Hope you’ve had a happy new year so far and welcome to my first review of 2016! Didn’t think I’d be doing a review so soon, but one of these films is a favourite of mine and I had to do a review on it! The films were also at a new location for me so I felt obligated to check it out and write about it too! As I’ve reminded you in the past watch out for spoilers, but these are a classic films so would imagine most of you will have seen them! Without further a-due, on with the review! A double-bill review!
Firstly is the brilliant EDWARD SCISSORHANDS! In a dark mansion lives an inventor’s greatest creation – Edward, an almost-complete person. His creator died before he could finish Edward who is left with metal scissors for hands and has since lived alone until a kind lady called Peg discovers him and welcomes him into her home. He learns many things during his time in the suburbia including creativity, family, friends, but above all love. However the local residents start to turn against him when Edward struggles to adjust to their normal lifestyle. And the moral of this film is don’t ask old people questions, like why does it snow, because you’ll get a long-winded answer!
And secondly was the, not so cute and cuddly after all, GRELIMS! When Billy is given a Christmas present from his father, and is told the 3 conditions with this present, he inadvertently breaks these rules almost immediately. He is told to keep his new pet, Gizmo out of bright light and Billy keeps blinding the poor thing. He is told not to get Gizmo wet, but does and then it duplicates into more creatures. Creatures that are a lot more mischievous than Gizmo and trick Billy into breaking the last and most crucial rule: feeding them after midnight. This resorts to complete chaos and havoc in his hometown, so Billy and Gizmo need to stop them at all costs. And we learn the moral; always make sure you get a receipt!
This showing was the launch event for the new pop up cinema in Irvine called “Film at the Old Bookies.” The weather certainly set the scene for the Edward Scissorhands; it snowed so much that it was lethal to drive on the roads and unfortunately postpone the film till the Thursday night before the showing of Gremlins. After a long day at work it was good to sit down to a free glass of presseco and a free bag of Propercorn Sweet and Salty, and watch the free films – I did leave a donation though! Mind you it was pretty chilly; I definitely recommend warm clothing or a blanket even! There was a couch and armchair at the front but for some reason no one decided to sit in them; I think there were supposed to be winners of a competition getting those seats but they never showed up. Going to shotgun the armchair next time! As far as the film watching experience went, it was great; a relatively big projection on the wall and some decent sound! As much as I love the Glasgow Film Theatre, it’s brilliant that we don’t have to go all the way to it to see classic films on the big screen now.
Edward Scissorhands is one of my favourite films by Tim Burton, just hovering above Nightmare Before Christmas and Sleepy Hollow. It’s certainly one of his more unique films compared to his adaptions of classic stories, but with any Tim Burton film there is always a great balance of gothic horror and humour. With this film it is set out like a modernised fairy tale: the bedtime story beginning, the inventor’s mansion, girl of his dreams, reasoning behind the snow all set in the suburban environment of the film’s ‘present’ date. It’s a timeless classic even after 25 years! Absolutely love Danny Elfman’s music especially in Burton’s films; throughout this film there is great music, but the music used for the Ice Dance scene is tremendous!
It was quite interesting to find out that Tim Burton grew up watching the work of Vincent Price. Burton wrote and directed a short animation entitled “Vincent” dedicated to his role model before Edward Scissorhands, but the fact that Vincent Price acted as the inventor in Edward Scissorhands must have been such a pleasure for Burton. Imagine having your hero participating in and approving your own work – it must have been the highlight of his Burton’s early career, if not to the present date!
At the beginning the tiny granddaughter in the massive bed asks where does the snow come from; no kidding when older Kim says it’s a long story! I know it’d take away from the overall success of the film, but I kinda felt the answer could have been condensed a bit. Something like, “An ice sculptor lives in that mansion and the shards of ice that come off his sculptures float down to our neighbourhood.” Then there would be time to ask proper questions like where does Edward get all the ice from or why would Peggy give the guy with scissors for hands the waterbed? Potentially problematic some would say!
Gremlins has been one of those films that I’ve seen different moments at different times, but never from beginning to end, so was great to watch it fully for the first time here on the big screen. At the beginning it feels like a normal Christmas film but completely changes it’s tone when the gremlins are fed after midnight! It reminded me a wee bit of Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack delivers the presents; people going about their general life and then the nightmares and horrors come along interfering with the festive mood, but still with comedy and light-hearted music. The first example is when a man posts his letters in a mailbox and the gremlins deal with him! And when the couple are in their home watching telly or humming Christmas carols, when all of a sudden the Gremlins come through their house with the snowplough!
And then there’s Mrs Deagle (the woman wanting to get Billy’s dog like some modern Wicked Witch of the West), who soon meets her end with the help of the Gremlins. Her death is probably the most iconic part of this film or the most talked about due to the nature of it. Basically after she is greeted by the gremlin carol singers, she is in genuine terror so tries to get as far away from the front door by going upstairs in her chairlift. However one of the Gremlins has tinkered about with it without her knowing, so when she pushes the button, the chairlift accelerates uncontrollably up the stairs and she is flung out the top floor window. Dead. It is a moment you do feel somewhat bad for laughing at it; it almost felt like a death scenes from one of the Final Destination films. It is a like a scary movie at parts but a lot of the time it’s hilarious; my favourite part is when all the Gemlins are singing Heigh-ho when watching Snow White, but overall it was a great film!
There are two new Tim Burton films coming out in 2016. Firstly is Alice Through The Looking Glass, which is confirmed to release on 27th May 2016. After the very successful live action remake of the original Disney animation Alice in Wonderland, this time Burton has passed on the directing role to James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords) and became a main producer, but fear not as it will still have Burton-esque assets in it; Danny Elfman music, acting from Johnny Deep and Helena Bonham Carter, big dark eyes and that eccentric style we’ve grown to love. Secondly is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children! There has been no release date for the UK as of yet, but is supposed to release on 25th of December in North America. All we’ve received for it is a teaser video of a pocket watch ticking and then reversing with Run Rabbit, Run playing in the background. Not much but I’m still excited!
As far as Gremlins are concerned, back in November Zack Galligan (actor for Billy’s character) confirmed there are plans to make a third Gremlins film. He also said that it will not be a reboot; it will feature original characters and be a lot like Jurassic World and set 30 years later (ie. the characters in the present date). Another film made by Chris Columbus and Stephen Spielberg that apparently is getting a sequel is the Goonies; there’s been nothing set in stone but Sean Astin (who played Mikey) insists there definitely will be one, but isn’t sure if he’ll actually be in it himself. Something that is set in stone though and is releasing on July 22nd is Stephen Spielberg’s live action adaption of the BFG! From the teaser I’m really excited for it, but I’m kind of wondering how good it will be as it isn’t exactly action-packed and is mostly dialogue about dreams, snozzcumbers and farting.
Leaving the reviews to the side for a sec, I’d like to take this moment to commemorate Alan Rickman who unfortunately died on the 14th of January due to cancer. He lived to the age of 69 and has been a brilliant actor featuring in many films such as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Sheriff George in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He also worked with Chris Columbus (for 2 films) as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, and with Tim Burton as Judge Turpin in Sweeny Todd and voiced the Blue Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. Before he died he finished reprising the role as the Blue Caterpillar for the sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, so I look forward to hearing his voice one last time.
Well that’s it for another review. So to sum up: the Old Bookies pop-up cinema was a great way to see some classic films without having to go all the way to the GFT and I definitely will be attending future events with them but admittedly with a jumper and scarf. Edward Scissorhand has always been a favourite of mine and probably Burton’s best and more unique films. And Gremlins was a good laugh and scare as well. That’s it from me for just now, so until next time, heigh-ho!
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS – 9/10
GREMLINS – 7/10
FILM AT THE OLD BOOKIES – 8/10
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