Caroline Thompson

Caroline Thompson

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City Of Ember Review


Very Good
We critics like to argue that Hollywood defangs most family fare. Unless it can find a viable commercial tie-in, or lead to a series of equally superficial sequels, studio suits avoid anything remotely dark or contentious. Apparently, the applicable philosophy argues that childhood is a time of innocence and fun, therefore, any movie aimed at said audience should be even more fluffy and non-threatening. Watching City of Ember, the latest live-action effort from Monster House director Gil Kenan, a couple of questions instantly come to mind. One, who authorized such a wonderfully rich yet exceedingly grim adventure? And two, who exactly will show up on opening day?

For the residents of the city of Ember, these are troubled times. The massive generator that keeps the town functioning is failing, and Mayor Cole (Bill Murray) is at a loss for answers. A bumbling bureaucrat through and through, he'd rather maintain order than find a viable solution. Two young members of the community, Doon Harrow (Harry Treadway) and Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) don't want to give up. He wants his father (Tim Robbins) and an elderly co-worker Sul (Martin Landau) to help him get to the damaged energy source. She discovers a strange box which may hold a key to saving the day. Unfortunately, a hidden cabal of city leaders may be trying to undermine any effort to bring Ember back from the brink.

Continue reading: City Of Ember Review

Corpse Bride Review


Good
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

The Nightmare Before Christmas Review


Excellent
Just in time for Halloween and Christmas, the reissue of The Nightmare Before Christmas couldn't be more appropriate. With all of the attention thrown to "family films" in recent years, namely those starring pocket monsters and Nickelodeon characters, it's high time we raised the intellectual level of children's fare as well as the animation achievements of the movie studios. With that in mind, it was refreshing to revisit an animation classic on the big screen that still retains the originality and freshness it had seven years ago.

Nightmare is the story of one man's quest to discover his true purpose in life -- to look beyond the accolades of his peers, the achievements of his years, and the praise of his ego. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloweentown, is the main dude behind the Halloween holiday for kids everywhere. But during his reign as pumpkin king, Jack has somehow lost his understanding of his place in the world and the magic he creates with his Halloween holiday. After the completion of one particular Halloween season, Jack walks with a heavy heart and ends up discovering in the woods outside Halloweentown a grove of trees with doors to all of the other holidays in the world. Imagine his surprise to discover Christmastown, a far more impressive and uplifting holiday than Halloween, surrounded by happy elves making toys, and with good cheer all around.

Continue reading: The Nightmare Before Christmas Review

Edward Scissorhands Review


Excellent
If anyone, Tim Burton needs a serious haircut. In most interviews, he looks like he's been dragged from a two week bender (got a better explanation for those obnoxious shades?). For a man who has based his entire career on being the most visually-daring, commercial director, he looks awfully drab and unkempt. One can see how a character like Edward Scissorhands made his way into Burton's home, with his ability to make everything pretty except himself.

In the middle of a suburbs stylized to the nines, the Boggs have made a modest, any-day home for them and their two children. Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist) makes her living as an Avon lady, going door-to-door with second rate beauty products, trying to make the outside meet the (supposed) inside. She is the gentlest woman in her neighborhood by a long shot. So, when she stumbles upon poor Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp), a Frankenstein-like creature who has scissors instead of fingers, she feels the motherly instinct to take care of the assembled fellow.

Continue reading: Edward Scissorhands Review

Caroline Thompson

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Caroline Thompson Movies

City Of Ember Movie Review

City Of Ember Movie Review

We critics like to argue that Hollywood defangs most family fare. Unless it can find...

Corpse Bride Movie Review

Corpse Bride Movie Review

Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Review

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Review

Just in time for Halloween and Christmas, the reissue of The Nightmare Before Christmas couldn't...

Edward Scissorhands Movie Review

Edward Scissorhands Movie Review

If anyone, Tim Burton needs a serious haircut. In most interviews, he looks like he's...

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