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Yes, No, Maybe So: "Bernie" and "Frankenweenie"

Andreas here with a pair of trailers from beloved directors -- and both death-centric comedies, at that. First up, Richard Linklater's Bernie:


  • The most obvious reasons: Slacker, Dazed & Confused, Waking Life, etc., etc.
  • Black and McConaughey both seem to be doing offbeat, atypical work here. I'm curious to see where their performances lead.
  • And of course, the legendary Shirley MacLaine!


  • But judging from the trailer, her role looks awfully one-dimensional -- "shrill old lady who dies." Here's hoping it's more fun in the finished film.
  • This isn't the movie's fault, but wow, that trailer goes for every musical and editing cliché in the book. I'm surprised they didn't use a record scratch instead of a gunshot.

More "Bernie" and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie trailer after the jump.


  • The trailer divides its time between the cast's fictionalized antics and the "true story" talking heads. How will Linklater integrate the two?

I'm eager to find out, so I'll go a solid "yes" on this one.


  • Black and white. Stop-motion. Finally, some visual variety to our animation!
  • Those suburban vistas are giving me Edward Scissorhands flashbacks, always a reassuring sign.
  • Doggy! Sparky looks adorable; will he pick up where Uggie and Cosmo left off?


  • Some of the jokes come off as obligatory kids' movie stuff, riffing on Frankenstein iconography. Will the whole movie be dominated by easy punchlines?
  • The original Frankenweenie is half an hour long, which makes me wary of filler and unnecessary subplots.


  • Burton's really going back to his roots here -- both by remaking his own short film, and by diving back into horror pastiche. Will that be enough to get him creatively back on track?
  • Another sign that he's returning to the distant past: this'll be his first movie without Johnny or Helena since Mars Attacks.
  • This is out in October, and Dark Shadows arrives in May. By the end of 2012, will we be all Burton'd out?

If they're both good, I'd say not likely! I'm a nervous but optimistic "YES" on this one.

The trailers for your own yes, no, maybe so review...

  • Are you dying to see either of these?
  • Can Tim Burton's artistic vision be shocked back to life, or will he be down in Wonderland forever?

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Reader Comments (9)

I love Tim Burton and I think the original "Frankenweenie" is a fabulous short movie. But I'm afraid of something: DISNEY!!! Even I think that is a great dream factory I remember the tandem Burton-Disney in "Alice" and... I start to think on the disaster of that movie was! Why did you have to do that Tim??? WHY?????

But in Tim Burton we trust!!!

And this movie looks like the Burton we lost long time ago!!!

Definitely for me It's a very big YES!!!!

And What's happening with "Dark Shadows"???
We want a trailer right now!!!!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolcaji

My adoration for Catherine O'Hara is as high as the heavens but I can't say I don't feel a sad nostalgia sweep over me thinking about how lovely it would have been if he could have gotten Shelley Duvall to come back and do the mom's voice in Frankenweenie. The world is so less bright without Shelley Duvall giving us her Shelley-Duvall-ness.

But at least he gave Noni a job!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I'm hoping that Bernie is just a case of a bad trailer happening to a good movie. Linklater's career has taken such an odd turn over the last four or five years that I hope it's a hit if only to get the guy back in the conversation.

Aside from Sweeney Todd, I haven't liked a Tim Burton movie in 13 years. I would love it if this is the year that trend turns around. Frankenweenie will either be a return to form or the ultimate confirmation that he is no longer a relevant artist. I definitely hope it's the former, though. There are very few things in the world of film that have bummed me out more than the recent direction of Burton's career.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

"Burton"+Disney also equaled "Nightmare Before Christmas".

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

I definitely expect Frankenweenie to be a success for Tim, or atleast be a big improvemnt from what he's been doing. It just looks and feels so right.

don't know about bernie...

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

since 1995, i've been constantly overly excited by a the prospect of a new tim burton movie and overly disappointed when i've seen it. when will i learn...?

ps - omg, i'm so looking forward to frankenweenie!!!

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Re: Linklater... I really want another home run out of him. I mean, he gave us the three you mentioned AND Before Sunrise / Sunset AND School of Rock... Just waiting for that breakthrough.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

The Frankenstein jokes seem like very easy gets - although I understand that's mainly the point.

Very surprised we have this before the Dark Shadows trailer.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

I heard Black is great in Bernie, but keep your eyes out on mcconaughey. He is changing his image. Keep it hush hush but he does excellent work in the paperboy which i saw a ruoughcut a few weeks ago. All i will say it is my favorite film of 2012 so far.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosh
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