Sunday, 26 June 2011

When We Were Young: Part 5 Tim Burton

Tim Burton.
Weird Gothic Tim Burton.
I wish he'd make a film that was neither weird or gothic.
I grew up watching Tim Burtons films and for a while I thought he was my favorite director, I got very excited when I knew there was a new Burton film going to be released. And what a fantastic run of films he had.
Beetlejuice was my favorite video to lend from the mobile video-man (the others were Raising Arizona, The Naked Gun and The Three Amigos),My first 12 rated cinema film was Batman (I was 11 and was terrified of being caught) that was then followed by Edward Scissorhands,Batman Returns, Ed Wood (one the first 15 rated films I saw in the cinema), Mars Attacks and Sleepy Hollow. I also got a bit obsessed with Pee-Wee Herman which I had taped off the TV and tried to learn all the words. It struck me how different all his films looked it now strikes me as to how similar his films look. He's painted himself into the weird kid corner and its getting dull, not gothic black.
He has lost some of the heart he bought to Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, I find it physically painful to watch Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
The last Tim Burton film I went to see in the cinema to see with a heart full of excitement was Planet of the Apes. I felt upset and angry. It has got to have the worst, most tacked on bull shit Scooby Doo ending in cinematic history. I believe thats were the rot finally took hold, It had started in Mars Attacks which I found very hard to love, I really wanted to love it because I loved the creature designs so much but its a pretty lame movie. Sleepy Hollow isn't perfect but does have a true Corman/Bava style and some horrible imagery.
Maybe its me but I have now totally switched off to Burtons work.
I think seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has put me off seeing his work in the cinema.
Is it Johnny Depp's "Wacky" and "Zany" performances? The way I see it is 3 Great Depp/Burton films, 3 Rubbish Collaborations.
Is is Helena Bonham Carter? She is still adamant that despite being in a relationship with Burton that she still has to "audition" for the parts she gets to play in all his movies since Planet of the Apes. I am really bored with her kooky, mad as a teapot act.

Here goes:

Young Burton:

1:Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure 1985
2:Beetlejuice 1988
Edward Scissorhands 1990

Old Burton:

1:Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005
2:Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street 2007
3:Alice In Wonderland 2010


I started this asking Tim not do anything weird or gothic again but maybe that was wrong maybe he should get really gothic and do some dark Poe stories instead of recycling old ideas such as remaking Frankenweenie an early short (which is great) or a TV a remake of a TV series Dark Shadows which will no doubt have another out there performance from Mr Depp.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Its 1979.

I watched 4 fantastic films yesterday and I realised that they were all released in 1979:

Being There
All That Jazz
Apocalypse Now

4 fantastic movies from 4 fantastic directors Ashby, Fosse, Coppola and Scott. I knew all the films backwards apart from All That Jazz. I have wanted to watch All That Jazz since I saw a clip on Martin Scorseses Journey Through American Movies. Its a fantastic and unique musical, It grounds people bursting into song and dance in reality (apart from the amazing hospital hallucination scene) and most music on the soundtrack comes from a source that an actor has interacted with. Roy Scheider is great as Joe Gideon a very thinly veiled Bob Fosse. Its a musical for adults. Very dark.
Anyway it got me thinking about 1979, the dawning of a new era. On a personal note the year of my birth. There was magic in the air that year, a last hurrah of the hollywood excess of the 70s. Here are my top 12 films from 1979 not all of them are regarded as classics but they are all certainly one offs :


All That Jazz

Apocalypse Now

Being There

The Black Hole

Life Of Brian 

Mad Max



Time After Time


Zombie Flesh Eaters

What a year...
...1980 was great also.

Please buy the Alien and Apocalypse Now Blu-ray box sets, They will make your life better.