Frankenweenie Directed by: Tim Burton Written by: John August (screenplay), Tim Burton & Leonard Ripps (story) Starring: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder and Martin Short
Frankenweenie is Tim Burton’s second bad movie of 2012, a tragically misguided comedy that is marketed at children but may have trouble finding an audience outside of Burton’s die-hards. As its title suggests, it is that infamous story of creating life out of body parts, with man’s best friend replacing discarded human remains.
Various parts of other old horror movies creep their way into Frankenweenie’s black-and-white stop-motion world, though the lightheartedly morbid humor and Burton’s stock character types mark it as his. The emo avatar standing in for him this time is young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan), a curious scientist-in-the-making whose dog Sparky is hit by a car after retrieving the home run ball in the game Victor’s dad (Martin Short) made him play.
Last April Fools’ Day, we gave you five movies that fooled you. This year, we thought it’d be a good idea to let the viewer have the last laugh. The annals of film history are filled with characters that we enjoy purely because of their stupidity. They don’t know they’re stupid, and that is the root of their comedy. Here are five memorable screw-ups who wouldn’t be better any other way.
Tommy (Tommy Boy)– Chris Farley made a career (far too short of one at that) out of playing the lovable buffoon. His most memorable role is opposite David Spade’s dry, no-fun business partner named Richard in this now-iconic buddy film. It wasn’t anything new when it came out, but it’s one of the funniest road films of the 90s, and arguably of all time. Farley outdoes himself for idiocy, whether it’s pretending to be surrounded by bees to evade the cops or taking down Dan Aykroyd’s tire tycoon by pretending to be strapped with a bomb. In the end he saves the day, but he’s not any smarter.
The biggest crime perpetuated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Peter Travers of Rolling Stone prefers “Farts and Biases” and I tend to agree) this year is ignoring Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Today, you have the opportunity to partially correct that mistake by going out and renting or buying the film yourself and seeing what great work he has done.
Jonze had the audacity to adapt a 12-page, mostly illustrated children’s novel to the silver screen. Guess what? He succeeded admirably.
Wild Things is a beautifully told vision of childhood. The fears, anxieties, tribulations and joys told through the eyes of a young boy named Max (portrayed by terrific child actor Max Records) are all brought to vivid, beautiful light in this film.