Tag Archives: Tim Burton

Movie Review: Frankenweenie

This past Friday I went to see the children’s movie “Frankenweenie.” “Frankenweenie” is the latest cinematic effort by Tim Burton and is kind of a mix of science fiction and fantasy. As such, it comes complete with the dark, somber ambience Burton has developed a reputation for, though, not so horribly dark and terrifying that it would frighten children. It’s a well-developed film with an engaging storyline and fun characters. Perfect for a Halloween outing.

At the center of the story is the young Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist-in-training attending Junior High or so (I guess that makes him about 13 years old). He’s something of an introvert whose only true friend is his pet dog, Sparky. His parents, however, want him to be more sociable and get him involved in a baseball team. This, however, leads to tragedy: At one of Victor’s games there is a horrible accident and Sparky is killed. Victor is depressed for a long time until he gets the idea—inspired by his science class at school—to try to bring his dog back to life. He succeeds, but is unable to keep that success a secret, and the resulting chaos that breaks loose is enough to make your head spin. But it is great fun to watch, as a whole bevy of monster pets break loose and wreak havoc on the small town Victor Frankenstein calls home.

Overall, I found this movie entertaining and worth watching. It is typical Tim Burton: dark and gloomy, but like I said, not so much it’ll scar children. At least, I don’t think so. I do, however, have several complaints about the movie. The first is so minor I’m not even sure I want to complain about it. Basically, a certain young girl in the film performs divination via cat poo. If her cat poos out the first letter in your name in his litter box that means something “big” is going to happen to you. I just wonder if the only way to entertain children is to act childish ourselves. I mean, really? Cat poo? Must we? My next complaint concerns the wrap up of the film at the end (Spoiler Alert). The once-dead dog, Sparky, is killed again at the end of the movie and, with the blessings of the parents, Victor Frankenstein brings the animal back to life yet again. I know kid’s movies are supposed to have “happy endings,” but I’m not sure it is a good idea to implant in them the notion that bringing their pet back to life is the way to go. They (the film-makers) had an opportunity to let the animal go and let him rest in peace, but they brought him back again. Not sure that was a good idea. My final complaint concerns some of the kid’s science experiments in the film and this is, by far, my most significant complaint. There was a lot of manipulating of electricity throughout the film, an unsuccessful attempt to fly off a housetop, and other experiments of questionable safety being performed by young teen-agers for the movie’s audience of children. Maybe I’m being over-protective, but I don’t think that was very wise to include in the movie. Do we really want someone’s kid to think it’s a good idea to fly a kite during a lightning storm? Anyway, you can see where I’m going. I don’t know how Tim Burton could have made the movie without these things, but I’ve noticed in a lot of the children’s movies of recent years that the writers tend to forget who their primary audience is.

Still, it was a good movie and I enjoyed it. I’ll give it four stars.

Blog Tour Delay and Old Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Today was supposed to be another stop in my blog tour, however, there seem to be some issues with the hosting site of some sort. Hopefully, it will be resolved some time soon. In the mean time, I’ve decided to post an old movie so my readers have something to read.

 

Old Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

What can I say? I’m so into fantasy, I even went to see “Alice in Wonderland” when Tim Burton’s version of the movie came out in 2010. I enjoyed it immensely, but I do have one serious misgiving. This was not a kid’s movie. On the big screen, between Tim Burton’s signature gloomy settings, the ferocious bandersnatch, and, of course, the dark and sinister jabberwocky, I think it was a bit much for an audience of young children. I think, lately, Hollywood has a tendency to forget who their target audience is. “Alice in Wonderland” should have been geared towards children; and it was not.

 

Regardless, it brought together a number of talented actors and actresses in the movie. Johnny Depp, of course, seemed perfect for the role of the mad hatter. I’ve never seen Mia Wasikowska before, but she did a remarkable job as Alice Kingsley. Helena Bonham Carter made a perfectly good obnoxious red queen, and Anne Hathaway made a decent white queen.

 

If we ignore the not-for-children aspect, this was an exceptional fantasy story. It tells the story of Alice Kingsley, daughter of a successful (but deceased) businessman. Alice has some difficulties fitting into the polite society of her time. When a young lord proposes to her, she feels beset by a host of issues, not least of all is what she really wants to do with her life. She takes a moment for her self to chase a strange coat-wearing rabbit with a pocket watch. She falls down a hole and finds herself in Underland, a world of magical potions, strange beings, and enchanted swords. This begins her adventures through the mysterious land which culminates in an epic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

 

The special effects of the film were exceptional. The storyline was interesting, and most of the acting was superb. The drawback was, like I said, the movie was not made for the very young. And when I hear the phrase “Alice in Wonderland,” I normally think of the very young as an audience.

 

Anyway, I’ll give it four out of five stars. It would be four and half, if not for that one glaring flaw.