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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sleepy Hollow


****

Investigating a series of murders, New York Detective Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) goes to the town of Sleepy Hollow where the murders (all of which are decapitations) are taking place. It is fairly quickly confirmed that it is a Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken) commiting the murders, but could there be more to this killer than meets the eye?

Like many Tim Burton films this is a very graphic and very dark film in all aspects, which stem from the art direction. The village of Sleepy Hollow is very dimly lit and very dark colours are used in its design, causing shivers to be sent down the spine as crows caw and wood creaks, making it a typical horror film village of dark and creepy feel. The murder scenes, however, are the most memorable. Taking place during the night, the editing is quick and snappy to show the chases and murders from the views of both the Headless Horseman and his victims, causing an exhilarating feel of adrenaline to pump through the viewer as these scenes unfold, yet they are as most memorable as they are due to the vivid imagery, with the moments of the killings (decapitations) themselves made very graphic due to the very vivid colours of red, which are a major contrast to the almost black and white scene that they are set upon.

Just as memorable are the performances, without which the film would not work so well. Depp gives a very powerful, moving performance as Crane, and the bond he shares with Christina Ricci's Katrina Van Tassel, and Mark Pickering's Young Masbath, with whom he conducts his investigation is very strong and very deep. Miranda Richardson, who plays Lady Van Tassel, the main antagonist who resurrects the Headless Horseman is very cunning and cold, while, the rest of the cast - including Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough and Richard Griffiths as the elders, as such, of Sleepy Hollow - all work together very well to create a very powerful cast who truly help to make the film as deep and powerful as it is.

In short, this is an excellent piece of cinema by Tim Burton, that is gripping, powerful, dark and boasts a superb cast.


1999.
15.
Stars:
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Marc Pickering, Christopher Walken, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Richard Griffiths, Steven Waddington, Claire Skinner, Mark Spalding, Christopher Lee, Jessica Oyelowo, Tony Maudsley, Alun Armstrong, Sean Stephens, Lisa Marie, Peter Guinness, Sam Fior, Tessa Allen-Ridge, Martin Landau.

Oscar: Best Art Direction (Rick Heinrichs, Peter Young).
Oscar nominations: Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood).

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