Jade / Batman Returns

Dan Audio Projects

Today is Black Friday, and La-La Land Records has announced their “final four” releases of the year. It’s quite a grand-slam: Jade (James Horner), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Jerry Goldsmith), Batman Returns (Danny Elfman) and Home Alone (John Williams).  I produced Jade and co-produced Batman Returns, and both were fun projects to work on. The tricky thing with Jade was that at any time, supposedly Horner could have pulled the plug or taken over the project – thankfully, …

Alice in Wonderland

Dan Movie Reviews

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has had numerous film and television adaptations, but one of the most famous ones is the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature from 1951.  Tim Burton – who had recently given us his unique spin on such properties as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tackled Alice in Wonderland not as a retelling or remake of novel (and the sequel Through the Looking Glass), but rather as a …

Mars Attacks!

Dan Audio Projects

Wow, I can’t believe I totally dropped the ball on this and never bothered to blog about my most recent released project!  I wrote the detailed liner notes for the new expanded release of Danny Elfman’s score to Mars Attacks!.  A lot of research at the Academy library, plus new comments from Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek and Bobbi Page all came together to create what I feel is a pretty well rounded essay on the film and the music. It’s …

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Dan Movie Reviews

One of the worst situations one can encounter when going to a film is having all of your worst fears realized. Sadly, such was the case with Tim Burton’s latest film, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The story of Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), who returns to London after an unjustified prison sentence to discover his wife dead and his daughter Johanna under the care of the very Judge Turpin (Alan …

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit

Dan Movie Reviews

Went with Adam to see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit at an Award Screening today. I missed this one back in October, so I was excited to finally see it. And boy, am I glad I did! It was preceded by a new animated short film, The Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper – a very fast-paced funny CGI film which happened to be scored by my buddy Jim Dooley. Then came the feature. It’s classic Wallace …

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Dan Movie Reviews

Tim Burton’s background is in animation, and his A Nightmare Before Christmas is arguably one of the best things he’s done. (He didn’t direct it, but wrote and created it.) Now he returns to the genre with Corpse Bride, a macabre tale of a Victorian-era groom-to-be, appropriately named Vincent (voiced by Johnny Depp), and his accidental marriage to Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), a corpse. It’s a dark and twisted story, but in the end, it works well because of the …

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Dan Movie Reviews

When one hears of “Willy Wonka”, undoubtedly the first image to pop into their head is that of Gene Wilder, and not Johnny Depp. Still, this new film version (based on the book – not the movie) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might change your opinion of that – but only because Depp is so utterly bizarre in the role as the ultimate candymaker. This is a Tim Burton movie, through and through. What that ultimately means, of course, …

Big Fish

Dan Movie Reviews

Any time Tim Burton has a new film, I look forward to it. I’m a big fan of his visual style, storytelling ability, and overall presentation. So, when I heard he was doing Big Fish, which had been attached at various points in time to Spielberg and Zemeckis, I thought “hmm, that’s interesting!”. It kinda looked like Forrest Gump meets “Tall Tales”. While I liked the film overall, it didn’t feel like a film that Tim Burton directed. I attribute …