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 Late Movie Review: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: It feels like nothing is happening in reverse in this film

I either wasn’t allowed to or couldn’t afford to see most popular movies when they came out. I am catching up and reviewing them today.

Since my college years people have always told me that I should watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s entire stores dedicated to merchandise for it at the Disney parks, so I have to imagine it’s very popular. It has probably a thousand times more merchandise than Disney’s Haunted Mansion itself.

Netflix finally had it on streaming so I watched it today. Or rather I tried to. I got 52 minutes in before I rage quit.

The Nightmare Before Christmas looks gorgeous and is technically stunning, but the film itself is like a paint by numbers of everything that I absolutely can’t stand. I personally loathe musicals where the people never or rarely speak to each other like actual human beings – and that’s exactly what happens in this film. The music almost never stops the irritating singing and honestly, the best thing that I can say about the music is that it’s boring. The truth of the matter is that the songs are repetitive, flat, and uninspiring. It’s like being clubbed on the head with a music box that smoked too much pot.

The film centers around Jack Skellington, who is surprisingly voiced by Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo. Jack is bored for no real reason that is illustrated visually to us – it’s all told to us in the laziest speak-singing possible. Sally, a sewn together creature girl of some kind looks on passively from the shadows. To me she is neither interesting or compelling. She’s boring and wishy-washy. It’s obvious immediately that what is going to happen over the next hour and a half is that Jack is going to learn a Christmas lesson when trying to take over Christmas Town and fall in love with Sally.

Who gives a shit?

Perhaps if I had seen this when it came out or as a child my opinion would be different. Tim Burton has done the same ideas over and over again such that he has almost become a cliche. Watching this film in 2014 for the first time – it is impossible not to view it through eyes that are really damn tired of seeing the same flowy dark shit thrown together with the music box sounds. All this film needs to fit with Burton’s last billion films are Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter farting out some steampunk. Again.

This is the first film that I have seen recently that I had to stop. I could make it all the way through Hostel 1 and 2 which are films that I feel robbed me of hours of my life that I will never get back. I just couldn’t make it through this. The key here is that there was no carrot of curiosity that inspired me to stick it out. I don’t even care what happens in it or how it ends. That might be because the ending and entire plot is obvious from the first 2 minutes of the film. It feel more like a tech demo that should have been made into a single music video for perhaps the actual Oingo Boingo band than a standalone film rooted in narrative.

It feels like nothing is happening in reverse in this film. If I hadn’t been doing my nails during it I would have shut it off sooner.


 Orlando, Florida / Hollywood, California Haunted Attractions: SyFy’s Face Off is coming to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

I don’t have TV so I was lost, but apparently there is a show on SyFy called Face Off that is awesome. The next scarezone for Orlando, Florida’s Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights is Face Off:

Details about the Orlando, Florida location is here.

Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights doesn’t have much up yet but they are making a haunted house / haunted attraction based on the show called, “Face Off: In the Flesh,”. This will be in the park’s House of Horrors and incorporate designs from the show’s last 6 seasons.

Season 7 of “Face Off” starts on Syfy this July 22. On Sept. 9th an episode will air in which the artists must create monsters based on movie posters. The winner will be featured in Halloween Horror Nights 2014.


 Pittsburgh Haunted Attractions: The Scarehouse Basement opens for one day only this Saturday, July 19th

Pittsburgh’s Scarehouse haunted attraction opens The Basement for 1 night only this Saturday, July 19th. The event is called “Hooded in the Basement”.

Limited tickets are available. You can read my haunted attraction review of their 2013 regular show here in which I found it to be surprisingly well-done and good, but it’s not for everyone. For example, I was OK, Harknell did not go in and should not have gone in. :)


 Mortal Kombat 1 – Elizabeth Malecki and Daniel Pesina on GameMasters (Behind the Scenes) (1993)

I found a cool special featuring some of the original Mortal Kombat actors:


 Marvel Comics: Thor is a woman and here is what I think

Marvel announced on The View that the new Thor is going to be a woman.

They say that, “…this new Thor was saved by her predecessor, the former male Thor, who is no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir.” Here is what she looks like:

I like the idea of a female superhero who doesn’t need 2 clowns on a unicycle holding up each pendulous boob from -9.8 m/s. I mean come ON. I usually only need half a clown on a motorcycle, personally.

The costume design is great. The concept is great. This is a step in the right direction.

I just don’t understand a few things. Why on EARTH did they think The View was the target audience for this? My impression of The View is that the women on that show have more in common with the ass end of a carousel horse than anyone who would ever go within 50 feet of a comics shop. I get that Marvel is owned by Disney and their typical Marketing song and dance involves marketing exclusively to conservative Moms (some of which watch this show) but I just don’t think that’s the demographic for this one. Sorry.

I also don’t understand why they have to take a classic superhero away from his fans in order to add a (hopefully) competent female. Way to perpetuate the myth that anyone with a vagina doing well takes something about from the penis farm, Marvel. Not cool.

I’d rather see this character added in without anything taken away because that’s the lesson, isn’t it? Women doing well don’t take shit away from men. We are all people. The only thing that should matter is if you can do the job. The better I do in life the more men AND women that I get to party with, to be honest.

That’s all it comes down to, right? “Can you do the job?” Not “You can only have 1″ like some sort of billygoat fight over who pooped last.

EDIT: Another thought – Perhaps this was done because they aren’t confident in creating a new character – much like bands that are forced to cover songs because of dollars and cents. If that’s the case I am afraid of it setting them up for failure. Not only does the character have to overcome gender bias but also overcome the impossible-to-overcome level of hatred from people who lost their favorite superhero.

My fear is that the inevitable anger from long term Thor fans are just going to work against this character – thus allowing a shortsighted executive to justify saying that people “don’t want” great female superheroes. She will never be judged on her own merits and she can never match up to a character that has been around and loved for so long. Much like Nightwish’s first replacement singer for Tarja Turunen, she doesn’t have a chance. She’s new and the shadow of the past is too big.

I hope that this fear (rooted in my lack of confidence in corporate entities to commit to long term strategy) is unfounded and that she becomes a long term character!

It could maybe be summed up in one sentence:

TL; DR: Awesome idea and concept but I am scared that the execution opens it up to a backlash that can be used against her.

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