Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005)

This is a banner year for Tim Burton, isn't it? First, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory blows up large, then this cute bit of kiddie-horror wins over both critics and audiences. As well it should -- it's a sweet and quick film that indulges both the macabre and the family-safe without alienating either camp. Burton's gorgeously twisted set design and art direction keep things consistently angular and interesting, and members of his regular acting company give some excellent voice-only turns. It's dark, but winningly so, as death (or Death) is something here to be celebrated and embraced as part of our essence rather than feared. (Death is not the end and all that, etc.) The script brings this out by remaining light and bouncy even when there's severed heads and popped eyeballs flying around; there's also a glorious streak of old-fashioned corn (every time I went to make a cheesy pun, the film made it for me). Even the songs are good, if a bit chaotic. The film's best number sees Danny Elfman channelling Tom Waits, which should make you want to see this post haste. If that didn't do it... well, there's also a worm in Helena Bonham Carter's head that looks and sounds like Peter Lorre. If that doesn't cinch it, you must be... um... dead or something.

Grade: B+


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