Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Corpse Bride Redux

Starved for some entertainment in a condo without cable TV, we uncovered a stash of bootleg DVDs in a cabinet drawer.  "What do you want to watch?" I asked my wife. "Something funny," she said.  I rattled off the titles of generic Hollywood rom-coms, all of which met disapproval.  Finally, I lifted out The Corpse Bride. "What about this?" She hadn't seen it yet in its entirety, so that's what we popped into the player.

Corpse Bride came out in 2005, but still holds up remarkably well.  The style is classic Tim Burton -- creepy yet whimsical, terrifying but endearing, inhuman but human.  It's in a class of its own, and if it invites any comparisons at all, we can only really compare it with other Burton works.

What really endears me to the film is the "smallness" of the story.  The world isn't at stake, as seems to be the requirement for Hollywood blockbusters.  Despite the fantastic setting, it's just people wanting to find love.  Throw in a couple of misunderstandings and a truly dastardly villain and you have a fairy tale at the core.

I wish they made more movies like this.