Family, Fantasy, Musical
Runtime: 76 minutes
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix,
Paul Reubens, Ken Page
Director: Henry Selick
Synopsis: Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is tired of
the same old thing every year. He wanders into the woods and finds some
holiday trees and each has a town in it. He goes to the Christmas one and
finds himself in Christmas Town. He likes the idea, tells the town to the
citizens and they decide to make their own Christmas with their own twist.
It's been over a decade since "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas"
was first released. I remember going with my mum to see it a bit late and I
often try to remember how I found it then. I think some of it happily weird-ed
me out and that I did enjoyed it quite a bit. The reason I wonder how I felt
then is because most of those positive feelings have not carried over to right
now. I bought the DVD about a year or two ago and seemed to just find it
visually original (even now), but also quite boring. And it was a strange mix
of boredom, because I liked the writing and the characters, but something I
wasn't so fond of were the songs. There was only two I liked and the others
however lost me completely. Now Disney has released the film again, but with
their newly dusted off gimmick of 3-D. Now I do use the term gimmick
positively. I think it is a terrific idea to bring something like this back.
A theater gimmick since the 50's, 3-D has managed to do some incredibly fun
things. Hell there was even a 'Friday the 13th' sequel in 3-D. It's something
that generally as Robert Rodriguez would say, 'will get asses in seats'.
However here's the kicker with 'Nightmare', there seems to be so little 3-D.
Now I'll say that to a certain respect I was hoping for the cheesy arm reach
to the face or something of that nature, but in retrospect I should have
known better. Now most of the 3-D effects seem to simply be landscape
that's protruding from the screen a tad bit. There were a couple of cleverly
placed ones such as the snow scenes, which was very impressive, but the
truth is this doesn't feel worth the extra ticket price to see this again in
theaters when you could happily watch the DVD at home.
Now the price nor my words will really matter, because this is a cult film with
die hard (mostly emo) fans that'll go to see Jack Skellington where ever or
however he and Sally are. It's nice to see something so different embraced,
but I just don't feel the same way. For me Tim Burton's writing is strong and
he told a fantastic story and along with that gave us original and bold visuals
to set it to. But back to my feelings towards musicals...there's just some
musical features that I can't get into and this has turned into one. I love
Danny Elfman as a composer and as a performer and song writer with Oingo
Bingo, but very few of the ones he's done here can I stand. There's just
something about that. It's not tone or melody, or really even lyrics, but it's
just something that makes me lose interest in the film and shuffle in my seat
restlessly until the often prolonged musical sequence has ended.
I still find "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to be far, far better than his
next animated endeavor "Corpse Bride", which managed to bring in a big
impressive cast and better visuals while losing an interesting story to a bunch
of junk and mind-numbing songs that weren't even close to being catchy or
memorable in the slightest. As a package of the film and a 3-D picture I still
can't recommend it just because it doesn't seem to be terribly in 3-D. For the
most part everything just looked like a very clear digital film print that maybe
here or there on the side a tombstone or the light from a pumpkin might
stick out. Other than that it's simply the same movie you've seen except
you're paying lot more to watch it again.