Film review: Coraline (2009)


Coraline is a 2009 stop motion adaption of the 2002 Neil Gaiman novel of the same, in the genre of fantasy / horror. It is the tale of Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning), who finds a secret door and traveling through it finds an improved version of her home, with a loving mother and father and a more quiet neighbour. She slowly decides to embrace this new world, until she realises that everything is not as it seems.

I was quite skeptical towards the film, seeing as it’s compared by such wonders as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and seeing as its plot is rather… clichéd. Still, I was surprised. The film holds an outstanding quality both in its characters and interesting plot, with many turns and twists and foreshadowings, as well as jokes and beautiful animation. The film is described as fantasy / horror, and it is. Few stop motion / animation films keeps my suspense for as long as Coraline.

Film review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I stepped into the cinema with a mixture of expectations. I love the stories by Lewis Carrol, as well as the 1951 animated Disney movie, but this is something totally different. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a mixture of a re-imagining and a sequel, telling the story of Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) returning to Underland (who she falsely called Wonderland last time) by the age of 19, thinking the memory of her last visit had just been a bad dream. Underland has been destroyed by the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) finally turning entirely crazy. We meet a cracked, broken down world that is still as off the knock as Tim Burton’s and Lewis Carrol’s minds put together, and truly beautiful visually. This is definitely Helena Bonham Carter’s best role, and Anne Hathaway’s only good role, working perfectly as the Luna Lovegood-ish White Queen. Johnny Depp, one of my favorite actors of all time, is wonderful as the Mad Hatter, working both as the crazy character he uses in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Pirates of the Carribean, and the cracked man of Edward Scissorhands. I will not say that this is his best role, but close to it.

Unfortunately, I kind of expected more of the ending. What begins as a wonderful story of a lunatic girl who just doesn’t suit her own time, turns into the story that has been told too many times: Child of our time finds a gate into another world, who has choosen him/her as the one with ancient prophecies, and although our hero first hesitates, he/she finds courage, saves the kingdom and returns home with this newfound character. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland simply falls a little too much as The Matrix meets Narnia, and although these are all great stories, he could have pulled something better off.

One final praise must go to Mia Wasikowska – this unknown but wonderful actress who simply is the perfect Alice – naïve, dreamy, and really cute. And managing being so childlike even though her boobs just almost shows in every scenes (due to her clothes being to big) is just amazing.

"A new decade, and more importantly a new year", or "My 2010 list"

So being born in 1992 means I just lived my first full decade. It is now 2010, which means I should write a review or something on the last decade.

I will not.

So, what’s about this new year? Lots of amazing stuff to look forward to, so I decided to become a tr00 blogger and release a nice list for 2010.

  • Music
    • Progressive power metal band Kamelot release their ninth (!) album on March 22 and visits Sweden in April.
    • Tobias Sammets metal project Avantasia release two new albums on April 3 – Angel of Babylon and The Wicked Symphony – the sequel to the tale of the Scarecrow.
    • Also symphonic metal act Within Temptation release an album, totally different from their earlier work – more band, less orchestra, heavier, dirtier. Or something along those lines.
    • And Tarja (ex-Nightwish) release her third studio album What Lies Beneath.
    • Speaking of Nightwish, it is rumoured that they finally got permission to release their cover of Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First. A single/EP, perhaps?
    • And their current singer Anette Olzon is soon finished with her solo debut album. I’m really, really curious and scared.
  • TV
    • Number one: THE RETURN OF FUTURAMA! The fifth season begins on June 10. I AM REALLY EXCITED! Will it be a success or will it blow like Paris Hilton on scary videos?
    • Lost is coming to an end. And I am really wondering how they are supposed to end this. I also wonder how the season premiere will start – the season finale SPOILER ended with the Island being blown up by an H-bomb. SPOILER STOP.
    • Heroes goes on. One of the best shows, still going strong in the fourth season.
    • And The Simpsons begins the 22nd season. Still going strong, but I still find difficulty ranking it as high as everything pre-season eleven.
  • Film
    • Lots of great stuff here as well, but the one I’m looking the most forward to must be Tim Burton’s adaption of Alice in Wonderland. Seems like awesomeness.
    • Harry Potter 7.1. The first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released for cinema this summer. Being the best of the novels, I really hope for it being the best of the movies as well. Honestly, the latest one wasn’t good at all.
  • Literature
    • Stephen King is working on two new novels:
      • The Wind Through the Keyhole – the new Dark Tower novel. The Dark Tower is one of my favorite book series ever, no matter the genre. This new book will be telling stories of the lesser characters, and will be set between the fourth and fifth novel (Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla).
      • Doctor Sleep, the sequel of The Shining after a 33 year old gap. According to King: “Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York, where he works as the equivalent of an orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers.”


PS. That was just my longest post title ever. DS.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

I just finished watching the 2007 musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the 1979 musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheelers, which itself is based on an 19th century story about the barber Benjamin Barker, who is falsely accused and sentenced to hard labor in Australia by a man lusting for Barker’s wife. After managing to escape fifteen years later, he returns to London under the false name Sweeney Todd and finds out that his wife killed herself after being raped, and that their child has been adopted. In order to seek revenge, he takes up his old barber shop and starts killing randomly, while looking for the man who betrayed him long ago.Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetThis is clearly my favorite Tim Burton film, and Tim Burton is one of my absolute favorite directors. It stars several great actors, especially Johnny Depp (as Sweeney Todd) and Helena Bonham Carter (as Mrs. Lovett), and it has a great story with wonderful effects, and great music. I’ve always been a great fan of musicals, even though I really haven’t seen that many. It’s more that I’ve really loved those I’ve seen, most significantly by Andrew Lloyd Webber, especially The Phantom of the Opera.Anyway, a really great film, recommended to everyone. I’ll try to find the musical to watch is too, but I seriously doubt they play it in Sweden (especially in the original language). I really need that trip to London to see some great musicals.


eight stars