Once upon a time, we were excited about every Tim Burton picture that came along, but that’s been steadily chipped away over the last decade or so. “Big Fish” and “Sweeney Todd” have their moments, but from “Planet of the Apes” to this year’s “Dark Shadows,” we feel more and more dread about each coming Burton production, dread that’s normally justified when we see the finished product.
Which is why we’re so happy to have such warm feelings at this point towards “Frankenweenie,” the filmmaker’s second picture of the year. A remake of the short film that made his name, now transplanted to 3D black-and-white stop-motion animation, the footage so far has suggested a return to the classic Burton meld of comedy and mild horror, feeling like the purest and most inspired out of his output yet.
We’ll be finding out soon if our hopes are justified — the film will open both Fantastic Fest and the BFI London Film Festival in the next month — but for now, another clip has landed from the film, focusing on science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau, channeling his Oscar-winning turn as Bela Lugosi in Burton’s masterpiece “Ed Wood” — “Pull the strings! Pull the strings!). It’s brief, but as promising as everything else we’ve seen from the film. The film hits theaters on October 5th.
It’s far from the only clip that’s landed in the last few days. “Hyde Park on Hudson” doesn’t look like it’ll be the Oscar contender that Focus Features were clearly hoping for, but Bill Murray‘s turn as President Franklin D. Roosevelt still looks a potential awards threat, and it’s the actor who takes center stage in two of the three new clips that recently arrived, one of which features Laura Linney as the president’s cousin and lover, while the third features stalwart British character actresses Olivia Williams and Olivia Colman as Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth, respectively. It goes into release on December 7th. [Flicks And Bits]
Finally, two festival pictures from earlier in the year also got clips. First up is a decidedly NSFW music video from SXSW picture “3 2 1… Frankie Go Boom,” starring Chris O’Dowd, Charlie Hunnam, Lizzie Caplan and Chris Noth, followed by a rather more sedate clip from Nicholas Jarecki‘s “Arbitrage,” featuring Richard Gere and Brit Marling. Now, if that wasn’t variety, we don’t know what is. ‘Frankie’ hits theaters on October 12th but is available in on demand and iTunes now, while “Arbitrage” hits theaters and VOD platforms this Friday, September 14th. [Vulture]