Friday, September 23, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM "Just Like Heaven, "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" (Guest: Mark Pfeiffer)


It's Movie Time
Co-hosts, writers & producers: John DeSando & Clay Lowe For WCBE 90.5 FM

Substitute for Clay Lowe:

Mark Pfeiffer from Westerville and Otterbein WOCC TV3

Reviews: "Just Like Heaven," "Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride" Taped: 1:30 pm, September 21, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, September 23, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:



"Just Like Heaven" is /just like/ a romantic comedy . . .


"Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride" reanimates stop-motion filmmaking.


Richelle Antczak
"It's Movie Time" in Central Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Mark Pfeiffer of Westerville and Otterbein’s WOCC TV3, substituting for vacationing Clay Lowe...

John ("Just Like Heaven")
Mark, just when I thought the western world had forgotten about Plato, along comes a romantic comedy devoted to the purity of love divorced from the physical. Just Like Heaven casts Reese Witherspoon as Elizabeth, a medical doctor put into coma by an accident. But her spirit haunts Mark Ruffalo’s David, who has rented her old San Francisco apartment.

It’s at least as entertaining as 40 Year old Virgin or Must Love Dogs. The scene where David tries exorcists and ghost busters to rid him of his guest is one of the best this year. The appearance of Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder as a stoner spiritual advisor is heady.

Just Like Heaven is light fare for a waning summer. Alexis Carrel describes the unity of the living and the dead as if he were addressing this film: “Happily, society comprises not only the living but the dead, and the great dead still live in our midst. We can contemplate them and listen to them at will.”

Mark ("Just Like Heaven’)
John, Just Like Heaven’s time-tested and timeworn formula may not require much brain exertion, but it provides celestial stars for the thinking man and woman in the forms of Witherspoon and Ruffalo. Witherspoon projects intelligence even when playing the ditziest of characters. Here she’s quite funny coping with the collision of Elizabeth’s professional practicality and utter befuddlement in personal matters.

Seeing her blithe spirit revive the rumpled, brooding David is a primary source of the film’s charms. Ruffalo pulls several laughs reacting to someone no one else can see, particularly when Witherspoon talks him through an emergency surgery.

Witherspoon and Ruffalo underplay the broad comedy and their characters’ attraction, which is why their chemistry ultimately proves to be so satisfying. But John, what else can be said for a film serving a potent reminder that a girlfriend in a coma looks positively ideal compared to a cadaver for a mate?

John ("Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride ")
Although a few of us HAVE married corpse-like spouses (not you, of course), and those unions were doomed to hell from the start, in Corpse Bride, Tim Burton depicts Victor (voice of Johnny Depp), a shy, awkward, introverted pianist, actually marrying a corpse (Helena Bonham Carter), by error. Because this is stop-motion animation, the expressions depict with icy hilarity the pitfalls of arranged marriages and passive attitudes.

If you like your Edgar Allen Poe visual, Bride is for you. The characters from hell, such as Mr. Bonejangles, a maggot as a Peter Lorre knockoff, and a headwaiter with just a head, are Halloween scary and funny while living beings, such as Victor’s social-climbing parents and fiancé Victoria’s poor aristocrat parents, are already in their own pre-grave version of hell.

How Victor inadvertently weds a curvy skeleton and gets dragged to hell is yours to find out. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy a director whose imagination is scary.

Mark ("Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride ")
John, Corpse Bride’s protagonists are kindred spirits with the sensitive, pale, black-clad heroes who populate Burton’s body of work. Here he’s made the first film perfect for parents who were teenage goths and their angst-ridden children. After all, in Corpse Bride the after life is where color is found. The world of the living is draped in black, white, and the bluish gray of a dead body.

The ghastly elegant visual style and macabre humor are indebted to Edward Gorey’s illustrations. For all its death fixations, Corpse Bride is a film alive with inventiveness and devil-may-care attitude. Certainly it’s darker than the Burton-produced stop-motion classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, enough that it may mortify unsuspecting moms and dads, yet the creepiness should elicit gleeful shudders from children rather than bad dreams.

John, now we know the perils of wedding a lass so thin that her ribcage is literally visible.

But enough of blithe birdcages and somnolent surgeons, John, because it's grading time.

Holy Halloween, Hooray!

"Just Like Heaven" earns a “B” because BEING a BORING doctor makes one comatose . . .

“Just Like Heaven” gets a B for its bright, young stars and their boundless appeal.

" Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride" earns an “A” because AMOUR is everywhere, even underneath. . .

"Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride" gets a B for Burton’s creative brilliance.

Mark, if Clay comes back from Canada with a bride, given his age, she’s likely to be a corpse or at least look like one.

Thanks for coming by.

I hope you’ll return soon . . . .

I'm outta here.


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is written and produced by John DeSando and Clay Lowe in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus and 106.7 FM in Newark.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe