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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:30 pm 
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I was a little disappointed by the 1999 version of Sleepy Hollow... more or less from a literary standpoint-- because it didn't follow Washington Irving's short story hardly at all. I felt they took a little too much "Hollywood liberty" with it. What made the old story creepy was explained away in what I deemed "non-scary" terms. I think it's the unexplained things that make horror scarier, so when they come out and tell the Hessian's story and explaining exactly WHY he's looking for his head and how to stop him... it gets... ugh... predictable. The whole thrill was that he was looking for his head and if you were out, he'd try yours on for size!

I do admit that Christopher Walken did a great job as the Hessian. Those were by far my favourite parts of the 1999 Sleepy Hollow movie. Johnny Depp I think did well, but the Ichabod's character as defined by the script was a little dry... and the story lacked the charm of the short story. I'd have liked to see more of a conflict between Ichabod and Brom too... that was rather short lived.

I guess I'm the odd man out here... being a little too critical OR I just have a different pallet for horror... but that more or less stems from the fact I've yet to see Hollywood come out with a horror film I didn't laugh the whole way through or want to kill off some of the hero(ine) character(s) m'self-- Hollywood actually finally made a werewolf movie I felt was decent (Blood & Chocolate). I'm horrible, I know.

... it's an alright movie. I'm not dogging it... I just didn't enjoy watching it as well as I'd hoped. Ah, well.


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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:41 pm 
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jadewik wrote:
What made the old story creepy was explained away in what I deemed "non-scary" terms. I think it's the unexplained things that make horror scarier
But the Washington Irving story does the same thing, all but letting you know, with a wink, that the "head" thrown at Ichabod was really a pumpkin, and that Brom Bones was the "Headless Horseman" who threw it:
Quote:
Brom Bones, too, who, shortly after his rival’s disappearance conducted the blooming Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of the pumpkin; which led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he chose to tell.


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:07 am 
 
I'd have to agree with jadewik, I've posted elsewhere some of my problems with the movie as well. I used to have a great illustrated version of the original story, and as memory serves it is open ended in that it could either have been Brom or the hessian; but there was still that mystery. The fact that it wasn't so completely defined is what made it creepy and a classic. When you nail down all the specifics a lot of the charm and magic of a story are lost. There was no reason they couldn't have left the details murky in Sleepy Hollow.
Hitchcock never explained why the birds attacked, they just did. He understood that if you gave an explanation as to "why" something happened then it is easier to deduce "how" to stop it. A better story teller might have realized this.


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:57 pm 
 
You know, I've said this before, too, and AGREE with said members, that making ichabod into a teacher was a stupid idea.
And Jadewick's point about [essentially] NOT 'knowing' is what made the original so perfect.

I look at it in the same light as I do 'JAWS' (for those of you who don't know, that's my favorite movie). It was what you DIDN'T see in the movie that was so terrifying!

And anyway....... I'm just getting SOOOOOOOOOOO sick of Johnny Depp. He SOOOOOOO ruined 'Pirates' for me, with his Keith Richards caricature.
PUUUUUUUUUUUUKE!


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:08 am 
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One Eye'd Jack wrote:
You know, I've said this before, too, and AGREE with said members, that making ichabod into a teacher was a stupid idea.

The movie made Ichabod into a constable from New York City. In Irving's original short story, he was a schoolteacher from Connecticut.


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:11 am 
 
One Eye'd Jack wrote:
You know, I've said this before, too, and AGREE with said members, that making ichabod into a teacher was a stupid idea.
And Jadewick's point about [essentially] NOT 'knowing' is what made the original so perfect.

I look at it in the same light as I do 'JAWS' (for those of you who don't know, that's my favorite movie). It was what you DIDN'T see in the movie that was so terrifying!

And anyway....... I'm just getting SOOOOOOOOOOO sick of Johnny Depp. He SOOOOOOO ruined 'Pirates' for me, with his Keith Richards caricature.
PUUUUUUUUUUUUKE!


Wow, that's like the main thing people liked about those movies, his Richards imitation. I only saw the first one on DVD, for somereason I was never on board. Which is wierd cause I love spooky movies and pirate movies.


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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:24 pm 
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it was SUCH a good movie! I love Tim Burton...he knows how to bring out the scary in every holiday! so i knew he wouldn't disappoint for the actual event!


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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:00 pm 
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Burton is brilliant, but he's poisonous. If he gets too much control he murders his subject matter. I agree with Jadewick about "Sleepy Hollow". (Plus he's a precious little snob on the set. I know firsthand.)

With all the financial and production resources available, Burton could've made a magnicificent, lyrical, poetic, scary, and above all -- darkly humorous -- production out of the story of the rapacious vagabond schoolteacher who bullies his students and has his eye on liquidating the finest estate in Tarrytown. The story was a masterpiece, still is, but once Burton lets a vein, he bleeds his own "hip" venom to excess. Put a leash on him and he's capable. Or, let him do his own original stuff and he's cutting edge. But trust him to blend his talent with someone else's noble work, and you can almost always count on him to spoil it.

We'll see about "Sweeny Todd"... Nothing would make me happier than to eat my words, as I'm a fan of the musical, and the exquisite Showtime / Ben Kingsley adaptation ('99?). Believe me, I want to see Burton do a great job...

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:18 pm 
 
Mr. Thing-sun - I think your analysis is pretty accurate on Tim Burton.
I'll be waiting with baited breath for this Sweeny Todd....... Like you said, we'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best!


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:06 pm 
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'Preciate that, OEJ.

One thing's for sure, we'll see some amazing (and probably disturbing) visual craftsmanship. Also, I heard a brief bit of Johnny Depp singing one of Sweeny's numbers on the radio over the Thanksgiving weekend. He sounded a bit "Jack Sparrow-ish" -- not too surprising I suppose, but I'll hope he modifies his English accent with a somewhat different dialect for this different role. While we're waiting, I most enthusiastically recommend the Ben Kingsley/JoAnna Lumly Showtime production from the late '90's. Deliciously excellent, and a standard-setter (though not a musical version).

Meanwhile, here's a reference to Mr. Irving's original tome in literary form, with a fairly rarely included post-script, if you make it all the way through:

http://www.cosmicassociates.com/cp_co_s ... owtext.htm

(I know I also posted this link elsewhere, but thought it might be appropriate here, in light of Jadewick's topic)

PS edit -- All things Sweeny aside, and I realize, more pertinant to Jadewick's issue, I would add that, while the Burton "Sleepy Hollow" misses on certain key points, Danny Elfman's soundtrack score is another outstanding notch among his accomplishments, and is, for me, by far the best and most enjoyable aspect of the film. Best of all, you can listen to it as a stand-alone "tone poem". Beautiful, lyrical, and scary-as-hell in spots. heh-heh...

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 Post subject: Re: Sleepy Hallow
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:06 am 
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I've only seen it once . . . I think I prefer the Disney version myself. I'm actually in a musical live radio show telling of the tale this October by Steve Smith. It's a good version as well, though its only known locally.

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