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September 24th, 2005


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02:38 am - Corpse Bride
Saw Tim Burton's Corpse Bride tonight with Ellen, agaysexicon, and fuzzyinthehead. I think we all liked it a lot. I'm sleepy so this is going to be relatively short, but I think you should all see it. If Tim Burton directing a creepy Russian folktale in stop-motion sounds appealing to you, it's worth your time.

The story is simple enough to fit within a sentence or two (even fewer if we use run-on sentences). Here goes: Victor, uncomfortable with his betrothal to Victoria, is practicing his vows in the forest and accidentally proposes marriage to the corpse of a wrongfully murdered woman (and really, what other kind of murdered woman is there?), setting her free from the curse that bound her. Now Vic's married to a corpse and some jerk with a big chin who sounds like Richard E. Grant is trying to horn in on Victoria.

Tim Burton has gotten himself into an enviable position where he's marketable and reliable enough to be able to work for major studios on his own terms. The upshot of this is that since he's so obsessed with aesthetics, Corpse Bride ends up being visually exquisite, and that's really why we like Tim Burton in the first place. This movie is even lusher than his usual, possibly because stop-motion allows even greater control over exactly what ends up onscreen. Anyway, there's so much stuff going on in the movie that I want to see it again.

Casting is fantastic, which is to say that it's not bad. As far as voice acting is concerned, unremarkable is the same as fantastic. If I recognize a celebrity's voice and I like it, that's cool. If a voice sticks out as unfit for the character, or if the actor does a lousy job, that's poor casting. When nothing stands out about the voice acting, that means the casting director has done a good job. Most of the voice acting fell into that latter category, and the exceptions were all voices I recognized.

Danny Elfman's music was interesting. The orchestral score frequently references Friedrich Smetana's Die Moldau (MIDI here, if you're interested). There are songs in Corpse Bride, but not enough for it to be considered a musical. The advertising made no mention of this, and I can only assume that it was a deliberate choice since the American moviegoing public don't think they like musicals. The songs are perfect for the tone of the film, but as in The Nightmare Before Christmas, they're not very catchy the first time around. I don't think anybody's going to be humming them on the way out of the theater.

The only real criticism I have regarding Corpse Bride is that it was short, clocking in at 76 minutes. Disney has become notorious for releasing short features to children from having their bladders explode and their parents from having a nervous breakdown, but Corpse Bride is a little less child-friendly than, say, One Hundred and One Dalmations. There won't be many toddlers in attendance. Perhaps it was to save the sanity of the filmmakers? Stop-motion animation must be a particularly thankless task while it's in progress.

The showing wasn't as packed as I'd expected it to be, but I hope Corpse Bride does well at the box office. It's also contending with the power of a supenseful thriller* and a crappy remake starring Reese Witherspoon. Given its dark subject matter and nihilistic view of the afterlife, Corpse Bride is definitely going to take a beating from the Sort of Busybodies Who Know What's Best for Other People's Kids. It might be too scary for a five-year-old (what with the skeletons and the murder and the guy with a big chin), but the PG rating fits. The trailers present the content of the film accurately enough that any parent should be able to tell whether it's an appropriate movie for his or her kids. I mention this because I'm sure you all have children whom you haven't told me about yet.

Those who've paid attention through this whole post may be wondering how it constitutes "relatively short." The key word is "relatively," and the proof is right here.

* At this point in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 send-up of this post, Crow T. Robot will be heard to mutter, "as opposed to what, a boring thriller?"
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: Sister Hazel -- Change Your Mind

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:defaultlisa
Date:September 24th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Lucky Friday-night viewers! I'm gonna try to poke Mlitiagrl, Inle, and PhysOrg into going to see it soon. Don't think that will be difficult.
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From:sacredspud
Date:September 24th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
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I expect that a new Tim Burton film would be an easy sell for Inle, and it's definitely one he'll like.
(Deleted comment)
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From:sacredspud
Date:September 24th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
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I did know that, but only because I looked it up on IMDB. I honestly hadn't even heard of the movie because the only TV I've watched since moving out of the old place was during the tornado. Anyway, here's hoping that this role isn't bad for Jon Heder -- obviously he took it because somebody thought it would be good for his career. Still, I can't help feeling that this is like, oh, I don't know, Orson Welles going directly from Citizen Kane into Weekend at Bernie's II.

So which was the better movie? I think I'm going to have to go with Charlie and the Chocolate factory, and I think maybe that was intended, since Charlie was (I assume) much more expensive to make. Corpse Bride is more style than substance, but that's not a bad thing. I'm more inclined to be thrilled that we get a double dose of Tim Burton in one year than to compare the movies against each other. I just wish their release dates been spaced a little further apart.
[User Picture]
From:crabmoon
Date:September 25th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
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Hi Colin, me and Tick just saw it tonight, oddly I didn't notice that it was that short, at least I didn't think it was only a little over an hour. I thought it was good, but I didn't go balistic like Tick. I found it funny and odd that the world of the 'dead/cursed' was more colorful than the 'normal' world. I loved the shape of the parents and my favorate part, this is going to sound weird was looking at the women's skirts as then went down the stairs. I also enjoy finding the little spirals hidden through out the movie. That's all from this end, awaiting Tick buying it. ~Lindsay
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From:sacredspud
Date:September 25th, 2005 02:49 am (UTC)
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Ooh -- I was going to mention the color differences, and I forgot. Actually, I was going through critics' reviews this morning when I got up, and they mentioned a lot of stuff that I forgot to. Anyway, I didn't notice what you were talking about with the stairs, but overall I was really happy with the movie, and I'm glad to hear you liked it.

Incidentally, any interest in seeing a play tomorrow night? I'm trying to get people to go to the new show at Broom Street.
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From:laviorli
Date:September 25th, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
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shoot, I knew I was planning to do something tomorrow night... :P I might have to work after all, I hate healthcare! I really wanted to go to that play...maybe I can still manage to go.
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From:sacredspud
Date:September 25th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
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Well, if you make it you make it, if you have to work that's fine. I will almost certainly go more than once.
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From:theenigma42
Date:September 25th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
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I would like to go to the play, assuming you're talking about Sunday. If not, you suck. And blow. It's part of life. Never start a sentence with 'And.' I did, and look how I turned out.
-KEiTH
[User Picture]
From:evil_jim
Date:September 25th, 2005 09:12 am (UTC)
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I'll probably see the movie tomorrow with one or more of my parents.

So yeah... um, the walking dead.
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From:sacredspud
Date:September 25th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
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That website just isn't right, Jim.
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From:jinxedkisses
Date:September 25th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
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"The trailers present the content of the film accurately enough that any parent should be able to tell whether it's an appropriate movie for his or her kids"

And yet there was still a woman who got Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for her grandson and then tried to sue Rock Star Games over how violent it was. The game is called Grand Theft Auto, I mean, hello! I'm sure there will be people who bring their four year old to a movie called The Corpse Bride and then get pissed off when they're child is scared.
From:renny1780
Date:September 26th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
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I wanted to go see the movie...but either no one could go with me or didn't want to go with me. So, I haven't seen it and I probably won't see it because no one will go with me. Oh well. I'm used to that.



Hrm. Hope you had fun at the play tonight.
Corpse Bride - Garmonbozia for the soul.

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