Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson
This is such an awesome movie. When it came out it was a new and interesting fairy tale made in true Tim Burton fashion. Like many other Burton movies this one is exceptional because there really is no other like it. This movie is interesting, imaginative, and incredible. With this strange fantasy story Tim Burton manages to give us an insight into how he sees the world and tell us something about ourselves all in one stroke. This film is about finding out who you are, it’s about love and fear; it’s part Beauty and the Beast, part Frankenstein, and all Tim Burton.
Tim Burton really is one of a kind. He has such a vision when it comes to blending colors on screen and he has a style that is all his own. I have never cared much for what I think of as “the creepy Tim Burton crap” but it is part of who he is and it is original. His originality is what makes him such a great filmmaker and this is one of the best showcases for his talent. My favorite of his films has got to be Beetle Juice, but this is a really really close second. Johnny Depp is great as the title character and if I’m not mistaken he has referred to this as one of his favorite roles. He portrays such an innocent being that is victimized by the world and ultimately misunderstood. Winona Ryder is young and beautiful. Dianne Wiest is honest and good spirited. However, after Johnny Depp I think the best performance has to go to Alan Arkin. He plays the father of the Boggs so deftly and naturally that it makes you believe this is a real family and a real story. I have read that the death of Jim at the end of the film was Tim Burton’s revenge on the jocks who picked on him in high school but I think that revenge came in casting Anthony Michael Hall as the jock instead. Hall had played dorks and nerds for a long time but was trying to change his image with this role. Who was he kidding though, right? He did a horrible job and his career continued on a downward spiral because of it. This was the last film that Vincent Price appeared in and that is another thing that makes it special. It is sad that the last thing he did on screen was dying though.
Edward is a creature of isolation, in this film we see him adapt and attempt to live a normal life. Edward does not understand what he is dealing with in society though and he is vulnerable because of his ignorance. The world is cruel, and it isn’t long before the world is trying to exploit Edward in a variety of ways. When he doesn’t understand what is going on he responds in ways that society doesn’t understand. He isn’t a person, he is the unfinished product of the inventor and it isn’t his fault that he doesn’t understand the world. He tries to do what he thinks is right but is unequipped and unaware of how to deal with the manipulation and the cruelty of others. Everywhere he goes people continually fill him with hope by telling him that they know a doctor who can help him but the only people who do help him are the Boggs, and ultimately they fail to understand him as well. The only one who really knew him was the one he fell for, and she couldn’t help him either. What makes Edward such a great character is that he is so diverse and innocent. He is someone we can all learn from because in his story we can see aspects of ourselves and our nature.
I have written before about Danny Elfman as a composer, we have reviewed several movies now that he scored. I do like Danny Elfman but in this journey through our movies I have found myself losing respect for him. He has such a specific sound that I don’t even have to see the credits to know he was involved in a movie now. While I think he has put together some great musical scores for films I am noticing more and more that all his scores sound the same. Tim Burton uses him frequently and I think they work really well together. Elfman’s gloomy sound is perfect for Tim Burton’s purposes. If you want to know what I am talking about though see Beetle Juice, Darkman, Batman, or Batman Returns.
This is a wonderful movie that many love. It isn’t one you need me to tell you to see but I am always happy to recommend it during a rare time that I find someone who hasn’t seen it. Great cast, great story, and a great filmmaker at his best. This movie will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you feel on a deeper level. It is more than worth your time.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love, love this movie. This was the first film of it’s kind that I had ever seen. I didn’t even know that movies like this existed or could exist. It is a beautifully made movie, with and incredible plot. I love the housing units, the costumes, the hairdos. Everything was thought about and thought about until it was perfect.
I thoroughly enjoy this movie and could watch it over and over. If you haven’t seen it, it is more than worth it to watch it.
NEXT MOVIE: Enemy of the State (1998)