VIDEO: Frankenweenie (2012)

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BONUS! Count Jackula and Horror Guru’s commentary:

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You know what’s awesome? Resurrecting dead pets. All this happens and more on this special black and white episode of Friday Night Fright Flicks, as Horror Guru and Count Jackula review Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie!

UPDATED Nov. 23, 2012! In this bonus video, Count Jackula and Horror Guru provide commentary on their review of Frankenweenie!

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  • Damn it! How could Plan A not work? XD

    Great job again you guys, I’ll probably go check out the movie, I needed an excuse to go to the movies anyways, I haven’t seen a film on the theater since The Dark Knight Rises

  • Goblin1001

    I have not seen FRANKENWEENIE, but I totally support Jackula’s opinion of fans of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

    • Jack Shen

      Haha, I fear I may have gone a bit far with hating on Hotel Transylvania. That’ not a TERRIBLE movie, but it’s gotten a lot of undeserved fan worship, while Frankenweenie has gotten a lot of undeserved fan scorn, mostly from people that refuse to see it. 

      • Frankenweenie is definitely better, but Hotel Translyvania isn’t half bad either, especially if you’re a Gendy Tartokovsky fan, which I am. It’s fascinating watching his trademark fast-paced slapstick humor and signature character design elements translate so well into CG animation, given how many of us grew up watching his work on Cartoon Network.

        Plus, as good as Frankenweenie is, it’s not great, mostly notable as a “Hey, Burton’s still got it!” thing rather than standing on it’s own. It’s definitely fun and creative, and I love the way they repurpose the thematic elements of the original Frankenstein story, vilifying not the scientist for “playing god”, but rather the ignorant townspeople for being fearful of science (but then, what else was Tim Burton going to write about?). But the subplot with the invisible fish disappearing kind’ve ends up contributing nothing, Mr. Rzykruski’s bit about “loving your experiment” felt like it slightly undermined the whole theme of avoiding superstition & embracing science, and as fun and reference packed as the third act is, it feels a little bit contrived. Definitely a fun movie though.

        Although let’s face it, they both pale in comparison to ParaNorman.

        • I actually find Paranorman and Frankenweenie to be on equal ground.  I love them both with all my heart. 

      • Yup.  Hotel Transylvania’s not a bad movie.  It’s just forgettable popcorn entertainment.  Frankenweenie and Paranorman are true masterworks.  That’s where the frustration comes from, watching the un-challenging movie get all the success while two truly great films underperform. 

  • Muthsarah

    (For the record, I haven’t seen and will never see Hotel Transylvania, think Beetlejuice is still the best Burton flick, have always loved every frame of the the Burton Batmans, impervious to anyone who thinks they’re dumb or overrated, paid 3D non-matinee money to support Paranorman opening week, and mostly liked it, and didn’t give Burton a dime – directly or as proxy – for anything he made after Mars Attacks.  So, like, I’m a purist and stuff.  Take me seriously.  Please?)

    Jackers, H.Guru, you claim that if we don’t like this movie, we’ve given up on life.  Well, I haven’t seen this movie, but while I haven’t yet quite given up on life, I have most certainly given up on Burton.  Like ten goddamn years ago.  To the extent that I want to punish him.  With my own hands and/or rusty implements if possible.  Oh yes.  I want his career to be done forever, and I want him out on the street with a “will do nasty things for black hair dye” placard.  “People hate Burton for SOME reason?!”  SOME REASON?  You already KNOW the reasons.  The worse he’s gotten, the more money he makes, and the more damage he does to everything beautiful past, present or near future the he touches.  The guy’s a malignant cancer on art at this point.  To reward him, even for doing something good, would send the message that he can do no wrong by the public.  He’s beyond forgiveness now.  He deserves to suffer.  Frankenweenie’s his baby, eh?  I wanna drown that baby in a pool of its own blood and feces, just to send a message to its whore of a father that nobody with any taste loves him or ever will again.  I actually have MORE respect for Lucas at this point.  For effing LUCAS.  He was just a hack who got lucky to find some genuinely talented people to spin his crap into gold and was ultimately exposed as a waste of celluloid.  Burton, however, squandered insane talent and a unique vision, and actually ruined OTHER people’s works, not just his own.  He was my favorite filmmaker growing up.  MY FAVORITE.  All too briefly.  And then he sold out and produced one big budget Disney nothing after another.  And I know others who hold similar opinions.  We meet up every other Friday.

    You imply that you share our collective pain over what has become the new Burton oeuvre, and that he still deserves a chance, because he decided to just once double-back and tread on his own work in a bigger-budget and more financially-viable sense.  So what?  I don’t care if I end up liking this movie, I’ll still hate the man, and wish he would wander into the nearest swamp one dark night, never to be seen again.  His crimes by this point surpass any matters of artistic merit.  He steals money from trusting people and former fans, and uses his past work to get them to come back and surrender more, while leaving a series of mangled once-fondly-remembered franchises in his wake.  Dude’s a monster.

    By the by: of course Burton improved the art direction.  It’s 28 years later, he had comparatively nothing to work with back then, and he has a lot of money to work with today.  Yeah, that didn’t help Lucas any, but that’s only notable in that one would EXPECT someone to improve on himself after a generations’ work and technological progress.  That’s not so much a selling point for the film as a gigantic “duh!”  It would probably take incredible talent to make this film look worse than its ultra-low-budget predecessor.  And, as I think I’ve implied already, Burton doesn’t have that in him anymore.  I think Ebert summed it up pretty well in his “Death to Smoochy” review:

    “Only enormously talented people could have made ‘Death to Smoochy.’ Those with lesser gifts would have lack ed the nerve to make a film so bad, so miscalculated, so lacking any connection with any possible audience. To make a film this awful, you have to have enormous ambition and confidence, and dream big dreams.”

    Burton doesn’t even have it in him to make a truly bad film these days.  His recent films are only horrible in comparison to the originals.  In all other respects, they’re just boring two-hour sessions of bright colors, fast moving images and emotional nothings.  In other words, they’re not even enjoyably bad.  Even Green Lantern was kinda enjoyably bad, if you enjoy watching Hollywood fall flat on its face (which I do).

    Now, you do make the movie sound pretty good, I’ll grant you.  Yeah, the old-school look helps, but mostly it’s the idea of kaiju references and especially old Universal easter eggs gets me kinda tingly in the best of regions.  If I could see this movie for free (at a convenient time, like during work), I would.  But the idea of once again opening my heart to Burton, as I did the first time little wide-eyed me saw Beetlejuice (GOD, I love that movie, and everything it represents), nauseates me.

    Sure, you’ve seen the film and I haven’t.  I have nothing to say that could possibly contradict your own impressions.  But beyond that, why the hell should I give Burton, or anything he touches another chance?  Would seeing this movie bring him back from the brink over which he long ago toppled?  The guy’s next projects are remaking “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Addams Family”.  I don’t even know HOW he’s gonna ruin the latter, but I have full faith in him that he will (and what a lazy choice of directors is that, seriously?).  The guy’s long since beyond the pale and he ain’t never coming back.

    Since Frankenweenie is clearly something very dear to him, I can think of no better way to hurt him than to do my little part to help the movie bomb and/or underperform.  Again, even if I do see and end up enjoying this movie, I would still feel party to some great evil.  Or, and this is kinda the point I’ve been sorta not really building to since three pages ago:  Does the man still DESERVE another chance?  The film, maybe, I dunno, can’t say that with any certainty until after the fact.  But the man.  Does HE deserve it?  I’m leaning towards “no”, but officially, I always try to keep an open mind.

    At least until I finally lose patience with Burton and try to open his mind with the rustiest spoon at my disposal.  But there’s still plenty of time, and I’m nothing if not patient.  Alice deserves her vengeance, and one day, she shall have it.

    (In general, I try my best to match the tone and intensity of my comments with the tone of the reviews.  My opinions are always heartfelt, I just choose different parts of my heart from which to express them.  So you don’t have to bring the FBI into this.)

    • Jack Shen

      Dude Tim Burton is doing The Addams Family?! THAT SOUNDS FUCKING AMAZING!

      • Oh FUCK YES! I’ll see that. I’ll see that with BELLS on!

        • MichaelANovelli

          And I can cosplay as Gomez with minimal effort!

          • Muthsarah

            Y’all’re supposed to be outraged.  Why am I the only one here not happy with this?!  It’s a lazy as hell production.  What can Burton possibly add to the Addams at this point?  It’s gonna be more Dark Shadows than Nightmare, y’know.

            I liked the early 90’s movies, both of them, but they were already pretty Burton-y.  Where can you go from there?

            Y’all suck…. *sniff* 🙁

          • MichaelANovelli

            Hey, there’s room for all viewpoints!  That’s why the world is such a wonderful place!  🙂

          • Muthsarah

            Oh, you don’t hafta bring that old chestnut into this; nobody’s saying contrary opinions aren’t valid.  I’da been lynched long ago were that the case.  It just burns whenever I’m reminded that people (real people, not ones I can easily dismiss, like the masses) still like Burton.  I liked the idea that “nobody” liked him anymore.  Makes me feel less like I’m being left out of the party.  Fifteen years ago, I would have been delighted at the idea of Burton remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or especially Alice in Wonderland.  But then….

            And yeah, I’ve grown to love hating Burton (and hearing other hating Burton), like I switched teams or something.  Hearing people saying they still like him would be like people saying Ed Wood or Batman are terrible movies.  I liked what he used to be, but then he changed to please the masses, and it feels like he made the decision to drift away what what I used to love about his films.  And now other people still enjoy his films, and I can’t.

            If you enjoy it, fine.  Whatever.  I don’t care.  Really.  I don’t.  Just…have fun with it.  Good for you.  I hope you two are happy together.  I don’t need him anymore.  I’ll be OK.  Seriously.

          • Sofie Liv

             Could go either way really..

            I hope Burtons just lets loose this time around, for a top to the wall, vibrant movie.

            Which is what he has been known for, but hasn’t really delivered for a decade.. worst case scenario, it’ll become bland and generic.. which is actually what Burton has done surprisingly many times.

            Still, bland and boring is not nearly as bad as many things that has happened to the Addams on TV over the decades.. how many here knows that Tim Curry actually played Gomez ones? in a special that sucked!

            One thing we can be sure off though, the movie is going to look gorgeous, it wont be painfully bad.. and I heard some-thing saying it’s going to be Stop-animation as well, which is certainly bringing some-thing new to the story, never seen a stop motion animated Addams Family, and that’ll just make the whole thing look even more gorgeous.

            buttom line, it’s absolutely not the worst announcment in the world.. What the hell Burton intends to do with sleeping Beauty though, that’s a whole other matter.. really? what does he want with that story? I am clueless, which makes that protect.. kind of interesting.

          • Muthsarah

            According to Wiki, the Burton/Sleeping Beauty thing was cancelled; I just remember hearing that a long time ago.  There’s one bullet dodged.

            As for the Addams Family looking gorgeous…will it?  Can’t we all already picture EXACTLY what the movie’s gonna look like?  Will it really be much different than the Sonnenfeld version (medium notwithstanding)?  There’s gorgeous, and then there’s tired.  I remember being VERY underwhelmed with Corpse Bride, given that it was a total retread for him.

            Sometimes, I can picture a movie and be happily surprised that the filmmakers got it exactly as I hoped it would look (LotR, Harry Potter, but that’s because I felt there was room for doubt, like maybe I’d be wrong, and they’d do something markedly different, for better or worse.  But with Burton…well, I think I know EXACTLY what it’s gonna look like.  And that’s not a bad thing by any means, if faithfulness to the source material is a big thing (which I typically like), but it’s nothing to think too highly of.  Burton’s films are known for having a familiar dark, macabre aesthetic.  Charles Addams already did that for him.  What can Burton do to build on that?

          • Necroglobule

            There’s also the fact that Sonnenfeld out-Burtoned Burton TWICE with both Addams Family movies. Early 90’s Burton could top that, but not 2012 Burton.

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            Tim Burton has come to a creative stagnation I hate to say it.  He needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone by someone, since I’m sure we all love Johnny Depp but seeing him in every single Burton film lately is kind of annoying (and don’t get me started on Helena Bonham Carter I’ll never stop ranting about that). 

            I realize he’ll never be able to match Batman for a super hero movie, but I think going back to a comic property might be a good idea, to get a break from the fairy tales he’s been doing lately.  DC desperately needs a good non-Batman movie, and Burton is great at creating lavish sets and setting extremely visual tones for his movie.  I would love to see Tim Burton direct a Flash movie, as it would challenge him as a director and take him out of comfort zone somewhat, while still letting him play to his strengths.  The change to a light-hearted character like Wally West or even Barry Allen would also show he can do more than dark, brooding characters. 

            Heck, he could put his own ideas into the Mirror Universe if they had Mirror Master in the movie, giving him a chance to inject some Burton-esque moments as well.  Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, and Gorilla Grodd would make a pretty epic Flash movie as well.

          • Muthsarah

            I’d rather see him direct a Reese Witherspoon or Katherine Heigl rom-com.  Those movies are always screaming for anything distinctive, and Burton could put his creativity (read: the same old dark, macabre aesthetic) to good use in a VERY unusual setting for him, and, good or bad, produce something original.  If nothing else, we can punish him by making him direct a rom-com.

            Or have him direct a Jason Statham movie.  Or a Bond Movie even.  But he doesn’t get to write the story, so it can’t just take place on Halloween or in a haunted house.  No comfort zone, just an auteur out of his element, having to adjust and do something different.

            If he can make it work, then he’s officially a good filmmaker again.  And if he’s not careful…he just might learn something.

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            You really want to punish the man, make him direct a Punisher movie.  Make it gritty like Natural Born Killers, with Frank Castle just beaten down, in an almost documentary style with the villains saying “This is footage of us taking down the so-called Punisher.”

            Only to have the tables turn and Frank to come back and they are like “What’s going on?  Why is the feed screwing up?”  And the villains are like “this is live feed…uh oh I think he’s onto us now!”

          • Muthsarah

            A found footage comic book movie?  That does sound like a challenge, probably too much for Burton; I don’t think Kubrick could make that style work.

          • Necroglobule

            One guess which two actors he’s going to get to play Gomez and Morticia.  Seriously, take one guess. If you’re familiar with Burton’s lazy casting, you’ll only need one and one only.

          • Sofie Liv

            I am still wondering why no body has made this joke regarding this movie yet.

            “WHAT? Who directed this movie? there’s no Jonnhy Depp in it! There can’t be a Burton movie without depp in it! I’M SO CONFUSED!!!”

            all though to be honest, mainly I am just relieved…

          • Jack Shen

            Nah, Frankenweenie (for the most part) uses his stable of older actors(Martin Landau, Cathrine O’Hara, etc) And there is also a sneaky cameo by Christopher Lee. 

          • Necroglobule

            It’s actually pretty refreshing that Depp isn’t in this, because damn. I’m a huge Johnny Depp fan but they should take a break from each other for a while.

          • Thomas Stockel

             Perhaps Burton is finally taking the hint that maybe, just maybe using the same actors for every project is doing more harm than good?  That or he couldn’t figure out which role Johnny should play….Wait, who did the voice of the dog?

          • Thomas Stockel

             I liked the first Addams’ Family film, not so much the second.  Perhaps the novelty just wore off in the second one for me.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Hey, *I* liked Death To Smoochy…

      I dunno, I keep wondering when I’m going to stumble into this alternate universe version of Tim Burton that everyone other than me keeps seeing movies by.  Near as I can figure, Burton’s still got it, and, in my own opinion, never lost it…

      • Muthsarah

        “Never lost it??!”

        THAT’S IT!  I want my money back nao!

      • Agreed, on all accounts. 

      • Sofie Liv

         I actually like “Death to Smoochy.” as well. I think people gotta first of admit what it is.. an dark adult comedy, it never ever tried to be any-thing else than a dark adult comedy.
        And well, then judge it from does merits and ask yourself, is it funny or not? I thought it was, but ones again, humour os subjerctive.

        And well. I guess the thing is that it becomes more and more obvious how much Burton sucks at narratives.. he always did, nothing ever changed about that, it’s just became more obvious. As he gained more control he pushed screen-writers aside, which was a mistake. He is a great director, a bad screen writer.. and that’s actually okay. It’s just a shame that he’s become such a big giant that no one dares to point it out.

        Burton didn’t write Scissorhands nor Ed Wood, but he directed them, and that’s why they work so well, mixing two great things.

        It’s like people yelling out against Webber ones again, that Andrew Lloyd webber lost it and now sucks..
        No he don’t. What is Webber? he is a composer and that’s it, not a story teller, not a book writer, a composer, so you can only judge him from the music, which is still as good as ever, he just never managed to find a book-writer as good as Tim Rice again.

        Burton, is an Art director, and he is a very good art director, looking at individual scenes in all of his movies, they are always without a doubt, spectacular to look at, but the collected narrative just lacks, and he should have learned by now, that he needs a work partner whom is good in that area..

        And Jonnhy depp is not that freaking work partner! Dark Shadows proved it, that was just the two of them sitting together, writing a movie, no one else daring to call them out on flaws. And neither Burton nor Depp can write narrartives! one is an art director the other an actor, they seriously just needed a genuine script writer! .. as you can see, I am frustrated, because part of me still wants to see Burton doing great and I know he could, if he just worked with the right people.

        • Muthsarah

          For the record, I haven’t seen “Death to Smoochy” either, and I wasn’t personally commenting on it.  I just remembered what Ebert said about it.

          Though I have to point out that Burton didn’t write any of his recent films.  His failings there were as a director alone.  Aside from Big Fish (which actually required him to do something different, and which he was probably uniquely inspired by), he’s just been on autopilot since Sleepy Hollow.

          1. Call Danny
          2. Call Johnny
          3. Profit!

          • Sofie Liv

             He was probably free do re-writes and interpretations and he probably did.

            Him and Jonnhy Depp just had way to much power over Dark Shadows and it shows in the movie.
            Which is a shame, cause they were two fan-boys making a dream project.. to bad they weren’t Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss two skilled writers doing that. (Sherlock ftw, and best audio commentary track ever, Moffat and Gatiss comes off as nothing short of two overly exited fan-boys, and it’s brilliant.)

          • Necroglobule

            I think Planet of the Apes bombing scared Tim Burton a bit. I thought Burton’s Apes was a pretty good movie until that WTF ending where the film punches itself (and the audience) in the balls. It’s still an important moment in Burton’s career because that was the turning point where Bad Tim took over. (there are two Tim Burtons. Good Tim who makes awesome movies like Ed Wood and Beetlejuice and Bad Tim, who makes utter crap like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows). The backlash from PotA frightened Tim back into his comfort zone of Danny Elfman and Johnny Depp, where he’s been ever since. Sometimes, but only sometimes Good Tim shows up, but for the most part the comfort zone is Bad Tim’s domain. 

            Anyway, that’s my hypothesis on why Tim Burton sucks royal balls now.

          • Jack Shen

            I understand the desire to see periods of Tim Burton’s career as good or bad. But at this point, I just see good movies and bad movies done by Burton.

            In the middle of this so-called “bad” period, Sweeny Todd was made, which I thought was a good movie. 

          • Sweeney rules! =) I’m also quite a big fan of “Big Fish.” 

          • Sofie Liv

            And as it comes to Sweeney I of cause crash the party as the resident “Music snob.” as Mendo so gladly likes to call me… I am a great lover of musicals, and I cannot accept that movie! I cannot watch it without having the presentation of the music drive me up the walls, I physically wanted to pull my hair out when I heard Bohman carter sining “Worst pies in London.” as I saw the movie in cinema, it was that bad for me to witness, I just physically retrieved in my position.. And well, maybe there is good stuff in the movie, but I cannot work myself pass presentation of the music and Carters dumb singing! Depp clearly isn’t a singing either, he delivers a performance sure and gives his “Songs” emotion, but he isn’t really singing.. I just.. Argh!

            I like Big Fish though…  

          • For me, Depp and Carter’s singing worked way more than I expected because they came across as incredibly broken individuals. Which fits completely with their stories and the tone of the overall movie.

            Emotion to me is far more important than range, when it comes to musicals. =) 

          • Sofie Liv

             Still not acceptable for me, first you learn to sing, which is, only step one.. And then you work pass that to give the song power and emotion, working towards point 2,3,4 and so ford.

            I were looking at two people whom hadn’t even reached step one yet and there-fore couldn’t possible move to step two!

            Particularly Bohman Carter again, she had three, three songs that are supposed to be up-beat, fast, staggato and sort of ugly sounding.

            And she sang them down-beat, slow, legato and pwetty in a incredible weak voice butchering the songs, stealing away the energy, without her actually singing.
             And it makes me having an actual physical response when I see this happen in musical movies, which is why I so quickly dismiss that many new musical movies.

            A child-hood of instrumental teaching, choir practise and music performances has effectively damaged me kay.
            I cannot listen to instruments off-key for a long without physically retracting, I cannot watch X-factor auditions without physically squirming.. I don’t mean to do it, I just do.

            YES the song needs emotions, and needs to be acted out, that’s very very important in musicals! some songs needs to be ugly, some pretty, some fun an jazzy. 
            But it’s a bigger skill than just to be learned in three months!
            There’s musical movies I like where I can hear the singers are in fact great singers! fitting their parts perfectly in voice and appearence.
            “Reefer Madness.” “The Producers.” “Little shop of horror.” “Doctor horribles sing along blog.” where great singing skill is combined with acting skill.. Sweeney Todd does not fall under this category.

            Buttom line, if you ever want to see my physically convuls, as in actually physically convulse without meaning to, and I am dead serious, I wish I were exgerrating I am not, I am that damaged, just put a musical movie on starring people whom are not singers…

          • Muthsarah

            That sounds like a great idea for a short video.  Someone can send you a vid featuring bad singing, and you could record your first reactions to it.  It would only have to be about five minutes tops.

          • Sofie Liv

             If you really want to, you can try and send me what music piece you want, I can set up a camera before I click on the video, link, what-ever. Wont promise I would upload it though, but I could try.

          • Necroglobule

            No, I don’t see Burton in periods at all. I’m saying he has a bit of a split personality as a filmmaker. Like I said, sometimes but only sometimes Good Tim shows up.

          • Jack Shen

            I think it’s more than sometimes. It’s about 50/50. My list of Burton movies goes like this:

            GOOD Burton:
            Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
            Beetlejuice
            Batman
            Batman Returns (the visuals)
            Nightmare Before Christmas 
            Edward Scissorhands
            Ed Wood
            Sweeny Todd
            Frankenweenie

            Though he didn’t direct Nightmare, I count it because he was the main creative force behind it.) 

            BAD Burton:
            Planet of the Apes
            Dark Shadows

            Look at that list, WAY more good than bad. However, here’s the thing, there is ANOTHER Burton (if you wanna play that game). 

            MEDIOCRE Burton:
            Batman Returns (the plot)
            Mars Attacks
            Sleepy Hollow
            Corpse Bride
            Big Fish
            Alice in Wonderland

            Technically Charlie and Chocolate factory is on the MEDIOCRE list too, but I personally don’t count it because the original is so ingrained in our cultural consciousness, that there was NO WAY it could truly succeed.

            So it’s not GOOD vs. BAD. It’s GOOD vs. MEDIOCRE. Which is better than a LOT of other major directors. 

            Burton isn’t a bad director, we just get annoyed we he doesn’t deliver something AMAZING, merely above average.  

          • Muthsarah

            CatCF absolutely could have succeeded.  Now while the Wilder version is rightfully considered a classic, it’s also pretty badly dated in a visual sense (Burton’s wheelhouse, and something that kids and teens would easily pick up on); the visuals were a strength back in 1971, but it’s drawback today.   Sure, the candy room is still iconic, but the rest looks kinda silly.  Burton did update the look of the candy room, but it was more of a touch-up job, it wasn’t anything unique or even Burton-esque.  It was the safe choice to make, and thus not a bad one, but it still feels like a lazy move on Burton’s part given his background and known strengths.

            Burton also had the opportunity to distinguish his version by sticking closer to the book.  Instead, he went in the complete opposite direction, making it even LESS Dahl-ish by inventing a whole suplot for Wonka to give Depp more to do (and inviting negative comparisons to Edward Scissorhands).

            In addition, the first movie’s songs are themselves pretty iconic.  But while I think I’m in the minority in that I really like some of the new songs (not THAT one), I don’t think any of them left of an impression or will be remembered or cherished by future generations, as I don’t recall hearing any of them singled out for praise.  The art direction of the songs were pretty cheesy and annoying, and I think it was a big mistake to replace several Oompa Loompas with just the same one copied and pasted.  It just looks like a cheap and lazy visual gimmick.  So while I still like Elfman’s work overall, I think it’s hard to argue that another traditional Burton strength – the score – fell short.

            Finally, I think he took a lot away from the ending by showing the audience that all the bad kids turned out OK.  Dahl and Burton both are supposed to be dark and scary, and showing the kids walk out afterwards took a lot of the creepiness out of the movie.  I’m reminded of criticisms leveled at Lucas and Spielberg over growing “soft” and losing their edge as they get older.  I think making a deliberate, and entirely unnecessary, change at the end of the movie, to make it less scary in retrospect strongly hints that Burton has lost his old edge.  He wants to be family friendly, apparently, which is strange, as I recall kids I grew up with LOVING his movies already, so I don’t know why he would feel he should do such a thing.

            So, in summary, I view CatCF as one of his worst, ahead only of PotA and especially Alice.  I haven’t seen Dark Shadows, though.

          • Wow, look at all this wasted space.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Well, as I recall, Burton’s ending was closer to the original book…

    • What kind of monster wants a director to die penniless on the streets for making a few bad movies. Dude, completely go fuck yourself. “I didn’t watch this movie, but let me tell you my dumb opinion.” If this was on my site I’d take it down and ban you for being a baby. 

      This rant was about the dumbest thing I’ve read since Akin’s “legitimate rape” theory. I think George Lucas is a weirdo hack, but if people I trust tell me to see his new movie I will. Say what you want about how bad some of his movies are, they still had some clever ideas and art direction. Especially Corpse Bride and Wonka. 

      Also quoting Ebert, talking about a movie that Burton DIDN’T DIRECT really makes you look stupid. 

      Leave the internet, we no longer need you.

  • I dunno…I’ve never seen the original, and the previews all looked kinda…uninteresting. I’m just not into most children’s films. *Shrug*

    • That’s fair enough. If they’re not for you then they’re not for you. =)

      • Ah, well. I’m probably missing out on a brilliant film, and I should watch it since I’m getting a minor in animation, anyway. :p As far as the review goes, you guys are funny, as always! I’ve just got to be sure not to watch your one for Resident Evil, since I can’t go see that one until Christmas rolls around…grrr. Same with V/H/S, ‘cept that your review was what got me interested in it. Gotta love both cheesy zombie-killing fests and horror that actually bothers to put horror into it. 😉

  • Wait, “THIS time I get to be Igor”? Are we to infer that normally Jackula is the manservant and Guru the scientist? Because that doesn’t sound very Jackula at all.

    Oh and Jackula, if you think Burton’s Batman was better and Nolan’s overrated, have you seen my first episode on this site? Because I actually talk about that, I’d be interested to hear your reaction.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, Jack does have a thing for costumes, near as I can figure.  😉

      • My point was more that Jackula (the fictional persona, not Jack himself) as been characterized my egotism thus far, and he’s usually the instigator of whatever the two get up to, dragging Guru along. I can’t see him saying “you do all the mad science, I’ll just wear a hump and watch”.

  • Sofie Liv

    Well.. I all-ready talked about this issue when I reviewed “Alice In Wonderland.” And I stated.. it’s a movie that makes me very very sad.

    Not because it’s as bad as many says.. it’s actually not, it’s just very very bland and boring. which is an odd thing to recieve when you walk in to Tim Burtons wonder land, that’s just the last thing you’ll exspect. I claimed the movie, not to be the movie that made people hate burton, but the movie that effectively made people stop caring about him at all.
    Which is actually a fate worse than the directors whom recieves a lot of hate such as Lucas or Bay, no… What Alice in Wonderland did, was not making people hate the man, but just stopping carring about him all-together. And of cause there had been a build-up to that point with movie after movie that were just sheer dissapoinments and surpisingly generic for an entire decade, so Alice in Wonderland were merely the final drop, and that’s why the cinema hall was compleately empty safe me and my friend, when I was in watching Dark Shadows a the cinematic premiere.

    And maybe you can figure from that statement… that I am actually an old-school Burton fan. That I LOVE old school burton.
    When I and Mendo made a Batman Returns cross-over, I even admitted to see Mendos point that the plot was none sensicle, but love the movie regardless, as I feel the individual scenary, stunning art direction and innovation makes more than up for it.
    Edward Scissorhands, Ed wood.. some of my favourite movies of all time!

    And can I just say.. you guys are hillarious as always, but my favourite part of this video were your actual review and all the trailer clips in the background. My god, those movie clips are GORGEOUS!
    Can it be? Can it genuinly be? are the angels from above singing Hallelujah?  Even if the narrative sucks which.. lets face it, Burton always sucked at narrative, it was always his one major weakness, I would totally go watch that movie just to see the connection of that imagery, I LOVE it! tons of universal easter egs? YES! WOOH! Can’t wait for this movie… And I now fucking hate the fact that movies like these are first released in Denmark three months AFTER in the US.. because they want to make dumb voice-overs because it’s animation, and I have to go to another city to find a place that screens it with original voices.. grrrr!

    Btw. walked into Hotel Transylvania exspecting to hate it (yeah, got that one early because it’s sat up as this big thing that has to come out october.) And I walked out unable to.. It’s not a mind boggling brilliant movie, and there are some very obvious flaws, which is a shame as it seems to me that with some fixing it could down-right become a story of pixar properstions, the ideas are there, just never fully realised. But it’s actually quite fun for while it last. I couldn’t help but like the monsters and concept present and well.. it was genuinly funny, it probably helped we didn’t needed to see Sandlers face, his voice how-ever did a surprisingly good job, and the animated face much more expressive than his real face has ever been.
    And.. please don’t hate me.. I actually genuinly belive that.. Hotel Transylvania could stand a sequel.
    There’s stuff to be improved upon, stuff to be exspanded on, I would watch the sequel.

    • Jack Shen

      Every camera angle is masterful and inspired by the horror movies that inspired the movie itself. The Kaiju sequences are filmed like Toho Godzilla flims. The frankenstien sequences are filmed like Frankenstein (close ups of electricity, machines working, etc). And the camera is so disciplined  it could NOT have been done in CG. 

  • Tedzey71

    Here are my thoughts on “Frankenweenie.” It’s traditional Burton quirky humor and visual style, which I am a sucker for. I like the way he does stop motion even though it’s not as smooth as Laika or Aardman. Like there’s a sense that you can see the pupils move across the eyes or see every hair jump a frame. Coincidentally, it’s bringing life to in-animate objects which is why stop motion appeals to Tim Burton (he himself IS Victor Frankenstein).

    However as for the movie itself, it was pretty padded out. There are scenes like Sparky running around town or the neighbors working on their science fair projects that just seemed to run too long. That, and the ending seemed to have a mixed message. I love my dog, and owning a dog is pretty much like having a brother; so I could emphasize with Victor loosing him. If anything it leaves the film in a such a disadvantage since nothing can top it. Everything after Victor bringing Sparky back from the dead isn’t as strong. 

    **SPOILERS** when sparky comes back to life a second time when Victor finally accepts that he dies, what does he ultimately learn? That you can bring your loved ones back from the dead rather than accept that life will go on? Even for most Tim Burton films, this doesn’t work. 

    -In “Corpse Bride” Emily accepts that Victor belongs with Victoria and it sets her free
    -In “Edward Scissorhands,” he accepts that he can’t live with the others in Suburbia
    -“Nightmare before Christmas,” when Jack accepts that he should be grateful to live in Halloweentown

    I can go on and on, but it a running theme in Burton’s movies the monsters or the misunderstood accept that they don’t belong in society in bittersweet resolutions. Slapping Sparky back together at the film’s end kind of killed it for me (no pun intended). I think as far as simple but powerful storytelling in animation this year, “Paranorman” succeeds. Seriously, I’m better off watching “Corpse Bride” which is what I ended up doing after I saw the film; and I felt more satisfied.

    If this was Burton’s personal project to make a B movie, that’s what it ultimately was. A B movie….

    …but seriously, seeing a cat blow up with a bolt of lightning and turn into a vampire was freaking hilarious!

    • **SPOILERS**
      He learns that true science comes from the heart… Remember the teacher’s speech? He was obviously the voice of Burton himself. That was his ultimate “lesson” if you’re the kind of person who needs there to be a “lesson.”

      I ultimately am not the kind of person who requires a story to have a “lesson.” Not all stories do, though this one clearly had one.

      The running theme of misunderstood and lovable monsters is actually a big reason why I love Burton films.  That’s not a flaw for me, that’s a selling point. =)

      • Tedzey71

        I agree with you on the last part. It’s part of his appeal. Pretty much made a brand out of it that influence a lot of filmmakers and artists.

        I felt if this movie was going to be as deep as “Paranorman,” it didn’t do as well by comparison. Doing research myself, I accept failure. Failure allows us to learn what we did wrong the first time around. I just felt as if the movie ended with “Don’t worry kids! Sparky’s fine! Drinks for everyone!” Have him die, bury him and he’ll be in peace. So will Victor and maybe he’ll go on to do bigger experiments. If he’s passionate for his experiment, he would have had realized that sparky himself wasn’t happy with himself seeing himself as a monster. 

        Again, I enjoyed the visuals and some lines like “Why are you people so ignorant? No… wait, that’s the wrong word. Why are you people so stupid?” All together, it just a good movie; not a great one in my book. Sorry… 🙁

        • Part of the character’s growth is that by the end of the movie he gives Sparky the choice to come back to not, and Sparky chooses life.  He and the whole town learn the power and responsibility of science.  Was it a deep lesson or message?  No, it’s a kid’s movie. =P  But it is a valuable and important message none the less. 

          • Tedzey71

            I guess that makes more sense, but I think it could have been done better. I’d rather see the Capulets and Montagues learn their mistake through death than Romeo and Juliet living happily every after. But again… think of the children!

          • Sofie Liv

            I actually do believe stories should have some sort of point at least.

            And the ending of the movie will always be the thing cementing what point or lesson it was trying to tell. What has this entire movie been building towards? What is this story saying? all of that will be in the ending.

            No.. not every-thing needs to have a morale lessons or a point.. but for the most part.. it actually does any-how. Points are what build stories, characters, story arch and evolution of characters, points are what makes movies go deeper than just being a way to make two hours pass by. They don’t need to shovel the point in your face, in fact that’s a bad idea, bust just have it swim around in the background as a guide-line for the story, is often a neccesity.

          • Tedzey71

            That’s the thing. Not a big message, but it came across as misleading making it more disney and less burton… go figure. 

          • Sparky lived in the original short. There is honestly nothing more Burton than this movie. 

          • Tedzey71

             Agree to disagree!

          • Tedzey71

             …disagree as in the movie being more disney. You can’t change the fact that Sparky lives in the original. Then again, the short was made for the disney channel.

    • Jack Shen

      I’ve never really cared about whether a character in a movie learns a lesson. Sometimes, it’s the audience that is intended to learn the lesson. 

  • Guest

    Where can I get my copy of “Ressurection for Dummies” by Dr. Herbet West?! 😀

  • Alexa

    I whole heartily agree with your statement that Burton’s first Batman is better than Nolan’s. Sure people point out the weakness’ with the story, including the origin of the Joker. But Burton did one thing right, he kept Batman mysterious, and the fucking editing and pacing on that movie did not give a world class headache like Nolans. I just feel like Nolan was so occupied with making sure the mythos seemed reality based, that he made the whole affair so technical and bland, and it seems he doesn’t take the character seriously, so he thought he was improving the character, which he didn’t he made Batman bland, in my opinion. 
    Sure it had good action pieces, and Ledger’s Joker was really good, but I felt more or less empty by the end. Also I felt like the movie would of had a better flow if axed the Rachel Dawes character, and introduced Harvey Dent in the first movie. But that’s just how I think it would of worked. My advice is to not just watch Burton’s Batman but also DC’s animated movies of Batman, they’re a bit more engaging.

    • One thing I will always appreciate about Burton’s films is that he actually made Gotham look and feel like Gotham.  Seriously, I got real tired of Nolan’s films all presenting Gotham as if it were any other city. = 

      • Tedzey71

        You’re right! The city was like it’s own character!