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Somebody stick a fork in Tim Burton; he’s done.

Dark Shadows proves it’s about time he retired and took up a hobby. I’d suggest still photography. He’d be terrific at that—he still has a great eye for his personal fetishes, like unearthly pale, beautiful girls with huge eyes and small mouths, and ornately dressed male fops with crazy hair, and campy Olde Worlde architectural flourishes. Dark Shadows works far better as a bunch of still photos than it does as a movie. Trust me on this. Just look at the pictures below, and don’t go to the movie—there, I just saved you $10. Don’t say I never gave you nuthin.


May 14th, 2012 | Comments (28)

Rat Bastard Jesse James and a New Film Genre, “The Southern”

It’s Jesse James’ birthday today, September 5th. I mean the famous “frontier outlaw,” sometimes referred to as “America’s Robin Hood,” but actually an obnoxious Missouri sumbitch still venerated and romanticized by an addled public. In movies he tends to get…

September 5th, 2011 | Comments (45)

The Pirates Franchise Dies of Boredom

So if you’re interested in what a director does, or doesn’t do, go see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It’s a great film education watching Rob Marshall, the director replacing Gore Verbinski, wreck the Pirates franchise in one…

May 21st, 2011 | Comments (31)

Rango: Cartoon Philosophy and Death

Rango is this crazy animated movie about a lizard in a state of existential crisis. His tale is narrated in song by a mariachi band comprised of four owls, and they sing about his imminent, heroic death throughout. Rango keeps…

March 5th, 2011 | Comments (24)

Tim Burton’s Alice: You Don’t Slay?

Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is messed up in some ways—we’ll get to that in a second—but it’s seriously beautiful at intervals that command attention. There’s a war theme in it that’s pursued with surprising gravity. Example: the Mad Hatter (Johnny…

March 7th, 2010 | Comments (41)

Public Enemies: Michael Mann's Big Sad

Public Enemies is an oddly soft, slow, elegiac film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of my best friends are elegiac films. But it seems a regrettable approach to its main subject, John Dillinger, if you know anything at…

July 7th, 2009 | Comments (14)