#1  
Old 09-30-2012, 03:08 AM
Frankenweenie



FRANKENWEENIE

Directed by Tim Burton

Written by John August (Based on the original film by Tim Burton and Leonard Ripps)

Starring the voices of Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Atticus Shaffer, and Charlie Tahan

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action

Running Time of 87 Minutes


Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.


I was lucky enough to see the film earlier today and I must say it is my favorite Burton film since Big Fish in 2003. It feels like true old school Beetlejuice-era Tim Burton, complete with his spooky tone and a great big beating heart and soul. It's clever, fast, funny, and pretty damn gruesome. I absolutely loved the characters of Victor and Sparky and Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara doing a wonderful job each voicing 3 unique characters. The black and white look is gorgeous and gothic, and Elfman's score is wonderful. This is a fine return to form for Burton. As a recently disappointed fan I'm quite pleased.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
I was lucky enough to see the film earlier today and I must say it is my favorite Burton film since Big Fish in 2003. It feels like true old school Beetlejuice-era Tim Burton, complete with his spooky tone and a great big beating heart and soul. It's clever, fast, funny, and pretty damn gruesome. I absolutely loved the characters of Victor and Sparky and Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara doing a wonderful job each voicing 3 unique characters. The black and white look is gorgeous and gothic, and Elfman's score is wonderful. This is a fine return to form for Burton. As a recently disappointed fan I'm quite pleased.
This is great news because it looks like it is going to be fantastic..Seeing this in good old 2D on Sunday with my wife.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2012, 03:00 AM
My full review:

There is no doubt that Tim Burton has a distinctive style. Dealing in the realm of the macabre and the gothic, his films carry a unique stamp that make them instantly recognizable as his work. In many ways this is an admirable trait. Over the past decade plus, however, despite a few good works along the way, Burton has seemingly become obsessed with his visuals to the point of being fetishistic, ignoring story and character along the way. As recently as this very year, Burton has released film after film that adapt old properties with his styling but are ultimately dull and flat affairs. Returning to a story he first told via short film in 1984, with Frankenweenie it is almost as if Burton has entirely refreshed his system. His visuals are still as distinctive and “Burtony” as ever, but he has also once again found his soul.

On the surface, Frankenweenie is a strangely gorgeous film. Utilizing wonderful stop motion animation in black and white cinematography by Peter Sorg, the film pays homage to the classic Universal horror films of the 1930s, notably Frankenstein. The lighting and set design of the town of New Holland adds a tangible darkness to the film.The character design is rich and clever, furthering the ties to classic monster movies and creating instant connections in the audience. On the human front Mr. Rzykruski and Edward Gore in particular are marvels of character creation. The puppets’ eyes and singular features inform their personalities in a very impressive way. Burton’s constant collaborator Danny Elfman has composed his finest score in years for the film and it informs every beat without being too overbearing. It is playful and appropriately deranged.

One of the staples of Burton’s early work (notably in Edward Scissorhands) is suburban satire, and we return to that motif here. The town of New Holland is filled with a wide variety of strange and amusing humans that behave in funny and genuine ways. The town feels like a cohesive creation that pokes fun at modern suburbia while also having a dark edge. The town’s mayor, Mr. Burgemeister, is particularly hilarious and we can recognize some truth behind his absurdity. Both Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara lend their vocal talents to 3 unique characters, and it is a testament to their abilities that each is distinctive and fully realized. Martin Landau and Winona Ryder, both reuniting with Burton after many years, do wonderful work as well.

This film really sings for one reason in particular, though, and that is Sparky. A non-talking dog (his voices and whines are voiced by the legend Frank Welker), Sparky is a miraculously emotive character. Wide eyed and filled with spunk and love, I fell in love with Sparky. His relationship with Victor, our protagonist, is the heart of the film and it beats incredibly strong. As a child the grief we face over the loss of a pet can be truly difficult to comprehend and deal with, and Victor acts in a rash but understandable way. I think we all wish that we could do what Victor does and bring our beloved pet back to life. The film carefully develops Victor and Sparky’s relationship prior to the dark twists and turns, and I recognized myself in Victor and his love for his dog, his best friend. The emotional through-line of this relationship extends to the final minutes, and it is a simple yet profound feeling that ties everything together.

In its final act Frankenweenie turns into a true horror show and it makes for a madcap and exciting adventure. Each of Victor’s classmates play their part in wreaking havoc and we find ourselves among graveyards and monsters from the beyond. These scenes had the potential to revert back to Burton’s worst tendencies but we are invested in the characters by this point and it makes for some great fun and some surprisingly scary horror moments. This is not a light or happy film in any fashion and it plays out in a fairly gruesome fashion. I commend Disney for allowing Burton to tell the story his way. As a child I could imagine how this film might be somewhat traumatizing, but much like this year’s ParaNorman (also a horror-laden stop motion film), I think Frankenweenie serves as an excellent introduction to the world of horror for children. It is spooky, gruesome, adventurous, yet also quite lovable. It is vintage Burton in the best ways, and best of all it has Sparky the dog.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2012, 02:12 PM
This looks like the Burton I know and love from my childhood, cant wait to see this one!! Reviews are looking awesome as well....
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2012, 05:28 PM
My review: http://www.magjournal.net/frankenweenie-review/
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by magjournal View Post
I loved that little bit about Al Franken..Though I never want to think about that mental image ever again
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