Friday, March 31, 2017
MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (2016)
Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Jane Goldman
Based on the Book By: Ransom Riggs
Cinematography By: Bruno Delbonnel
Editor: Chris Lebenzon
Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Stamp, Judi Dench, Chris O’Dowd, Rupert Everett, Kim Dickens, O-Lan Jones, Alison Janney, Milo Parker, Raffiela Chapman, Finlay MacMillan, Lauren McCrostie
When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.
Don't exactly know how to feel about this film. It wasn't embarrassing as some of Tim Burton's recent films have been. It is also an original for him that doesn't rely on a previous property that has been brought to the screen before. Even though this film is based on a popular series of books. At least this film feels like it has room to set his imagination free more.
He used to be one of my favorite filmmaker's though with each film find myself being disappointed and more critical of each passing new work. still respect him and his vision it just bothers me how commercialized and less distinct it seems to become.There seem to be less and less passion showcased.
The film ends up being Visually interesting something to look at one of his brightest films though still lacks bright colors
The film is very theatrical in it's pacing and locations and is best watched on the biggest screen you can find. As the film does offer something for everyone
It still feels more like he is not letting it flourish as much as just making the powers that be happy while he tries to put his spin on it. It has an old school gothic charm though seems to hint at the darkness rather then inmerse itself in it. As it seems like something from his more classic days.
The film never feels fun with it's possibilities. It feels tied down. With the fantasy all around it feels strangely straight laced. Even with villainous monsters who eat EYES usually of children. Through does lead to a battle of skeletons versus monsters.
Which leaves the film not a wreck but somewhat disappointing overall. It seems if he doesn't have the initial idea or if it's not as original to let his fingerprints seep into the property. There seems to be a problem with interpretation.
This film is a shining example of what's been missing from film and genre of kids films. That sense of danger and adventure against evil or bad guy ms and allowing children to be children. Maybe misinterpret be wrong but find the truth and learn to be right.
The film seems to seek no harm, but it also fails to make a mark or truly make you feel anything. Even though it tries many times. When that doesn't work it seeks to impress you with the size of it's set pieces.
One of the overall problems with this film is that it feels like it has no sense of wonder. It probably works well for children. Though the film feels like it has no mystery or any weirdness of it's own. It feels quite literal and to the point. It also feels very predictable throughout. So that you know where it is going and are only mildly interested in how it get's there.
The characters mean nothing really to the audience they are just there. Nothing to really endear the To us. Other than a few characters they are pretty much nothing but their powers so they feel more like props. Even as they are presented like a children's version of the X-men.
One would expect more from this film as it certainly plays into Tim Burton's playhouse but lacks the magic and oddness of his previous films. Though in this storybook world which should remind the audience of his book of macabre nursery rhymes. It would seem only natural for his talents to flourish. Instead this film feels so studio corporate especially with it's dependence on CGI special effects instead of practical. That half the time it feels more like an animated film.
The teen romance takes you out of the film a bit. As it plays more like a period piece of feelings, intention, jealousy and stolen glances. It even has a romance novel type of ending.
The film is disappointing but it's not a disappointment. It is perfectly fine for children of a certain age, but it also shows the diminishing nature of children's films it seems. Maybe one just doesn't see it anymore as we get older, but leaves children the roads in which to imagine and dream.
Eva Green hits the right note as the eccentric, energetic and always joyful title character. Here she has charm that doesn't depend so much on her looks. Though her character reminds one of amore dark spirited Mary Poppins. Who seems to always have the answers and a plan no matter what as she protects and instructs her charges.
Terrence Stamp these days seems to have inherited Vincent price's and Christopher Lee's role as older muse actor in Tim Burton's movies. (Who was himself a kind of replacement for the late Vincent Price) Playing smaller but pivotal roles in his film such as this and BIG EYES. It is an artistic signature. and older statesman mentor actor of influence. As also they are always British in nature.
Chris O’Dowd's role is of course comedic but in a silly yet dry way. You know why he is in here but brings nothing but his nasal nerdy AMERICAN impersonation. That gets annoying quite quickly. Don't know if that was by design or more ended up that way. Either way it's a shame as he usually has a silly goofy comedic charm in his roles.
Samuel L. Jackson's villain being the only person of color in the film can be seen by some as racist. It might just be casting and a chance to work together between him and Burton. If anything it just points out more of a lack of diversity throughout the film that leaves his character and treatment of him open to interpretation. As he is a scholar but a flawed one.
As the film plays out you can feel the old Tim Burton talent come back in inspired scenes like the flashbacks of how the villains became the way they are. Or watching dreams through a movie screen or even as we explore the house. With the lead character. As well as his him drum suburban living. Even when recovering the ship which is the film's most visually impressive sequence next to the nightly time ritual. Though never at the heart of the film where it counts more. Even the soundtrack isn't as hypnotic and memorable as his most memorable films. There is nothing iconic here in the notes.
I believe in the end this is a film Tim Burton fans will enjoy, but they will notice the change in him. That might have occurred with them to. It seems like he is trying remake the magic but with experience he can't quite be as daring or naive. As now knows too much and overthinks not wanting to repeat himself but offer something new and his signature. Not exactly a copy of himself. The film just ends up feeling in authentic even though it tries to have integrity
Even the score doesn't feel memorable or illuminating. That might be because this is the third time he hasn’t worked with usual composer Danny Elfman.
Have adults grown past him or is it just his films aren't any good. Growing up have we outgrown him and his sensibilities stayed the same?
Though he seems not as close to the material as he used to be as he has lived life. So his focus and perspective isn't as sharp or cutting edge as it used to be. As all these modern Technology and effects
Has he had to make too many compromises. As he doesn't seem to have as strong a vision nor Carte Blanche like he used to.
Taking a look more at his modern films I would say not only does he seem to be trying to remake all he watched as a child and living out a second childhood. Fitting into the box office trends but also fitting into his interests and vision. Though also maybe it's from being a father his films revolve around the theme of family. Returning, creating, nurturing or gaining one. Though really looking at most of his films that theme is there and it seems not only a theme but something he has built up into his films working with the same actors who act in similar roles. In a way he gets to live the outsider geek life by always working and growing close to people he seems to idolize.
This seems like a more gentler kid friendly version of the x-men and he subject matter seems to fit into his wheelhouse. I can see this film appealing to children but anyone of a certain age will recognize many elements of the film and maybe even the book that are predictable and derivative. As the film seems at times to want to shock the audience but really doesn’t ever. The only thing that is mildly shocking is that the film shows the death of children or at least more of their peril.