Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (2012)

I suspect the proper thing to do would be to hate this big-budget, middle-aged, full-length remake of a once-so-underground-it-was-almost-punk short.  But hating it wouldn't be fun.  So we love it.

Plus, it's stop-motion, and Tim Burton is the redeeming genius of stop-motion animation.  And this, complete with tres meta stopmotion-within-a-stopmotion (not to mention live-action within the stopmotion), is a work of genius.  And he had the balls to make it black and white, and make the mouse go along with it.

This is good Tim Burton:  the Tim Burton that, unlike the one that made Alice and Planet of the Apes, follows through on the true moral anarchy of his vision.  I was wondering, as it drew to an end, if he would relent this time and decide that young Victor needed to learn a Life Lesson about accepting death - but no way.  Frankenweenie is all about saying that Shelley (whether as Gamera or not) had it wrong.  When humans learn how to bring back the dead, we will, and we'll find we're pretty damn happy about it after all.  And maybe it won't be wrong.  ...Maybe.  I mean, I don't deny the moral power of Shelley's book.  I just like the way this film pokes it in the eye, too.

About that Gamera - you'll know what I mean when you see it, and I don't want to spoil it.  Let me just say it was one of my favorite things about this movie.  Burton set the joke up a good hour ahead of time, and in a fairly tasteless way - but when he springs it, all is forgiven.  (And there's something pretty emblematic of Burton's method in how he turns Mary W. into that.)

And the Sea Monkeys.  I'm old enough to remember ads for them in the back of comics. 

And Goodbye Kitty.

No comments: