Theatrical Releases This Week
Director: Tim Burton
PG; 87 mins
From creative genius Tim Burton comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous. A stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie will be filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience. (Synopsis by Disney)
It’s a twist of fate that the same film that got Burton (originally) fired from Disney makes its big screen debut in one of the director’s best efforts in years. While the film drags at points – it’s really stretching a short film into a feature length – Burton’s signature dark humor and style keep it afloat. Good to see him getting back to stop-motion animation.
Director: Olivier Megaton
PG-13; 93 mins
Taken: Former government agent Bryan Mills has retired and attempts to reassemble his old life, after years of overseas employment have left him estranged from his teenage daughter. But when she is kidnapped while in Europe, Bryan must revert to his old skill set to rescue her before she disappears forever. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Sequels typically should expand on the original product. In this case, “Taken 2” does none of that. Lazy at the core, this movie does little more than offer up the same mediocre film minus the urgency. Add in the obvious manipulation to get it within PG-13 ratings requirements and this one is a major dud.
Perks of Being A Wallflower
Director: Stephen Chbosky
PG-13; 103 mins
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life. (Synopsis by Summit)
The best films are typically labors of love for the director. In this case, it shows. A fragile, earnest examination of troubled teenagers getting by with a little help from their friends, it doesn’t venture into new ground but it covers the familiar in a way that seems honest and fresh.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Tim Burton
PG-13; 113 mins
Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. (Synopsis by Warner Brothers)
Somewhere at the bottom of the rabbit hole, Burton and Depp decided that they would like to make this movie. Unfortunately, they never crawled out to find out that it wasn’t a film that audiences wanted to see. Way too silly and far too much emphasis on Depp playing a persona instead of a character.