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Sleepy Hollow  

Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp)
Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci)
Lady Van Tassel (Marie Richardson)
Brom Van Brunt (Casper Van Diem)
Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon)
Directed by Tim Burton Written by Andrew Kevin Walker, based on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving
Rated R for graphic horror violence and sexuality
Running Time: 105 minutes Distributed by Paramount

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Sleepy Hollow is a stunning visionary film that becomes weakened by its script. Sleepy Hollow is director Tim Burton's retelling of Washington Irving's 18th century classical novel "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Ichabod Crane (Depp) is an intelligent investigator assigned to a case of a series of beheadings in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Locals claim that the killings are the work of the spectral Headless Horseman, which Crane doesn't believe for a moment. As Crane investigates more and more, clues begin to fall in place, and heads continue to roll.

Tim Burton's vision and unique direction is a treat to watch with Sleepy Hollow. However, the script cripples the overall experience of the film.

Andrew Kevin Walker wrote Sleepy Hollow. Walker's script is a totally different angle away from Irving's novel. Walker's version is darker with more twists. In Irving's novel, the Headless Horseman doesn't even actually kill anyone. However, Walker exploits the killing by adapting the Headless Horseman with a swift sword and a deadly ax. Walker's script has nice presentation of its characters through out the script. In my opinion the script does fall apart due to a few cheesy moments and a grim ending. I learned that Walker's first script didn't achieve the goals that Burton wanted, so the Academy Award winning screenwriter of Shakespeare in Love, Tom Stoppard, revised the script for Burton. I actually thought that the script would end up being fairly good, but it isn't.

Tim Burton's direction is vivid and imaginative as always. Burton's previous credits include Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton uses dark and dreary visuals for his films. His direction is the most enjoyable concept of Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow should get an Oscar nomination for its art direction.

The acting is overall satisfactory in Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp is efficient as the obsessed Ichabod Crane. This is the third film that Burton and Depp have worked together on. The previous two films were Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. Christina Ricci seemed out of place in Sleepy Hollow, as Crane's love interest. I know that she has great talent, and a reputation for doing dark stories. However, I didn't think that she should have been cast in Sleepy Hollow. I won't reveal the identity of the actor who is the Headless Horseman, but he is a great choice for the role.

Overall, Sleepy Hollow is a pretty enjoyable film that will bring in money at the box office. It is a typical Tim Burton film, which means a dark and vivid picture.

Report Card Grade: B-

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