Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reviews From a Modest Movie Buff (Corpse Bride)

Tim Burton! Johnny Depp! Danny Elfman! Helena Bonham Carter! And stop-motion animation!! SQUEE!

*cough* So...moving on...

 Victor Van Dort (Depp) is getting married in the morning...the trouble is, he's scared to death of matrimony. On a walk in the woods while practicing his vows, he accidentally proposes to Emily (Carter), the Corpse Bride, who takes him downstairs to the Land of the Dead. It's all fun and games, but what about Victoria, his betrothed?

I don't think there's anything about this movie I didn't like. I stand in awe of Tim Burton's special kind of genius...you know, the crazy kind. If I absolutely have to pick a favorite Burton movie, it's either this or Edward Scissorhands. But that's for another review.

The voice talents are, for lack of a better word, adorable. Victor stutters a bit, and who doesn't go all mushy to hear Johnny Depp stutter? HBC has the most beautiful voice, and she does fantastic as Emily, the loveliest cadaver you've ever seen. And Victoria (played by Emily Watson) sounds so sweet and demure, the perfect match for Victor.

If I get started on the music, I'll never stop! Danny Elfman always delivers. Always. As with The Nightmare Before Christmas he provides the singing voice for one of the characters, in this case Bonejangles the lounge singer. Dang! Remember how Jack Skellington sounded? Suave, debonair, and smooth as can be? Bonejangles is raspy and jazzy and...dang! I can't imagine having to keep that up for cut after cut after cut! The songs are very catchy; I still have "Remains of the Day" stuck in my head. But the showstopper is the Piano Duet between Victor and Emily. Holy moly, talk about something that'll stay with you for a good while. The mark of a good composer is being able to create something that touches you in a way that keeps moving you after the music stops, and I never can manage to get that harmony out of my head.

I'm a big fan of stop-motion, did I mention? I just love the way it moves, and once you know how it works it only increases your appreciation for it. It's hard to explain it (and I've tried many times), but it's all in how the movements are smooth and fluid one shot, then jerky and deliberate the next...*shrugs*

The story is just so sweet. Victor is bound by the promise he unintentionally made to Emily, but he still loves Victoria. Emily loves Victor, but there's the whole problem that she's dead and he's not. Victoria loves Victor and is willing to wait for him to return, but her bankrupt parents want to marry her off according to plan as soon as possible. How does it all turn out? Well, that would be telling, wouldn't it?

"Remains of the Day"

Piano Duet

Your pal,

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