Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tim Burton

Tim Burton is the most dark, ominously uncouth director in Hollywood and that my friends, is why I love him. I have seen his every picture... Everything from 'Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' in 1985, to his last picture, 'Sweeny Todd' in 2007. While there have been the occasional bombs ('Mars Attacks!' and 'Planet of the Apes' come to mind), generally the movies are uniquely splendid - each one an offbeat and wonderful work of art.

It takes a special breed of human to be a Burton fan. One must relish in the dark and melancholy. Most of my fellow dreary Burtonites that I have had the pleasure of meeting also have a bit of a twisted sense of humor. Personally, I love anything different. Most of the Hollywood movies nowadays are monotonous and predictable, but Burton's flicks stand as mountainous statues... proclaiming a break from the norm. (That's not to say that his films are never predictable, in a very Burton-esque sort of way)

Friday marks the date of his newest, and perhaps most anticipated film, 'Alice In Wonderland'. Fortunately, I have Friday off and we will be making the most of the Wonderland opportunity. In honor of the new movie, I give you my favorite 10 Burton movies.

10. Beetle Juice (1988) - A Burton classic. Who could forget the dinner table seance dance? Thus, the slightly twisted sense of humor.

9. Corpse Bride (2005) - Sadly, this attempt to recapture the magic of 'Nightmare' fell just a little short. Nevertheless, the story telling is superb and the stop motion animation captivating.

8. Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Burton's first big movie was arguably his best. Just not a top five favorite of mine as Pee-wee always gave me the creeps in a weird, child molester sort of way. Still, quality film making and a very funny flick.

7. Batman (1989) - I remember as a 13 year old, waiting outside a Trolley Movie Theater for 4 hours waiting for the opening of this movie. It still holds up to the test of time and is probably the second best Batman movie ever made. (Plus, a LESS ridiculous Batman voice)

6. Ed Wood (1994) - Any movie combining the forces of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Bill Murray is a movie up my alley. (My alley is named "Burton Drive" and I do not allow cats!)

5. Big Fish (2003) - Burton tries to play it pretty straight laced and adds more humor to any of his previous movies. The result was a near masterpiece, except for it being bogged down by overly-dramatic elements.

4. Sleepy Hollow (1999) - The most underrated Burton movie of all time. From the very first scene - the shuddersome, crawling trees of the hollow, I was captivate. It's beautifully shot and the flashback scenes are beyond haunting.

3. Sweeney Todd (2007) - Burton's only movie that has been nominated for best picture, it should have received more consideration. The music has that odd twinge that fits Burton's style perfectly. I have only seen this movie once - it is not that you really could watch over and over - but it was truly great from beginning to end.

2. Edward Scissorhands (1990) - If you do not like this movie, you lie. You are a liar.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - This is the holy grail for Burton fans. Was it made for kids? Well, my kids have probably seen it over 50 times and they still love it. But, Cathi and I love it too. Not only is it my favorite Burton movie, but my favorite Christmas movie.

Long live King Burton!


Tasha Challis said...

I whole heartedly agree!! Tim Burton is amazing!! My movie choices vary slightly but only a few are different! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be one that I added. It is one of my favorites!! In fact my children and I love to greet each other quite often with the line " Good morning starshine , the earth says hello" Corny maybe but it makes us laugh!
I can hardly stand the wait for Wonderland!!! I am dying to see Depp as the Hatter!!!

Dave said...

Confession time. I have been lurking on your blog for a long time now. It wasn't until you commented on one of my posts a few weeks ago that I realized you were lurking on my blog too. Funny how that happens.

I am also a huge Burton fan. I agree that Nightmare and Edward Scissorhands are the pinnacle of Burton's work. But I have to admit to holding a soft spot for Mars Attacks. I vividly remembering seeing it at the old Sandcastle Theater in Bountiful with some high school friends. There were maybe two other people in the whole theater, but I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life.

Cheeseboy said...

Tasha - My only problem with Charlie was that the entire thing felt like it was filmed on a giant sound stage. Of course it was, but it shouldn't feel that way. Other than that, I thought it was good. I would have probably put it at #11.

Dave - Welcome! You are not the first to stand up for Mars Attacks! A couple people have blasted me on facebook, defending how great it is. I will have to rewatch it... it has been a long time.

Thanks for commenting and feel free to do so anytime.

Tammy said...

Edward Scissorhands is a classic. Love it! And you're right that Nightmare is a great Christmas movie. Love it too!

Teresa said...

Love, love love Tim Burton. Love, love Big Fish. Not only a great Burton flik, but probably in my all-time top 15. It doesn't hurt that Danny Elfman does 95% of his scores.