but more a riff on the world of Wonderland, using our familiarity with some of the imagery and characters from previous adaptations and trying to be clever about re-interpreting them in a different context. (read the rest of this shit…)

Planet of the Apes (2001)

Friday, July 27th, 2001

It pains me to be that jackass who tries to point out that the remake is not as good as the original. Whoah, you’re blowin my mind, Galileo! But facts are facts, and science is science, fellas. The one and only mainstream event movie of the summer of 2001 is a big fat mess.

Planet of the Apes is the story of Mark Wahlberg landing on the Planet of the Apes. After this happens, there are many apes, etc.

Now if you’ve seen the original 1968 film by Rod Serling and friends starring Charlton Omega Man Heston, you know what not to expect in the remake – a strong story with unique elements of social commentary, good direction and atmosphere, etc.

Now I’ve read a thing or two about this one in the magazines and what not but I wouldn’t have to know it already to tell that this is one of those mega budget hollywood vehicles where they were still trying to Write it when they had already filmed it. And I know this is gonna be unpopular but buddy, you need a script for a picture like this. I know Mike Leigh, Wayne Wang, Christopher Guest etc. would disagree with me but improv is for pussies, in my opinion. (read the rest of this shit…)

Sleepy Hollow

Monday, November 22nd, 1999

This week what I saw was a piece by the name of Sleepy Hollow. This is what you call an old fashioned horror type movie based on that old story of the decapitated horseman. What he does is he goes around chopping off motherfuckers heads with an ax goin “Where’s my head? Where’s my head motherfucker give it back!” Or at least, that is what he’s communicating through the medium of head chopping.

Now first of all, if any of you like me saw halloween 20 last halloween, your probably thinking the same thing I am – could it be… michael meyers is the headless horseman? Because remember michael also got his head chopped off with an ax. And yeah nobody ever taught him how to ride a horse but then nobody taught him how to drive a car either but he was doing very well last night. Anyway I don’t want to give anything away but its not him unfortunately in sleepy hollow because it takes place in a different time period. SOrry.

Well obviously what you gotta do in a headless horseman type situation like this, even if its not michael meyers, you gotta figure out what the hell is up with this fucker and catch him. Let me tell you i’m glad this dude doesn’t get locked up in the end, i would feel bad for the inmates that have to deal with a dude with no head, that’s just creepy.

So anyway the dude who goes after him is kind of a sissy type fella by the name of Ichabod Crane. Apparently he’s some sort of cop although without a uniform or a badge I’m just going to let it slide and say, okay, this dude is all right with me. Even if he’s wearing some kind of lady’s scarf which I guess was considered less taboo at the time this takes place. (read the rest of this shit…)