Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Corpse Bride

I went to see Tim Burton's latest with the two peewees today; DS1 declined because (he said) he thought it would be too scary. This, from the kid who reads 2 or 3 Goosebumps books a week -- I don't get it. So we left him home with DH and went off to a matinee.

The movie theater was only about a third full, but that's typical for a Sunday afternoon. One thing I was looking forward to was the new Goblet of Fire trailer, which did not disappoint -- I hope they get it right, and from the previews, it seems as if they at least got the look of it, and the attitudes. But as we've all discovered to our dismay, trailers can divurge wildly from their source material. Still, I'm hoping.

I'll also mention that there was a completely obnoxious and inappropriate-for-a-kids'-movie preview for the new Jennifer Anniston movie, Rumor Has It. Shirley MacLaine is in it also, and the basic premise of the movie is that the family was the inspiration for the Dustin Hoffman movie, The Graduate. In thinking about it, it doesn't make much sense, unless he did not end up marrying the girl he stole from her own wedding... but anyway, it was obnoxious. The Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice preview I didn't mind, the kids were oblivious, but that Anniston flick thing was annoying.

Now, the film: a very slight thing, nearly weightless in all aspects, which is saying a lot because the musical stop-motion-animation genre tends to be leaden. The story was minimal, the design was superb, the characters not much more than mere wisps but well-defined nonetheless, and it all moved along at a great clip. Of all the voices, Christopher Lee's was the best, and provoked the best laugh line as he was trying to shoo The Dead out, and one of them piped up with, "Could you keep it down? We're in a church!"

There's one huge continuity gaffe* but if you ignore it, everything works out just fine. So there was humor, love, sacrifice, one really scary scene that lasted about 10 seconds (when The Corpse Bride first appears), some cute little tunes and a very nice piano duet. Very well put together, and I pretty much agree with all the critics that say there's not much substance to it, but it's very well done, if you like this sort of thing.

Which I do, very much so, and I'm glad I went.

*That continuity gaffe: after Victor is first brought "downstairs", the only way he can get back is via a spell. But when Victor decides to re-marry his Corpse Bride for real, they invite everyone "upstairs" to join them for the ceremony, but no special arrangements are needed to take them all topside. You'd think, since they made such a big deal about Victor being trapped before, that they would've at least mentioned the process by which everyone got back to the world of the Living, but they didn't. Weird, and unlike Burton to overlook such a detail.

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