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Sleepy Hollow (1999)
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Review Date: November 19, 1999
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker
Producers: Scott Rudin, Adam Schroeder
Actors:
Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci as Katrina
Plot:
Constable Ichabod Crane is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow in order to investigate a recent rash of murders by decapitation. Basing his findings solely on scientific factors and evidence, the detective respectfully brushes off the townfolks' allegations of a "headless horseman", but soon discovers much personal evidence to confirm the people's outlandish claims. Headrollings ensue.
Critique:
Beautiful. A film which draws you into its grungy world with its impeccable style and attention to dreary detail, woos you in further with a charmingly pure performance from an actor who is firmly solidifying his place amongst his peer group of esteemed thespians, namely Johnny Depp, and topping the whole gothic show up with an interesting tale of the legendary unknown, mixed in with some timely humor and bloody carnage courtesy of the coolest scary son-of-a-bitch of the year, put your hands together for...the headless horseman. You know I really dug a movie when I run off and into 100-word sentences, so grammatically wrong, but so emotionally right! This is the ultimate Tim Burton movie. The entire presentation is a flawless visual feast which makes you feel like you are really in this dingy town in upper New York, when in reality, the whole film was shot on sets in London, England.

I always knew Johnny Depp was a different kind of actor, but also suspected that he might be taking his goofy roles to hide his lack of true acting chop, but boy, did this film ever prove me wrong. Johnny chomps up his scenes during this entire film and had me utterly convinced of his presence in the year of 1799, engulfed in his character's arrogance on one side and cowardice on the other. Excellent job! He made this film so much more enjoyable for me along with the haunting score from Danny Elfman, the wildly effective sets, the dreamlike cinematography and let's not forget, the ultimately cool clompety-clomps of the headless horseman riding his way into town. Brrrr...cover that neck, this bastard's pissed and he's got no head!! I love this movie! It looks awesome, it feels awesome, it sounds awesome, it's got Johnny Depp in top form, Ricci letting it all hang out, humor, thrills, romance, drama, a little murder mystery tossed in, and oh yeah, let's not forget all the bloody decapitations that you could shake a stick at!

You'll be happy to know that I've also invited this film back for an annual visit inside my DVD player every season of the pumpkin, joining its Halloween staple brother in law, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (10/10). And someone tells me that the actual town of Sleepy Hollow is only about two hours from where I'm stationed. Hmmmm....interesting. Clompety-clompety-clomp.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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