Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 at 12:00 AM
"What's this? What's this? There's magic on the scene. What's this? What's this? Another Tim Burton movie on the screen? I can't believe my eyes another Stop-Time movie 12 years later oh my goodness such a surprise."
After watching Corpse Bride you will undoubtedly wish to compare it, favorably or unjustly, against The Nightmare Before Christmas. Don't worry. Everyone else has. It's hard not to.
Both movies are filmed in the same way, with similar artistic renditions of long thin legs and wildly proportioned characters. Tim Burton co-directs and produces and Danny Elfman composes and directs the music. There are thematic similarities in its movement between worlds; the Real world and the Supernatural, whether the land of the dead, or the land of Hallowe'en. Any further comparisons between the two movies would doubtlessly be opinion only. Many reviews and reviewers go on to cite their own particular preference to, the now 12 year old, The Nightmare Before Christmas. All that is chaff to the wheat that is Corpse Bride.
What is important to know is that at 75 minutes there is little subtlety to Corpse Bride. The plot unfolds with limited distraction sans a few musical numbers. Almost across the board do reviewers rate the music as sub-par. Some go further to state that it is the weakest part of the film serving simply as filler. Although I found them interesting I left the theatre with not a one on my lips. Nor did I find them particularly memorable. It's hard to imagine a 75 minute film needing filler, but such is the simplicity of the tale, which is unique enough in this day and age to warrant seeing it on the big screen for regular admission. It isn't Lord of the Rings length bang for your buck, but you won't be tired and stiff after seeing the movie (no pun intended).
In summation of all of the positive reviews, however, what is terrific about Corpse Bride is its ability to handle the love triangle that develops in such a way as to make the viewer sympathetic to all three involved. All those in the audience I saw it with were surprised at the conclusion as well as delighted, leaving the theatre with smiles on their faces. What the positive reviews tend to have missed though is the terrific characterization done by Christopher Lee, in all his magnificent booming voice glory. The quality of his character and delivery of his lines make for shining baubles that seems to have been overlooked by everyone else in the spectacle of the movie. Eye candy like this is best seen on the big screen.
Corpse Bride is a solid 3 out of 4 movie. Were the music catchier I think it would have been a better run-away hit, much like its predecessor, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Kyle Gould is a University of Calgary Graduate in English devoutly trying to make the 25,000 dollar piece of parchment not just a glorified ink blot. Currently it would serve better as a Rorschach test. Feel free to throw some ink his way at firstname.lastname@example.org.