Ain't It Cool News (


Sometimes there are steps I take.... places I plant my ass... airspace I fill that just seems to border on the unbelievable.

Last Monday, I was sitting on a bench outside my hotel awaiting Moriarty, Segue Zagnut and John Robie to pick me up and fly to a FATBURGER to pick up the gorgeous Lynn Bracken to then charge our way to the Paramount Lot to take in Tim Burton’s latest film.... SLEEPY HOLLOW.

Now to set the atmosphere just so... I was sitting on this bench mostly in darkness... The lights from the front of the hotel barely reached me, illuminating only half of one leg. The rest of me was shrouded in darkness.

As I sat there, I began to see this shape come from the parking area. As I usually do, I followed it’s movements... it was headed my way. I’m bored. Moriarty is of course... LATE as usual. Suddenly this unidentified walking shape (or UWS for short) is right upon me. He’s a well built man, and as his face reaches the light, I see O.J. Simpson staring back into my eyes.

There was a brief exchange... even now I’m unsure of what was said... but all the same it happened. He continued on into the lobby of the hotel, walked around a bit, then went on up to his room.... same floor as me (he took the stairs which led only to my floor).

I didn’t know how to feel about this, it’s so strange. I mean hell... As a boy I had the OJ electronic FOOTBALL Game and drank OJ every morning. I’ve seen him in movies my entire life... and then of course there was that trial thing. Strange....

Right around that time, Moriarty and crew arrive in a Bronco-style vehicle, albeit... not white. I hop in and we begin our trek...

Upon arriving at the Paramount lot we noticed that there were almost ZERO cars there. I mean... seriously... this place was a ghost studio. At this time I was riding with Lynn, and we get out to head towards the theater.

Everyone in the group is charged. We are... by nature... Tim Burton fans. We love his work. My feelings about Tim’s work border on a near zealot level.

Here in my bedroom, directly in front of me I can see Jack and Sally from NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a MARS ATTACKS alien, a big ol BEETLEJUICE doll, an ED WOOD postcard and the script for BATMAN amongst all the other items... And for right now, save for the entire run of YELLOW SUBMARINE toys that litter that selection... Tim dominates.

Behind all of that though lies my poster for Mario Bava’s BLACK SABBATH... a three sheet with Karloff’s disembodied head held by a greenish undead fist. This... of course.... Rocks.

The script for SLEEPY HOLLOW was very much a balls to the wall scary flick, something I wasn’t sure 100% was up Tim’s alley. For me... from the beginning of Tim... he’s been that horror fan that can’t help but giggle while he’s scaring you. And... I love that. To me... he’s a bit of a cross of Vincent Price, William Castle and Richard Widmark... He delights at scarring you. Putting a bit of the ol fright into ya.

Yes... I love that. I remember... first it was just scaring my sister... It was so much fun.... Show her TEMPLE OF DOOM, then put my hand over her heart and begin the chant... she’d start freaking out.... Now I delight when I get asked by teenagers the world over if the Blair Witch is real.... I write them back.... “Of Course She Is Silly Boy/Girl”

I can’t help it. To me... For me... It tis far far better to fear ghouls and goblins than drug dealers and congressmen. My parents warped me as a child to fear the undead, rather than their fist. ‘Harry! Do as you’re told or we’ll take you to the cemetery!’

I was a very good boy.

So it is that I find myself very much in the same world of Tim Burton. My house is decorated as both Christmas and Halloween 365 days a year. I pour over horror films of long ago and delight as if they were freshly squeezed that morning for my breakfast today.

In all the advance foraging for information upon SLEEPY HOLLOW, I read that Tim Burton was attempting a Hammer Film. That classic world of film where good was Peter Cushing and evil was Christopher Lee. Always the pair were at each others’ throats. The skies were always cloudy with a bluish tint... The castle was always upon a hill as a painted (although gorgeously so) backdrop with a forced ominous perspective. It’s deeper than deep red blood. The dynamic flurry of strings and lower brass as the furious battle between good and evil played out as composed by James Bernard. Yes.... The Hammer films.

They were bloodier, bolder and had more breasts than in any horror films we had seen previously. And it wasn’t so much nude breast as it was that valley/canyon of cleavage. The women of Hammer were young and... different looking. Voluptuous, yet childlike. There was always an innocent virginal seduction to them. Asking to be corrupted.

So yes... that’s where my mind was as we 5.... Moriarty, Segue Zagnut, John Robie, Lynn Bracken and I took to our seats.

We decided to not sit up on top of one another... not all on the same row. Instead we spread out. I ran up to get a close seat to the screen. I wanted in this world. And there... we sat... awaiting whatever was to come.

I was a bit nervous. This was a screening arranged by Scott Rudin... he had offered to fly me out to see it, but I was already going to be in town... So all he needed to do was set up the screening. I had talked with Rudin, who was on the set of SHAFT, and he seemed to feel that I should see this movie. Personally I could not agree more. I should see this movie. All Tim Burton fans should see this movie and any other that Tim creates.

But as our projectionist was getting set to screen the film.... I found that doubts were beginning to crowd my mind. Those reviews coming in talking about doubts.... disappointments.... I really didn’t want an ‘OK’ Tim Burton film... I wanted genius. I wanted a great Tim Burton film.

That’s what I got.

“Chistopher Lee is wasted in this film”

This was the first statement to pop into mine that had been in a review that appeared here on AICN that was revealed to be false to me. You see.... Christopher Lee has... a cameo. A brief... oh so brief... scene. He is the man that sends young Ichabod Crane to the town of Sleepy Hollow. There... in that brief minute or two minute long scene you see... for that moment or two... the power of Christopher Lee. When that finger of his points at poor Johnny Depp... you get the sense that... Well... that you would gulp as well.

Folks... Let’s really get to it here. SLEEPY HOLLOW is exactly that. This movie, while departing from the original Washington Irving material shows exactly why sometimes diversions are wholly necessary in creating a cinematic tale. BUT you must stay true to the soul of the material. And Burton and Walker have done that in spades.

The trailers lead you to believe that this is a horror action film. To a degree... that is dead on true... but there is more here. You see... Ichabod is a coward, just as his school teaching literary roots had been. He’s squeamish. He cowers and faints and ya know... It’s funny when it happens. BUT.... BUT... this is being honest and true to the soul of Washington Irving’s work.

THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW was both scary and funny. In literary form as well as the popular Disney animated version. This film stays true to that, but... my god this is a delight.

It’s not that much has changed since the script draft I read... the dialogue is still there... but Johnny Depp has peppered and textured his character with moments and pentameters that I did not even begin to read into the character. In the written form, Ichabod was a bit of an action hero... here... well, he’s hanging on for dear life. He’s a book nerd... a traumatized boy hoping and praying to survive.

He’s determined to succeed. However... he’s also quite the scaredy cat. I love this dimension to his character and in the context of the film and the mood that Burton sets... it is... perfect.

In the press materials on SLEEPY HOLLOW, you’d see pics of Burton painting blood on Lisa Marie... the tree... all over the place... I love this. The use of blood in this movie is wonderful. It is the brightest element of the film. The most rich color seen.

Like in the old Technicolor school, you create a universe of low key colors then, when you really want to make an impact.... you hit them with a bright red. Here.... it’s the wax, the cardinal, the blood. Each rich and beautiful.

This is also a character actors film. You’ll see a good dozen faces that you know, but that so many do not. This felt like an old Hammer film... simply because faces and quality of actors were cast.... not just names.

Now... for the film. It moves sooo fast. There is not much pussy-footing around here. The movie is not only an action horror film, but like all good college students, it minors in mystery and comedy as well as romance.

It never plays any of it particularly realistic.... but rather hallucinatory. The cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki is supreme. Whether we are in reality or the dreams of Ichabod’s childhood. We are swept up in this.... the most lush of all of Burton’s work.

Every single shot of this film is beautiful. The angles, what is moving within the shots... this is Burton’s most assured film. Every character has a purpose. Every death a reason. And for the first time in his career...

The action ROCKS. Every single time that damned Headless Horseman even begins to appear on screen... the pulse of this film races... not only because of the brilliant stunt work, horseback riding and sword use... not only because of the fantastic photography and framing of the series of shots... but also the racing score of Danny Elfman. In classic Hammer style, Elfman overscores the hell out these scenes.... creating a faster heartbeat that peels off the screen and went smack dab into my own chest. It was thrilling.

There is a carriage sequence that is... just hands down.... stunning as all hell. Remember the pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? Well... if you watch that sequence with the trucks.... and you count during the sequence on every 2 beat, the shot changes... it’s a relentless pace. But during this sequence, Burton and his editor Chris Lebenzon are playing with the beats... making them erratic. I loved this.

This is a bedtime story... a Halloween tale to watch every Halloween. I love ED WOOD, but in the realm of Burton’s myths.... BEETLEJUICE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS, MARS ATTACKS! Well... SLEEPY HOLLOW is my favorite... at least upon first viewing. I’ll be seeing it again this Monday and then paying to see it again that next Friday.

Upon leaving the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles I had my bag of toys and press materials and the 5 of us went to SWINGERS on Beverly Blvd. to grab a late supper and discuss what it was we just saw.

There was only one bag of toys and press materials. So... at the restaurant we opened the toys (McFarlane Toys) and began playing with them. Moriarty says, “That’s it.... fuck it... I’m bombing this movie cause I didn’t get a buncha toys!”

I respond with, “Well the only reason I’m giving the movie a great review is because I got these toys!”

To which everyone screams.... “SELLOUT!!!”

You see folks... that’s the way we joke. Here... let’s think about this... If the only reason I’m writing this positive review is because of a bag of toys... Well... If you saw CONGO... and they gave you a bag of toys... Would it change your opinion of the film? I didn’t think so.

In fact, you’d probably drive straight to a Goodwill or hand the bag to the nearest kid you’d find. I love these toys, because the movie kicks ass. These toys are now on display in my house because... the movie is just awesome.

All 5 of us just talked non-stop about the utter coolness that this movie has. Burton did succeed in his goal of creating his Hammer film.... I can not wait to see what he does next.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 19, 1999, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Uncle Timmy, we love you.

    by Thylacine

    I live in a strange family. I was Born in 83, and I grew up with an Uncle Timmy. So did my Sister. Uncle Timmy is a neet guy, and he does neet things. Sometimes Uncle Timmy doesn't make much sense, but that's ok, my Sister and I just shrug it off and say, "Well, maybe we're just not meant to understand it yet." Sometimes we think Uncle Timmy may not even fully understand what he's doing himself. But that's ok. Cause we love our Uncle Timmy, he raised us, and taught how and who to be. Uncle Timmy's a great man, he deserves a theme park, and another round of vodka. Sincerely, Thylacine and Technocolorgirl

  • Nov. 19, 1999, 10 p.m. CST


    by Medieval_1

    I went to the local screen and checked out sleepy hollow,some of the scenes gave me such a I was blown away!Burton RULES!

  • Nov. 19, 1999, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Just saw Sleepy Hollow...

    by DaleCooper

    ...and was completely blown away, the cinematography in this movie was unbelievably beautiful, I didn't take my eyes off the screen for a second. Having never read the story beforehand all I can honestly say I knew is the idea of the headless horsemen, and my growing attraction to Christinia Ricci(I have more and more respect for her in every film I see her in) Johhny Depp is to Tim Burton what Arnold Schwartzenegger is to James Cameron, another pair that is absolutely golden when put together. While not having seeing the new Bond film like I'd planned, I'm still willing to bet I saw the better movie.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 2:04 a.m. CST

    A bit disappointing

    by FIDELIO

    I'm an enormous, enormous, unbelievably big Tim Burton fan. I love everything the man does, from Ed Wood to Batman to Mars Attacks! Sleepy Hollow seemed the perfect match for Burton. But, it actually turned out to be easily his weakest film. And it's still a pretty damn good movie, better than most this year. It simply didn't give me that vibe that other Burton movies have given me..even Mars Attacks just gave me this air, this sense of coolness that was missing from Sleepy Hollow. And I think I might know why: never before has plot gotten in the way of a Tim Burton movie. Now it does. The plot of this film SHOULD carry it, but it doesn't, at all. What carries it, are, of course, the unbelievably amazing visuals, the incredible horseman scenes, and the performance by Johnny Depp. There were parts of this film that simply didn't work (the witch in the cave thing), there were parts that just sat there in mediocrity (the romance between Depp and Ricci) and there were parts that were as good as anything Burton has ever done (all of the horseman scenes, the scene where Johnny depp first meets with the men in the office). I wanted this to be my Burton film for the next few years, but I'm unfortunately disappointed. and I think many Burton fans will be. This lacks a certain quality that other Burton films have, something I can't truly describe. I think the fault lays in the script, by A K Walker, which simply doesn't do anything for me. If it were not for the stunning visuals, Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp, this would've been on the same level as Branaugh's terrible Frankenstein update. perhaps my biggest disapointed came in the area I thought I didn't have to worry about at all: Elfman's music. He never finds a coherent, recognizable theme to drive the film (like Batman, Mars attacks, Beetlejuice, Ed Scissorhans). Rather, he goes for a much moodier score. It's too similar to what he's done before, and I can't remember one note from it. I'm not inspired to own the score, and that upsets me. I thought this would be a classic Elfman score. It's not, not even close. Overall, I need to see the film again. and if a DVD comes out, I'll get it. It's that beautiful looking. But in terms of plot, it's simply not funny, quirky, or interesting enough to stand up next to the amazing horseman sequences Burton has conjured up.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow: Rubbish!

    by CountZero

    I'm a Tim Burton fan. Have been all the way back since Pee Wee. Always defended him to critics, have seen all of his movies several times. Own the Oyster Boy book. Even still have a soft spot for the Bat-films, though they really haven't aged well. Obviously, I was looking very much forward to Sleepy Hollow. Burton directing a Hammeresque film written by the man who gave us Seven? Yes please, sir! Bollocks. New title holder for Burton's Worst, pipping out Mars Attacks!. Best thing I can say is that it looked nice; worst I can say is that it was tedious crap. Not scary enough to be a horror, not funny enough to be comedy, not intelligent enough to be drama. Stupid Scooby-Doo plot. Uneven characterization (Crane's cowardice does not progress or evolve logically, but only crops up when there's a "laugh" to be had; he picks up a big scythe-like tool at one point and goes head-on with the horseman, yet a few scenes later shrieks in girly terror at a spider?) Christina Ricci's a good actress...when she's playing 20th c. characters. The faux-historic camp dialogue drew only groans and derisive laughter from the audience with whom I sat. Miranda Richardson: what's with the Yank voice when all the other cast (even the Yanks themselves) are speaking with an English accent? And what the hell kind of high-explosive grain was kept in that windmill that made it blow up so spectacularly? Ahh, I'm rambling now and I'm sure everyone and his dog will love the damn thing. Sadly, it left me feeling both sleepy, and hollow. (That was far too easy). CountZero

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 8:05 a.m. CST

    sleeply hallow is a good mainstream action horror film I was hop

    by sir slob

    sleepy hallow is a good entertaining film, but with work it could have been a classic. Everyone should see the film simply for the lush environments, and superb art direction. Ricci could have pulled off the role with a better actor's directors, and depp is funny as Crane. Burton should have had the entire script thrown out and started from scracth. Another comment would have to be where Burton's humor go usually he's funnier than the material in this film. Oh well it is an enjoyable fun movie go see it have a good time.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Hollow Victory

    by Veidt

    Never before has Burton seemed so hemmed in by a movie's script. While I did like Sleepy Hollow, it was a strangley un-Burton like experience. It certainly looked like a Burton film but it didn't have the kind of exuburence, surprise and anarchy that one really expects from a Burton film. Instead it was more conventional in its approach than even the first Batman movie. Usually with a Burton film, you get the sense that no one else could've made that movie but with Sleepy Hollow, it didn't feel like it absolutely needed to be a "Tim Burton Film". The look of the film is special and a great deal of its appeal but I have to wonder if this was directed by Kevin Yagher as a lower budgeted film as originally planned if it really would've been a much lesser or sustantially different movie. However, it probably wouldn't have had Johnny Depp - who was terrific as Ichabod Crane. I liked Sleepy Hollow and plan to see it again but it was a jolt to see Burton be so careful to stay within the demands and expectations of a formula film.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 10 a.m. CST

    See the MI2 trailer?

    by BobtheTomato

    Holy shit, that was the best trailer I have seen in my entire life.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 1:22 p.m. CST

    It's So, So

    by padres74

    Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton are 2 of the film world's treasures. This movie didn't inpire and move me like their previous films. However, it doesn't discourage me from seeing any of their future projects. Depp and Burton should be commended for the courage of attempting to be different. Depp particularly, could have sold out long time ago, to become another talented, handsome, "People Magazine", screen stud. As for Christine Ricci, excuse me, but she was terribly miscast. For one, she lacked the experience to carry a roll that required a British accent. And whoever is trying to guide her into becomming a superstar, should understand, that until this young woman enrolls in some serious acting classes, that the mark she hopes for will elude her. Whenever I see her, I'm always reminded of the little girl from the "Adaams Family". As for this film, on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best, I'd give it a 2. Wait for the video. R :(

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Ichabod Crane's Revenge!

    by Sorcerer

    Finally, Brom gets his comeuppance. That bit of literary revision was a long time coming.... Anyhoo, I thought this was one of Burton's better films. There's a solid, highly enjoyable "whodunit" story backing up all the excellent visuals and music, and Burton never sacrifices the substance of the story despite maintaining his unmistakable style. The story is wonderfully intricate, the atmosphere is incredibly creepy, the acting is splendid and Danny Elfman delivers a wonderfully full-blooded score. This doesn't quite live up to Burton's ED WOOD (easily his best film), but it's a solid return to form. If this film isn't a box office success that reestablishes Burton as a bankable filmmaker, there is no justice.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Really REALLY Sleepy and Hollow

    by Sam Bones

    Harry, you've lost your mind! How can anyone that succinctly and brilliantly wrote on the bad in the latest Bond flick (and how to make it better) be blind to what a pile of bat guanno Sleepy Hollow is?!!! The film is designed and looks gorgeous! Otherwise it's as boring to watch as a corpse ...only a corpse acts dead better than the actors play the living in this terrible movie. Yes, it's gawd awful! The secondary characters are played as flat as anything I've seen on DRAGNET. Depp seems to be doing a comic riff on Brando's prissy Mr. Christian from THE BOUNTY. There was no "horror" in this film. Yes, great effects and action but to what end? Who gave a fuck? There was no suspense or logic anywhere. Tim Burton is in love with the images from classic horror films but can't seem to tie any of it together with any degree of competence. I watched this at the first (10:30am) showing on Friday at the Mann Theater in Hollywood with a primed audience ...and they groaned and moaned through most of it. Laughed at scenes that weren't funny. I think you got your head lopped off while watching this film and is the only reason you could write such a suck-up review. I can't believe that you, the guy that wrote that kick-ass editorial on playing horror films straight a few weeks ago, could call something as silly and muddled as SLEEPY HOLLOW a terrific film and tell people to go see it. I say that everyone needs to save their money for BEETLEJUICE GOES HAWAIIAN where Burton's comic sensibilities we be better served.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Really REALLY Sleepy and Hollow

    by Sam Bones

    Harry, you've lost your mind! How can anyone that succinctly and brilliantly wrote on the bad in the latest Bond flick (and how to make it better) be blind to what a pile of bat guanno Sleepy Hollow is?!!! The film is designed and looks gorgeous! Otherwise it's as boring to watch as a corpse ...only a corpse acts dead better than the actors play the living in this terrible movie. Yes, it's gawd awful! The secondary characters are played as flat as anything I've seen on DRAGNET. Depp seems to be doing a comic riff on Brando's prissy Mr. Christian from THE BOUNTY. There was no "horror" in this film. Yes, great effects and action but to what end? Who gave a fuck? There was no suspense or logic anywhere. Tim Burton is in love with the images from classic horror films but can't seem to tie any of it together with any degree of competence. I watched this at the first (10:30am) showing on Friday at the Mann Theater in Hollywood with a primed audience ...and they groaned and moaned through most of it. Laughed at scenes that weren't funny. I think you got your head lopped off while watching this film and is the only reason you could write such a suck-up review. I can't believe that you, the guy that wrote that kick-ass editorial on playing horror films straight a few weeks ago, could call something as silly and muddled as SLEEPY HOLLOW a terrific film and tell people to go see it. I say that everyone needs to save their money for BEETLEJUICE GOES HAWAIIAN where Burton's comic sensibilities we be better served.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Don't Understand the Griping

    by Sorcerer

    So, a horror story shouldn't have plot twists? Guess what, the ghost was real, that sort of eliminates the Scooby Doo comparison. I understood the mystery when it was resolved, and saw no major plot holes. What is everyone whining about?

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 9:40 p.m. CST

    I don't care for Tim Burton but this movie rocked!

    by Jedi-hero

    The subject line pretty much sums this movie up for me. The only other Tim Burton films I liked were Batman movies. I hated Mars Attacks. And I really don't care for horror films. But this movie had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Why? For several reasons. First, the script was great. There was actual plot development. We continue to see Ichabod pull off the layers of conspiracy to get to the bottom of it. Just when we think he has a handle on it, the story changes. I loved it. Second, there was character development. This mystery that Crane is solving continues to reveal more about himself to both the audience and to him. Just fantastic how this develops. Again, I just ate it up. I have to admit, if more horror films were like this, The Sixth Sense and The Mummy, then I would go see them. Scrap the garbage that was Freddy, Jason, and Scream, and go with more of the classic film lore. That's how to get me into your theater. Christina Ricci didn't have to show me her chest, and no one had to die unnecessrily. Every person who died in Sleepy Hollow died for a reason. The deaths were actual plot development points. And that helped cause me to give Sleepy Hollow 2 thumbs up, 4 stars, or whatever ranking you use to say it was a great film.

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 11:23 p.m. CST

    it looked good but i didnt give a shit about a single character

    by L'Auteur

    and Christopher Walken growling non-stop!! sheesh...

  • Nov. 20, 1999, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Scooby Hollow

    by CountZero

    Alright, granted, the Horseman was NOT revealed to be Old Man Withers in a rubber mask at the end, but I stand by my (admittedly somewhat exaggerated) comparison; I thought the very striking central idea of the headless horseman (to whom I credit Washington Irving rather than Burton) was completely undermined by such a cliched and mundane "plot", i.e. the whole "kill everyone to collect the inheritance money" chestnut. Bah. Glad to see my opinion echoed here though; too often amongst my circle of friends I'm the lone grumpy bastard who hates what everyone else goes mental for. I'm still standing by my assertion that after Fight Club and Malkovich, I'm unlikely to see anything else as good for a long while. CountZero

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow was magnificent

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Unlike most of you other posters, I saw a thrilling, beautifully lyrical horror film that was a perfect homage to the Hammer classics that I attended during their original theatrical release. You little pissant twenty-somethings dont have the ability to recognize the genius that this film possesses. This movie, along with Iron Giant, Tarzan and yes, The Phantom Menace has made 1999 one of the best years for film in my memory. From reading these and many other talkbacks, I'm convinced you cynical little schmucks should commit suicide and make the job market even more competitive.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Havent seen it yet....

    by Omega Red

    So why am I posting. I don't know really, I usually piss people off, so I thought I'd try here. Anyway, this year has been so-so for films this year. Granted I haven't seen them all, but from what I have seen I'm fairly indifferent. Lets see, movies, um, okay. 8MM was the first I saw, I enjoyed it, despite it really not being good. They wasted Peter Stormare (and don't you dare ask me who he is!!!). Ravenous ruled. Has anyone seen this movie? No one I know has seen it, its one of the best of the year! Matrix was ok, I saw it once, that was enough for me, nothing to get a hard on over. Phantom Menace, well, (here come the flames!) I really liked it, but keep into account that I: A) Am a total fucking Star Wars nutbag, B) Was actually able to ignore Jar-Jar, and C) Didn't let bad reviews spoil it for me. That's been my attitude towards Sleepy Hollow (oh my god, my post finally has some relevance, noooooooooo). Lets see, the Haunting - I wont give you any shit Harry - but, hahahahahahahaha. Laughable, total shit (why did I let my friends talk me into paying full price?!? I'll never forgive myself!). Austin Powers 2, horseshit. That fucking sucked. Believe me, I got all the jokes, even if I didn't laugh. But then again, I never really thought the first was THAT great. It would have been better had it been a SNL skit (back when Myers was cool). Fight Club? Not bad, saw it once, didn't really get into it. Fincher is overrated on these talkbacks (see the spiderman one). He's very talented, dont get me wrong. I liked Seven, I (dont kill me) liked Alien3. Oh well. Being John Malkovich was pretty funny, but not my favorite. You see, I judge films firstly by their entertainment factor, the artistic quality is never a high priority for me. I can't remember what else I've seen cause my brain hurts. But anyway, I'll be seeing Sleepy Hollow within the next few days, and I'll have my thoughts on that. But they'll probably be good. Lets see here: Burton? He's my favorite filmmaker, and I haven't even seen his "best" Ed Wood. Gore? Bring it on, I can't get enough. Oh well. I must rest, the voices are getting restless, I must converse with them or else bad things start to happen. Oh yeah, I am schizophrenic. And so am I.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 1:53 a.m. CST

    kill the sound and just make it a music video...

    by ship

    i agree with alot of you. looks incredible, but what else is there? liked johnny depp (as always), but never got much from the others. biggest problem: the bad guy was my favorite character. loved the headless horseman and his slashing. for looking cool and being a fast paced jump & run trippy ride, i give Tim credit. i think looking great and having a ridiculous amount of fun with a bad guy may have been the whole idea. can't wait to be able to bring the movie home, kill the volume, put in some rock music, and let the heads role. that may be more fun.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 2:24 a.m. CST

    A lil' bit less disspointing than I've previously said

    by FIDELIO

    I have a post on here a little ways up the list called, A bit disspointing. And it was. But my review was very negative, and after having lived with the film and its images for a full day, I can now say that it is still an excellent film. I blasted Elfman's score, but I bought it (on the principle that I'll buy any score he writes for any Tim Burton movie), and actually really enjoy it, even it only has two melodies throughout the entire thing ( a happy one, and a dark one). It's easiest his darkest, most passionate and strangest score, with elements of all the others thrown in but something new as well. And that's just like the film itself. It really isn't a signature tim Burton movie, I can't feel his true stamp. Sure, the look is highly Burtonesque, numerous scenes have that manical dark humor in them, but overall, the tone and feeling of the film is not very similar to other Burton films. Of course, it's his first real period piece (Ed Wood isn't really a period piece, and everything else takes place now, or in a fantasy land). So, I guess my major disappointment came when I realized this wasn't going to be what I thought. I felt the presence of Coppola, as at times, the tone reminded me of his dull Bram Stroker's Dracula. And I definatley have to see it again, but I now believe it's the perfect summary of all that is Halloween: kind of scary, full of gore, but really tongue in cheek and bizarre. Why this wasn't released during that holiday plagues me. (I saw the film's BO nemesis, W. Is not Enough, today and it sucked royally.)

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Attn Dark Knight Lite

    by CountZero

    Your assumption that just because I'm not yet thirty means I lack any kind of sophisticated critical facilities is a bit offensive; glad you liked the film - I didn't. But not because I didn't "get it." I might not be old enough to have seen the Hammer films upon original release, but I HAVE seen them and was well aware of Burton's (attempted, failed) homage. And I really don't want to open up a VERY old can of worms, but if you're honestly going to list The Phantom Menace as one of the year's best films, then perhaps it's not I who ought to put the gun in my mouth. Sir. CountZero

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow kicked my ass

    by Nordling

    I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, but this was balls-out fun, and Burton-twisted. Johnny Depp was great, the supporting cast was great - I loved the fact that Christopher Walken was the Hessian, who else could it have been? - and the sets and art direction were perfect and dreamlike. The Headless Horseman has to go in my book as the best villain of the year. Ruthless (even to the point of killing children) and brutal. It was nice to see Burton regulars again, like Martin Landau, Jeffrey Jones, and the ever-sexy Lisa Marie again (although she bought it in a REALLY nasty way). I was not prepared for the level of violence in this one. Not knocking it - it just was shocking and gruesome in a really cool way. I will be seeing this one again. Sure the plot was a little convoluted, but who cares? It's a Tim Burton movie - you don't go to these movies for a story, you go for the mood, the spectacular visuals, and a vision just a few degrees to the left as to inspire reams (or nightmares) and that's what I got. Really liked this one.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I posted my review before reading these, ahem, posts,...

    by Nordling

    and I'm wondering if you saw the same film that I did. Tim Burton has never been considered one of the Great Directors - because the things that interest him just don't interest anyone else, until you see his movies, and realize how unique his visions are. Burton's films, yes, can be frustrating, but I'd much rather have a director give me what he wants to show me instead of having what I like candy-fed to me. I think this is Burton's best directed film yet. He showed restrait when it required it, and he let his visions shine through. i don't think the plot was empty, either, but it you go to a Burton film for plot, you've wasted your money, probably. I never go into his films looking for that. In Burton's movies, you are catapulted to another world, some twisted Leave It To Beaver meets Edward Munch fantasyland. And i groove on that, and I really grooved on this films. I have the suspicion that most of you detractors just tear down here because, quite simply, you don't know how to do anything else. Fucking assembly line fans. I call you assembly line fans because you'll eat the next piece of chocolate that comes down the pipe and bitch how it didn't taste as good as the last one. You won't consider trying anything different - you just want more of the same. Well, fuck you.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 3:29 p.m. CST

    what movie did ya'll see?

    by jcm74

    Sleepy Hollow was great. i gave it a ten on the voting board. the movie was just awsome. i left feeling great. everything about it cried out homage to the Hammer films. the score was great. if you went into this wanting something scary, what the hell were you thinking. this is Tim Burton. lie Harry said in his review, Tim likes to giggle while he scares you. the movie is fun. its a big popcorn movie. everyone i was with liked it, and i was the only geek among them. it was over the top and that was just what i was expecting. yeah, it would be cool to see Andrew Kevin Walker's script followed all the way through, but the touches that Burton and Depp added were fantastic. i don't know what film ya'll wanted to see, but i got just what i wanted. yeah, it was better then TWINE, and i'm a huge Bond fan. but this was a classic film. fun and gory and just cool.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Assembly-line fans?

    by CountZero

    I for one don't understand how being critical of a film that (as always, IN MY OPINION) falls well short of a standard set by previous endeavours qualifies me as an "assembly-line fan...swallowing the next piece of chocolate to come down the pipe and bitching about how it didn't taste as sweet as the last one." Without critical standards, without the drive to EXCEED what has come before, art stagnates. What annoys me is how complacent people seem to be: "Well, you can't really expect too much." Why on earth not? When did story, characterization, and the like become "too much?" Without a solid foundation to build upon, all the pretty pictures are rendered meaningless. What I find amusing is that whenever flaws are pointed out, people seem to cover their ears and chant "LALALA I'M NOT LISTENING LALALA," refusing to consider that the work could possibly be anything less than perfect. Somehow, it's the detractors who are looked down upon, seen as bitter individuals who can't do anything but piss all over the joy of others. Not so; I love nothing more than a good film, and there's been a surprisingly healthy bunch of good films this year, but I simply don't feel that this is one of them and it's all the more a disappointment coming from a director whose work I really enjoy. I think the "assembly-line fan" label is more appropriately placed upon those who mindlessly swallow each and every piece of Soma fed to them, rather than those who yearn for work that raises the bar.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Oh, and one other thing...

    by CountZero

    "You won't try anything different, you just want more of the same. Well, fuck you."...So wrote Nordling. Again, I take issue with this statement - it's precisely my desire to see NEW and ORIGINAL films that makes me so critical of the usual mainstream rubbish; that's why Being John Malkovich was so special to me, as I hadn't ever seen anything quite like it before, and its unique premise was so much more than a gimmick. Someone above wrote that Sleepy Hollow is a work of genius, and I just can't agree. Genius is the ability to reach into some unknown pool of creativity and draw out things no one else has ever thought of; certainly this can apply to some of Burton's other films, but Sleepy Hollow? Come on. It's fairly by-the-numbers. (As an aside, it's funny to me how it's only the genre films that inspire such heated debate of this nature - you don't get hysterical fans defending The Five Senses or Felecia's Journey, for example, or people saying how The Limey "rocked ass.") I guess this was more than one other thing. CountZero

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Burton's unique body of work

    by Dark Knight Lite

    As stated before, I believe Sleepy Hollow is one of the year's best genre efforts, as well as one of the best major studio films to come out this year. I also feel that Burton is a unique talent in film, and will be more appreciated in the decades to come. Unlike one of the previous posters, I do NOT think the Batman films have aged badly, quite the contrary, in fact. After being initially less than thrilled, Batman Returns seems to grow in stature with each viewing. Batman is still the best filmed version of a comic book character yet put to celuloid, and Edward Scissorhands is a modern classic. Ed Wood and Nightmare Before Christmas contain a singular vision that is undeniable - proof positive that Burton's visual stamp has defined him as the last true visionary of 20th century cinema. Mars Attacks is a fascinating failure, and is interestingly, the film that bears his signature style the least. Do not misunderstand, I don't think he is the ideal director for every assignment, as I was relieved when he left the Superman project. I also think he needs a strong hand in helping to correct script problems. But in closing, I feel that Sleepy Hollow will stand as one of his best efforts, and I wish that Warner Bros. would come to their senses, and bring back him and Keaton to resume the exploits of the Caped Crusader.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Best Studio Movie Oxymoron

    by CountZero

    "The best Major Studio movie" is a lot like saying "The best form of debilitating bowel disease." Anyway, as I said, I still quite enjoy the first two Batman movies; certainly they're streets ahead of the abominable Schumacher installments and I find it quite admirable that he was able to produce what is essentially a very personal film within the confines of a major studio and a corporate trademark character. But I still think the first one no longer looks nearly as impressive as it did 10 years ago. Ed Wood is certainly his masterpiece to date (Wow! It's got a story and characters!), and though I'm sure to be ripped to pieces for this, I think Pee Wee ranks right up there. I don't quite count Nightmare Before Xmas as a Burton film because ultimately speaking, it's not his movie, it's Henry Selick's. (Yes, yes, I know he came up with the story and characters and so on, but applying that rationale, Batman is a Bob Kane film.) Finally, Burton ain't "the last true visionary of the 20th Century," at least not as long as Terry Gilliam walks the earth. Again, I LIKE TIM BURTON, but not one of his films can hold a candle to Brazil. Or even Time Bandits. ....Count Zero

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    If there were any justice in this world the first thing your eyes would have ever seen was the wire hanger that would have ended your mediocre existance in your mother's womb. Just because your balls haven't dropped, Pre-pubescent, dosen't mean you have to show it to us all. Go screw and die, wannabe abortion.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Count Zero

    by Nordling

    Maybe people put too much into Tim Burton. I think every time he puts out a film expectations are very high. And as for the "Studio films suck" mentality, it just so happens that studio films have brought out the best movies this year. Fight Club, Three Kings, American Beauty, all of these were great pieces of art, in my opinion. Yes, I did see Being John Malkovich, and thought it was brilliant. But other than that and maybe Blair Witch, indies haven't competed. By the way, Miramax? Ain't an indie. It's a major studio. Is Sleepy Hollow the best Burton film? Ed Wood still wins that one, but, really, Burton didn't have as much to do with that as a kicker screenplay by...oh shit, drew a blank on the names. Oh well. But Sleepy Hollow is his best directorial work, simply because the problems of pacing that Burton seems to have with all his films were gone in this one. You can disagree. But I enjoyed Sleepy Hollw highly. It ain't Best Picture of the year, or anything, but it was a good work, all the same.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 10 p.m. CST

    Count Zero and Gilliam

    by Dark Knight Lite

    I also admire Gilliam's work, but he predates Burton in the cinema timeline, therefore I hold to my assertion. And by the way, indie films suck at about the same rate as studio releases, so suspend your snobbery. As for The Phantom Menace, it was far better than that pile of steaming feces that was Return of the Jedi.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 10:17 p.m. CST

    It's a Tim Burton movie! Looks great, but a lousy story! The hea

    by Caligari

    Looked great. Depp was very good. Confusing story. Headless Horseman was merely a one-note goon.

  • Nov. 21, 1999, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I recant! I recant!

    by CountZero

    Both Nordling and D.K. Lite are, of course, quite right: yes, the big studios put out an inordinately high number of good material this year, and yes, many many indie movies are just as hideous and crap as the blockbusters (just no special effects). I made that bowel disease statement mostly in jest (facetiousness sometimes doesn't come across well on a video display). However, indie films are usually free of the test-audience- influenced, assembly-by-committee filmmaking method which is de rigeur in the bigger studios; it's very rare when a filmmaker within the studio system can make a movie free of compromise or tampering. Anyway, on the Star Wars point (and honestly, I don't want this line of discourse to continue for very long, I'm so very bloody sick of discussing it); yes, Jedi is awful, but at least it's got Han Solo in it.

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow -> Yesss!!!

    by Elcabio

    I loved this movie. I was interested to come to Talkback though to read the whiner's complaints. It's amazing. How can one be a genre movie fan if they don't like this movie? Exactly which genre movies did these crybabies ever like? Which genre movie that they liked, can stand up to the ridiculous complaints that they give? Uneven storytelling? Says you, maybe. Confusing? I followed the story perfectly. A perfect genre movie? Have NEVER seen one, and doubt I ever will, however, I can accept some minor shortcommings if the overall product is good. And this movie gives you a good product. It had suspense (not gut wrenching, but enough to justify itself as a horror), comedy, good action (I agree with Harry, Burton's first well directed action flick, but it's no Hong Kong flick), a plot that made sense with a nice mystery to it, good acting, excellent cinematography, good score, plenty of great kill scenes, great fx, and I could go on and on. When Johnny Depp decides to faint is hardly a consideration with the enormity of good things in this film. Ofcourse I could also complain that only the horseman was summoned from hell, so why is his horse with him? Are the horse's fleas also resurrected? To ask an asinine question like that would be to stoop to the same idiotic levels as some on this board. Man, I don't think criticism is wrong, but it seems some people just want to complain to complain. Oh yeah, if Harry is erasing your Talkbacks, then why doesn't he erase you complaining about it? Duh. Do you actually think Harry cares about what some noname in the middle of whocares has to say about him? Talk about delusional. It's a either a computer bug or a hack. Elcabio

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Well, I had a good time

    by bswise

    Wasn't expecting perfection, just something fun to do on a Friday night, you know? Loved the cinematography/animation - Enjoyed the character actors, Depp's deadpan "wussy" humor, the campy allusions to 60's Hammer Horror - The HH was more menacing a figure than Darth Maul, and the action was better constructed than the latest 007 nonsense. Worth my time - sorry for all those who felt cheated out of something.

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Harry on Crack

    by mjr_8

    Although Sleepy Hollow was truly a visionary piece of art, it is also a truly poor excuse for a film. Burton lacks the ability to make us care about the characters or the narrative. I left the movie totally unmoved. Sleepy Hollow is utterly forgettable. Unlike Harry, I thought the "action" sequences were quite tired and mild and the film has no real scares to be found. I realize it was not intended to be a horror or action film, but it produces absolutely no emotional effect on the viewer. I asume that was not the intention either. Burton fails at making a movie worth thinking about or discussing. Shame on Harry for being such a mindless fan not to realize when he is being fed only mediocre work. (5 stars out of 10)

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by CountZero

    Although I'm still not going to concede that Sleepy Hollow qualifies as "visionary," I must take several hats off to mjr_8 for being one of the more sane posters on this board. Cheers.

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Various random thoughts (and one spoiler)

    by Renacera

    First of all... I loved Sleepy Hollow. I thought it just glorious, entertaining, beautiful, etc. And I'm starting to think Johnny Depp may be the greatest American film actor ever. (Not to mention the hottest.) As for Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam (two of my very favorite directors)... They're pretty much contemporaries. They both started directing in the early eighties, and are both still directing now. So to say that Gilliam predates Burton in the cinematic timeline is quite incorrect. One little thing that's been bugging me for a while as I've scrolled down... Count Zero, Miranda Richardson was the only one not to have an English accent because she was playing a servant, a low-class character, who rose above her station. That was nitpicking, yes, but so was your original comment. And one more thing... The Horseman, stunted by Ray Park, slashes Brom Bones in half -- very similar to the famous death of Darth Maul, also Ray Park. Revenge? or coincidence?

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by CountZero

    Sorry, I didn't intend for the Miranda Richardson thing to be a criticism necessarily; it was just something that struck me as odd whilst I was watching the film. And your explanation more or less satisfies me. (Although, strictly speaking, at that particular time would there even have been anyone who spoke with an American accent as it is spoken today? I'm not certain). See? I'm not really such a bad bloke after all.

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 8:25 p.m. CST

    And before you all start...

    by CountZero

    ...I KNOW it's a fantasy movie and therefore historical accuracy is pretty much irrelevant. I know I know I know. I'm just being difficult. >;-)

  • Nov. 22, 1999, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Anyone read the real thing?

    by HairyLemon

    I saw Sleepy Hollow the other night and liked it. From the first scene, however, I knew I had to treat it as 'another story which included the Headless Horseman', rather than "the Legend of Sleepy Hollow" It couldn't have been much farther from the original Washington Irving short story. I did find it entertaining, though. The 1949 Disney animated version of the tale is suprisingly accurate in both text and substance. For those interested, I found the original text online. It'll only take 20 minutes to finish, if you're interested:

  • Nov. 23, 1999, 1:13 a.m. CST

    interesting but bland..

    by Hellboyspunky

    I thought the movie was ok, nothing spectacular but not a piece of crap. Visuals were pretty good, which is the usual with Burton. The story was so-so, I'd have to agree with a few of the posts here and say that the plot twist was lame. Alot of the dialogue was unintentionally funny, especially the 2nd scene at the old cottage between Depp and Ricci. The best thing in my mind about this movie is that Christopher Walken was the horseman. Overall it was the usual Burton fare, had its problems but somewhat enjoyable. I'd recommend it to other burton fans but not to anyone else. **spoiler** And one question, when the 2 men are killed in the church, who cut off their heads? When the camera pans back down over the bodies, I could have sworn that their heads were lying next to them. I know it wasn't the horseman, so who was it? And condsidering that the horseman never came back for the heads, how can his 'job' be completely finished?

  • Nov. 23, 1999, 2:09 a.m. CST

    I think I liked it... (spoilers of course, silly!)

    by Tir Na Nog

    First, the two scences of children witnessing (or almost witnessing) their mother's deaths were just horrible. I did not need to see that. Very disturbing, and not in any fun way. Besides those scenes I loved this movie. Depp was fantastic, as usual. And I thought the cheesy/creepy ratio was right on. I loved all the creaking doors, and the scene where Ichabod gets really annoyed because flashing lightning keeps interrupting him is classic. Even though he occasionally reminded me of another Crane (Niles) I thought Depp's Ichabod was a great character. But, the star was perfect! What inspired casting! I could not imagine a better horseman than Christopher Walken and Ray Park. I thought the carriage chase scene was really original and breathtaking. Finally, turning that amazing horseman into just a pawn in a very mundane game of greed was an unfortunate flaw. RE: the previous post. I noticed at least one wig (no heads) lying by one of the dead guys in the church. Summary: Glad I saw it, I won't see it again.

  • Nov. 24, 1999, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Great Film!!!!

    by Peawee

    I don't normally respond to these kind of post, but this is one of the best movies i have ever seen. I'am not a big movie fan, only because alote of the movies being made today are crap! And i'am only 26 so that not saying to much for the movie industry. What is wrong with you people? Some people just need to get a life! My god its just a moive, whats up with all the deep seeded hate? I love Tim's movies ( well some) this one is the best so far that i have seen. Unlike some negative people on this post i like to look at the movie itself, forget all the political bull shit! And forgot who was directing it, it was a great movie! If you get so upset about this movie i hate to see what happens when you see a bad movie. (do any of you work at the postal office, hope not! )

  • Nov. 24, 1999, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow

    by mchgnfn

    Harry, I always check your reviews because I love the movies as much as any other movie freak. I gotta say though that on this one you're a bit jaded by being such a big Tim fan. For sheer enjoyment this movie just didn't cut it for me. Sorry pal. I expected to be ducking under my seat and it just wasn't there. In a word, campy.

  • Nov. 24, 1999, 3:19 p.m. CST

    sleepy hollow

    by wcw

    I just saw the movie and I liked it tim burton did it agin great movie. the darkness of the movie.the story line was good the script could have been better but the story was good. the way the headless horse man used the ax and the sword was great the sfx were great .

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 12:44 a.m. CST

    The brillance of Sleepy Holly

    by knowlin

    Tim Burton is a genious. He knows how to make you laugh at the most horrific things, like people's head getting chopped off while Johnny Depp cowers in the corner. Depp was so amazing, cracking me up everytime he twitched his mouth from whimpering cowardace. This is a true Burton film, and it pisses me off that so many critics are being too hard on him. Everyone should see this film, fuck the critics.

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton Is My God!

    by Andrew

    "We have murders in New York with out the benefit of gouls and gobblins." "Your a long way from New York, constable." Prior to this exchange we were introduced to Ichbob Crane, an investigator from New York sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to uncover the truth behind three brutal murders. What ensuses is a non-stop thrill ride that makes your head spin before lopping it off. As the opening credits flashed across the screen and the names Francis Ford Coppola, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, and Andrew Kevin Walker appeared I knew that a great movie was in my presence. I know Washington Irving should be credited with the general story but Andrew Kevin Walker's tightly written screenplay hurtles you along at great pace, enthralling you untill the thrilling finish. From a well conceived and well thought out sword fight to a geniusly edited Carage chase to hords of sinfully plesureable decapitations (check out Brom's demise!) this movie, in a word, rocks. I have always been a fan of Tim Burton films and I must say this is my favorite of them all. Johnny Depp as Detective Crane and a beautiful Christina Ricci as Lady Van Tassil round out a technically and creativly superior movie. Christopher Walken as the fallen warrior turned murderous serial killer is wonderful, as well as the all-star cast of character actors. Burton is a visual wizard and this movie should easily win an Oscar in the Cinematography catagory. Every detail is splinded, from the sureal art direction to the splatering of blood. While watching this movie I was afraid to blink because I may miss a frame of cinematic beauty. If you see ANY movie this turkey-season see Sleepy Hollow. Walken's pointed teeth are worth the seven bucks alone...

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 10:09 a.m. CST

    A Mistake...

    by Andrew

    In my review above I made a terrible mistake. I wrote Ichabod as 'Ichabob.' I hate when people spell characters names wrong and I wanted to correct it so I could sleep tonight. Thanks. P.S. Tim Burton Rocks!

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Just one thing...

    by Andrew

    The only real gripe I had with this movie was the whole "inheratance" bit. I would have liked it better if the Horseman was not controlled by the Stepmom. I wish he was just one bad-ass killer, a myth, pissed-off because he lost his head. Still, that aside this movie totally rocked. My Favorite Line: "Is he dead?" "That's that problem...he was dead to begin with."

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Burton sucks/blows who knows?

    by bjorling

    I've been suckered again. I should know better. I hated what Burton did to Batman. I was a fan of the 50's and early 60's comics (not the TV show). He took all the fun out of it. Edward Scissorhands? Please? The only film I half liked was Ed Wood. The problem with Burton is he wants to be Ed Wood. In the movie the scene with Icabod and the town elders plays like a bad SNL skit. Like all of his films he cannot make his action scenes pay off. The set ups are pathetic. After the horseman dispatches a number of towns people (with very little variation) they run to an old mill, Gee does this remind anyone of any other film? Where....oh damn I can't go on it just depresses me. The man is over hyped under talented, disturbed, and not funny ... just remember the unfunny Mars Attacks stiff.

  • Nov. 25, 1999, 6:47 p.m. CST

    My Thanksgiving Tribute To Sleepy Hollow.

    by Andrew

    After finishing off what was left of thanksgiving dinner I decided to pay a little tribute to a brillant motion picture known as Sleepy Hollow. In a movie filled with numerous decapitations one can not resist recreating one of the many scenes. I mounded up a pile of mashed potatos,while remembering Sleepy Hollow, and stuck a dinner roll into the white mass. Then I dug through the Cornacopia and found a nut that would do nicely as a head. I then took tiny little balls of potato and fashioned two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I placed it atop the torso shaped roll. Then(with another dinner roll)I constructed two bread arms, sticking them into the sides of the torso roll. Then at the base of the torso, where mashed potatos anchored the roll to the plate, I placed two more bread strips, forming legs. Then I reached for a butter knife and, remembering the demise of half the cast playing in Sleepy Hollow, I ran the figure through and lopped off his head. This angered my father...

  • Nov. 26, 1999, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Script Doctoring

    by CountZero

    According to an article in this week's eye magazine (, A.K. Walker's script had a thorough re-tooling by an uncredited Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Brazil, Shakespeare in Love). Just thought I'd share that.

  • Nov. 26, 1999, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow

    by Noah Cross

    It should be noted, first and foremost, that I have never been a huge Tim Burton fan. With the exception of two films, Beetlejuice and Ed Wood, I find his work to be visually stunning but sorely lacking in the story department. So it goes with Sleepy Hollow. There is enough eye candy here to satisfy the most desperate visual sugar junkie. But be sure to brush immediately after because vital nutrients are missing. The acting, for the most part, is solid. Johnny Depp continues to surprise. His Ichobod Crane is a fearful man determined to face those fears with logic and reason. When faced with a real supernatural phenomenon, he insist on using that logic to unravel the mystery. It is a good, strong performance that is fun to watch unfold. There are a bevy of great character actors, each of whom takes the little bits of chicken parts provided and produce chicken salad. My biggest problem with this film arrived in the 3rd act. A character I supposed to minor one suddenly stepped up the majors with an heavy expositon weighted monologue that felt a little too pat. Colonel Mustard did it, in the library with a candle stick. Each point is strung together with the threads so weak that they cannot not hold together. In the end I have to equate this film to Chinese food. A mostly enjoyable meal that faded after an hour leaving me wanting for something a little more filling and hearty.

  • Nov. 26, 1999, 3:10 p.m. CST

    4 Heads out of 4...

    by cooper2000

    I have to admit I went in with allot of skepticism but I loved this movie. So much better than the bond movie and actually some great performances and some on the Edge of your seat scenes.It wasnt paint by numbers like most crap that comes out, ie: S.W's Episode 1????. The cinemogtography was stunning, the script left me guessing and I was very happy that the Headless Horsemen was just that and not a hoax.This goes on my top ten list for the year behind Non Hollywood crap, of the Matrix, Election, Go and American Beauty. Check it out!

  • Nov. 26, 1999, 10:16 p.m. CST

    A fine flick

    by Psychopompous

    Not as good as Edward Scissorhands for either director or star, but it remains a very good movie. The style was there in abundance, as usual. I particularly enjoyed the sparing use of color atop the very monochromatic remainder of the film. Ricci was so-so.. I wasn't terribly impressed with her accent. The pacing was good, IMO, particularly the action sequences.**** Well there is one other thing to be said.. This wasn't Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow. Not even close. The only things borrowed are names and a villain. Beyond that, this is purely the creation of director and writers. Take that as you like; I personally did not mind so much. As long as they don't give The lord of the rings similar treatment...

  • Nov. 28, 1999, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Thank You, Tim Burton!

    by lil.earthquake

    The following, of course, may contain spoilers. Awesome flick. Loved the darkness of it all. Not a huge Burton fan, but this movie was so cool. I only have two problems with it, though. Number One: If the HH filed down his teeth to make them all pointy, why weren't they pointy in his skull? Number Two (and my biggest complaint, as I am female): I suppose they either killed you or gave you a different kind of dress to wear if you had a flat chest. EVERYONE wearing those low-cut dresses was practically spilling out of them! -lil.earthquake, the sweetest cherry in an apple pie

  • Nov. 29, 1999, 12:13 a.m. CST



    Though I was hoping it would go along a different path. When I heard Katrina say that everyone in Sleepy Hollow was somehow related, I hoped that the someone who resurrected the Headless Horseman had summoned him to get rid of the benificiary of a Van Tassel's belongings, therefore the Horseman would have to continue killing because once he kills one person, someone else becomes the benificiary. So he kills and kills until he takes out everyone in Sleepy Hollow...including the person who summoned him. Like a Twilight Zone episode. I also missed the spooky ending of the original story, where you were never sure of what happened to Icabod Crane.

  • Nov. 30, 1999, 3:47 a.m. CST

    harry knowles is insane...

    by lucasfan

    Harry, did we see the same movie???? this movie represents the cinematic wasteland that all of us are all too familiar with. Yeah, yeah, the film was pretty to look at, the mis-en-scene was great. But , when you have the advantage of the money hose, (ask your buddy robert rodriguez about this...)those aspects aren't necessarily a problem... But, you can't paint character exposition, narrative and plot with the grays of german expressionism, and expect a filmgoer like me to buy it. I was severely disappointed by this film. Why? well, i could write a tome on why this movie sucked, but we'll stick with one major aspect. The headless horsemen. harry, don't tell me for one minute that the frequency that the headless horseman made him less of a menace and more of an annoyance. He pops up on screen like some puppety deux ex machina, with none of the build up of the disney animation... now, that scared me! this movie is waaay too gory and scary for kids, and too silly for adults. Christopher walke was wasted in this gilm, as was ian mcdirmid, and all of the oter talented folks involved in this gray turd. Except for christina ricci. She deserves to star in this film. She is the most frog-faced, acne ridden little ugly toad that has ever been in film.. wat character was she playing? the big tittied heroine from casper? the biggest waste of talent had to be Depp. I love depp in everything he's been in. I felt his portrayal as Hunter S. Thompson in gilliam's adaption of "fear and loathing in las vegas" is some of the most brilliant in modern cinema. where is the depth of character that we are all familar with? gone, in the gray, expressionistic toilet. oh yeah, tell burton to think up some new imagery, we've all seen the cabinet of dr. caligari already. lucasfan

  • Nov. 30, 1999, 5:26 a.m. CST

    Win Todd McFarlane autographed Movie Maniacs II figurines

    by zircon

    Hey people, you can win Todd McFarlane autographed Movie Maniacs II figurines at this website... There's also an interview with Todd McFarlane on the site. A must for all Todd McFarlane fans!

  • Dec. 1, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    ~Couldn't of been better~

    by Kira2000

    What's the matter with most of you? I thought the movie was great. There's nothing wrong with it. I didn't really think so, but I understand if you thought it was boring, but how could it be like a cartoonish film(not literaly) or corny???? I thought this was the best preformece of Johnny Depp and Chirstina Ricci couldn't of acted better. I thought it was really good. I loved that it had the best ending, fantastic actors/actresses, great plot, sptacualr setting, most creative period of time, ravonasly romantic, ful of suspence, fillied with comedy, and in one word to describe it, it was just...*sigh*...."perfect"...

  • Dec. 2, 1999, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Hong Kong Cinema 101 for all US directors

    by devil0509

    Okay, yes, yes, I am a HK film lunatic. I admit that, but please, bear with me. US directors are more and more trying to incorporate the better action techniques and talents of HK films than ever before. However, the US directors time and time again underutilize martial arts talents. In this film, which all in all I enjoyed, Tim Burton made the typical US director mistake: he had a great martial arts coordinator stuntman doing fantastic fighting, but shot it with so many closeups and quick cuts you couldn't really appreciate Ray Park's moves. All US directors who want to do action sequences, especially using martial arts, should watch HK movies carefully, so they can learn that these sequences are best with a wider angle and less quick cuts so WE CAN SEE THE ACTION! Just a minor flaw in an otherwise great flick.

  • Dec. 3, 1999, 4:24 p.m. CST

    ~Best of the best~

    by Kira2000

    To answear one of your questions, the skull didn't have any of the sharp kind of teeth because (how could I explain this).well, just b-because..... Or ok, The teeth are unnatural and unusual for a person, right. So then, i guess, when he puts on the skull, the teeth grow in as well. Understand? Okie Dokie? comprende?or no....?

  • Dec. 8, 1999, 12:47 a.m. CST

    The Hessian and your Head of Egotism and Elitism

    by Hedly Lamar

    I have read the big reviews, visited the site, read the book, and watched the movie some 4 or 5 times. I have seen most of Tim Burtons Films. Finally I have read all of your reviews. For those of you dissapointed, take a good look at the films out today. Methinks you only watch some the films to find something bad to critigue. You complain that the film doesnt reach your expectations. You find flaws in the character or the plot. You dont like the way Christina Ricci speaks or how Depp plays the part, or that Walken doesnt have a larger part to play. Take a good look at the world, all the booing you have made about the flaws in Sleepy Hollow are exactly what you will find everyday in life. You are unable to watch a movie without comparing it to some other version of the story. Shame on you, for you have little imagination or tolerance. I felt the Disney version was too satirical. The original book was just abit too lacking, but I loved it all the same. Next Time try to watch it without the prejudice or expectations.And did you see the rating it has? Of course its not reccomended for some audiences you dotes, pay attention next time! Enjoy it for what it has to offer you and quit your damn griping, you only make yourself look like a sour puss. Sure I would have liked to see possibly more of Walken, to me he is a fabulous actor, but I am not a director, and neither are any of you . For those of you that liked it, good for you, at least you can appreciate a fresh look on an old classic. At least it aint the 19th film of its kind, like The World is Not Enough. At least Sleepy Hollow is more exciting and less predictable than End of Days. Those who enjoyed it at least had the ability to see both sides , good and bad, that was found in the film. Bravo, hip hip and all that good stuff for Sleepy Hollow!!!

  • Dec. 10, 1999, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Burton rules, he rules!

    by darthflagg

    Just saw Sleepy Hollow at a preview here in the UK. Pretty amazing. At the moment I rank it just behind Ed Wood and Ed Scissorhands. Howevever, Burton's movies usually get better with repeat viewings. I can't understand all these people bashing it. Burton has created his own genre of movie. Amazing visuals and music, twisted humour, weird but charming characters, and an unimportant plot. If you don't like that formula, don't bother to see his movies. It's that simple. My two favourite movies of the year are SH and Phantom Menace - I don't care what anyone else thinks!

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow

    by moo?

    I saw the movie about three times and I loved it!!! Christopher Walken was amazing!!! Tim Burton did an excelent job on this one!!! Sleepy Hollow was great!! Out of ten what do you give it? I give it a 10!! E-mail me at:

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Know I already wrote someting but...

    by moo?

    Ok, I forgot to add that Johnny Depp did very well too. He made a great Ichabod and I love the way he looks at everyone! The thing I really like about this movie, is that Christopher Walken was in it!! (he is my favourite actor!) He was the man for the job! SPOILER... I just don't understand the ending! Did the horseman die? E-mail me.

  • Dec. 20, 1999, 2:08 a.m. CST

    the cast

    by Elgyn6655321

    This was a pretty cool movie (not among Burton`s best though, IMO), but my god, Jeffrey Jones and Ian McDiarmid (sp?) had totally nothing to do. Jones didn`t even get ONE good line. This is ED ROONEY, people! See "Ravenous" for a good example of how funny Jones can be in a "period piece". At least Walken and Lee had cool cameos.

  • Dec. 28, 1999, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by Kira2000

    I just seen the movie "Sleepy Hollow" twice (tring to see it once every month). I normally get board and don't like movies if I see them twice in theaters, but his movie honestly had a huge effect on me. It's really good. Worth Watcing.

  • Dec. 29, 1999, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Uneven, unnecessary gore, jumpy plot, boring scenes... need I go

    by Blacksox

    I saw this movie quite a while ago.. actually, its opening night. The commercials made the movie look like a masterpiece, and when the movie started off, it looked like it was going to be that way.. but then everything just fell to crap. Depp does a great job in a terrible movie, despite what people say.. he was the only reason anyone kept on watching; his humor was very charismatic. However, the rest of the cast was terrible. Rhesus monkeys could have easily taken the townspeoples' places. The plot never had any advancement. It felt like it was dwelling on the same idea throughout the whole movie, just more people were dying, thus fewer suspects as to who the controllor of the Headless Horseman was [by the way, Christopher Walken was fantastic also, but his scenes seemed detached from the plot of the movie; the action just seemed to be there to keep people from falling asleep. It was midnight, too, so believe me, the snoring gets to you after awhile.] Why did that winmill explode like that? It was made of wood and stone, with bags of sand within. As far as I know, wood, stone, and sand doesn't cause a massive explosion. And most importantly.. whats up with killing an innocent little child? Tim Burton will rot in hell for that scene. Children are symbols of innocence, of pureness, and he depicts a child being brutally murdered, with him also being decapitated... but not before he looks eye-to-eye with his poor moms' disembodied head. Whoever enjoyed that scene, should definitely get some counselling.. it was not thrilling, nor insightful, and yes, it was original, but that is just because no one is sick enough to mutilate small children. That scene got half the crowd to leave, on the spot. The other half didn't leave because the boredom of the film had them still asleep. Trust me, don't listen to any of these goth freaks who think that this is a masterpiece... go out and rent The Matrix, or see End of Days, or even The World is Not Enough is better that this poorly written, steaming pile of dog crap.

  • Jan. 2, 2000, 6:45 p.m. CST

    The first of many!

    by worldwidelie

    Hello everyone. I'm going to review every film I see in the New Year. My names is Marshal Mathers, I'm an alcoholic. Why am I doing this? Because my New Year's resolution is to see more films. This sprung out of my disillusionment at the amount of films off the end of year best lists I hadn't seen. I live in England, so I still have a lot of things to come. I'm particularly looking forwards to American Beauty. I hope you all become fans of me and my idiosyncratic little style, and eventually accept me into your community. Plus sending me large cheques in the post. However, tonight I went to see Sleepy Hollow at the cinema. The first thing I would say is this is not a sophisticated film. Although it requires painstaking effort to make something as beautiful as this, its cerebral qualities are fairly base. What it possesses is charm. For proof, look at that sumptuos first image of the drop of red wax. Harry is right about the blood - its incandescent, marvellous. Another image that struck me was the shot of the cut on the dead servant girl's hand as the carriage goes past. Lovely. Burton's visuals really are kid in a candy store. For this, the film achieves kudos. Also for Jonny Depp. The only way to describe him in this film is cool. That's no mean achievement, given he spends much of his time fainting and being injured. But that mathematical poise, and that incredibly smooth look away he does (witness the scene when he and the boy return from the notary) are excellent. I'm very happy I saw this film first, as while it was a very entertaining night out, I'm confident it is not the best film I will see. On the other hand, I fail to see you can find a better villain - the fantastic crunch of those boots and swing of the axes is ringing in my head! A nice start to the New Millenium. 8/10

  • Jan. 3, 2000, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Just wondering (contains spoilers)

    by Venetia

    Sleepy Hollow just opened here in New Zealand on New Year's Day, so my question is a little late, but I'm wondering if anyone knows why the Horseman gets rid of the child, when presumably he was meant only to kill the boy's parents? Doesn't it seem a little odd, given his apparent reluctance to engage anyone he hasn't been sent for, if they don't attack him directly? Anyway, I loved the movie. That gloriously lush but enormously creepy atmosphere can only be generated by someone like Tim Burton. I also thought the casting and acting were superb, with the possible exception of Christina Ricci who didn't quite seem to fit in this film. I should probably note that I've very much enjoyed her work in the other films of hers I've seen, particularly as Wednesday Addams, so it's not just that this is a fantasy role. I'm not really sure what was wrong, just that she didn't seem right, if that makes sense. My only real disappointment in the movie was more my own fault. I always like Miranda Richardson, & so noticed where her name appeared in the opening credits, immediately after the film's title. When it became clear she wasn't going to be very visible in the first part of the film, I worked out that she must be 'the bad guy', thus spoiling the surprise. But this is a small complaint in an otherwise extremely enjoyable film!

  • Jan. 4, 2000, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Sleepy Hollow Made Me Sleepy

    by Superunknown

    Wow! What an unbelievable disappointment. After I saw the trailer for this film I thought it was going to be Tim Burton's finest hour - only to discover it was in fact his darkest. What an incredible waste of superb atmosphere. This movie has the right look but a completely inappropriate story. Why didn't they simply stick to the plot of Washingtons book instead of trying to turn the whole film into a glorified Scooby Doo episode. Talk about overwriting!The Disney cartoon was ten times more frightening.

  • April 5, 2000, 7:50 a.m. CST

    I just Looooooved Sleepy Hollow!!!

    by G12dr8

    Well, I 'll start with saying, that if Johnny Depp wasn't the charachter of Ichabod Crane, this movie wouldn't be what it's like now. I really enjoyed watching it and it scared me out of my whits too... Anyway, I became a real Depp fan now! The plot was awesome!!! Can you believe I dreamt about it that night? I love, love? no, I adore this film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And especially Ichabod Crane!!!! I just wanted to say that.

  • May 25, 2000, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton and Johnny Depp - a match made in heaven

    by Andymation

    It has been said before and I'll say it onece more. Tim Burton is a genius beyond compare If there is cinemas in heaven he deserves a spot there So much for the poetry. Apart from "Beetlejuice" who was actually not so good, Tim Burton has delievered nothing but delight.Johnny Depp was great as that kid Edward with a sort of hand problem, and him and Tim work so well together that I can't believe it!

  • Aug. 16, 2000, 9 p.m. CST

    Tim Burton and Danny Elfman

    by JP3183

    These two are the dream team of the movie business. Just like Spielberg and John Williams, the movie and the music belongs to each other. P.S. Someone asked if the hessian died in the ending. The horseman can't die, he's already dead.

  • Oct. 6, 2001, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Best New Action Horror Movie Ever!!!

    by Headless

    This movie definitly kicks ass as you said!! Burton's the best director ever!! I love all his movies!! Why the best horror movie? Cause the new horror style movies sucks...Scream-and-I-know-what-you-did-last-summer-shit are the worst movies ever. Burton knows how to do a real and a great horror movie! Elfman's music is awsome! The cast and acting are amazing!