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Frankenweenie

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Written by Phil Robinson Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00
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“IT’S ALIIIIIVE!”…

Fresh from the premiere screening of Tim Burton’s latest offering ‘Frankenweenie’ at Cineworld Nottingham, I cannot say enough good things about this little gem of a film.

As you have already gathered from the ad posters and the title of the film, Frankenweenie is a quirky satirical take on the tale Frankenstein’s monster. The film centres on a young introspective boy (aptly named Victor Frankenstein and voiced by Charlie Tahan) whose love for science inspires him to bring his dearly departed dog Sparky back from the dead using household kitchen appliances in a makeshift laboratory in his loft (exactly what you would expect from a classic Frankenstein type horror film!)  

The plot is simple so I don’t want to give too much away without ruining the fiendish delights the third act has in store. But the real quality of this piece is in the stop motion animation which is seamlessly smooth, and darkly atmospheric. With so many advancements in digital animation it is always a pleasure to watch something that is rich in texture and almost tangible as stop motion which perfectly complements the Grim macabre looking characters with their pale complexions and big woeful eyes that seem to come right off the screen (and that is not just due to the fact the film is shot in 3d!) The expressions and flamboyant gestures of each character is one of my favourite aspects of the film, even down to Sparky the dog as he goes on his own journey of self-discovery.

The other most noteworthy aspect of Frankenweenie is that it is totally shot in black and white to make the films lighting eerie and dramatic, and really gives it an old fashioned horror film effect.  The minimal black and white approach is set nicely against a large theatrical fairy-tale sounding score by Danny Elfman who has worked on earlier films such as Batman Returns and Beetlejuice.  I was dubious about seeing this film as of late Tim Burton’s films have not really appealed to me as much as some of his earlier works. However this seems to be Tim Burton returning to his roots and digging up what he does best and with the choice of stop motion he is able to capture some beautifully creepy and atmospheric shots of twisted windmills, gothic shadowy graveyards and oddly sinister characters, all of which could have been picked out from a 1950’s B movie!

As well as a return to form in style he has an eclectic cast who he has worked with in some of his earlier films.  Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder are amongst the relatively small cast and play each part with just the right amount of comic subtlety to keep it from being overly childish and cheesy.  Kids will enjoy it for what it is but may not get the humour and some comical references to classic horror films and iconography which is more adult aimed. This is probably not suitable for very young children as it does lean more towards horror movie clichés than obvious gags for a younger audience.

This film has been criticized for lacking in plot which is a shame as it may not push the boundaries of storytelling but the whole beauty and humour of this type of piece is a nod to an almost forgotten era of horror films and style.  Perhaps people did not quite understand the angle that Tim Burton was taking.  It is not perfect but what it does deliver is originality, and ask yourself how many black and white stop motion animations have you watched recently?!  It is rare to find an animated piece that stitches together black comedy, attention to detail and dozens of film references all in one Disney piece, so if you see just one animated film this year make it Frankenweenie (for its artistic merit if anything else).

Visit Cineworld in Nottingham’s Cornerhouse to see this film.  http://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/49

 
Written by Administrator Friday, 20 July 2012 09:24
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We were invited to a premiere of the latest and eargerly anticipated Batman film, Dark Knight Rises, at Nottingham Cineworld in the Cornerhouse on Wednesday night a full two days (count them) before general release.  Without giving away the film's plot or reviewing it in its entirety here's a few things to look out for when you go and watch it at Cineworld.

The Dark Knight Rises follows the storyline 8 years on from its prequel.  Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, Wayne Enterprises is suffering and Batman is no more.  The people of Gotham have enjoyed 8 years free from serious crime and have not needed The Batman.  Until now.

Tom Hardy showcases his flexibility playing Bain, it was always going to be a hard role to live up to after Heath Ledger's stunning interpretation of the Joker but those characters are so far apart no comparison can really be made.

The physique change from Warrior is mind blowing. At times the voice of the character can be hard to understand, the mask preventing viewers from seeing any lip movements teamed with the vocal effects is a bad combination and there were a few times I wanted to turn to my neighbour to ask what he said!

Anne Hathaway takes on the role of Catwoman with a light hearted mischievous approach, which is refreshing compared to the heavy emotional aspects of the other main characters.  She most definitely pulls off the cat suit (not literally), which will undoubtedly please some viewers.

The old Wayne Manor is back which is a relief after it being out of The Dark Knight; the breathtaking backdrop of Wollaton Hall adds some much needed period charm to the otherwise concrete jungle of Gotham City.

The story takes us on a rollercoaster ride of extremes in genre, one minute you're watching Wayne deal with the complex emotions surrounding the fall of Batman and the loss of his lifelong love, Rachel, and the next is a visually mind blowing action sequence.  It is a welcome addition to see the emotional side of Bruce Wayne and nice development of the character which moves him away from his previous playboy image. There are some highly charged scenes between Alfred (Michael Cain) which stretches the Butler/Boss relationship beyond what was hinted at previously.

The moments when Bain brings Gotham to its knees provide some worryingly realistic special effects that spark thoughts back to real terrorism and devastation witnessed on 9/11, touching on the threat to economy and financial crisis this part of the story offers viewers food for thought.

This is easily one of the most anticipated films this year and it does not fail to disappoint.  It is a shame to see the back of the Batman trilogy but all good things must come to an end and it does not leave any stone unturned.  Viewers will come away completely satisfied yet still waiting in anticipation but saying anything further would spoil the surprise!

Be prepared with refreshments and toilet visits; at 2 hrs 45 minutes it's longer than expected.

 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Thursday, 05 July 2012 16:11
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spidermanposterHot on the heels of the recent Vampire Hunter competition we've teamed up with Nottingham Cineworld again to bring you a brand new ticket giveaway. We're giving you two pairs of tickets to see the film at Nottingham Cineworld and all you have to do is email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it tell us your name,…
 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Thursday, 21 June 2012 22:11
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To mark the release of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter at Nottingham’s Cineworld, we are giving away two pairs of tickets to see the film at Cineworld in the Cornerhouse.

 

All you have to do is send us your name, age, and tell us your favourite hobby and you’ll be entered into a draw for a pair of the tickets.

 

The draw will be conducted on Thursday 5th July and winners will be notified by email with tickets available from Friday 6th July.

 

Send your entries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by midnight Thursday 5th July to be included in the draw.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Saturday, 14 April 2012 17:37
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Already well-established as the festival that brings you future stadium-fillers before any other event, Dot To Dot is set to unveil the second wave of acts on this year’s bill.  The UK’s only touring festival, Dot To Dot will visit a multitude of venues in Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester this coming Jubilee bank holiday weekend headlined by The Drums and Pulled Apart By Horses and featuring some of the most electrifying up and coming acts currently around.

Dot To Dot Organiser Anton Lockwood said: “Our second announcement for Dot To Dot 2012 sees us welcome some of the most hotly tipped new acts in the world, including some stars of SXSW. This is what Dot To Dot is all about!”

Kicking off the latest announcement are San Diego surf punks Wavves. Fast, intense, riff propelled mayhem is the order of the day, ensuring Wavves will be raising the energy levels across all three cities.   One of the most captivating artists currently getting those in the know all hot and bothered, Willis Earl Beal will be showcasing his Acoustic Sorcery for the Dot To Dot masses, Hooray For Earth will be unleashing their synth-driven psychedelia to whip up the crowds, SXSW sensations (and Tame Impala spin off) Pond will be demonstrating just why they’re being so hotly tipped and Texan art-pop wunderkind Neon Indian will be making a one-off Dot To Dot appearance in Manchester on June 4th.

Other acts playing across the weekend include Nottingham’s latest singing, song-writing prodigy Jake Bugg, Danish indie folksters The Rumour Said Fire, renowned chanteuse Beth Jeans Houghton who will joining the event for the Bristol date and off-kilter instrument swappers Islet, plus there will be appearances from Patterns, Peace, Rae Morris and Random Impulse. And that’s not all, as other acts set to join this year’s Dot To Dot bill include Admiral Fallow, Bastille, Bondax, Clock Opera, Eyes On Film (Nottingham and Manchester only), Lulu James, Murray James, The Night, Scoundrels, Shinies (Manchester only), Swiss Lips and Turbowolf.

With tickets at an incredible £20 and a staggering list of the most exciting bands around already confirmed plus many more still to be announced, Dot To Dot is a must-see festival for 2012.

Tickets are now on sale:

Bristol: £20

Nottingham: £20

Manchester £20

Visit http://www.dottodotfestival.co.uk/ for all ticket info

Full Line Up So Far: The Drums / Pulled Apart By Horses / Willy Mason / Wavves  /

Neon Indian (Manchester Only) / Willis Earl Beal / Dog Is Dead / Lucy Rose / Hooray For Earth / Summer Camp / Pond / Admiral Fallow / Bastille / Beth Jeans Houghton (Bristol Only) / Bondax / Broken Hands / Clock Opera / Deaf Club / Dirty Goods / Eyes On Film (Manchester & Nottingham) / Islet / Jake Bugg / Kyla La Grange / Lulu James / Murray James / The Night / Patterns / Peace / Pearl & The Beard  / Rae Morris / Random Impulse / The Rumour Said Fire / Ryan Keen / Scoundrels / Shinies (Manchester Only) / Swiss Lips/ THePETEBOX / Turbowolf / Vadoinmessico / Wonder Villains

 

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