The Worst-to-Best Movies directed by Tim Burton

Previously, I’ve listed the works by Steven Spielberg and David Fincher and the Disney animated features each in the order of my personal ranking. Now I’m going to explore the films directed by the King of Darkness, that is, Tim Burton.

 

13. Alice In Wonderland (2010)

Tim-Burton-s-Alice-In-Wonderland-alice-in-wonderland-2010-13698331-1360-768

If there is a worst film that Tim Burton directed, it’s this one; the Michael Bay of his works. “Wow, gigantic blockbuster!” That doesn’t make it great, does it? “Watch me, watch me” Well I would if there was a better way to sequelise Lewis Carroll’s story and if Helena Bonham Carter portrayed a less overacted and downright irritating queen of hearts. I remember going to see this movie, because I was really impressed with how Steven Spielberg made a sequel to the Peter Pan story, hence Hook. That was great. This one was and shall remain a disappointment. Kids, if you want a film based on the novel, stick to the Disney cartoon.

Other films: Review me!

Jon: Alright, I’m coming!

 

12. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2005)

charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-candy-room

A much better effort with the story, but I’m still encountering script-problems. For a start, nobody is stupid enough to know the difference between violet and blue. Very artistic and colourful settings, but life would be sweeter if somebody got rid of them yucky songs. That would at least take the horrid taste away.

 

11. Planet Of The Apes (2001)

planet2001

One of the most hated remakes, but to be honest, I don’t hate this movie. I kind of like the idea of setting the film a time period earlier than the 1968 original and with different characters. After all, it’s a remake; what do you expect? Some of it does drag and it isn’t as memorable as the other one, but surely, Planet Of The Apes can’t be all bad. I probably should give this another watch, because I only saw the film once.

 

10. Big Fish (2003)

bigfish092104

Big Fish is another film which I only saw once and feel that I may need to give another view. However, I can remember how great it was. It was like seeing Tim Burton’s version of Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. Maybe other impressions are different, but that’s the impression I got.

 

9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)

The-sweeney-Todd-book-sweeney-todd-32846795-1200-863

Since the mid-1980s, live-action musicals seemed to be going downhill. Personally, the 1986 version of The Little Shop Of Horrors was never my cup of tea, nor do I like Moulin Rouge. However, The Commitments is great and I quite like the Blues Brothers sequel. Sweeney Todd is one of those musicals I actually do like. The songs are quite cool and the music is horrifying enough to give us the crepes, er I meant to say creeps. Johnny Depp gives a wicked performance of a barber who wants revenge on a guy who mistakenly transported him to Australia. The colours are very Schindler’s List/Sin City. They contribute to the haunting London atmosphere. Helena Bonham Carter’s acting can be a little annoying at times, but hey, at least she can speak with a cockney accent.

 

8. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

sleepyhollow_horsemanboxed_photo_01_lg

Some of you may remember Walt Disney’s The Adventures Of Ichabod & Mr Toad. The last section was based on the same story as this film. You definitely saw the headless horseman, but not until the ending. The rest of it dragged and dragged and was as forgettable as most of Disney’s features released between 1942-49. Tim Burton’s version, on the other hand, is like that, but different; it’s much more than that. It is a squid-zillion times better! Need I say more.

 

7. Batman (1989)

2014-01-24

This famous caped crusader based movie hailed Tim as the King of Darkness. This was the beginning of not only the franchise which ended with the rather corny Batman & Robin, but a new beginning of Batman in general, a darker edge to the man himself. I mean no offense to the 1966 film version, because I love that one so much. But Tim Burton uses his black magic to recreate the guy and also the streets of Gotham City. Jack Nicholson’s performances in films such as the Little Shop Of Horrors (1960) and The Shining most certainly paid off; I like his portrayal of the Joker better than Heath Ledger’s portrayal.

6. Beetlejuice

download

Another Michael Keaton movie. This time, he is the villainous midget who lives in a model city. Without a doubt, it’s hilarious. I reckon Tim should be crowned not only the king of darkness, but also the king of comedy. If that wasn’t enough, there is a fantastic soundtrack with a glorious taste; so what if there’s no chocolate?

5. Batman Returns

236809-batmanreturns_bluray__7_

Batman is awesome, but Batman Returns is badasssss! Michael Keaton returns as the caped crusader, who returns to fight two new enemies; the Penguin and Catwoman. My god, look at the way Michelle Pfeiffer licks her own body. Man, Danny DeVito seems to have adopted a Dustin Hoffman kind of talent; you’d hardly recognise him as the penguin. Well, apart from his height. The sequel is much more darker as probably many Batman fans would expect. There’s also detailed back-stories from the villains; the Penguin is disposed of by his parents at a very early age (charming!), it must be a pretty sad life for poor Oswald. Catwoman and Batman have a secret love for each other. So I guess we do feel a lot of empathy for the villains as well as the title character.

4. Mars Attacks!

marsattackslist

Some people hate Ed Wood’s movies and B-movies. But the hate seems to be dying down, because once upon a time there lived a boy who saw that stuff a different way and that boy was Tim Burton. Thus began the entertaining tribute to the many ‘badly-made’ movies that is Mars Attacks. Mars Attacks is a more ‘modern’ version of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Sure it’s cliched; by that, I mean the aliens are not so different and they use funny-sounding laser guns and there’s the alien attacks which occur after a misunderstanding, but so what? Bearing in mind that it is a comedy and it does make fun of them things. And it does it so brilliantly, you could not cease giggling through this experience.

Danny Elfman’s score is solid. Even the all-star cast is impressive; Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J Fox, Natalie Portman, Tom Jones? How did Tim manage to gather all them celebrities in one movie?

3. Corpse Bride

Corpse-Bride-corpse-bride-30907578-1280-719

You and your Victorian English settings Tim, lol! But still, there’s more to it than just the simple recurring theme. Unlike When Harry Met Sally, Corpse Bride is one of the most unique romantic movies ever to be produced. Victor Van Dort is arranged to be married to Victoria Everglot. They immediately like each other, but Victor is nervous about his wedding and practices his vows, only to accidentally marry a corpse named Emily, causing further difficulty.

There’s no denying that this film is one of the most stop-motion animated features of all time along with The Nightmare Before Christmas and those by Aardman, though James & The Giant Peach, I can shove up my ass. The stop-mo figures are part of the symbols to comedy genius; including the bizarre height differences between Victoria’s parents. The cinematography answers a lot to Tim’s dark side. If you look at the two different settings; the London setting and the underworld, you’ll notice how much the color adds to the art.

I repeat, Tim Burton is the king of comedy and darkness.

2. Ed Wood

Ed-Wood-1994-colleen-atwood-22377484-300-300

There was the Elephant Man, there was Raging Bull, there was Schindler’s List, and here’s another black and white film; Ed Wood.

Ed Wood is a biographical film based on Edward D Wood Jr, who many consider as the worst film directors of all time. I don’t blame them, but I can’t seem to hate his works one bit. That’s why sometimes, I wonder if I’m turning into Tim Burton, because he doesn’t seem to hate Ed Wood either. And that’s probably why this film explores a sympathetic yet hilarious view on the director himself. We come across the various production problems Ed came across when it came to directing that we can all understand; budget cuts, faults with animatronics, re-casting, very little time to re-shoot, Ed Wood demonstrates how cheerfully unaware Ed was that he had no talent in directing, but demonstrated more skill in bizarre back-up plans and a high awareness that ‘time is money’.

Ed Wood is a brilliant example of how not to direct a film and I ain’t referring to Tim.

1. Edward Scissorhands

010-edward-scissorhands-theredlist

 And we’ve hit the jackpot! I know Johnny Depp is pretty good in his later movies too, but I personally think he’s best in this one. He of course rabbits on much less considering he’s playing a man-made boy. It’s like he’s a regular Arnold Schwarzenegger! There’s a fair amount of humour (I already explained about the comedy talents) which is quite relaxed, meaning that the elements don’t try too hard to be funny. Check out the various topiary statues Edward models and them hair-styles, oh and when Kim’s boyfriend Jim banishes him, how he turns on every resident.

There is also a lot of drama involved; the Boggs family feel deep sympathy for Edward, considering how his hands are made entirely out of blades and he experiences difficulty with his touch sense. Other characters take advantage of him, which is quite similar to the way Stromboli treats Pinocchio. Jim uses Edward to commit a robbery and leaves him to get arrested. Joyce, a hairdresser, seduces him and then spreads untrue rumors that he raped her. There are a lot of things Edward encounters that he has yet to learn about the world, but they turn against him, leading to a final showdown between him and Jim and a finale that literally sparked tears to my eyes. I ain’t kidding, without giving anything away, I cried at the ending.

Edward Scissorhands is without a doubt Tim Burton’s best feature film ever. Now I said he was the king of comedy, though there are a lot of other people with the same title, so I can’t fight over it now.

But in the meantime, all hail, Tim Burton, king of darkness!

Oh yeah, and here are a few films I have yet to see;

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Dark Shadows

Frankenweenie

The Worst-to-Best Movies directed by David Fincher

Sometime ago, I watched Fight Club for the second time, controversially, on ITV4. Many film bluffs love David Fincher’s works, including Fight Club. Personally, I’m not a David Fincher fan, but I’ve seen about five of his films. So here’s what I regard as his worst-to-best movies.

 

5. The Social Network

2010_the_social_network_004

So I obtain an account on various social networking sites. Does that mean I’m going to enjoy this rubbish? A film about the foundation of Facebook is rarely likely to interest me, but mates kept rabbiting; “it’s brilliant”, etc. So I relented and gave this film a view. It didn’t disappoint. It was one of the most boring films I’d ever seen in my life! All Zach did was yak yak yak. Or as Chas and Dave would put it;

He’s got a beautiful chin,

He’s got beautiful skin,

He’s got a beautiful face,

He’s got taste

He’s got beautiful eyes,

He’s got beautiful thighs,

He’s got a lot, without a doubt,

But we’re thinkin’ bout bustin’ ‘im out, Cos,

He won’t stop talking,

Why can’t he give it a rest?

He’s got more rabbit than Sainsbury’s

Its time he got it off his chest

Now he was just the kind of guy to break our hearts in 2

I knew right off when we first met our eyes on him

But how was I to know he’d break our ear holes too,

with his excessive talking, he’s becoming a PEST, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit….. you know the rest.

 

4. Fight Club

Fight-Club-Brad-Pitt

Okay, so there’s Brad Pitt;

But that don’t impress me much, uh uh uh uh, so the film’s got the looks, but has it got the touch,

Now don’t get me wrong; I think Fight Club’s alright, but it won’t keep me in the groove all night.

Seriously though, I don’t care how popular Fight Club is. Having said that, it’s much less tedious than The Social Network; none of that whinging from, oooh, founder of Facebook(!). But the screenplay is so random and I’m so certain that a film about fighting has been done to death. Nothing much can save Fight Club from being so overrated. I’m glad I watched it at least twice, but I don’t plan to watch it again.

 

3. Se7en

low-angle

Another overrated film with scenes that come from nowhere. Oh look, it’s Brad Pitt. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Am I bovvered?

Look, I know Brad’s a fine actor and I’ve always loved cop movies. I also like the cinematography. I like this movie better than Fight Club, but I’ve seen him in better movies; one will be coming up shortly.

 

2. Alien3

alien-3-screenshot-2

I hope you’re fans of Ridley Scott’s Alien and/or James Cameron’s Aliens or you probably ain’t going to enjoy this movie that much. Yeah, I’m probably being harsh, but Alien3 is certainly not the strongest of the franchise. I guess you can’t really blame Ridley nor James for not directing this one; they would’ve wanted to move on. After all, it was David Fincher’s starting point, and Sigourney Weaver’s still there. So just enjoy the various alien attacks.

I’m Believing The Strangest Things, I’m Loving The Alien.

Where was I? Oh yes…

 

1. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

curious-case-of-benjamin-button-2008

At last, the moment we (and I) have all been waiting for. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is the best David Fincher film Brad Pitt has acted in that I’ve ever seen in my life! Oscar or no oscar, adapted screenplay or not, I honestly think this is David’s best work for a feature. This is the one I really really like.

Never have I seen a film where a man literally obtains a reversed birth; I of course mean a life ranging from old guy to baby and not the other way round. It’s way more original and less random compared to David’s other features. The ending is also a very touching scene. I won’t give anything away. This is the film I recommend the most out of all the others I’ve just reviewed.

 

So that’s all of David Fincher’s feature films I’ve watched. So far, for the majority, I’m not a huge fan of David Fincher, but The Curious Case has made my day.

David, if you’re reading this, don’t take this the wrong way. I think you’ve made fantastic music videos, I especially love the video for Madonna’s Vogue. I just find films like Alien3, Se7en and Fight Club not brilliant, just… okay. I still have yet to see The Game, Zodiac and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. One thing’s for sure, you definitely beat Baz Luhrmann.

My Views on Religions

Several weeks ago, I viewed this news article about an Islamic woman whose father and brother murdered her, just because she married a Christian man. I was really disgusted about it and thinking “what the hell is so wrong with these people”, which I was referring to the father and brother. Sometimes I think people take particular religions so deadly seriously that they become treated like they’re part of the law or use it as an excuse to do bad things. And this is the topic I intend to argue for this blog.

Although I consider myself an agnostic, some of my older descendants came from a Christian background. As a rather early age kid, I was a bit of a dumbass about religion; my early experiences of religion came from the time we learned about the Christmas origin and the birth of Jesus. Each Christmas time, I heard people singing carols and somehow, I used to confuse Jesus with the genie from Aladdin. This was probably because the Disney version came out when I was two years old and its apparent success led to a TV spin-off which me and my brother used to watch. My family never attended church services, except for special occasions i.e. weddings, but we had contributed to a bit of Christianity now and then. For instance, we have always celebrated Christmas and Easter each year, because we, like many people, feel that there should definitely be occasions that involve sharing and caring and what not. Of course we are not the selfish kind, but it doesn’t exactly mean we have to be religious.

Between my years as an elementary school student and as a junior high student, one of the subjects we were taught was Religious Education (RE for short). I would’ve thought I learned about decency and so forth, but it was basically about God and different religions – general knowledge. I did not get the chance to learn RE as a GCSE student, due to my ‘special needs’. Things certainly got hairy when it turned out we all had to do the exam. If we got to go to the lectures, we would’ve struggled less with the exam, and that’s exactly what I did. I’m quite glad I didn’t have RE lessons at Longslade, because I probably would’ve been brainwashed to act like a maniac in regards to religion. Whilst at middle-school, I debated with myself whether I believed or did not believe in God and my thoughts still remain. For one thing, it is said that God lives in the sky where ‘heaven’ is located. I never saw God, not even during airplane journeys from country-to-country. Another thing, people always assume that God is a man. How do we know it’s a man? We never see him or indeed, it. God could be a woman. Sometimes I also wonder if God could be another term for science, like if it was an acronym of some sort. The reason is because certain people say God created such and such, but I personally believe the elements i.e. the volcanoes, sea and wildlife created themselves through a scientific form, hence the Big Bang. I can’t give all the details for the sake of keeping this blog as short as possible, but I also want to add that when I read parts of Genesis, I remember feeling disappointed to not find any information about dinosaurs, because they were an important part of the earth’s origin and civilization. And to me, it would’ve logically taken longer than seven days for earth to develop.

There’s one thing that personally ticks me off. Why do we live in a nation with so many different and, worse, separate religions? This often leads to creating new enemies with one another. Mahatma Gandhi had the right idea to protest when the Hindus and Muslins fought. This shows that just because they have different beliefs, it doesn’t mean they can’t co-operate. And nobody can forget the holocaust during World War 2; many Jews were being punished, only because the Nazis accused them of the decrease in employment, which is really stupid, because what has religion got to do with anything? Luckily Oskar Schindler saved them, because even he knows that religions can’t hurt. When will people learn that in the end, they’re just harmless religions? One’s religion does not depend on one’s looks. It’s all about one’s beliefs and philosophies.

Speaking of religion and looks, how can one tell whether one is Jewish or Sikh or Hindu? Well I suppose what they wear provides the hint. For instance, koras are usually worn by Sikhs around their wrists. I know a few friends of mine who are Sikh and one of them wore one of those wrist koras. But just because a Hindu has a red bindu on his/her forehead, does it really mean that he/she has to remain Hindu? A Christian with a cross symbol tattooed on his/her chin may eventually convert to Judaism. Guy Fawkes was born a protestant, but he soon converted to Catholicism. Some people change religions and that happens all the time. There was even that Simpsons episode (She Of Little Faith, it was called) where Lisa became part-Buddhist when Mr Burns literally commercialized the church. It’s because it’s people’s choices whatever religion they want to be. As I said before, nobody can automatically assume that one is a particular religion just by their looks.

Relating back to the news article, killing your own family member, just because she married a guy from a different religion? I thought killing your own family was considered a sin. In fact, I thought to murder anybody was a sin! Isn’t the sixth commandment ‘Thou shalt not murder’? I know this relates to both Christianity and Judaism, but it ought to relate to all religions, because murder has long been against the law. All murder is is just a violation to a human right. Even the police wouldn’t care if one married another religion. It’s only a human, it’s not like you’re going to go to jail or even to hell for it. Esmeralda from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame once said “I thought we all were the children of God”. This means that since evolution, we have all been related. Even Mahatma Gandhi said that “we’re all brothers”. Surely God would endorse religions partnering other religions. But murder; one would definitely go to jail for. The father and brother are the ones who should be punished. They committed the bigger sin. Sometimes, I just don’t know what religion is any more.

Although I seem to be losing touch with religion, hence the murder over joint religion marriage, I don’t mind religions. I don’t mind if my family or friends follow a specific religion. However, I really do hope that the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, the Sikhs, the Islamics, the Buddhists, the Catholics, the Protestants and so forth will co-operate with one another and tolerate each other. This way, chaos, i.e. the murder, would not ensue.

Gooooooooooodbye Robin Williams

Do you ever feel that somehow, this year or previous years have been unkind to you, because certain people you worship/respect have died and as a result, your childhood is dying out? Well sometimes, I feel the same thing. I was sad to hear that Gerry Anderson (the guy who made some of my favourite childhood programmes) died. I was depressed to hear about Rik Mayall. I was devastated on Dickie Jones’ sudden passing. And now I am absolutely shattered considering what has just happened to Robin Williams.

So here’s why I express my devastation regarding the news and why I loved Robin Williams so much (not in a homosexual way if you know what I mean). He made us laugh. He made us cry. He provided us inspiration. He was a real talent. I could not hate him one bit. Among the films he was in that I watched are;

  • Good Morning Vietnam
  • The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
  • Dead Poets Society
  • The Fisher King
  • Hook
  • Aladdin
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Jumanji
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Flubber
  • Bicentennial Man
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Insomnia
  • Robots
  • Night At The Museum
  • Happy Feet

And I enjoyed all of these films, well except Robots and Happy Feet. Them two sucked, but Robin did not. However the rest were awesome and more enjoyable compared to the two. If there was a favourite film of Robin’s that I had, I would say Dead Poets Society. It was a difficult choice between that, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam, but I think I like Dead Poets best, because of its strong liberal values; it’s the sort of film that would teach viewers to think deeply for themselves and not get brainwashed into anything unnecessary. Its message ‘Carpe Diem’ which Mr Keating pointed out played a significant part and I especially love the part where the students literally stand up for him.

But it was not just Robin’s performances that rocked. Hell, he wasn’t just some lousy comedian. He was a real role model. If you think all of his films are just films, think again. Most of them, like Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin and Good Will Hunting contrasted with his liberal values. Yeah, that’s right. He was a leftie, just like me. He supported the US Democratic Party, he liked Barack Obama better than George Bush and with good reason. Bush was a hair-brained moron who got himself involved in the unnecessary war in Iraq. Robin and myself both knew that the Iraq war was pointless and just hell and that there was no need for George Bush or Tony Blair to interfere. Robin once expressed his disgust with Bush’s politics during his stand-up comedy performances. Sometimes I wonder; maybe Robin Williams should’ve run for president of the United States. Did I mention that he believed in freedom of speech?

Oh Robin Williams. You were one of the best film actors the industry has ever had. I don’t care if you were a senior citizen; you still had everything to live for. Why did you have to go and do something stupid like this? Goodbye Robin.