Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tim Burton

An auteur is a director/producer/writer/etc who demonstrates a strong style in all his/her works. Examples of such being Alfred Hitchcock who always directed movies of suspense and mystery; M. Night Shyamalan demonstrates a variety of films with psychological twists and fantastical events, and Tim Burton always delivers movies that are dark and severely artistic.

Vincent (director/1982)

   An animated short narrated by Vincent Price about a boy who in today's world might be called "gothic." This short is a charming foreshadow of things to come. 

Frankenweenie (director/1984)
   Tells a tale of a frankenstine-ish dog. I don't remember much about it. I can tell you that in 2012 we can expect a longer version.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (director/1985)
   In my first screen writing class I picked this movie apart scene by scene, sequence by sequence. It's a perfect model of what a movie needs and should be... and it's funny.

Beetlejuice (director/1988)
   With Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Winona Rider starring... I just don't care for it. (I've discovered I only like Michael Keaton in Much Ado About Nothing.)

Batman (director/1989)
   Starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, and Jack Nicholson. Thankfully this movie stays away from the dreaded Robin, but it's all over the place.

Edward Scissorhands (director/producer/1990)
   Starring Johnny Depp, Vincent Price, Diane Wiest and Winona Rider. This film was a cult hit until Pirates of the Caribbean came out and suddenly liking Johnny Depp was popular. Now it's just a hit and people come out of the woodwork declaring, "I've always liked Edward Scissorhands." Yeah, okay. We true fans know who we are.

Batman Returns (director/producer/1992)
   Starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken. This movie is also all over the place, we hate Michael Keaton as Batman (it just doesn't make any sense!) yet Tim Butson's style is so much fun we can't help but love it, despite the Penguin. No offence Danny DeVito, but we hate the Penguin, (and not just in this movie.)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (producer/1993)
   What is there to say? This may be Danny Elfman's greatest achievement musically. The score is brilliant. This is one of those movies that you watch and think, "This is amazing. AMAZING!"

Batman Forever (producer/1995)
   Starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman and Chris O'Donnell (and Drew Barrymore.) Despite the appearance of the dreaded Robin, and the worst roll Tommy Lee Jones ever accepted, I enjoy this movie. Would I have liked it if they told the entire story of Two-Face like the animated series did? Yes, but we're pretty satisfied with the animated series version as it is. Out of this series (Batman through the dreaded Batman and Robin) this one is my favorite. In the 60's TV show the Riddler was my favorite villain, he was everything the Joker should have been. And Jim Carrey's Riddler was so much fun that they built a ride at Magic Mountain about it. (But between you and me, the ride is too long and makes me black out.) Is it a "good" movie, no. But it's a guilty pleasure of mine.

James and the Giant Peach (producer/1996)
   I was the mother in James and the Giant Peach in my fourth grade play, and I didn't think much of the play back then... and now I don't think much about it either. Danny Elfman's music wasn't up to pare either.

Mars Attacks! (producer/1996)
   I found this movie a little funny, and a lot dull.

Sleepy Hollow (director/1999)
   Starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire's Rita Skeeter,) and Christopher Walken as the Hessian Horseman (AKA, the Headless Horseman when he has his head on,) with Ray Park (Star Wars: The Phantom Menance's Darth Maul, GI Joe's Snake Eyes, and X-Men's Toad) as the Headless Horseman. This movie takes a lot of liberties from Washington Irvine's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but we absolutely adore it anyway. (For a closer following of the short story see Disney.)

Planet of the Apes (director/2001)
   Starring Mark Wahlberg, Paul Giamatti, Michael Clark Duncan, and (our favorite actress/Tim Burton's wife) Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter's Bellatrix Lestrange, Fight Club's Marla Singer, Alice in Wonderland's Red Queen.) Everyone thought that Estella Warren (the human) was going to be huge after this... everyone was dead wrong.

Big Fish (director/2003)
   Starring Ewan McGregor. My aunt's brother-in-law, George the Giant, is also in this movie, (he's the tall one.) This movie was okay.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (director/2005)
   Apparently this is more like the book than Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory of 1971 starring Gene Wilder. However, the two simply cannot be compared. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's music was regrettably not Danny Elfman's best, and the lyrics were drowned due to the incomprehensible delivery of the oompa loompa. Johnny Depp's Willie Wonka was wonderful. I loved his flashbacks (featuring his dentist father, Christopher Lee.) Johnny Depp was vulnerable and completely childlike, making the character completely incomparable to Gene Wilder's snappish and wild Willie Wonka. (Each and are brilliantly done.)

Corpse Bride (producer/2005)
   Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Emily Watson (Red Dragon.) The music is again lacking, and the story is a bit all over the place, but we enjoy it enough.

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (director/2007)
   Starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Regrettably I haven't seen this Broadway musical turn turned movie, but we can thank it for it's place in a tiny genre we like to call Horror Musical. (How many can you name? Hint, Tim Burton gives us two besides this one.)

9 (producer/2009)
   I saw this movie but I barely remember it... is that a good sign?

Alice in Wonderland (director/2010)
   Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, the boring Mia Wasikowska, the dreaded Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover (Back to the Future's George McFly,) Michael Sheen (Twilight's Aro,) Alan Rickman (you should know who this is,) Timothy Spall (Harry Potter's Wormtail,) with an adorable performance by Matt Lucas who plays Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. The huge problem with this movie is the script. It takes beloved parts of the book/wonderful-Disney-version and wears them out. Some of my favorite quotes from the animated Disney version are now completely worn thin by the overuse of them in this movie. (But alas, I've already vented about this.)


  1. oh boy:
    dont remember peewee much

    I liked beetlejuice, it could have been better. I liked michael keaton in this (and only 2 other roles, but only b/c i recognized him in them: gung ho, and batman 1&2). loved the cartoon. loved the part in hell, very burton.

    edward scisorhands:good, very 80s. not my fav.

    batman. enjoyed. good lines. I like robin, but see why avoided in films, dont get the hate. at times too cartoony, at others very dark. black billy dee williams/lando as white harvy dent interesting. best of the 90s ones.

    batman returns, only saw recently. a great continuation of #1. if you liked it. still lovd the sets and feel. i dislike c. walken. even darker=good

    nightmare b4 christmas:fun. dont really like rewatching, would never own, hate taking over haunted mansion for holidays.

    b&r:fail. twoface was fine, tho yes among his worst roles, and character incarnations. I love riddler, and his ride, and 60's and animated series, this one =fail. shouldnt have bad villain team ups (same for sequel). bad movie. bad batman.

    james& giant peach: a "bright" tim burton film, and I'd give it a B-.

    mars attacks:forgettable

    sleepy hollow: meh. not as good as disney. diliked rita skeeter (tho umbridge makes me want to vomit and have seizures), plot was annoying, not as good for halloween/fall as hocus pocus or something wicked this way comes (NO, NOT the HP song)

    planet of the apes (new, obv): thank god for HBC. she was the only good thing in this (and most everything she plays crazy in. i love her)

    big fish: enjoyed. havnt seen in a long time.

    choco factory:didnt see, I like gene wilders v3ersion a lot tho. you'd have to pull my teeth like watching new producers.

    corpse bride: love it, love it more than nightmare, wish I owned it. loved the music, lots of fun, for giving it an A-, I know it couldve done better. however, hated the ending. shouldve gone the other way.

    alice was all over the place, nowhere as good as disney, tho I liked alan rickman, hbc, and maybe someone else, but not for their chars either. I just...didnt like it.

  2. I like Michael Keaton in the Pixar movies. He made an amazing Ken in Toy Story 3.
    Also, I like Nightmare more than Corpse Bride. And I LOVE that they take over haunted mansion for the holidays.
    Mars Attacks is great for quoting. "I just want to remind the American people that we still have two out of three branches of the government... and that ain't bad!"
    I enjoy making fun of Batman and Robin. It is quite possibly the worst movie ever made. Every actor did a terrible job. TERRIBLE.
    I love Tim Burton's style, but I don't love all his movies. Heck, I haven't even seen all his movies. Why no mention of Lemony Snicket?

  3. Grant, while I'm a HUGE Nightmare B/4 Christmas fan, I also hate it when it takes over The Haunted Mansion during the holidays. Why can't we just keep those two separate? I like The Haunted Mansion as it is!

    Jamie, I completely agree with you that Batman and Robin is probably the worst movie ever. It should suffer painfully! And Lemony Snicket's not a Tim Burton movie, though very Tim Burtonesque. I also love Mars Attacks for its stab at country music.