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October 13, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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" Burton dreams a toony 'Nightmare'

Director Tim Burton's back with
the stylishly rendered biography of
cult movie director Ed Wood. And in
keeping with the Murphy's Law type
axiom "everything always happens at

once," he's also back on video with
*1993's "The Nightmare Before Christ-
If you have an unconscionably
short memory, you may have forgot-
ten some of the specifics of the film.
First and most importantly, it is ani-

mated in a beautiful model manner.
Using stop action photography and
careful movement of thousands of
intricately crafted creatures, the film
has a wonderfully realistic sense of
movement for some twistedly beauti-
ful models. The whole production is
millenia ahead in realismof such clas-
sics as "Rudolph the Red Nosed Re-
indeer" or that Easter special with
Bing Crosby. The mouths of the ma-
jor characters move in a (relatively)
realistic manner because of the care
put into the models. The movie is
technically lush and thus cool.
The other major thing you may
have forgotten is that "Nightmare" is
a musical. Danny Elfman, leader of
Oingo Boingo (now just Boingo) and
composer of dozens of soundtracks,
scored this puppy as well as provid-
ing the singing voice of skull-headed
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King

and hero of the movie. Elfman also
provided the voice of Barrel, one of
the top trick-or-treaters in the town
and hentchman of the evil Mr. Oogie
Boogie. Under Elfman's skilled claws
"Nightmare" has more musical num-
bers than a Disney flick destined to be
an expensive Broadway production.
And those numbers aren't of the ishy-
squishy kind, they're more of the
reamy-screamy variety. That as much
as anything else places this film skull
and shoulders above the rest.
The movie begins with the deni-
zens of the dark and dry yet slimy
Halloween Town spending some
down time after finishing up the pro-
duction of yet another year's Hallow-
een. And down time it is. Jack is all
melancholy about having lost his spark
for Halloween. He wanders off into
the eternal night of his realm, only to
find an interzone, a nexus that has


access to all of the holiday towns.
Jack stumbles into Christmas
Town and discovers his passion again.
He decides that he will make Christ-
mas this year, and returns to Hallow-
een Town to marshal his people for
the event.
Of course, Jack has some different
ideas about Christmas than the aver-
age person. Of course, he is dead.
Still, his preparations are quite lively.
His research, involving such things as
performing autopsies on teddy bears
and disintegrating candy canes, bears
interesting fruits. Jack gets a sense of
the elements of Christmas, but ulti-
mately decides he can make some
improvements. So the vampires and
werewolves get to work on making
the improvements and everyone is
Well, almost. The rag doll heroine
Sally has a vision that the special
Christmas will be a flaming disaster.
Both her warnings to and affections
for Jack go unnoticed by our Christ-
mas-absorbed Pumpkin King. Santa
Claus eventually says that she is the
only person who makes any sense in
Halloween Town, something that is
obvious to the audience early on.
Sally's fears are well founded, for
both the bug ridden Oogie Boogie
and the close-minded world populace
work to destroy Jack's good inten-
tions. But hey, Sally's on the ball and
it wouldn't be too unlikely to guess
from Burton's track record that the
movie ends happily.
Actually, some of the best parts of
Burton's films work their way into
"Nightmare". Paul Ruebens, having
starred in Burton's "Pee Wee's Big
Adventure" and playing the Penguin's
father in "Batman Returns", is the
voice of trick-or-treater leader Lock.
Elfman is back, having scored every-
thing Burton has done. And the dark
viciial elements of the Batman films,

"Edward Scissorhands" and
"Beetlejuice" crop up rather
expectedly. Specifically, the black and
white snake motif found in
"Beetlejuice" makes several appear-
ances in "Nightmare", much to the

pleasure of all.
Of course, part of Burton's charm
is his ability to tell a believable fairy
tale about a passionate individual

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Shock, Barrel and Lock on their Christmas revamping terror-rampage.

Despite the odds against it, there are still those who do their best to keep
the home fires a-burning and keep the local music a-happening. Local band
and Diag favorites The Chameleon's Dish have just released their debut
album, "Wishbone." The record is packed with nine distinctive songs
showcasing the band's ability not only to craft decent hooks but play off of
one another well as the twin guitars courtesy of Charlie Johnson and
Michael Tomlinson bounce and grind over the loping rhythm section of John
Barber and Nathan Adams while Jesse Schiffrin's violin rides the waves and
lends its own sweet and distinctive voice to the mix. Johnson's voice is
powerful enough to carry the band through its transitions from loud to quiet
passages, giving the songs an added punch. The Chameleon's Dish
celebrates the release of "Wishbone" tonight at the Blind Pig along with
opening act the Bucket. Doors open at 9:30 and admission is a paltry $3.

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The University of Michigan Cycling Tean
would like to thank the following sponsors for their
support and generosity:

The Dean of Students Office
is hosting a
Public Comments Session
Interim Dance/Party Policy
in the Koessler Room
of the Michigan League
Anyone wanting to make a public comment
pertaining to this policy is invited to attend.
The Interim Dance/Party Policy is available at:
Michigan Union Scheduling Office, Room 1310
Michigan League Manager's Office
North Campus Commons Administrative Offices
Dean of Students Office, 3000 Michigan Union




Ulrich's Bookstore
Great Lakes Cycling & Fitness Adventure
Profile for Speed *

."'''" (j


) .

...and yes,
we do have ib pound balls.
Every Thursday Night Iop.m.-wa.m.
Guest J "the Buckster!"
1950 South Industrial
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

U of M Cycling Team: 1994 Results
7th Place Midwest Cycling Conference (Road)
Midwest Cycling Conference Mountain Bike Champions
If your business would like to sponsor
the U of M Cycling Team,
please call Matt Curin at 764-7814.



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