Batman Returns

33 years after being dumped into the sewers as a baby by his horrified parents, Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), a disfigured, disgusting man, wants to surface and claim his rights as a human. Meanwhile, shy secretary Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) works for business tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), who constantly belittles her. When she discovers his plans for a power station will actually drain and store Gotham’s surplus energy, he tries to kill her but fails, causing her to seek revenge. Also, there’s a bloke going around dressed as a bat, but clearly, he’s not as important.
batman Continue reading

Advertisements

Beetlejuice

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip for French Toast Sunday.

A couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) decide to spend their two weeks vacation at home working on their house, when quite unexpectedly they die in a car crash. They find themselves haunting their home and are tethered to it, unable to leave, and are appalled when new owners move in from New York, intent on renovating the house into a modern art spectacle. The Maitlands seem to have just one option – hire Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a self-confessed bio-exorcist, to help them rid their home of these unwanted inhabitants, but unfortunately he turns out to be a little more than they bargained for. O'Hara Continue reading

Batman

Leading up to Gotham City’s bicentennial celebrations, the mayor, the police and the district attorney are all keen on increasing the police presence to stamp out the city’s rampant crime. Mob boss Grissom (Jack Palance) is not keen on this, but even less keen on his second-in-command, Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson). He sets Napier up to take the fall on a job, but doesn’t expect the city’s masked vigilante, Batman (Michael Keaton), to step in and, in the process of trying to apprehend Napier, accidentally drops him into a vat of acid. The acid dyes Napier’s skin white and his hair green, and a facial injury prior to the fall renders him with a permanent demonic grin, Thus, the Joker is born.
Batjoker Continue reading

Edward Scissorhands

First off, apologies for the lack of posts recently, I’ve been in hospital for an operation on my nose (inspiring this Top 5). Also, apologies if the posts over the next few days are a little off, I’m on a veritable Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster of meds, but I’ll try and keep everything as on topic as possible.
Johnny Depp successfully accomplished the transition from TV heart throb to serious movie actor with this, Tim Burton’s fourth directorial outing, leading to at present a further seven collaborations between the two bizarelly-haired gentlemen. Depp stars as Edward, the creation of a reclusive inventor (the legendary Vincent Price, in an all too brief cameo in his final film role) who remains incomplete after the inventor passes away. Edward looks human enough, but where five-fingered appendages should be on the ends of his arms, there are instead a multitude of blades, knives and scissors. After being discovered living alone by Dianne Wiest’s kindly Avon lady Peg, Edward is brought into the ‘normal’ world of 1950s suburban American.
As much comedy is made from Edward’s physical impairment as possible, with his blades coming into contact with waterbeds and hindering his ability to get dressed, pick up a glass, open a door or touch his face, but he shows an aptitude for carving meat, topiary, hairdressing, dog grooming, paperchain-cutting and being used as a kebab skewer. This does bring up the subject of exactly how Edward had survived alone in the castle before his ‘rescue,’ but as this is essentially a fairytale, minor plot details can be smoothed over.
As ever, Burton shows a deft hand with his casting. Depp is wonderful as Edward, showing childlike wonder at the new world around him, and expressing true depth of emotion from behind a stark appearance, all pale face, scars, bedraggled mop of hair and tight plastic and leather bondage-inspired clothing, and with minimal dialogue. Winona Ryder is cast against type (in that she wears colourful clothing and has blonde hair) as Peg’s cheerleader daughter Kim, and Alan Arkin and Wiest are wonderful as the parents welcoming Edward into their home. Anthony Michael Hall as Kim’s brutish boyfriend is more of a stretch though; the nerdy Breakfast Club star cannot be taken seriously in a bad guy role.
The film is lighthearted and entertaining, and has some genuine comic moments. The bookends of a clearly aged Winona Ryder are more obvious than the supposed narration reveal of the Notebook, but this features one of the greatest and most memorable character creations of cinema, and some fine acting too.
Choose film 7/10

Sweeney Todd

Who could resist a film featuring Alan Rickman singing about marrying his adopted daughter! Me, it turns out. Many have criticised the picture for being too gory, although its hard to see how Tim Burton could have avoided the flood of viscera required to depict the story of Sweeney Todd, a barber who murders his clientele by slitting their throats in a specially designed barber’s chair (That I must say did appeal to the mechanical engineer in me), only for their innards to be baked into pies served in the shop below the barber’s. So, instead of toning down the gore, Burton embraces it, commencing the show following a trickle of blood, luminous red against an almost monochrome London, as it drips, seeps and oozes through cracks, down gutters and into the sewers. It is clear from this opening that those of a weaker disposition should stick to a more family-friendly film, such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Continue reading