Friday, March 23, 2012

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

I've seen this movie a few times now so reviewing it is kind of against my ethics (I like to do reviews cold) but I gotta review something. I MUST.

A really jumpy police dude (Johnny Depp) is sent to the small village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the recent beheading spree there. Could it really be the work of the fabled Headless Horseman, an undead menace who rides around the country side searching for his missing head? (Yes, yes it could)

This is one of those science vs magic movies, but it actually gets all that bullshit out of the way fairly quickly and goes about being a magical mystery without too much fucking around. Which is nice. They handled the juxtaposition of the two pretty well and made a good movie.

It's got it all, really. There's more whacky old British actors than you can shake a stick at, including, but not limited to, Dumbledore, The Emperor, Batman's Butler, that chubby guy who's in every movie, and Christopher Lee. Also Christopher Walken going totally apeshit.

It's got good photography, all the stuff shot out in the woods was especially gorgeous - I assumed the movie was actually shot in upstate New York somewhere but I looked it up and I guess they filmed it in England which is okay I guess.

It's got a shitload of decapitations, heads come off left and right, and the effects are pretty goddamn good. The CGI left something to be desired but then it was the nineties, but the decapitations looked really fucking cool. There's a fair bit of humour as well which  is important.

On the downside, Johnny Depp's accent isn't that great and Christina Ricci's is terrible, especially next to, like, actual English people. Now, when I saw their accents were bad, I'm not talkin Keanu and Winona in Dracula bad, just... not good. And annoying, in Ricci's case. I'm not than keen on Christina Ricci anyway, her lack of facial features freaks me out, and all of her dialogue sounded clunky and awkward.

But enough of that. The other big problem is the ending which takes too long and is sort of extraneous. I mean, having a really complicated plot is fine but if you need to have a scene where the villain explains how they set everything up at great length, then the plot is too complicated. I hate too much explanation. It irks me. And it seems kinda sloppy in this movie.

After the cunning plot is finally explained, there's a big long chase scene which is just really silly. So Johnny Depp and the Horseman are fighting on top of the carriage while it races through the woods - why not stop the carriage? Would that not be easier? There's no point in running away from a guy who's attached to your vehicle and he's obviously not going to fall off.

Anyway, that aside the movie is still a pretty good watch and probably one of the least Tim Burton-y Tim Burton movies, so if you're not into Tim Burton this is the Tim Burton film for you. Tim Burton.

Directed by: Tim Burton.  Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker, based on the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.  Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Richard Griffiths, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Christopher Walken

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