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A tough-love scroll through one of modern moviemaking's most depressing IMDb pages.
October 5, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

"At this point his collaboration with Burton post–Ed Wood is such a study in diminishing returns that the only logical next step for them is a 3-D adaptation of Zeno's paradox with Depp as the voice of the arrow." Tim Burton: How Did It All Go Wrong So Fast?
posted by davidjmcgee (163 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Omigod this is relevant to my interests. Are you trying to pander to me specifically with this FPP, is my question.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Burton's reanimated Frankenweenie will trick-or-treat alongside Chris Butler and Sam Fell's ParaNorman (ghost-witches, zombies) and Genndy Tartakovsky's Hotel Transylvania

Holy shit, I had no idea that was Tartakovsky. I was just waxing rhapsodic about Samurai Jack yesterday. Dang. Guess I'm gonna be seeing Hotel Transylvania.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:27 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Tartakovsky was like the sixth director on that thing. Don't get your hopes up too high.
posted by Etrigan at 11:29 AM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I confess I don't really care for Ed Wood as a movie so I think Nightmare before Christmas is the high point of Tim Burton's career. Ever since the quality of his projects has been on a steady downward arc. There are parts of his more recent movies that have been solid but the overall quality has been unrelentingly poor.
posted by vuron at 11:30 AM on October 5, 2012


The problem is that Tim Burton began his career with a dozen or so really really good ideas, and has been reusing those same ideas over and over again for the last 30 years.
posted by ND¢ at 11:33 AM on October 5, 2012 [25 favorites]


I think Nightmare before Christmas is the high point of Tim Burton's career.

Is it telling that it's the one he didn't actually direct?
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:36 AM on October 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


I don't know if it's deliberate or not, but the guy seems to hate story. I can't think of a Tim Burton movie (even the awful ones) that isn't overflowing with delightful, striking, beautiful imagery, but I can count on one disfigured hand the number of genuinely strong screenplays he's worked from.

Sorry, man, once a movie's longer than say 12 minutes, it needs to honestly commit to some kind of narrative ... or else it just ends up being a wank.
posted by philip-random at 11:37 AM on October 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


MARS ATTACKS IS GENIUS, ACTUALLY.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:37 AM on October 5, 2012 [55 favorites]


My theory is that Depp has a secret stash of photos of Burton caught in an embarrassing or compromising situation, like say wearing a pastel polo, kicking it in a hackey-sack circle, or giddily blowing out the candles on a birthday cake at Applebees.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:38 AM on October 5, 2012 [25 favorites]


Part of me thinks Burton should direct a reboot of Buckaroo Banzai, as there's a small enough overlap with some of the things he does well that it might pull him out of his cruise control. Another part of me remembers that both of Buckaroo's parents die in the first five minutes of the directors cut, and as a result this would be a horrible, horrible idea.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:38 AM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


(Also, am I the only one who thinks Big Fish is reasonably good for Burton's more recent work? It's not great or anything, but it's more consistently entertaining than, say, the 100% unnecessary Wonka remake.)
posted by pxe2000 at 11:39 AM on October 5, 2012 [29 favorites]


davidjmcgee: You are no doubt referring to the criminally under-rated Henry Selick, and watching Coraline and Nightmare back to back really does emphasise how important his influence is on the latter movie.
posted by Jilder at 11:39 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


My theory is that Depp has a secret stash of photos of Burton caught in an embarrassing or compromising situation, like say wearing a pastel polo, kicking it in a hackey-sack circle, or giddily blowing out the candles on a birthday cake at Applebees.

I always assumed the blackmail went in the opposite direction, actually.
posted by elizardbits at 11:41 AM on October 5, 2012 [50 favorites]


am I the only one who thinks Big Fish is reasonably good for Burton's more recent work?

I liked Big Fish. Two English actors doing somewhat different accents for the same American character, but yeah, it's a decent film.
posted by howfar at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I honestly think that Burton's utter dependence on Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter is also really limiting the quality of his work. They are good actors at times but I think their relationship with Burton basically enable them to completely phone performances in. It's always Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter in ridiculous costumes not someone actually inhabiting the character. Yeah they are quirky and cute but they just don't inspire any real connection with the audience.
posted by vuron at 11:43 AM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hey, I liked Sweeney Todd.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:43 AM on October 5, 2012 [15 favorites]


> Is it telling that it's the one he didn't actually direct?

Don't care. Everyone associated with Nightmare gets a lifetime achievement Oscar for that alone. If I ever find myself doing up presents, decorations, or seasonal food for great-great-great-grandchildren you may be sure I will be doing it while quietly singing MAKING CHRISTMAS MAKING CHRISTMAS to myself in a pseudo-monster basso.
posted by jfuller at 11:45 AM on October 5, 2012 [22 favorites]


With the exception of a handful of movies - Big Fish and Ed Wood and probably Mars Attacks, all of which I stand by as being really fantastic movies (all for different reasons), Burton tends to do his best work when he's not allowed free reign over everything, and basically has someone to answer to and someone willing to meddle with the product.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the quality of his movies took a nosedive as his amount of stroke increased - his movies came out better when he was a relatively unproven talent with a whole lot of creativity and clear vision, so he was allowed to do his thing but not without limits, not without restrictions.

Without free reign, you get Beetlejuice. With free reign, you get Alice in Wonderland. Go figure.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:46 AM on October 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


After one of the live Pee-Wee shows in 2010, Paul Reubens had a sit-down with the audience and mentioned that Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was greenlit without a director, and they still hadn't found one a week before shooting was to begin. Reubens found himself at a party with Shelley Duvall, who had just done the first Frankenweenie, and she said, "I know the perfect director." And that's how Tim Burton got his first feature.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2012 [16 favorites]


John August has the easist job in the world.
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked Big Fish a lot, but I can be sentimental at times. Absolutely would put in money to a kick starter for a Burton-directed Buckaroo Banzai Vs The World Crime League.
posted by waraw at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


His best work in the last 2 decades has been when he didnt "Burton" it.
Ed Wood, Big Fish, half each of Mars Attacks and Sweeney Todd (the design and songs/mood respectively)
Everything else has been "Hey what if Hot Topic made a $200 million dollar movie?"
In a way, he's sort of like Rob Zombie in that you get the sense that he doesnt want to direct movies as much as he wants to art direct them
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


That whole article and not a single mention of how Danny Elfman has been using the same fucking score for every Burton film since Edward Scissorhands?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:50 AM on October 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


The few Goths and Goth-y people I know absolutely love every single one of Burton's movies. If there were more of them he'd have nothing to worry about, he could go on making his films and the money would come pouring in.
posted by tommasz at 11:51 AM on October 5, 2012


I just realised I called Ewan McGregor English. I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...
posted by howfar at 11:52 AM on October 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Burton's two perfect films are Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Ed Wood. Edward Scissorhands needs a 3rd act that isn't phoned in from an 80s skiing movie and it could be great too.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:53 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


The few Goths and Goth-y people I know absolutely love every single one of Burton's movies.

That people who identify themselves by an almost-entirely superficial and surface fetish love all of Burton's stuff is the best indictment of his body of work I can think of, actually.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:54 AM on October 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


Eh, I am a gothy person and his Alice and Wonka films are both utterly dreadful. No love here.

YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN PUT SWIRLS ON IT, DUDE.
posted by Jilder at 11:54 AM on October 5, 2012 [18 favorites]


*plays Everyday is Halloween at Senor Cardgage*
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:55 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Tartakovsky directed a lot of the action on Iron Man 2, which still managed to be fairly dull.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best thing about Alice in Wonderland is the main theme of the score, where the choir of girls sounds like it's saying my daughter's name.

But, other than that, Nightmare is probably one of the best films ever made. It combines the love of family-driven holidays with foolishness, imagination and spectacle (along with some more catchy tunes). It appeals to every age, and is a treat every year to revisit around this time.

I'm another one of those people that liked Big Fish, but I think it's more a factor of me being a sentimental fool who misses his father and grandfathers.
posted by thanotopsis at 12:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Part of me thinks Burton should direct a reboot of Buckaroo Banzai

NOT WHILE I AM ALIVE TO STOP HIM, HE WON'T.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [22 favorites]


Grantland is supposed to be a sports site.
posted by Jeff Mangum's Penny-farthing at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


FAMOUS MONSTER: Without free reign, you get Beetlejuice. With free reign, you get Alice in Wonderland. Go figure.

Probably worth pointing out that Beetlejuice made about $85 million, where Alice raked in over a billion dollars.
posted by Malor at 12:04 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Sweeney Todd was a high point, and Sleepy Hollow was entertaining.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:04 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


pxe2000: "Part of me thinks Burton should direct a reboot of Buckaroo Banzai"

I will punch you again and again and again</tina>
posted by boo_radley at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just realised I called Ewan McGregor English. I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...

Surely it's Scots, my brohammer.

The winn: saving folk from the wrath of dudes in skirts since 1977.
posted by winna at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I briefly wondered whether I wrote this article in a fugue state but then I remembered that it has good things to say about Batman.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's the innovator's dilemma, the same thing that killed Kodak and Microsoft. Tim Burton ended up dominating a lucrative segment of the market (in his case, the ooky-kooky-spooky candystripe goth aesthetic), and established himself in this lucrative franchise to the point where no studio would release funds for him to do anything that doesn't throw some spooky candy to his fans. So he climbed to a local maximum and ended up trapped there due to the short-term focus of commercial cinema.
posted by acb at 12:06 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not much of a Christmas celebrator, but I've sworn for years that if I were, I'd take the time to make up a full tree's worth of Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments and would do a tree decorated in dark lights and black garland and all kinds of scary ornaments. It's the only way I could cope with it, I think.

Anyway, Burton is a huge mixed bag, and his output has always drawn mixed reactions. I love some of his stuff, and loathe others of it. (And why have I thought all this time that Big Fish was directed by Terry Gilliam? That's one hell of a mix-up.)

I'm still disappointed that Batman Returns didn't have Bruce Wayne having yet another psychotic breakdown where he places Catwoman and The Penguin as his parents' killer, making it clear that every villain he fights has taken the place of his parents' true killer in his brain and that is why he does what he does. That said, I think Batman Returns is the best of all the Batman movies. Yes, I just wrote that.

Every new Burton film, I hope it will be great. And for decades now, I've been grossly disappointed. I think maybe he, like a lot of artists, does his most creative work when he has tight strictures around his budget and production capabilities. If you're forced to work around limitations, that's when you're most creative.
posted by hippybear at 12:08 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...

Surely it's Scots, my brohammer.


I'd go with the scotch. Especially if it's a single malt.
posted by hippybear at 12:09 PM on October 5, 2012


I'll be the first to admit that I like nearly everything Burton has done... some more than others, but I've never walked away from a film saying "boy that was crap"...

I could never be a film critic, I'm not critical enough.
posted by HuronBob at 12:09 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


In a way, he's sort of like Rob Zombie in that you get the sense that he doesnt want to direct movies as much as he wants to art direct them

Or, indeed, Wes Anderson, who is the Urban Outfitters to Burton's Hot Topic.
posted by acb at 12:10 PM on October 5, 2012 [27 favorites]


Anyone who doesn't appreciate The Headless Horseman being Christopher Fucking Walken With A Shark's Mouth can just get right out.

And considering the source material, Dark Shadows was pretty great. 60s Cult Low Budget Soap Opera isn't exactly Oscar material to begin with.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:11 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The movie Sweeney Todd is a crime against art. It is the sad record of a man too dependent on his usual actors to actually cast people who could sing as the leads in a great but difficult musical.

Man, that movie pisses me off. Pee-Wee is pretty damn good though.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:12 PM on October 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


And considering the source material, Dark Shadows was pretty great. 60s Cult Low Budget Soap Opera isn't exactly Oscar material to begin with.

Deciding to direct from a shoddy idea is still part of directing.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:13 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just realised I called Ewan McGregor English. I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...

Surely it's Scots, my brohammer.

Damn! I better not make any more mistakes or accidentally invoke any Scotland related clichés. I might end up getting battered to death.
posted by howfar at 12:17 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...

The scotch is not out to get you. Stop projecting. You are out to get the scotch.

It's OK. We are all out to get the scotch.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:18 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've been a Tim Burton badmouther for a very long time. With the exceptions of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Mars Attacks, which were both insane fun. I'm still pissed at the time and money lost to sitting through Big Fish.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 12:18 PM on October 5, 2012


a 3-D adaptation of Zeno's paradox with Depp as the voice of the arrow

Did anyone else read this and then, through an obvious yet entirely unreasonable train of thought, imagine a Burton-directed film of Italo Svevo's Zeno's Conscience featuring Depp as Zeno Cosini, smoking last cigarette after last cigarette?

Probably not.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:20 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]




That whole article and not a single mention of how Danny Elfman has been using the same fucking score for every Burton film since Edward Scissorhands?


Planet Of The Apes (HEY REMEMBER THAT?) had a surprisingly fun, percussion-based feel that actually felt like it belonged in the movie - Imperial Rome Goes To The Tiki Lounge kinda thing.
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mars Attacks man what is UP with that movie? It's 8 different movies.

I just want to follow Annette Bennings' character around, she is having so much FUN playing a Ditz.
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burton tends to do his best work when he's not allowed free reign over everything, and basically has someone to answer to and someone willing to meddle with the product.

Like Islamic calligraphy, its beauty the creation of artists prohibited from drawing people, and Ren and Stimpy, its beauty the creation of Nickelodeon not allowing John K. to explore the full comic possibilities of explicit sexual desire between cat and dog.
posted by zippy at 12:22 PM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Planet of the Apes was one of those Movies With Air Conditioning I went to see when/because I didn't have air conditioning, and...if I had it to do over again I'd stick with humidity that night. You can only stay angry at the weather for so long.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:26 PM on October 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


Okay Just ...MARS ATTACKS. Bear with me now I like JUST saw it again:

There isn't a single actor who is acting in the same movie as anyone else, although Brosnon seems to understand he's in a 50s SF parody does Doctor Science Lab Coat so well it's not even parody, he's just literally doing that and Benning as mentioned, is just acting pay above her pay grade for this material.

There a reason why the phrase big budget Comdey is an oxymoron. What was with all the serious plot lines, why doesn't any scene add momentum, shouldn't people be more upset about the invasion, why does this feel like someone shot a whole bunch if scenes and then thrustit over to the editor to string them together?


Also satires have to be ....specific to material and tone, not just ...things happening.

It's actually good to mst3k riff too cause at least half the plot lines are taking themselves seriously enough that they're from this other movie about a boxer in Vegas hey wait why do the Vegas scenes exist at all this movie is constructed so weirdly.

it's never parodic or zany enough to build any kind of momentum nore does it seem to have an actual satirical target just a vauge .....sense. It's a very werid and unsatisifying movie but man some of the performances are really TRYING SO HARD TO MAKE THIS WORK.

That and while the movie really wants to be Gremlins 2 it has barley a fraction of the anarchic cartoon spirit and the design of the Martians is really off putting and ba. You're supposed to like the gleeful little monsters, but be repulsed by thier neck waddles.

The scene everyone likes, the Martian Girl one? That was the only one that seemed to figure out what tone the movie was going for. Not a good tone, just any one tone rather than ALL OF THEM.
posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on October 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hey there Natalie Portman, you totally have lines! No character or plot, but you have lines!

Just like, technical things, why is there a school white house tour the day after congress gets melted? Surely those two events should happen at the same time to increase the tension and get the feeling of lots of events happening at the same time in response to said alien invasion and for that matter why do these characters even exist?
posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Probably worth pointing out that Beetlejuice made about $85 million, where Alice raked in over a billion dollars.

Yeah, right now Burton is reading this essay and wiping away a small tear with a $100 bill. A tear of laughter.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:32 PM on October 5, 2012


Yeah, right now Burton is reading this essay and wiping away a small tear with a $100 bill. A tear of laughter.

If money is the measure of artistic success I'd like to request a transfer.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll be the first to admit that I like nearly everything Burton has done... some more than others, but I've never walked away from a film saying "boy that was crap"...

I tend to agree, but Alice in Wonderland was absolute crap and that last scene of Depp breakdancing just about made my head explode.
posted by Huck500 at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


> If money is the measure of artistic success I'd like to request a transfer.

In Hollywood, it is.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2012


The Whelk nails it.
Mars Attack resonates with a certain kind of movie lover because its a big grab bag of Burton's pet enthusiasms. If you share those enthusiasms, then you engage with it because its a great big toy box for you to get lost in.
Again though I have to compare it to Rob Zombie's work. Its great that he loves Rat Fink and Famous Monsters and 70s slasher flicks and Skynrd. I like those things too, but thats not the same thing as telling a story.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think any other director has ever, or will ever again, make me say "wait, that was Crispin Glover?"
posted by griphus at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


tartakovsky is tarkovsky tarted up?
posted by ennui.bz at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, shit, now I want to watch both Tarkovsky's and Tartakovsky's ouvres and compare them.
posted by griphus at 12:35 PM on October 5, 2012


I don't think any other director has ever, or will ever again, make me say "wait, that was Crispin Glover?"

I'M MAKING MY LUNCH
posted by shakespeherian at 12:37 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Genndy Tartakovsky's Solaris has a cool badass warrior just SLICING through the planet with a big ol' lightsaber
posted by Greg Nog at 12:39 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tarkovsky's Iron Man is 4 hours long. He never puts the suit on.
posted by The Whelk at 12:42 PM on October 5, 2012 [27 favorites]


The secret to enjoying MARS ATTACKS is that you're not actually supposed to watch it one sitting. You're supposed to put in on a loop and go about your business, cackling delightedly when you happen to catch FLOTUS Glenn Close getting taken out by a chandelier.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:45 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't she get a Raygun!? C'mon it writes itself! "THAT! *zap!* BELONGED! *zap* TO LADYBIRD! *zap, explosion* JOHNSON! *kicks alien dome head open*
posted by The Whelk at 12:47 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


the Dada moment where Keaton's uncouth bio-exorcist supernaturally weaponizes Harry Belafonte's "Day-O" and a table full of shrimp cocktails"

Am I the only one who watched Beetlejuice so much that I am offended that this is credited to Keaton's character and not to Davis and Baldwin as it should be?
posted by tkappleton at 1:02 PM on October 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


I love how Beetlejuice can be summed up as YUPPIES ATTACK VERMONT.

Genna Davis! You used to be in things but now you're not in things anymore. What gives?

Lydia, you're a flake.
posted by The Whelk at 1:04 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I miss the days when Burton's work was good enough to have been considered a "mixed bag."

It's been almost 20 freakin' years since his last good idea.

Alice's box office is being offered as some kind of defense/justification of Burton here. It's a G-rated IMAX movie based on a hugely popular story that earned 2/3rds of its money due to international popularity. Burton's fingerprints are certainly all over it, but I doubt its monetary success can be accredited to him in any meaningful way, other than maybe "chose marketable art directors."

Domestically, Alice beat Beetlejuice by (only) about a factor of 4, despite the monetary advantages being rated G, and selling tickets that undoubtedly cost at least 3x what a movie ticket cost in 1988.

Combine that with vastly different production and marketing budgets, and Beetlejuice is really the stronger performer, I'd say.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:16 PM on October 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


As a founding member of Goths Against Burton, I must say I enjoyed the article. Was it just me, though, or did it totally lack a conclusion?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:17 PM on October 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


Agree 100% Kitty. It just kinda "ended" like a capsulized movie review.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"He's only like the next Martin Scoreseez."
posted by The Tensor at 1:21 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Correction: Alice is actually PG, though certainly more "family friendly" than Beetlejuice.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:22 PM on October 5, 2012


Ok, I'm in no way making an equivocal statement (am I?) but I think of Burton's squandered potential the way I think of actual, real, man made tragedies. I long for answers but know none will come.

Perhaps a man who insists on thinking of himself as Mr. Outsider while simultaneously making films that do nothing but reinforce existing boundaries is simply part of the human condition.

This is all far too trivial for me to suggest beer as alternative course of action BUT, who wants a cold one?
posted by sendai sleep master at 1:24 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Correction: Alice is actually PG, though certainly more "family friendly" than Beetlejuice.

Except for the part where she goes and takes part in the OPIUM WARS.
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


You can get video of a Lansbury/Hearn performance of Sweeney on DVD. Although Burton's movie did give me a soft spot for Sascha Baron Cohen as a supporting actor with the potential to elevate otherwise weak movies.

One of the reason that Burton's adaptations don't work for me lately is that he keeps adding family dynamics that seem to misunderstand the narratives he's adapting. Charlie is a fairy story in which five children and their parental figures are tested in a series of moral parables. There's really no need to humanize Wonka in terms of a distant father, and Burton's approach undermines the rest of the narrative. Alice is a story about a common-sense Victorian girl making her way through worlds of absurdity. Burton's Wonderland is narratively sensible, has Alice going native, and ties it all into an absent father. Sleepy Hollow suffers a bit in that there's not much to start with, so it becomes a rambling Scooby Doo plot, but with a real horseman. I'm mildly skeptical of Frankenweenie because it was a great little 30-minute film.

Burton's family dynamics work better in Big Fish and Corpse Bride. And then there's Sweeney, where the Sondheim script gives Burton both absent and abusive father figures. Sweeney is arguably not that bad because Burton doesn't tinker that much with Sondheim's tragedy. And even with less capable voices, Sondheim's ability to develop conflict in multi-part harmony is spine-tingling.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:32 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


(And why have I thought all this time that Big Fish was directed by Terry Gilliam? That's one hell of a mix-up.)

Guessing you're thinking of The Fisher King, about which I'd try make an insightful and/or relevant comment connecting the two directors but I think I was on mushrooms when I saw it.
posted by jalexei at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2012


Sleepy Hollow works cause it's a Hammer Horror movie, all gore and mood and SUDDEN LAST SECOND REVEALS Seriously, the villain speech at the end just keeps getting bigger and grander and daring you to find it silly. Sleep Hollow has juuuuust the right amount of camp to spin it out into orbit.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on October 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


And Sweeny Todd only works at all cause of the strength of Sodhiem's book but I cannot forgive them for turning THIS into THIS.

It just feels like he was given a contract to do ten movies based on a list of existing properties owned by the studio and decided to just hang out with his friends and new wife.
posted by The Whelk at 1:41 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would be more open to arguments that Sleepy Hollow works if I could remember a damn thing about it even though I've seen it three times.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:45 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Chirstopher Walken has shark teeth

that is all you need to know
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


also Miranda Richardson putting all the scenery in her mouth.
posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The real question is how did Burton make something like that so forgettable?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:54 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only good part about Sleepy Hollow is how it totally avoids either A) foreshadowing or B) explaining afterwards the grain mill explosion AT ALL. For folks who didn't already know about grain mills exploding with little provocation, it looks like total Hollywood loonypants action FX for no reason, when it's actually one of the only semi-realistic things to happen in the entire movie.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:57 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Q: What does Tim Burton put in his sandwiches?

A: ɹǝʇɹɐɔ-ɯɐɥuoq ɐuǝןǝɥ puɐ ddǝp ʎuuɥoظ
posted by memebake at 2:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [23 favorites]


Burton is a terrific production designer, a sharp producer, a terrible writer, and a bad director. Hence the success of Nightmare Before Christmas, where he only did the job he was good at.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:15 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I liked Mars Attacks a lot too.

To me, Big Fish was the start of the slide. I haven't really liked anything since, tho Dark Shadows actually looks pretty good. Willy Wonka, Sweeney Tood, and Alice are all pretty horrible, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:29 PM on October 5, 2012


Genna Davis! You used to be in things but now you're not in things anymore. What gives?

In case you haven't noticed, that tends to happen to female actors when they hit 40, which would be around ... 1996. Yep. (I think she did have a TV series about a female president which lasted a little while.)

related: Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

* Males outnumber females 3 to 1 in family films. In contrast, females comprise just over 50% of the population in the United States. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946.
* Females are almost four times as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire. Further, females are nearly twice as likely as males to be shown with a diminutive waistline. Generally unrealistic figures are more likely to be seen on females than males.
* Females are also underrepresented behind the camera. Across 1,565 content creators, only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female. This translates to 4.8 males working behind-the-scenes to every one female.
* From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, as a business leader, in law, or politics. In these films, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce.


Go on, Geena.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2012 [45 favorites]


I love when he makes movies with Jon August as the writer (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows, Frankenweenie) and / or Johnny Depp because they're all so terrible I can kill multiple birds with one ain't-gonna-see-it stone.

Terrible, terrible storytellers, the lot of them.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Go is good.
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on October 5, 2012


Like... the movie Go? With Sarah Polley and Katie Holmes?
posted by davidjmcgee at 3:27 PM on October 5, 2012


Sometimes when there's a big hubbub on The BLue about some pop culture thing or another I like to swing by some place like Google News to see how the rest of the world is taking siad pop-culture topic. I swung by Google News out of habit and I'll tell you, I was might disappointed not to see any Johnny Depp headline and especially not one that read "World Comes to Its Senses Realizes Limited Character Actor Given Too Much Credit."
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:29 PM on October 5, 2012


Sleepy Hollow features my favorite on-screen kiss of all time, so there's that at least.

I seem to be one of the few people who really liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was certainly a much better film of the book than the first one was, and I couldn't get enough of a couple of Danny Elfman's settings. (Also, Deep Roy was quietly hysterical.) But then, Danny Elfman can do very little wrong by me.

Sweeney Todd was awful to me, though, as a Sondheim fan. I like Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter just fine, but those were not their parts. They were created for big, beefy, choleric Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:30 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah the movie Go, with Katie Holmes and The Guy Who Isn't Nicholas Brendon.
posted by The Whelk at 3:31 PM on October 5, 2012


Go was fine until the Champagne Room arc. I wanted more ravers in existential crisis, less Bros Gone Wild.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:21 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Go yet have no idea why were talking about it here.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:35 PM on October 5, 2012


I love Go yet have no idea why were talking about it here.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:35 PM on October 5 [+] [!]


John August wrote Go. So when You Should See the Other Guy wrote:

I love when he makes movies with Jon August as the writer (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows, Frankenweenie) and / or Johnny Depp because they're all so terrible I can kill multiple birds with one ain't-gonna-see-it stone.

Which must be why The Whelk wrote:

Go is good.
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on October 5 [+] [!]

posted by Green With You at 4:39 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey now it's not just confused ravers, it's also got Gay Actor Revenge.
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, RE: Geena Davis, THIS didn't help. if I could just make an FPP out of a movie's Trivia section I would.
posted by The Whelk at 4:45 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree, but Alice in Wonderland was absolute crap and that last scene of Depp breakdancing just about made my head explode.

Oh, God, this x a billion.

I sat through that monstrosity, made all the more vivid in 3$$D, growing more and more and more upset at the skullfucking Tim Burton was giving poor Mr. Dodgson and then...the breakdancing.

Rwandan genocide, two terms for Ronald Reagan--if there's anything that's ever made me lose my faith in humanity, it's that half the world seems to have shelled out cash money to see that piece of crap.

And Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Batman Returns and Beetlejuice are among my favorite, rewatchable films of their era.
posted by the sobsister at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk, I agree with everything you say about Mars Attacks ... and yet, unlike most of Burton's stuff, I found the sloppy anarchy of it all actually works. And in a cumulative way. About a third of the way in, I was shaking my head thinking of all the better things I could do with the next hour of my life, but by the time it was done, I was laughing that same head off. Slim Whitman and Tom Jones felt particularly relevant.
posted by philip-random at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well unlike most of Burton's recent fare, it's not drop dead boring, it's just completely baffling.
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2012


Hey now it's not just confused ravers, it's also got Gay Actor Revenge.

Oh yes! I nearly forgot about the Awkward Dinner sequence. That scene was pure gold.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read a "how directors work" article, and I read that Tim Burton doesn't like to storyboard.

It initially surprised me. I would have expected someone coming from an animation background would be all up in that, but on second thought, his stuff feels in some way I can't quite put my finger on like it wasn't planned out in advance.

The same article said that Martin Scorsese loves to draw his own storyboards, which also makes sense once you know it.
posted by RobotHero at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2012


People who don't storyboard are worse than Hitler.
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do kind of want to visit the parallel universe where they made the Tim Burton Superman with Nicolas Cage in a glowing suit. Because what the hell is that.
posted by RobotHero at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying storyboarded movies are inherently better, but they have a different feel to them.

Fill in the gaps with Wes Anderson or Christopher Nolan, you will be not the least bit surprised:

"_______ has stated that generally the only story-boarding he does is for action sequences."

"Though ______ creates detailed storyboards for each scene, the shoot had its moments of improvisation."
posted by RobotHero at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2012


Okay Just ...MARS ATTACKS. Bear with me now I like JUST saw it again

Ack! Ack ack! Ack! Ack ack ack! Ack ack!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tim Burton's "Cathy" starring Helena Bonham Carter.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


I honestly think that Burton's utter dependence on Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter is also really limiting the quality of his work. They are good actors at times but I think their relationship with Burton basically enable them to completely phone performances in.

There's a meme for that. Which I saw only just this week; i seem to be having a bit of a Baeder-Meinhoff-y "What the fuck happenned to Tim Burton?" moment.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, though. Man. That movie makes me wish I had kids so i could inflict it on them.
posted by Diablevert at 7:38 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised by the fact I seem to have watched nearly all his films (except Planets, Mars and Alice), and even more so that I saw them in a cinema.

And yet I'm with the people saying they can't remember what any of them were about, save for a minor detail!

Scissorhands... Depp had scissors for hands. Big Fish... Ewan McGregor was in it. Sleepy Hollow... Depp rode a horse. Nightmare... Swirls. Wonka... Why??
posted by panaceanot at 8:07 PM on October 5, 2012


I just realised I called Ewan McGregor English. I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...
posted by howfar at 11:52 AM on 10/5


It's a drink, man! Scotch is a drink!
posted by newdaddy at 8:37 PM on October 5, 2012


OK, since this is clearly astroturf, I bit, and went and rented the oh-so-conveniently-available-today Dark Shadows.

'70s pastiche mixed haphazardly with Regency romance pastiche mixed haphazardly with Gothic Horror pastiche mixed haphazardly with blatantly '90s CGI pastiche shoe-horned into a rom-com.

He does this to fuck with you. You're too busy laughing at the tropes to realize you're creeped the fuck out by very large portions of this, are immediately sucked into the action-adventure parts, and spit out again into the soul-destroying horror, which is leavened ruthlessly with absurdist references to how bad the actual Dark Shadows was. Of course there's a werewolf. And a banshee. And, horribly, one curse traded for another, with the protagonist deluding himself into believing this was the happy ending he sought, the denouement he needed, and then it's explicitly denied him...

Tim Burton is finding his way, groping and feeling the path to something larger and more terrible. (No, Frankenweenie probably isn't it.)

Despite the hurf-turf-Burton-viewing leveraged here on the pepsi-blue. I'm kind of curious to see where he goes next. Or how we deal with actor/director FPP's that happen to fall on the release date of both a cinematic and rental release.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:44 PM on October 5, 2012


Ah dammit that article reminded me of Depp's dance sequence at the end of Alice. That was astonishingly bad.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2012


English. I better watch my language from now on or the Scotch will be out to get me...



Perhaps this Scot will be out to get you, perhaps after I down this scotch.
posted by the noob at 8:47 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, Tim Burton stopped suffering decades ago. He can wear as much black as he wants, but he is married to Helena Bonham freaking Carter for Chrissakes.

The movies you most love of his correspond to his divorce, his being single (again) and the death of his father. Everyone knows you have to suffer to make Art.

Having said that, I'm glad he's more-or-less happy now. Thanks Tim, if you're reading this, for all of what you did. You know, you don't have to keep doing something just because it makes a lot of money. If you wanted to just paint or make comix or talk idly into a tape recorder while staring at the sea for a while, well, we would all understand.
posted by newdaddy at 8:50 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


So... I guess I'm the only one here who thinks that Big Fish was amazing, one of Burton's best films?
posted by eviemath at 9:06 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I didn't like the parts where I couldn't just pass the time by staring at Ewan's face so........

ED WOOD is his best movie, in that it's not just clever or amusing, it's actually kind of profound and sad and touching and wonderful.
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


And it totally flopped so I guess the lesson was learned, swirly stripes and breakdancing!
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]



People who don't storyboard are worse than Hitler.


Well, Hitler was big on preparedness.
posted by philip-random at 9:36 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


finally! my favorite put-down is to say that Frank Gehry is the Tim Burton of architecture. the reverse is equally true. fatuous is an apt term.

the saddest part is that he made so many great movies. fucking Cabin Boy?!?! i had no idea he made that. but still, when all your later work is just a pastiche of your own prior achievements is pretty lame. i feel like he imagined himself as an auteur far before he developed a real style. he has stylization down pat, but there's a huge difference between caricature and character. he's never taken any real risks with what he does. an i don't think it has anything to do with the times catching up with his aesthetic. it's more a matter of him retreating into a formulaic version of himself. Steven Spielberg is a perfect example of this.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:59 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


@clastowka: "Ack!" "Ack!" "Ack, ack!" "Ackackackack Ack!" "Ack! Ack! ACK!!!" -Cathy and Bill the Cat, doing it
posted by 7segment at 10:09 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The thing is, Tim Burton stopped suffering decades ago. He can wear as much black as he wants, but he is married to Helena Bonham freaking Carter for Chrissakes.

I'm disturbed by this recurring notion that being married to someone whom strangers find sexually desirable obviates any problems one might have.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:20 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm with The Whelk. The last good movie Burton made was his best: Ed Wood is easily his masterpiece. It stands head and shoulders above everything else he's done. It's his only adult work.
posted by nushustu at 10:23 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tim Burton's Secret Formula
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:34 PM on October 5, 2012


Wait, was the quote about wearing black and being married to Helena Bonham Carter a sexual thing, or a sarcastic "oh, that'd be painful" thing?

Honest question, I don't know much about her other than a couple movies like Big Fish and Fight Club; she's very pretty but no more so than any actress in a hollywood movie, to me anyways.
posted by mannequito at 12:46 AM on October 6, 2012


"You're too busy laughing at the tropes to realize you're creeped the fuck out by very large portions of this, are immediately sucked into the action-adventure parts, and spit out again into the soul-destroying horror, which is leavened ruthlessly with absurdist references to how bad the actual Dark Shadows was."

Yes, exactly. I couldn't get over how evil Barnabas was, and how the town would have been better off if he'd just stayed in the ground. Until the climax I was pretty much rooting for Eva Green's character to win. Angelique was also evil, but at least she seemed to limit her despicable deeds to one family.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:06 AM on October 6, 2012


I'm disturbed by this recurring notion that being married to someone whom strangers find sexually desirable obviates any problems one might have.

That's a good objection, and I admit that there's a lot of bald assumptions I meant to shorthand in one flip statement there. What I should have said instead is something like I don't really know anything about Tim's actual internal mental state, but just on the surface, he seems to be in a stable marriage, to someone else who seems successful, intelligent and yes attractive, he's got kids, money isn't an issue for him anymore, and he has a lot more creative freedom now. I'm betting he's happier now than during those days drawing foxes for Disney.

While you never quite escape your own internal rain cloud, if you have something like that, in Tim's case it's more of a badge or signifier than something he's actively wrestling against (again my conjecture). He knows what it's like, to wander around suburbia with his hands the pockets of his beat-up trench coat, watching everything from a distance, socially an outcast or a cypher but filled to bursting inside with his own gigantic unfulfilled vision.

He knows what it's like but it's not like he's actually doing those things right now. He's probably making a salad, or checking his kids' homework, things like that. Life, basically, is a big distraction from the bummer you were working on throughout your youth. (Yes I'm probably projecting here but it seems like the obvious answer to me.)
posted by newdaddy at 4:17 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


(And why have I thought all this time that Big Fish was directed by Terry Gilliam? That's one hell of a mix-up.)

Guessing you're thinking of The Fisher King,


Dear god no! The Fisher King is one of my Almighty Sacred Movies, which can inspire me to deep emotional reaction if I allow myself to sink into it fully without distraction or interruption. (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is like this for me too... and as with all my ASMs, if there's any slight interruption of the spell, I might as well quit watching because I won't get the catharsis I'm seeking.)

So... I guess I'm the only one here who thinks that Big Fish was amazing, one of Burton's best films?

When I thought Big Fish was a Gilliam movie, I thought it wasn't bad. But as part of the Burton oeuvre, it's terrible.

It's entirely possible that I've gotten Big Fish mixed up with Tideland in my mind, despite having seen both movies. I've simply attributed them both to Gilliam, which of course a huge mistake.
posted by hippybear at 5:18 AM on October 6, 2012


> "The few Goths and Goth-y people I know absolutely love every single one of Burton's movies."

Eh. I'm about as Gothy as they come, and it's been a looooooong time since I got super-excited by the prospect of a new Tim Burton movie.
posted by kyrademon at 5:40 AM on October 6, 2012


Metafilter: I long for answers but know none will come.
posted by sneebler at 7:58 AM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ed Wood is, of course, his masterpiece and difficult to top. I don't buy the argument that that's a hard cutoff point and Mars Attacks!, a perfectly fun movie that it is a different sort of thing, has to be a piece of crap because of that.

I think The stupid Superman movie as the film that broke him makes a kind of sense - it seems like a soul sucking monstrous pile of stupidity - but then you have to ignore Sleepy Hollow. But If you say that was the last hurrah of the old Burton and Planet of the Apes was the first work of soul-dead Burton that makes a kind of sense.

On the other hand I did rather enjoy Sweeny Todd, and isnt The Corpse Bride supposed to be good? And I have seen the Batman movies recently and they are not aging gracefully... Maybe this whole good Burton/bad Burton cut-off point thing is actually a bit ill founded?

I'd actually say its more a case of an uneven director whose bumpier works still received a lot of goodwill until they didn't.
posted by Artw at 8:38 AM on October 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


> "I'd actually say its more a case of an uneven director whose bumpier works still received a lot of goodwill until they didn't."

I pretty much agree, with the note that he's recently had more misses than hits and he used to have more hits than misses, which may be a trend or may not be.

But he's certainly no M. Night "my career is secretly a performance art experiment to prove that I can make every film exactly half as good as the previous film I made forever" Shyamalan. He's more a Woody "yes I used to be better but I can still make Vicky Cristina Barcelona when I'm on my A-game" Allen type.
posted by kyrademon at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that seems about right.

Could be worse. Could be Kevin Smith.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could be worse. Could be Kevin Smith.

Smith, like Burton, as at his best when he's being true to himself. For Burton this might be exploring the macabre (in the sense of up-ending audience expectations in a disturbing but entertaining way), while for Smith, it's hypernerdism. For this reason, I think Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back was Smith's masterpiece. His attempts at having a "message" comes across as wooden and clunky.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:54 AM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


every film exactly half as good as the previous film

EXCEPT FOR UNBREAKABLE YOU MEAN.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:07 AM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Unbreakable would have been a million times better if they didn't cast Perpetually Weepy Child.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:09 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Part of me thinks Burton should direct a reboot of Buckaroo Banzai

Helena Bonham Carter as Goth Buckaroo.

Johnny Depp, with a giant padded ass, as Buckaroo's comedic foil, John Bigbootee.

NO ONE SHOW THIS TO TIM BURTON EVER!
posted by zippy at 12:47 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could be worse. Could be Kevin Smith.

This statement, being analytically true in all cases, never needs to be made. It certainly never needs to be discussed on Metafilter again. Or at least not this year.
posted by howfar at 12:52 PM on October 6, 2012


you might as well say ...

METAFILTER: Could be worse. Could be Kevin Smith.
posted by philip-random at 1:12 PM on October 6, 2012


Helena Bonham Carter as Goth Buckaroo.

Johnny Depp, with a giant padded ass, as Buckaroo's comedic foil, John Bigbootee.


Dude, don't MAKE me fly out there and hurt you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:18 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unbreakable would have been a million times better if they didn't cast Perpetually Weepy Child.

I totally agree, but even so I think it's his best movie by far.
posted by davidjmcgee at 3:20 PM on October 6, 2012


I weep for the loss of that stillborn Superman movie. If I win the lottery I'm going to pay whatever it costs to get it filmed. IMAGINE PRESENT DAY CAGE IN THAT SUIT.
posted by stephennelson at 4:08 PM on October 6, 2012


Unbreakable would have been a million times better if they didn't cast Perpetually Weepy Child.

No no, Zooey Deschanel was in "The Happening".
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:06 AM on October 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just re-watched Ed Wood. It is damned good.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 PM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unbreakable is a good build up to a movie that happens in title cards at the end.
posted by Artw at 10:48 PM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm just a really big big fan I've seen all your movies"

"EGH!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 PM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


In its own goofy way it's a hugely inspirational movie. Go make a thing! Doesn't matter if anyone else likes it, just make it, any way you can!
posted by Artw at 10:54 PM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"that seems entirely reasonable for an entire motion picture!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 PM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"this is all very interesting do you think it might be possible for me to play one of these parts"
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 PM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"this new one is going to be a million times better!"
"Is that possible?"

Ed Wood is a burlesque of optimism.
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 PM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love it.
posted by Artw at 11:11 PM on October 7, 2012


I must be the only person who vastly prefers the new Wonka (except for the dentist parts). The songs are better and I'm not such a huge fan of chicken decapitation, especially in children's movies.
posted by DU at 5:12 AM on October 9, 2012


I'm going to have to ask you to step on this bad egg detector.
posted by Artw at 6:12 AM on October 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cheer up, Charlie.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
posted by Artw at 6:36 AM on October 9, 2012


Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:04 AM on October 9, 2012


I must be the only person who vastly prefers the new Wonka

I'm pretty sure you are.

I was probably one of many of you disappointed he didn't go for (or get a green light for) Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Why not make a cool sequel instead of a boring rehash? Plus, Vermicious Knids!
posted by mrgrimm at 7:46 AM on October 9, 2012


Elevator would probably make a great movie because the book was awful. Everyone spends the entire time shouting. Seriously, try reading it aloud and you'll find you gave yourself a headache. I almost stopped reading it to the kids over that.
posted by DU at 8:52 AM on October 9, 2012


Seriously, try reading it aloud and you'll find you gave yourself a headache.

Heh, it's waiting for me on hold at the library. I just finished C&tCC with my 3 y.o. who seemed to dig it (and sat still for the whole thing), so I figured we'd keep it rolling.

I do remember it being a really odd book, now that you mention it. Lots of nonsense. Maybe I should have gone for Stuart Little ... (she's made it through Mouse and the Motorcycle too ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:07 AM on October 9, 2012


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