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Review: ParaNorman (2012)

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ParaNormanRemember when Tim Burton made great movies with a fantastic sense of dark comedy and heart? Well those days might be over (Exhibit A: Dark Shadows), but don’t fret. There are still plenty of the like out there.

Norman can see things that no one else can. Like Sixth Sense stuff. Yup, Norman sees a lot of dead people in his already dark town of Blithe Hollow (known for a witch trail). But after a 100 year-old curse threatens the city Norman and his weight challenged friend Neil, must take on the goblins and ghouls to protect their town.

Forget animated, or stop motion. ParaNorman was one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen: period. First off, technically, the film is a joy to watch and the animation is completely mesmerizing. Secondly the voice talent is superb with Kodi Smit-McPhee and Christopher Mintz-Plasse leading the way. But it’s more than a few laughs and get technically sound movie. The movie takes the familiar but old and distant Salem witch trials, and makes them human, heart-breaking even. Funny, smart, and sweet? Watch your back Burton.

My Rating: A

New Year Optimism

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Well, it’s a new year, and instead of doing any resolutions that would have surely be broken by now, why not look for the good in the new year by counting down what movies I’m looking forward to most in the next 12 months. I’m sure there will be one’s I’ve never heard of that will be my favorites, but here are the ones I know about, that look or sound pretty sweet.

20. The Woman in Black

Daniel Radcliffe not attending Hogwarts!

19. World War Z

I don’t know much about WWZ, but I do know it’s a zombie flick with Brad Pitt, so I’m in!

18. Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino has been trying to get this made for a while now. Hopefully the movie’s like a fine wine and ages well with time on the shelf.

17. Skyfall

Still have yet to see an entire 007 movie, this might be the first of the bunch.

16. Battleship

Still looks like a Michael Bay Transformers clone, but who’s complaining; stuff blows up!

15. ParaNorman

I kinda like Coraline, but it could have been better. Enter Norman.

14. Dark Shadows

Just your usual Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter movie.

13. The Cabin in the Woods

Never been a fan of horror movies, but this one looks like it turns the genre on its head.

12. Brave

Pixar! Accents! Red-haired chick!

11. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The title alone is enough to get my butt in a seat. Who doesn’t love some revisionist history?

10. Mirror Mirror

Live action, hammy comedy version of Snow White. Added bonus of visuals by director Tarsem.

9. The Hunger Games

It’s based off a book series, which gives me hope that that the new Twilight is much more manageable.

8. John Carter

Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, Wall-E) tries to follow in the path of Pixar friend Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol)

7. Moonrise Kingdom

WES ANDERSON!!!!!!!!!

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I only saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy last year, but it was enough to make me think Peter Jackson can do no harm in Middle Earth.

5. Prometheus

Have you seen the trailer? I’ve never seen Alien, but I really want to now.

4. Snow White and the Huntsman

Early frontrunner for Snow White adaptation of the year. Even with Kristin Stewart.

3. The Amazing Spider Man

Yes, it’s too soon for another reboot. But Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield taking over? Admit it, you’re going to see it.

2. The Avengers

If only there was a movie that combined Hollywood’s love affair with the superhero movie….

1. The Dark Knight Rises

So far, Christopher Nolan can do no harm. So why not add some more amazing actors (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy) and call it the movie of the year now?