Back In The Day

Way back in the day, when things were simple, and there was far less to bitch about.

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Posts Tagged ‘Danny Elfman’

Taking Woodstock

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 12, 2010


It’s so hard to watch films about music during this time period and not wish I had been around for it. True story: My father is so impatient that he turned around on his way to Woodstock due to traffic. I will never forgive him for that. The film Taking Woodstock isn’t so much about the music as it is about the man who ‘saved’ it. That man is Elliot Tiber in reality, and this film is based off his book (co-written with Tom Monte) about how Woodstock came to be in his home town. It’s a film that is much more about a young man’s struggle with his family and his own identity; it’s a story of self-discovery, of independence, Read the rest of this entry »


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Alice In Wonderland

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on March 29, 2010


My relationship with Tim Burton has turned into a love/hate one. I am sad about that. The thing is, I always loved Tim Burton. His classic films are pretty, well, classic. No one will ever convince me that the first two Batman movies (Batman and Batman Returns) were anything short of awesome–and for those of you who hate Batman Returns, I have four words for you: Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Check and mate. Beetlejuice is one of my favourite films, one that I even wrote a research paper about in college (the paper was about the film’s score, and there was very little research to be found on Danny Elfman’s work, so I had to figure a lot of it out myself).  Edward Scissorhands is considered by many to be Burton’s best work. And I even enjoyed his bizarre comedic romp of a film, Mars Attacks! There are many films of his that I have enjoyed.  Sadly, Tim’s recent films have not really made it onto my list of “Tim Burton Classics”. I enjoyed Big Fish for what it was, but I haven’t been itching to watch it again. Sweeney Todd was fine, as well, and his handling of the material was absolutely fitting for the subject matter, but it’s also not a film I wish to see again. I don’t quite know where Alice falls on my list.

I want to first say that I did not see this film in 3-D. I think 3-D is pretty much a waste. It’s not only bad for your vision, but it’s also a distraction from the film. It’s a gimmick, and it’s unnecessary. It also seems to really detract from the director’s vision, for the most part. What I mean by that is that when a director is thinking in terms of making this a 3-D movie, you can almost see the thought process behind a number of the sweeping shots and the extra images that make their way across the screen. It ruins the staging of the shot, and it makes the direction appear sloppy. So, I did not see this in 3-D. I suspect that I would have been just as annoyed if I had seen it in 3-D as I was watching it in 2-D, as everything that was clearly meant to be for the benefit 3-D was made blatantly obvious in a distracting and detracting manner. I have never had a problem with Burton’s direction before; this was the first time I as distinctly bothered by his decisions. The moment I saw the rocking-horsefly and whatever other magical insect flutter across the screen and hover in the center-left of the shot, I knew that there were some terrible mistakes that Burton made with this film. That was clearly done in a way that screamed “THIS IS FOR A 3-D MOVIE” and it immediately upset me. OK, now that I have taken care of the non-3-D disclaimer, we can continue…

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