Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Sweeney Todd" Wins Two Saturn Awards

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street took home two Saturn awards on Tuesday, June 24th.  The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films honored Tim Burton's musical thriller with the awards for Best Horror Film and Best Costumes, recognizing Colleen Atwood's work on the film.

The film was also nominated for Best Direction (Tim Burton), Best Actor (Johnny Depp), Best Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Supporting Actor (Alan Rickman), Best Writing (John Logan), and Best Make-Up (Peter Owen and Ivana Primorac).  

Frequent Burton collaborator Ve Neill (BeetlejuiceEdward Scissorhands, and make-up and hair stylist for Johnny Depp on Sweeney Todd, among other Burton films) was awarded with a Saturn award for her work on Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.  She shared the prize with Martin Samuel.

For a full list of the winners, click here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Sweeney Todd" Blu-Ray in October

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be available on high-definition Blu-ray Disc on October 21st, 2008. The bonus materials will be identical that were scheduled to be on the now-cancelled HD DVD, and the currently available Region 1 two-disc DVD. No cover art is available yet, but we don't suspect it'll be too radical from the variants of posters for the film.

The Blu-ray version of the musical thriller will be available for $39.99. The movie will be presented in widescreen 1.85:1 1080p and the audio will be in 5.1 DolbyTrueHD.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stan Winston, 1946-2008

Special visual effects and make-up visionary Stan Winston died on Sunday in his home in Malibu, California, surrounded by his family.

Winston had been suffering a seven-year-long struggle with multiple myeloma. He was 62.

Winston had a tremendously successful life and influential impact on the film industry, in a career that spanned roughly four decades. He brought to life some of the most iconic movie monsters and creatures, most notably for those featured in Jurassic Park, Aliens, and Terminator 2. He also collaborated with Tim Burton, on Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Big Fish. Burton spoke very highly of Winston.

Richard Corliss of Time Magazine wrote about Winston. In the recent article, he included some comments on his collaborations with Mr. Burton, and thus offering a sense of Stan Winston's work as a whole:

"Yet he wasn't out simply to scare the audience; he wanted to create complex, often sympathetic figures— to enlighten us about the dark side. "I don't do special effects," he once said. "I do characters." His Edward Scissorhands character, elaborated on from director Tim Burton's sketches, puts the poignancy right in that white, sweet, baleful, soulful face. The Penguin, played by Danny DeVito in Burton's Batman Returns, is an ugly, beaky thing that no kid could mistake for having happy feet; yet beneath his comic rage there's an abandoned child's ache, palpable and, thanks to Winston, visible."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Stan Winston may have passed on too soon, but his impact on the film industry will certainly not fade away any time in the near future. Winston reportedly always had a vibrant enthusiasm for his work. That artistic passion certainly shows in his iconic, unforgettable creations.

Rest in peace, Stan.

A couple of Mr. Winston's familiar creations:

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Danny DeVito as The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New "Nightmare" DVD Box Art has an image of the box art for the upcoming two-disc DVD and Blu-ray release of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Artwork is subject to change before the title is available this August 26th:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Update on New "Nightmare" DVDs

What's this? It's something new!...

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has released information regarding the upcoming DVD release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film will be available as a two-disc standard DVD and a single-disc Blu-ray version.

The extras include:

  • A Special Introduction by Tim Burton
  • What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour: Viewers choose the way they want to tour Disneyland's Holiday Haunted Mansion. "On Track" explores a tricked-out version of the Haunted Mansion, while "Off Track" reveals what went into creating all the creepy fun.
  • Tim Burton's Original poem narrated by Christopher Lee: Tim Burton's poem that inspired the creation of the movie comes to creepy life as performed by legendary actor Christopher Lee.
  • Film Commentary: Commentary by producer and writer Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman.
  • Introduction To Frankenweenie!: A new un-cut version introduction by Tim Burton.
  • The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Go behind the scenes of the very first full-length stop motion animated movie with the filmmakers.
  • The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Witness the creation of the film's richly imagined dreamscapes, including Halloween Town, Christmas Town and the Real World.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Storyboard to Film Comparison
  • Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters
  • Tim Burton's Complete Short Film Vincent.

No significant featurettes seem to be missing from this release, set for August 26th, 2008, with the exception of the audio commentary track which featured Henry Selick and director of photography Pete Kozachik. That extra was on the earlier DVD release.

All of these features will be available on both the two-disc standard DVD and the Blu-ray version, with the exception of the special introduction by Tim Burton to the film, which is Blu-ray exclusive.

For tech buffs, the specs include 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 video (1.66:1), English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio (both 48kHz/24-bit), and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

That immensely expensive DVD collector's pack that was mentioned in the original TBC News article will be comprised of the two-disc standard DVD version and an individually numbered and hand-painted bust of Jack Skellington. Equipped with his Sandy Claws hat and beard, the collectible Jack figurine will have a sound chip built into it, which plays quotes from the movie.

Also, in a first for Disney, both the normal DVD and Blu-ray versions will come with a digital copy of the movie -- called a "Disneyfile" -- which will be compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media Player.

Interesting that the DVD will include an introduction to Frankenweenie. This is probably just a video introduction to the original live-action short film by Burton from 1984. But might it also hint at a preview of Burton's upcoming stop-motion, feature-length version of the movie?... Well, I guess we shouldn't get too greedy...

No cover art yet, but we'll keep you posted!

Burton + Depp + August = "Dark Shadows"? has stated that director Peter Segal recently said that John August has written a screenplay adaptation for the TV series Dark Shadows -- and that Tim Burton is attached to direct it and Johnny Depp is (supposedly) to star in it.

Dark Shadows was a television series which ran from 1966 to 1971. It was a popular gothic soap opera, featuring vampires, werewolves, and other ghoulish creatures.

An image from the original series Dark Shadows.

This could be the secret project that John August wrote on his website late last year.

John August wrote the screenplays of Tim Burton's Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride.

Rumors of Burton and Depp teaming up for a big-screen version of Shadows came up on the Internet months ago. And this more official claim seems to encourage those beliefs. But just because Burton is attached to direct the film, it doesn't mean that he necessarily will. Months ago, Warner Bros. had Burton attached to helm an adaptation of the fantasy novel The Spook's Apprentice. But eventually, Burton moved to other projects (his upcoming Frankenweenie and Alice and Wonderland at Disney), and Kevin Lima is now currently signed on to direct Apprentice.

We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Burton, Depp, and this planned Dark Shadows movie.