Allison Abbate

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Frankenweenie Review


Extraordinary

With a snappy sense of childish curiosity and lavishly skilled animation, Tim Burton makes one of his most endearing and enjoyably offbeat movies in years. It's actually a remake of a half-hour short he shot in 1984, fleshed out with terrific side characters and a much grander plot. But it's also been painstakingly made with detailed stop-motion animation that's both artistic and witty.

Set in what looks like the suburb from Edward Scissorhands, it's about lonely teen Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Tahan), whose best friend is his dog Sparky. When Sparky dies suddenly, Victor gets an idea from his science professor (Landau) to reanimate him. And it works! Victor hides this from his parents (O'Hara and Short) and the nice girl (Ryder) next door, but chatterbox classmate Edgar (Shaffer) blabs to some other kids in school, who decide they need to make their own science projects a lot more interesting. Suddenly the whole town is under siege by undead pets.

The film looks like a classic monster movie, shot in black and white with deep shadows and expressive faces, plus a hilariously entertaining attention to detail that will make you want to see the film over and over again. It's also packed with gags about the genre, including the names of characters, sudden sight gags (like the Bride of Frankenstein hair of the zapped poodle next door), and more witty references such as Gremlin-like sea-monkeys and a Godzilla-like reanimated tortoise (named, of course, Shelley). There's even an old Christopher Lee Dracula film showing on the TV. But the best thing about this film is the way it never relies on us getting the jokes: Burton has created his own classic too.

Continue reading: Frankenweenie Review

Picture - Allison Abbate , Wednesday 10th October 2012

Allison Abbate Wednesday 10th October 2012 56th BFI London Film Festival- Frankenweenie premiere - Arrivals

Allison Abbate
Allison Abbate

Picture - Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin... , Wednesday 10th October 2012

Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and Don Hahn - Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Don Hahn Wednesday 10th October 2012 56th BFI London Film Festival- Frankenweenie photocall

Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and Don Hahn

Picture - Tim Burton, Winona Ryder, Martin... , Thursday 20th September 2012

Tim Burton, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Cahrlie Tahan and Allison Abbate - Tim Burton, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Cahrlie Tahan and producer, Allison Abbate Thursday 20th September 2012 Fantastic Fest’s opening night World Premiere screening of 'Frankenweenie' held at the Alamo Drafthouse Lamar theatre

Fantastic Mr Fox Review


Good
This is much more of a Wes Anderson film than the Roald Dahl classic on which it's based. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it could cause problems with fans of the book. The central themes are still there, but this is essentially a quirky dysfunctional family romp.

Mr Fox (voiced by Clooney) has a pretty fantastic life as a newspaper columnist living in his den with his wife (Streep), surly teen son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting nephew Kristofferson (Anderson). After Fox convinces his wife to move aboveground to a tree, he becomes tempted to go back to his bird-stealing ways.

And with his possum pal Kylie (Wolodarsky), he goes on a spree that enrages the local farmers, led by the furious Bean (Gambon), who vows revenge. But this puts the entire local animal population in danger.

Continue reading: Fantastic Mr Fox Review

The Iron Giant Review


Good
In the early days of animation, Warner Brothers cartoons spawned out of a desire to displace the overtly conservative and often sappy Disney characters. Bugs, Daffy, and Porky Pig were a little more rambunctious, daring, and raunchy than their Disney counterparts setting a new trend in children's entertainment that was widely accepted. While Disney is still king of the animated feature film (The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) the Warner Brothers product seems to be a bit less inhibited with it's brand of humor, (Space Jam) appealing to both children and adults. The Iron Giant is just this kind of fun. It's a movie that the kids are going to love, which is complemented with adult humor and themes for the rest of the audience to appreciate.

Set in 1957, young Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal) is fascinated with the lore of an old fisherman who declares that he has seen a UFO crash and a giant creature emerge from the ocean. Against his mother's (Jennifer Aniston) wishes, Hughes searches the forest surrounding his hometown of Rockwell, Maine until he finds and rescues the 50-foot robot-like-creature being shocked to death after an attempt to eat a power plant. The two become friends and with the help of junk-yard owner/artist/beatnik Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.) they manage to hide the giant from the rest of the town. This becomes increasingly difficult because of the giant's voracious appetite for metal and the presence of Government Agent Chuck Mansley (Christopher McDonald) who keeps snooping around town trying to learn more about this mysterious giant robot that locals keep reporting. The giant can't stay hidden for long and when it is finally discovered a climactic conclusion ensues.

Continue reading: The Iron Giant Review

The Iron Giant Review


Good
In the early days of animation, Warner Brothers cartoons spawned out of a desire to displace the overtly conservative and often sappy Disney characters. Bugs, Daffy, and Porky Pig were a little more rambunctious, daring, and raunchy than their Disney counterparts setting a new trend in children's entertainment that was widely accepted. While Disney is still king of the animated feature film (The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) the Warner Brothers product seems to be a bit less inhibited with it's brand of humor, (Space Jam) appealing to both children and adults. The Iron Giant is just this kind of fun. It's a movie that the kids are going to love, which is complemented with adult humor and themes for the rest of the audience to appreciate.

Set in 1957, young Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal) is fascinated with the lore of an old fisherman who declares that he has seen a UFO crash and a giant creature emerge from the ocean. Against his mother's (Jennifer Aniston) wishes, Hughes searches the forest surrounding his hometown of Rockwell, Maine until he finds and rescues the 50-foot robot-like-creature being shocked to death after an attempt to eat a power plant. The two become friends and with the help of junk-yard owner/artist/beatnik Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.) they manage to hide the giant from the rest of the town. This becomes increasingly difficult because of the giant's voracious appetite for metal and the presence of Government Agent Chuck Mansley (Christopher McDonald) who keeps snooping around town trying to learn more about this mysterious giant robot that locals keep reporting. The giant can't stay hidden for long and when it is finally discovered a climactic conclusion ensues.

Continue reading: The Iron Giant Review

Corpse Bride Review


OK
Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse Bride (which he co-directed) are inevitable and unfair. The former will always be the Neil Armstrong of this particular animation genre, the first feature-length example of its kind that injects a challenging medium with creativity and heart.

Bride, now the Buzz Aldrin of Burton's stop-motion movies, strains under the effort to duplicate Nightmare's success, but it simply lacks that new-car smell. While still inventive in parts, it's nowhere near as innovative. Burton and collaborator Mike Johnson are content to walk an established path where the superior Nightmare feverishly broke hallowed ground.

Continue reading: Corpse Bride Review

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