Tag Archive: Tim Burton

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Last week I talked about two different movies associated with Tim Burton. The American director has always had a different style that was interesting but hidden away by the weirdness of his movies.


Say what you will but there are times that his movies are magical and take you to a different place.


One of my favorites is mythical and large in its storytelling. But the story is one that an adult child can relate to when you have a parent who tells larger than life tales.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor as a man who did incredible things –so he says – as a young man but now he is old and dying. His son does not believe a word from the old man. In fact, the son is incredibly angry at his father.


All of his life he has heard these fantastical stories that he could never prove. But as the old man – as played by Albert Finney – is in the hospital for one last time, the son does something he has never done before.


He begins to check the old stories out. He looks for the truth in the incredible.


Billy Crudup plays the son with the right mix of anger and love. Jessica Lange plays the mother who is losing the most extraordinary love of her life. And one of the most amazing pieces in the puzzle is Helena Bonham-Carter as a woman from the past.


I sometimes think Helena does the unbelievably strange parts to avoid being type-cast as the sweet girl next door. How else do you explain Sweeney Todd or  Harry Potter? But here, as she does in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Helena looks erethral at times. She glows with youth and hope, until the end when she reveals the truth. And then her natural beauty is simply there.


Now this movie is best suited for an adult crowd. And not because it is offensive. The movie is geared for adults with its content and the context in which we see it. The story is for adults. There is nothing wrong with that, some movies should be for kids and some should be for adults.


This one with its issues of death and dying, of losing a parent just as you, the adult child, finally get to know them. No teenager wants to deal with those issues. Some adults don’t want to either.


But there is something about watching a young man figure out his father as he is about to become a parent. There is something in watching a man discovering those crazy stories were based on some sort of truth, even the one that involves a final wish.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


As Halloween creeps ever closer, we think we should be watching scary movies.


And why not? The rental racks are filled with spooky fun and gory scary movies.


So perhaps you are watching Cabin in The Woods or Paranormal nth degree.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

As some of you may know, I am not a big horror movie fan. They give me nightmares and who needs that in their life when there are so many other scary things in real life. My questionable movie tastes run towards costume dramas, raunchy comedies and just about anything with Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp.


And that explains why I am putting Dark Shadows on my list of movies to watch this month. The movie is a Tim Burton remake of the old soap opera that was camp at its best. This time around, Johnny Depp is playing Barnabas Collins whose casket has been uncovered by a construction project.


He was trapped there in the 1700s and it is now 1972. The world has changed but his family seems mired in disaster. The ineffective patriarch Roger (Johnny Lee Miller) is a bit of a playboy while his sister, Elizabeth (Michelle Pfieffer) runs the family. But their problems can be traced to one person, namely a 200-year-old witch by the name of Angelique (Eva Green) who has held a grudge against the Collins family for that long as well.


This is not a great storyline, I get that. But what this movie offers is the quirkiness of director Tim Burton playing with Americana and Johnny Depp. It is a movie that will see me with a big bowl of popcorn, enjoying every moment – I hope.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Next week there is another movie coming out that just seems wrong in so many ways and yet I am looking forward to seeing it. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which is based on the book of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith in which our 16th president is re-seen as a vampire killer.


He has his reasons for hating the undead and he is quite good at taking them out. This movie is billed as coming from the imagination of Tim Burton who is a producer but not the director. That job went to Timur Bekmambetov who also directed Wanted. I have heard bad reviews, good reviews and everything in between.


I have heard it is a subtle comedy, kick-butt action or parallel universe gone wrong. Before Daniel Day-Lewis comes out with his defining performance of Lincoln in the Speilberg movie due out for later this year, I think I am watching this for some spooky campy fun.


Now I realize both of these movies are meant for teens and adults. I would not show either to my 11- or 8-year-old children. Luckily for them, the newest Madagascar movie is out on DVD in which the gang tries to get back to New York City disguised as a circus while wearing crazy rainbow afro wigs. It sounds crazy and ridiculous and probably not very good. Sounds like a party to me.

Image from IMDb.com

Can you imagine the fun of dancing around the living room when they do that ‘move it’ song?


Yep, my kids are pretty horrified at the thought – which is why I am considering doing it anyway.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.