Coraline

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Remo D
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Coraline

Post by Remo D » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:32 pm

The year may be young, but I'm ready to make a controversial statement. CORALINE is already the horror film to beat in 2009. Yes, I said HORROR film. Immediate reaction: when did David Lynch start making children's films? I mean, sure, he did THE STRAIGHT STORY for Disney, but the G rating was an unplanned coincidence--it may have been family safe, but it wasn't specifically targeting children, right? This is different.

Okay--clarification. David Lynch had nothing to do with CORALINE. Neither did Tim Burton. Neil Gaiman provided the source story, and Henry Selick (the actual DIRECTOR of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) took on the animated adaptation. But those stuffed dogs adorning the wall? The freaked-out stage show (which could easily have taken place in MULHOLLAND DR.)? You could have put Lynch's name on this and I would have believed it. And the list goes on--this is one sinister, disturbing film (although I shouldn't have worried for my nine-year-old son's sake--HE was fine with it).

Yes, there's a positive family message lurking at its heart--and what child hasn't imagined escaping into a world with "better" parents? Long story short, young, neglected Coraline (voice of Dakota Fanning) finds such a seemingly perfect alternate reality, complete with an uber-indulgent "other mother" (Teri Hatcher). Thing is, they've all got black buttons sewn in where their eyes belong... and Mom is only too happy to render Coraline's chatty pal silent with a quick bit of surgery. In fact, Coraline can have EVERYTHING she wants... but there's just ONE little thing to take care of first...

And I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't call special attention to Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in the roles of the two aging actresses living next door... they're just as freaky in the "real" world as they are in the alternate one--and they're tremendously entertaining in either case (I don't recall Disney ever paying such close attention to an aging diva's bursting bustline, either--did I mention that I saw CORALINE with my son AND my mother?).

Wow. Nightmare surrealism to burn, spectres of previous young victims, a frightening monster--it's all there. And the genius use of the "button" device even allows for a character to get her "eyes" clawed out by a cat (shades of Corman/Poe) without giving up the PG rating!

Sadly, I did not get to see this in 3-D (the theatre had to make room for the Jonas Brothers movie, don't you know). My daughter did--she said that it didn't really come into play until the end. But I could sense what was happening with the depth (and by covering one eye, I could really get into the effect... try it some time--the act of removing one's OWN depth perception goes a long way towards removing the one main clue that tells you that the picture you're watching is flat to begin with).

No, it's not a gorefest, and it's not overwhelmingly terrifying. But it's a work of great imagination and style that refuses to shy away from the implications of a truly frightening premise. And I'll take that over remakes of MY BLOODY VALENTINE and FRIDAY THE 13TH any time.
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Evil Red
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Post by Evil Red » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:00 pm

I've been all sorts of unhappy about not catching this flick in 3-D, but the opening credits with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders alone, which I had no idea were involved made it right there for me. From there on it could have sucked and I still would have loved it! God bless those two, I just fucking love them!

But. I can only imagine how great the 3-D must have been because this movie was simply AMAZING. Infact, for the first time in forever, I would have about sold my soul for some hallucingens. :D

Especially with the garden growing scene and the circus mice act. Ohhhh man! haha

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AchimbaProphet
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Post by AchimbaProphet » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:24 pm

I can vouchsafe for the 3-D goodness. I saw the film first in the normal version and then a second time in 3-D. There were some especially cool 3-D parts like the tunnel and the walk around the world.

The picture that is in the front room with the boy who has an ice cream cone looks like a Mark Ryden work.
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Evil Red
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Post by Evil Red » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:26 am

AchimbaProphet wrote:
The picture that is in the front room with the boy who has an ice cream cone looks like a Mark Ryden work.
I thought the exact same thing as soon as they showed it!
I made the Devil do it.

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DylanDog
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Post by DylanDog » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:32 am

Man, I'm so out of it. I didn't even realize that this was playing in 3D! After the fun I had at My Bloody Valentine, I'll head out to see it just for the gimmick. And hopefully, it's as good as you say it is.
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DylanDog
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Post by DylanDog » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:46 am

I did in fact manage to go see this a week ago and really enjoyed it. I saw the 3D version and while it looked really nice from a depth perspective, there was very little jump off the screen and into your lap type effects, the best one actually coming after the credits and that had nothing to do with the movie.
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