Daily Archives: April 2, 2003

Edward Scissorhands

An original movie (1990), though not Tim Burton’s best; Johnny Depp’s inert performance in the title role can’t compare with the over-the-top eruptions of Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice and Jack Nicholson in Batman. The imaginative if arch plot by Burton and Caroline Thompson is couched in the form of a Disneyish fairy tale, though it’s also part allegory, part parable, part punk tearjerker, and part suburban sex comedy. Both Bo Welch’s arresting production design and the cast (which includes Vincent Price, Dianne Wiest, Winona Ryder, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin, Robert Oliveri, and Anthony Michael Hall) help it along. But the Spielbergian attempt at sweetnessheralded by references in Danny Elfman’s score to the Nutcracker Suitenever fully convinces. PG-13, 100 min. (JR) Read more

High Crimes

Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman star as ace lawyers in a stylish and effective, if slightly overlong, thriller about a military trial. She’s the wife of a former marine (Jim Caviezel) who’s accused of having massacred civilians in El Salvador during a clandestine operation years earlier; Freeman is a former military attorney and a reformed alcoholic (in the terms of Anatomy of a Murder, the definitive trial movie, he plays Arthur O’Connell to Judd’s James Stewart). Carl Franklin directs Yuri Zeltser and Cary Bickley’s adaptation of Joseph Finder’s novel with flair, and Amanda Peet and Adam Scott do good jobs as emotional and professional backup for Judd. With Bruce Davison and Tom Bower. 100 min. (JR) Read more