Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book,” Directed by Wrong Howard?

Dear Neil Gaiman,Speaking as a fellow fantasy novelist, I envy you the experiences you've had... seeing your stories brought to life on the big screen with vivid imagination in brilliant adaptations.I'm a huge fan of the film version of MirrorMask, one of the Henson Company's most original and daring works. I discover new rewards in that movie every time I watch it.I've also come to love Henry Selick's version of Coraline very much. But that's no surprise. Selick's The Nightmare … [Read more...]

Neil Gaiman’s Girls, Part Two – MirrorMask (2005)

2012 Update: I doubt that you'll find anybody to argue that the world lost one of its great imaginations when Jim Henson died. Since he departed, The Jim Henson Company has continued to do admirable work, but its feature films have been hit-and-miss affairs.Unfortunately, MirrorMask, the company's most wildly imaginative post-Henson release, remains fairly obscure. I didn't discover it until long after it had left theaters, and that's a shame, because it is a big-screen spectacle par … [Read more...]

Neil Gaiman’s Girls, Part One – Coraline (2009)

2012 Update: ParaNorman has opened to some enthusiastic reviews, and I'm eager to see it because it comes from LAIKA Entertainment , the same movie studio that turned Neil Gaiman's Coraline into a terrific stop-animation feature in 2009. In the three years since its release, I've grown more and more fond of Coraline; it's become one of my favorite animated films, strong work on every level.Here's my original review, which began a two-part focus at Good Letters on movies about "Neil Gaiman's … [Read more...]

Come Hell or High Water (Again), Terry Gilliam Will Make That La Mancha Movie

Paste reports the almost inevitable news (first noted at Empire) that Terry Gilliam is keeping the dream alive. He once was lost (in La Mancha), but he will be found. "[Producer] Jeremy Thomas is very close to getting all the pieces of paper signed from all the people who you gotta get signed," Gilliam told us. "He's been on it for a year now, and he's come the closest to getting it untangled from the legal swamp it was in. And, um, I don't see why, I donæt see anythying that's gonna stop it … [Read more...]

Stardust (2007)

[This is an expanded, revised version of a review originally published at Christianity Today Movies.]-What would we do without "Once upon a time..."?For most of us, that famous opening line conjures vivid memories of children's stories about knights, magic spells, wicked witches, dragons, epic battles, and curses broken by the power of a kiss. But many grownups have folded up their imaginations and stuffed them in a closet, pooh-poohing stories about princesses and goblins.* It's … [Read more...]