***/**** DVD - Image A Sound A BD - Image A- Sound A+ Extras A- screenplay by Caroline Thompson, based on a poem by Tim Burton (adaptation by Michael McDowell) directed by Henry Selick
by Vincent Suarez You know the feeling: too many movies, too little time. You walk down the corridor of your local multiplex, relishing the titles on the marquees and posters, and you know that many will unfortunately have to be seen on home video. If you're lucky, you'll make wise choices, but, occasionally, your home viewing includes that film you regret not seeing theatrically. For me, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (hereafter Nightmare) is one of those films. Having grown weary of Burton's quirkiness after the disappointing Batman Returns, I passed up Nightmare in favour of movies I now cannot recall; what a shame. Fortunately, Touchstone's optical disc presentations of this magnificent film (the previous LaserDiscs and last year's DVD release) provide more than a glimpse of what was surely a wonderful theatrical experience.
John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness *½/**** Image B+ Sound A- Extras C
starring Sam Neill, Jurgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, Charlton Heston
screenplay by Michael DeLuca, from stories by H. P. Lovecraft
directed by John Carpenter
by Vincent SuarezJohn Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness opens as John Trent (Sam Neill) is being dragged into an insane asylum, with characters making vague references to a seemingly-widespread epidemic of madness. After Trent covers his padded cell, face, and clothing with black crosses (an image featured in the trailer and which hooked me, proving that while a picture may be worth a thousand words, it may not be worth 95 minutes of one's time), he recounts the events leading to his current state, and the film proceeds in flashback.