Warner Bros has announced the release of the Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box, a limited edition set which celebrates 25 years of creative collaboration between the duo. The box set features more than 19 hours of music, including fan-requested expansions of 13 film scores (in CD cases featuring artwork created by Burton), plus seven hours of previously unreleased music, a Tim Burton-designed USB skeleton Flash Drive containing MP3s of the whole collection, and a bonus DVD featuring an exclusive conversation between Elfman and Burton.

Not only that, but the set which is limited to only 1000 copies, includes Danse Macabre: 25 Years of Danny Elfman and Tim Burton, a “meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated 250+ page fine linen-wrapped hardbound book, entitled with gold foil stamping, and featuring a foreword by Johnny Depp. The book also includes rare photos, stories, and interviews from the cast and crew behind the scenes of this classic music”. The set is boxed in something that is “designed to evoke a treasure chest found in a mysterious attic” — a large scale, tin-covered music box complete with an embedded music chip playing “The Music Box Suite” arranged and performed by Elfman specifically for this historic collection. And to literally top it all off, with a flip of the lid, a delightful working zoetrope is revealed featuring strips of art and photos by Burton and Elfman that come to animated life with a spin.

The set will be released in December 2010 and is available for preorder on www.elfmanburton.com for $499.99 (plus shipping). Looks amazing, but I can’t justify that high of a price. And at that price it should come signed by both Elfman and Burton (the set is hand numbered but not signed). Check out photos and more information after the jump.

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Sometime today, Toy Story 3 crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. The latest Pixar sequel becomes the only animated film to reach this milestone and the seventh title in industry history. Disney becomes the first studio to ever have two $1 billion film in one year — the other being Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Press release after the jump.

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Vampires Suck

In February, I reported that Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the screenwriting/directing team credited with ruining the spoof movie genre (Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, Scary Movie series, Date Movie) were filming a new movie in Shreveport, LA under the working title “LA Art Movie”. We were the first to reveal at the time that the movie was not a spoof on the indie film genre (a la Chris Gore’s 2005 movie My Big Fat Independent Movie) but actually something spoofing Twilight and the recent Vampire trend. 20th Century Fox has finally released a trailer for Vampires Suck, which is set to hit theaters on August 18th 2010.

Also, /Film reader Garn B informs me that the entire movie has already leaked onto the bit torrent websites. While I can’t verify this claim (I’m not going to illegally download a movie to find out), I have seen references to the film on multiple Torrent sites along with screencaptures which seem to prove its existence. You would think 20th Century Fox would have learned with X-Men Origins: Wolverine to take the extra security precautions to prevent a workprint leak online, but guess not. As always, we advise anyone reading this not to illegally download the movie (and not just because it looks horrible, and it isn’t likely worth watching — even for free).

You can watch the trailer legally, and for free, embedded after the jump.  I’m still not quite sure why a vampire spoof is filled with jokes about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the television show the Jersey Shore, and Lady Gaga. But why question the motives or logic behind Seltzer and Friedberg now?
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Rent It

(Blu-ray available as single-disc and 3-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
I’d call Alice in Wonderland a misguided effort, but I’m not so sure director Tim Burton put forth much of an effort. At this point he’s in sleepwalk mode, content to wear out the Burton brand until Hot Topic goes out of business or is burned to the ground. I imagine a lot of time was saved during the film’s production by simply asking for everything to be made “more Burton”. For a filmmaker who prides himself on weirdness, it’s curious that he’s managed to take this supposedly original rendition of these classic, outlandish tales and grind out such an inert, formulaic bore. The movie isn’t exactly unwatchable; it’s just sort of there. Too much of an attempt has been made to fashion a straightforward narrative of the proceedings, with little attention paid to bringing a sense of vitality or genuine personality to the world or the characters that inhabit it. The CGI looks nice and expensive, but the design is so deliberately ostentatious that it ends up distracting more than immersing. There’s nothing to latch on to here—nothing to care about. Mostly it’s just a movie about a girl who shuffles lifelessly between different characters while being warned about “the Jabberwocky”. By the time the film reaches its climactic battle sequence, with a sword-wielding, armor-clad Alice, the moment doesn’t feel earned; it feels like it belongs in an entirely different movie. Even the film’s smaller moments, like the obligatory payoff to a previously set-up gag about the Fudderwacken dance, come across as empty attempts to elicit any sort of an emotional response. I’m not trying to paint the movie as some grand, spectacular failure, because it isn’t, but after seeing Johnny Depp’s lispy, accent-changing portrayal of the Mad Hatter, I can’t help but imagine how much better it could’ve been if there was a little more restraint and a whole lot less Fudderwacken.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – 3 featurettes (“Finding Alice”, “The Mad Hatter”, “Effecting Wonderland”). Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as additional featurettes (“The Futterwacken Dance”, “The Red Queen”, “The White Queen”, “Scoring Wonderland”, “Stunts of Wonderland”, “Making the Proper Size”, “Cakes of Wonderland”, “Tea Party Props”, “Time-Lapse: Sculpting the Red Queen”).

TargetBest BuyFry’s
Amazon – $15.99

TargetBest BuyFry’s
Amazon – $19.99

*Does not include 3-Disc Edition, which costs $24.99 at Amazon and Fry’s, and $26.99 at Target and Best Buy.

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Alice in Wonderland

On Thursday, Disney’s Tim Burton-directed 3D adaptation of Alice in Wonderland will become the sixth movie to cross the $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and the first Spring release to ever accomplish the milestone.

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VOTD: Gaga in Wonderland

When Wonderland is threatened by a pop-music hating Queen Of Hearts, pop music sensation Lady Gaga returns to her homeland to kick some evil ass… but mainly dance, sing, and weird it up. Watch Black20’s epic mashup of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the music videos of Lady Gaga, embedded after the jump.

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Alice in Wonderland

With the recent release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, I thought we’d take a look at the first film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s tale, which was created 107 years ago.

Recently been restored by the BFI National Archive from severely damaged materials. Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, the adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet. With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film’s original colours for the first time in over 100 years. Music: ‘Jill in the Box’, composed and performed by Wendy Hiscocks.

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John August Alice in Wonderland

John August is a screenwriter I’ve been following for over a decade. He broke onto the scene with a spec script titled Go, which was directed for the screen by Doug Liman (a film I highly recommend). Since then August has written a bunch of adaptations and remakes, mostly in association with director Tim Burton (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride). He made a fantastic directorial debut with an original independent sci-fi mystery drama The Nines, and he’s producing Prince of Persia, wrote Preacher, and is also attached to Burton’s Frankenweenie and Dark Shadows.

Aside from being a screenwriter and filmmaker, August regularly blogs about his craft and the film business on his blog JohnAugust.com. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter, August’s blog is a must read. His latest post is on his history with Alice in Wonderland, a film he’s “not written” three times (and no, that wasn’t a typo…). He explains how Go was originally envisioned as a retelling of Alice (a revealation that completely blew my mind), and talks about his time trying to adapt American McGee’s twisted video game version of Alice for Wes Craven and a Finding Neverland-esque take on the project that was set-up with director Sam Mendes at Dreamworks, and was killed when Burton’s adaptation was announced. Read the blog now on JohnAugust.com.

DutchPuh's Pandora Twilight

Worth 1000 is famous for their photoshop contests. Their latest, Mate a Movie 15, asks graphic artists to take two or more movies, and combine them to make one much funnier movie. I’ve included some of my favorites after the jump, most of which have some play on Avatar.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

A few weeks ago we premiered an exclusive four-phase progression of the computer rendering of the Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland. Walt Disney Pictures has released a few more sets as part of their Wonderland Wednesdays promotion, including Matt Lucas‘ transformation into Twdledee and Tweedledum, The White Rabbit from sketch to CGI, Transporting Alice from green screens to the Forest, and a couple looks at how Helena Bonham Carter is transformed into The Red Queen, and transporting Chrispin Glover as The Knave of Hearts, into a computer generated throne room.

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