Daring to Defy the Odds; Dumbo, a Movie Review

null 12By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disney’s film entertainment division really need not turn all their past animated hits to live-action spectacles. That said, Dumbo is the latest and while it looks terrific in a post-World War I America setting, none of the backstories matters. Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) comes home to his two kids, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) who have been living at the circus. Prior to being sent off to fight for his country, the father was part of a circus act–a headliner.

Before anyone can yell, “It’s showtime!” enter the elephant’s mother and the birth of a big-eared baby pachyderm. The CGI is decent, but the emotional performance is hit and miss. Unlike Gollum, and other animated critters, who have graced cinema in the past, to convey fear and grief is only as good as understanding the creature itself.

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Miss Peregrine Blackpool Location Shots

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)


Tim Burton is currently on location in Blackpool, England for the filming of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, slated for release in March of next year.

The movie is based upon the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by American author Ransom Riggs. The story follows the exploits of 16-year-old Jacob Portman. After his grandfather is murdered by what Jacob believes was a make-believe creature, the lad travels to Wales to discover his heritage, which happens to lay at the ruins of an orphanage for Peculiar Children. Jacob soon learns that the children in the school were far from peculiar, they were endowed with powers.

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To Have Big Eyes Offers Large Rewards, A Movie Review

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Big_Eyes_posterThe question of what makes pop art marketable is at the center of what Tim Burton’s Big Eyes is about. When Margaret Keane (born Peggy Doris Hawkins, and played by Amy Adams) leaves one poisonous relationship only to enter another, the question of how a philandering new husband commercializing her work can get away with lies really begs further queries about what enjoyment of working in the artistic medium is about. When he can not give a straight answer, the issue of whether he’s ever been a true artist himself really does not need a response. The way Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) acts, guilt and greed are painted on his face.

When Andy Warhol said, “If Keane’s art was really so bad, then so many people wouldn’t like it,” the tone has been set for this film. To have an afterwards from him might have answered the question if he felt hoodwinked too. Instead the movie sees art critic (Terence Stamp) knowing that Walter Keene is a sham. As much as Walter likes to believe that he is talented, his gift for gab is the only skill he has. This character is more of a marketing genius than an artistic hack. Waltz never fails to deliver in any of the roles he plays. Some viewers may well have to wonder what kind of psychosis the real Walter had.

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A Halloween Trick? No. It’s True, The Addams Family Gets the MGM Treatment!

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest) and James Robert Shaw (The Windup Geek)


The Addams Family has been animated before in 1972 on NBC and 1992 on ABC, but it has never seen an animated feature film. Originally printed as one-panel comic gags in the New Yorker Magazine, the concept of bringing these characters under a family name did not come until much later. At least, not until the first television series was developed. This strip had a life of its own because it has a brilliant satirical look at the American homestead.

And if you can snap your fingers twice, MGM may well have magic in their hands. A decade has passed by since the last feature film, Addams Family Reunion (1998), was released. As for what will be done in this new iteration, Variety reported that Pamela Pettler, whose credits include Corpse Bride and Monster House, has been signed to write the screenplay. The film will be executive produced by Andrew Mittman and Kevin Miserocchi.

Negotiations are well underway with BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun to produce what may likely be a CGI film. Originally, Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment company had been developing a Tim Burton-helmed, stop-motion “The Addams Family” movie, but this company revealed that earlier this year it had ditched the project. Thankfully Berman and Braun are picking up the pieces to deliver what should hopefully be a fun romp through the Addams family household.

Source(s): Variety.

It’s Showtime! With Beetlejuice, the Animated Series DVD Review

Rekindling certain flavors of 80’s cartoon-dom requires certain key characters to enter the video library. At the tail end of this decade came Beetlejuice, the animated series.

By Ed Sum

Beetlejuice DVD

Rekindling certain flavors of 80’s cartoon-dom requires certain key characters to enter the video library. At the tail end of this decade came Beetlejuice, the animated series. This ghost with the most’s violent tendencies were toned down and for some unknown reason, both him and Lydia Deets are best-pals. Fans of Tim Burton’s movie will have to wonder what happened in between since the two were unlikely allies; even at the end of the film, these two parted ways and Beetlejuice was “awaiting reassignment.” Despite the differences between the film and cartoon, the series lasted for a good four seasons—a rarity for any cartoon.

It’s tough to resist a character who reeks of mischief. This miscreant of the supernatural world gets into more trouble than he realizes, and to see him worm his way out of situations is one of the charms this series has. With Shout! Factory’s bare bones video release, viewers do not have to scout the internet or television stations to find where this ghost is hiding. If he pops out at the wrong time, then maybe someone will lose their funny bone. Much of the spirit in Michael Keaton’s performance of the seminal character can be found in this cartoon. Stephen Ouimette does a great job in voicing this character and emulating Keaton’s style. Even the editorial staff of Patsy Cameron and Tedd Anasti certainly know their product to ensure consistency.

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