This week at the movies brings a twisted tale of love from beyond the grave ("Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride"), a paranoid thriller at 40,000 feet ("Flightplan") and a nostalgic look at the days of roller disco ("Roll Bounce"). Which of these films will pass muster with the critics?
Ahh, Tim Burton. We’re so glad to have you around. At a time when movies get tamer and less original, there you are, making a twisted, sweet joke out of mortality, and using stop motion animation when everyone else is using computers. "Corpse Bride," co-directed by Mike Johnson and featuring the voice talents of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, tells the delightfully twisted tale of a reanimated woman who demands love from an already engaged commitment -phobe. The scribes say it’s a modern fairy tale, filled with wondrous, phantasmagoric images and a poignant, elusive love triangle. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, this is one beautiful "Bride." And although it may be a notch below Burton’s other stop motion triumph, "The Nightmare before Christmas" (91 percent), it slightly surpasses his other recent outing, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (at 82 percent). It’s one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year.
Man, are people afraid of flying or what? First "Red Eye," and now "Flightplan," a thriller starring Jodie Foster. A sort of "Bunny Lake Is Missing" meets "The Lady Vanishes," the plot involves a widow whose daughter goes missing aboard a transatlantic flight, and who must prove to the crew and her fellow passengers that her daughter exists at all. While many of the critics say it’s good to have Foster back on the screen, they’d like her in a more coherent plot that doesn’t require an emergency landing at the end. Still, there’s plenty of suspense, and at 52 percent, "Flightplan" is probably better than your average in-flight movie. It’s a notch below Jodie Foster’s overall Tomatometer score of 71 percent, though.
Admit it: You love the 1970s. You love disco. You used to love to roller skate. And although you might not love "Roll Bounce" more than any of those things individually, the scribes say the film is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale with likable characters and an infectious soundtrack. The critics say that although the plot won’t win any originality contests, at 60 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s a pretty sweet "Roll."