Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Caroline Thompson (Screenplay) Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson (Story)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell

 

Plot: A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.


Tagline – Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Dark Fantasy Film

 

Story: Edward Scissorhands starts as local Avon saleslady Peg (Wiest) reluctantly goes to the mysterious abandoned mansion overlooking her small community where she finds young man Edward (Depp) who is living in isolation with scissors for hands.

With Edward trying to settle into a normal life, he soon becomes popular with the locals because of his ability to use his hands to create beautiful garden decorations and soon he becomes the talk of the town while slowly falling in love with Kim (Ryder) the daughter of Peg.

 

Thoughts on Edward Scissorhands

 

Characters – Edward has lived in isolation for his whole life, when he is discovered he tries to get used to normal life even with the scissors for hands, he shows amazing abilities when it comes to cutting things be it bushes, hair or grooming, though his isolation has made it difficult for him to understand right from wrong in the world, until the time comes for him to make a difference. Kim is the daughter of the family that take Edward in, she has an abusive boyfriend who fits the generic high school asshole, she sees the kindness in Edward wanting to help make him understand life more. Peg is the Avon saleslady that finds Edward and wants to help him understand a normal life, she doesn’t believe she is doing anything wrong and with her being an outsider of the gossip girls, she suddenly is put in the spotlight too. Jim is the asshole boyfriend that wants to use Edward for his own gain knowing that he wants he girl, he gets jealous of the new bond between the two and looks to find his own way to fix it.

PerformancesJohnny Depp in the leading role is fantastic, he shows the innocence his character needs through each new discovery while looking like he is taking everything in. Winona Ryder works wonderfully as the romantic interest that shows the sweet side and the conflicted side of her character. Dianne Wiest shows us just how a middle-aged woman with her own insecurities can be strong for everybody around her no matter what they think of her and Anthony Michael Hall hits the asshole boyfriend down just like we need him to.

StoryThe story follows Edward a young man that gets bought out of isolation and bought into a normal community while always being the outsider. We see how they want to welcome him with open arms, while also having the fears of just what he could be capable of if something was to go wrong. We get a good strong moral to the story, which is to respect anybody no matter what they look like because inside they could have the same feelings as you. The story is told in fairy tale form which keeps a glimpse of magic about everything we are seeing. From the moment the father gets Edward drunk by accident to the barbecue scene we get to see how Edward adapts to each social situation too. This is one of the stronger of all Tim Burton’s stories which shows us just how important being nice to people in life will be for everyone.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of this film focuses on just how Edward a man with scissors first came about and second must be accepted in life. The romance comes from just how Edward learns what love is when he meets Kim, how both learn about difficult decisions when it comes to loved ones and how important acts of kindness can help people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, a small community which has gossip about anything that happens there and comes together for the better moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Helping the dog see.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact all the women just seem to want to do is gossip.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those beautiful fantasy films, it shows us just how people need to be treated fairly no matter what they look like because kindness can be found in all.

 

Overall: Fantasy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller

 

Plot: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series featuring the adventures of Magizoologist Newt Scamander.


Tagline – The fate of one will change the future of all

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple World Building

 

Story: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald starts with Grindelwald (Depp) escaping prison pulling his forces together as he is going in search for Credence Barebone (Miller) who is now on the run, the Ministry want Credence bought to safety, which gives them a chance to offer Newt (Redmayne) a way to travel internationally.

Tina (Waterston) has been selected to go in search of Credence, which ends up giving all parties interested in search for Credence, the one person who has the power to killed Dumbledore (Law).

 

Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

 

Characters – Newt still considered an outside in the magical world, he is offered a chance to redeem himself to stop Grindelwald from gaining too much power, he still has the connection with the fantastic beasts, is trying to redeem his relationship with Tina and prove himself to the Ministry. Grindelwald has escaped his prison and is now looking to raise an army for a war against the non-magics, he knows how to take down the biggest threat ad is working to get Credence on his side. Tina has moved away from Newt after reading something incorrectly, which sees her leading the investigation into Credence’s location. Dumbledore has a connection the Grindelwald, one that means he can’t track him down and he selects Newt to help him search for his old friend. Credence is the young man that everyone is searching for, he has power that others simply can’t control, he doesn’t know who to trust in any way, leaving him on the run as he wants answers to who his parents are. Leta Lestrange is the former classmate of Newt, she has been put in a position where she can make up for her own mistakes in the past, while dealing with her own secret.

PerformancesEddie Redmayne is solid enough returning to his role, there are moments where he is annoying though. Johnny Depp was solid too even with all the issues around him being cast in this film. most of the cast are just basically solid, nobody does anything to stand out in this movie.

StoryThe story continues the adventures of Newt as he must learn why Grindelwald is searching for Credence. We do see both sides bring drawn out in a war between the two sides, with the different wizards needing to learn pick a side. Where we do have a lot characters we do seem to lose focuses on just what is happening within the bigger picture, as this is only an early chapter in series, it des feel like a building story rather than one that has a beginning or end, which also disappoints. We do however know that the Harry Potter franchise was similar with this, giving us moments which will be used for latter moments in the franchise.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film does take Newt to new locations with more of his fantastic beasts which is fine, though it just feels like more of the same with the magic being more about who wants power over clever little tricks.

SettingsThe film does use a couple more settings with Paris and London being involved, most of the locations are used to show the secret places where magic can take place.

Special EffectsThe effects are not as strong as previous films though, we have seen a lot of different moments through the film, with this being more of a let-down over anything else even with some of the beasts looks amazing.


Scene of the Movie –
Cats chasing down Newt.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average chapter in a franchise which has gone on for a while now, it has good moments and tries to save itself with a twist, which is here for shock value over any meaning.

 

Overall: Simple chapter building.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T -The Tourist (2010)

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes (Screenplay) Jerome Salle (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

 

Plot: Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This was Rather Boring

 

Story: The Tourist starts as we watch Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) track Elise Flifton-Ward (Jolie) across Europe in search for a mysterious Alexander Peirce. While travelling to Venice Elise is assigned to find someone who looks like Alexander, which brings in Frank Tupelo (Depp) an American tourist travelling through Europe that ends up enjoying the company of Elise.

When Acheson knows that Frank is a nobody in his case, he continues his case tracking Elise but crossed information leads to Frank finding his own life in danger from a gangster who is searching for Peirce too.

Frank must escape and stay alive but Elise needs to get her job done but now wants to keep Frank safe with multiple people after them, you know what I lost the plot here.

 

Thoughts on The Tourist

 

Characters/PerformanceElise is a mysterious woman that has connection to a known and wanted criminal, she finds herself trapped in the middle of saving an innocent man she has gotten in the middle of her misleading plan or getting the job done. Frank is the widowed American tourist who gets pulled into the world of criminal activity all while being innocent.

Performance wise, Depp clearly is in the middle of his pay day run here never reaching the heights we know he can while Jolie isn’t too much better in her role.

StoryThe story is mostly about a femme fatale trying to keep everyone away from her boss but soon learns that this random man has stolen her heart. We have twists turns but you just don’t care about the operation going on through the film, which just makes everything come off plain.

Action/RomanceThe action is very basic and you wouldn’t expect any tension through the film with the romance almost getting thrown down our throats too much without being believable.

SettingsVenice makes for a beautiful setting but the film just doesn’t capture everything in its full.

Special EffectsThe special effects are again all basic never pulling you into the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a star driven action borefest, we rely on the idea that Depp and Jolie could pull in any audience member but then forget to give us an interesting story.

 

Overall: Easily forgotten movie

Rating

 

 

Tim Burton Weekend – Ed Wood (1994)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski (Screenplay) Rudolph Grey (Book)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bill Murray

 

Plot: Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of support.


Tagline – Movies were his passion. Women were his inspiration. Angora sweaters were his weakness.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful

 

Story: Ed Wood starts as we meet Edward D Wood Jr (Depp) an aspiring director in Hollywood, with his work making the stage for now, when he learns of a story of a transvestite, he jumps at the chance to get his big break in Hollywood. Once Ed Wood makes friends with aging Hollywood icon Bela Lugosi (Landau) he gets given the chance to direct.

When his film gets completely panned, Ed Wood becomes an outcast in Hollywood and sets out to makes his own movies with Bela Lugosi in tow, become the cult favourite in the industry.

 

Thoughts on Ed Wood

 

Characters – Ed Wood was the aspiring director that has crazy ideas in his head, after his first studio produced film is panned, he must set up to make his own movies for limited budget with his new friend Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood also enjoys dressing up in women’s clothes which puts him out on the different in a time when that wasn’t considered acceptable. Bela Lugosi was once one of the most famous men in Hollywood after his role in Dracula, now he is older and mostly forgotten by the fans that once loved him. He befriends Ed Wood and starts to return to acting and hopefully see him kick his drug habits. Dolores is the long-suffering girlfriend of Ed Wood who stars in his pictures, even though she doesn’t like his lifestyle. Kathy O’Hara is a woman that Ed Wood meets that brings new meaning to his life. We meet other characters who are involved in the life and Ed Wood and the films he makes.

PerformancesJohnny Depp is fantastic in this leading role, he showed how he was carving out his career by taking chances against his typecast of a pretty boy. Martin Landau went on to win an Oscar for his supporting performance, this is easily one of the greatest portrays of an actor you will ever see. We do have a host of talents in the supporting roles with Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette and Bill Murray who are good through the film.

StoryThe story follows the career of Ed Wood as he was trying to make his name in Hollywood and is only known for bad films which have their own cult following now. Seeing how he went about making this happen is very interesting and the friendship he struck up with Bela Lugosi is what we know with fellow directors and actors in modern film making. Any film that tells a story about Hollywood and the movie making process is one to be checking out.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film comes from where we find Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi friendship and the eventually production of Plan 9. The comedy comes from just how the movie was made with the reactions of the people involved.

SettingsThe film is set in the 50s Hollywood and from start to finish you will feel like you are part of this era in time.


Scene of the Movie –
When Ed Wood snaps on set.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Orson Wells scene because the dubbing was bad.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look the movie making process behind one of the most infamously bad movies in the history of the business, we have two performances that are simply brilliant and is easily one of the best moving making movies ever made.

 

Overall: Wonderful movie making movie.

Rating

 

 

Tim Burton Weekend – Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Kevin Yagher, Andrew Kevin Walker (Screenplay) Washington Irving (Story)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Richard Griffiths, Michael Gough, Christopher Walken, Christopher Lee

 

Plot: Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.


Tagline – Who will it come for next?!

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Fantasy Horror

 

Story: Sleepy Hollow starts in 1799 when forward thinking constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) is set from New York City to the small farming community of Sleepy Hollow, where a series of murders have been happening by a headless horseman, who takes the heads of his victims.

Requested by Baltus Van Tassel (Gambon), Ichabod gets to use his forward-thinking ideas to investigate the crimes and learn about the town’s people with their strong male hierocracy that controls business, until he teams up with Baltus daughter Katrina (Ricci) to unlock the truth about the legend of the headless horseman.

 

Thoughts on Sleepy Hollow

 

Characters – Ichabod Crane is a constable who wants to start using the science to solve crimes instead of the torture techniques being adopted for the time. He becomes the fish out of water in the farming community trying to solve a crime that is surrounded by supernatural, he must use his skills to solve who is behind the supernatural events, using his quirky ways. Katrina is the daughter of the Van Tassel’s who is looking for husband, she takes a liking towards Ichabod and helps learn the truth. Hessian Horseman is the legend that slaughtered many before being defeated and beheaded, now he has risen from the dead to take the heads of the community. Lady Van Tassel is the wife of Baltus, she has a secret from him and for the most part enjoys the new life she is living. Baltus is the man that called for Ichabod to help solve the murders, he is one of the few that will stand up for Ichabod to get the truth. We do get plenty of different town’s people to meet that fill the gaps to help us understand the hierarchy of the community.

PerformancesJohnny Depp was truly making his name at time of this release and we knew he was capable of the quirky, this shows him balance the act perfectly in one of his more underrated roles. Christina Ricci is good, though she doesn’t seem to need to do more than be the damsel in distress. Miranda Richardson does a good job n her role showing her experience of how to handle the period piece films. Christopher Walken does give us a delightful dark character though I do know he doesn’t do a lot of the headless scenes in the film. if you look at the rest of the cast we have some of the great British actors mixed with Casper Van Dien who at the time was hot property after Starship Troopers.

StoryThe story is based on the legend of the headless horseman, which in its own right is an interesting fantasy horror. We keep to the time where science was first trying to get pushed in the crime world and still looked down upon, we also get the idea that science is meant to solve crime until the supernatural is thrown into the mix throwing everything out the window. The story does give us a serial killer to try and see stopped which can keep the detectives in the audience happy and the pace things unfold give us enough time for the twists to have effect in the story.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy side of the film comes from the horseman coming back from the dead to take the heads of the community. This does play into the horror elements of the film too because we see how the community become scared of whether they will be next, this does also give us the blood and the creepy atmosphere before his arrival. The mystery gives us the questions about who is behind the horseman and his return, this does give us twists along the way too.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to the best levels as we get to see the excellent built sets to make us feel like we are in 1799 farming community.

Special EffectsThe effects use mostly excellent practical effects with the lost heads, the CGI moments do work well too when used mostly with the re-creation of the horseman from the skeleton to human again.


Scene of the Movie –
Horseman vs Ichabod & Brom, excellent fight sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The science does get forgotten in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun fantasy horror that gives us an iconic killer with a crime to solve around why he has targeted the farming community.

 

Overall: Fun horror with Burton’s token quirks.

Rating