7 January 2013 8:03 PM, PST | JustPressPlay.net | See recent JustPressPlay news »

Something has clearly happened to Tim Burton. Once upon a time, Frankenweenie might have been a revelation, a gothic counterpoint to E.T. in its exploration of how children deal with loss. But that Burton is gone, presumably buried under the piles of money he got after Alice in Wonderland. Possessing neither the nastiness of Edward Scissorhands or the warped sweetness of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Frankenweenie manages to take perhaps the saddest event in a child’s life and give it the visual texture of a Rembrandt and the emotional texture of flypaper. Gorgeous, hopelessly reverent, but painfully lacking in insight, Frankenweenie reminds us at every turn of the director that Burton used to be but is no longer. Beware, as a few spoilers lay ahead.

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- Anders Nelson

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