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By: J.T. Ford
By: J.T. Ford

Previewing the Good, Bad and Ugly of Frankenweenie and Taken 2


September’s doldrums has made way to October frights. While the previous month was filled with… subpar efforts (minus a select few; I still need to check out Looper), the promise of the final few months before the Mayan’s kill us all in December should make for a fun time in the cinemas. I just need to find some time to frequent the local multiplex (that darn life, always getting in my way). First up to the trick or treat line is another horror type tale for kids.
Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. *
The Good – For the first time since 1999’s Sleepy Hollow, a Tim Burton movie is released that does not feature either Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter. This is a plus. While a familiar rapport between collaborators can be helpful, the previous collaboration in this year’s Dark Shadows proved to be at least one time too many.  They ended up falling back into a harmful pattern, relying too much on each other that it stifled any creativity. It ultimately hurt the final product, so a much needed break was in order. I only wish it wasn’t an animated project that resembles Corpse Bride but beggars can’t be choosers, so they say.
The Bad – As with ParaNorman before, I don’t know how kids will react to this. While ParaNorman was somewhat of a breath of fresh air in the recent onslaught of animated children’s films (or so I’ve been told), I don’t imagine this kid friendly take on Frankenstein will be as kindly received, given Tim Burton’s penchant for the macabre. His previous animated tale Corpse Bride is not on my list of favorite Burton movies either.
The Ugly – The fact that the kids reanimated a dead dog. I’ve seen Pet Sematary. These things don’t end well. Sometimes, dead is better.
Frankenweenie is rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action.
In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter. *
The Good – The first Taken came out as a surprise. Liam Neeson was like a tornado, destroying everybody and everything that stood between him and his daughter, leaving nothing but devastation behind.  The cold nature of Mr. Neeson and his matter of fact approach to the carnage is what made the first film stand out. This new one looks to continue the trend, and will hopefully be another great action flick.
The Bad – The PG-13 rating is a major jumping off point. While the first one somehow skated by with the rating, it left me scratching my head. Here’s a movie where a man brutally tortures and maims his advisories, and the MPAA somehow was able to turn a blind eye to it? My guess is that there wasn’t any blood; otherwise it should have been a hard R. This is ideally where this movie should have resided, in my opinion. 
The Ugly – Woe to anyone who upsets Liam Neeson’s daughter. You will be hunted down and destroyed.
Taken 2 is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality.
That will do for this week. Stay tuned next time when Ben Affleck makes a fake movie about an overweight P.E. teacher. Until then, I beg you to please avoid all zombie dogs of any kind. Their bites are killer.
*all movies summaries Taken from
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