Tim Burton Makes Good Movies Too… Occasionally
Since the news of Tim Burton possibly making Pinocchio his next project, I’ve been bagging on him pretty hard via Twitter and Facebook. My comments are along the lines of, Burton has become tirelessly boring, predictable and repetitive. He casts his wife, Helen Bohnam Carter in every film and Johnny Depp in every other film. Now I know that directors have their favorite actors and muses but Burton’s obsession with consistently casting the same stars has become annoying and he’s become an industry wide joke for doing so. He also grabs Danny Elfman to score every one of his films. And on top of that, I get it, you have crazy hair, you’re weird, you’re creative, just cut it already.
I mean honestly, how many remakes, revamps or reimaginings do you think you can do before you drive people completely crazy. From Batman, to Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland and Edward Scissorhands, Burton has copied them all.
So seeing my obvious detest for Tim Burton, why would I ever write a story about some of the good movies he’s directed? Well I’ve battled the quality of Burton’s film several times with fellow FilmPopper.com writer, Colin. And being that he loves and defends Burton to the death I thought I should weed through Burton’s film catalogue to see if in fact there is anything good out there? If just maybe I can find some redeeming qualities in this director who annoys me so greatly. Maybe I could actually find some common ground with Mr. Colin. I mean HEY, if Newt Gingrinch and Nancy Pelosi can sit down on a couch and agree about Global warming, surely I can find a few redeeming qualities in Tim Burton movies.
And surprise!!!! I did. Here are three films I found by Tim Burton that I quite enjoyed and would ecen highly recommend you watch.
Big Fish (2003)
Big Fish was the first Tim Burton movie I was excited for since Batman Returns (which sucked by the way). There have been many tall tales in this world, and Big Fish nailed the art of exaggerating an event in ones life for sake of a great story. It teaches us that a story told completely true is a little bit boring. Both Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney nailed the simple elgance of their roles. The film was quality but when you really think about it, Big Fish was just a road trip movie, but a really good one.
Tim Burton’s Batman was the first in a new wave of superhero movie (ironically, so was Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins). As a kid and in it’s time it was a clear favorite of mine. It has one of the most iconic soundtracks in film history, scored by who else then Danny Elfman. The unlikely superhero Michael Keaton hit the character spot on with a great blend of humor and seriousness. As far as the Jack Nicholson as Joker, I’m not going to compare to Heath Ledger as both actors were amazing in the role and both hit the perfect tone within the context of their respective directors vision. I’ll will give it to Nicholson though as far as dialogue, he performed some of the best quotes in film history. Some examples: “this town needs an enema!”, “Never Rub Another Man’s Rhubarb” and “have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” Simply amazing. My only complaint about Burton’s Batman: the complete lack of respect for the The Dark Knight’s comic book history. Burton made up his own stories and character background which were completely inconsistent with Batman lore.
Ed Wood (1994)
It was Burton’s second collaboration with Johnny Depp. We were so naive to think this might be the last time they worked together. There’s a ton of plot holes in this little film but Burton’s tribute to B-movie master was none the less a joy to watch. The homage to the world’s worst director, Edward D. Wood Jr. was great. The film has just enough heart and quirkiness to be great. You should go grab this one immediately if you’ve never seen it.
Also Burton produced Cabin Boy with Chris Elliott which was insanely hilarious!!!
So there it is, I guess Tim Burton is not all bad, some pretty good pearls do actually exist in his resume. Burton’s next film is Dark Shadows based on the cult TV show and stars, surprise!!!! Johnny Depp and Helen Bohnam Carter. It hits theaters May 11, 2012.