Welcome back to The Shelf. This week we’ve got a Burton re-imagining of a Tim Burton film, a much needed reboot of a British cult hero and a giveaway of the funniest spy show since Get Smart.
2012 was a good year for fans of stop-motion animated throwbacks to classic genre movies. Paranorman had the supernatural covered with ghosts and zombies, but Frankenweenie brought us Tim Burton’s family version of Frankenstein, vampire bats, and even Gamera. Based on the short of the same name that Burton made for Disney in 1984 (yes, Tim Burton has now gone so far as to remake his own work), Frankenweenie follows Victor, a boy who wants nothing more than to play with his dog and make Super 8 movies, as he discovers the capabilities of science and love to bring his best friend back to life. In a town where science becomes a four-letter word after an accident gets pinned on the local science teacher (voiced masterfully by Martin Landau), the students run amuck creating monsters of their own when they try to replicate Victor’s experiment. The film is beautiful, and, even more than The Artist, shows that things made in black and white can still be fantastic in their scope. For more on Frankenweenie, check out our interviews with Martin Landau and writer John August.
Dredd returns in this criminally under seen adaptation of the classic British comic Judge Dredd. Karl Urban steps in to fill the shoes of the man who is the law as Mega City One is under attack from the inside by a new street drug making its way through the city’s many ghettos. With a new trainee named Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) by his side, Dredd knows he’s the only one who can stop the spread of the designer narcotic. Unfortunately, Lena Headey’s Ma-Ma is ready for them, and calls open season on the Judge and his partner when they enter her slum. The movie’s premise is similar to last year’s The Raid as Dredd and Anderson have to fight their way through floor after floor of guilty verdicts, but the film stands on its own and Karl Urban is Dredd, wiping the horrible memory of Sylvester Stallone out of helmet from our collective brain pan.
Our favorite animated incompetent spy is back for a new season next week on FX, which means the exploits of Archer last season are finally on Blu-ray and DVD. Season 3 saw Archer meet his spy idol (and his mother met the spy’s idol) in Burt Reynolds, Sterling gets a snazzy spy car for his birthday (an ep featuring George Takei), and we even get to see how Archer fares in outer space. This show has been described by others as James Bond meets Arrested Development, two great tastes that taste great together. Not that we know what Archer tastes like.
We love this show so much we want to someone to have it for free. Enter Nerdist News’ Archer Season 3 DVD giveaway and you may be the lucky espionage enthusiast to walk home with a copy. Just sign up with your email address (this will sign you up for Nerdist News’ free daily email newsletter) and you’re done. Now just sit back relax and inadvertently become a pirate king.