There are few filmmakers today whose work is as instantly recognisable as Tim Burton’s. A perusal of his recent back catalogue will reveal recurring themes, gothic aesthetics, and the same cadre of actors – most frequently Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter – often backed by a Danny Elfman score. Though there are a couple of Burton-isms here and there Big Eyes is very much unlike the director’s recent fare, a fine and surprisingly complex piece of work which suggests he should step out of his weird and wonderful comfort zone more often.
Tim Burton returns to his film-making roots with the new stop motion animated flick Frankenweenie. Opening the 56th BFI London Film Festival, this passionate feature-length adaptation of one of the director’s short films (now a cult classic) is certainly one of the auteur’s better efforts in recent times. Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is obsessed with science and his dog, Sparky. When an unexpected car accident results in Sparky’s demise, a heartbroken Victor – inspired by his science teacher Mr Rzykruski (Martin Landau) – devises an ingenious way to bring his pet back to life. It’s not long until the secret is out, and with the school science fair looming and first prize up for grabs, Victor’s peers seek to imitate his experiment, with mixed results.
Read the rest of this review at Yin & Yang here.
Long has esteemed character actor Johnny Depp been large-haired filmmaker Tim Burton’s muse for the director’s brooding visions, with many of those team-ups little more than tinkering with already established characters. Predictably, Burton and Depp’s latest outing, the horror-comedy Dark Shadows (2012) – their eighth collaboration together – doesn’t even try to buck that trend.
Based on the cult US TV show of the same name, the film sees 18th century lothario Barnabas Collins (Depp) turned into a vampire and buried alive after breaking the heart of evil witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). Nearly two centuries later, Barnabas is accidentally freed from his tomb and, returning to his hometown of Collinwood, finds the dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family in disarray. Intent on restoring his family’s fishing business to its former glory, he is met with opposition in the form of the spurned witch.
Read the rest of this review on CineVue here.