Re-Watch: Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Daniel Waters
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Sequel to: Batman
Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
The Penguin (Danny DeVito) was brought up in the sewers after his parents abandoned him because of his disability. Now he wants to rejoin society and he thinks that Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is the person who can help him with this: Shreck is a popular business man who has successfully hidden the shady side of his business – but Penguin threatens to expose him. But even as Penguin’s plan seems to work, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Michael Keaton) becomes suspicious. And he finds that his suspicions may align with the newly appeared Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), even if their methods and goals do not.

Batman Returns does have some weaknesses and some moments that made me want to headdesk, but with that incarnation of Catwoman, I can’t help but love the film. And I definitely liked it better than the first one.

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Re-Watch: Batman (1989)

Batman
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall
Seen on: 8.12.2017
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Plot:
Gotham City is filled with corruption and basically run by crime boss Grissom (Jack Palance). But then a new figure enters the playing field, shifting the power dynamics quite substantially: Batman (Michael Keaton). Photographer Vicky Hale (Kim Basinger) is intrigued by the phenomenon and decides to find out who is behind the mask. Hoping to speak with Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle), she attends a charity eventy hosted by Bruce Wayne – not knowing that he is the man she is looking for. Meanwhile Grissom’s right-hand man Jack Napier (Jach Nicholson) is sent on a mission of his own – a mission that is about to change him very much.

It’s been many years that I watched the older Batman movies, and while I love them all, this one was probably the one I remembered least. Re-watching it with a bit of distance made it feel a little disappointing, although there are still many good things about it.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Jane Goldman
Based on: Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children trilogy
Cast: Asa ButterfieldElla PurnellFinlay MacMillanLauren McCrostieHayden Keeler-StoneGeorgia PembertonMilo ParkerRaffiella ChapmanEva GreenSamuel L. JacksonJudi DenchRupert EverettAllison JanneyChris O’DowdTerence Stamp,
Seen on: 5.11.2016

Plot:
Jacob (Asa Butterfield) has always been very close to his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) who told him all kinds of stories of his childhood in an orphanage led by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), among children that all had very special gifts. Only as Jacob grew older, he stopped believing in those stories. Then his grandfather is attacked and Jacob sees a strange monster that nobody else is able to see. He is unsettled, to say the least and convinces his father (Chris O’Dowd) to head to Cairnholm, the island where his grandfather’s orphanage was, to find out more about his past and to hopefully be able to separate fact from fiction.

I read the first book of the trilogy and I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it, so I didn’t have high expectations about this film. And rightly so. Miss Peregrine’s Home is a decidedly mediocre affair with the best thing about it that they actually finish the story and are obviously not banking on an entire trilogy of films.

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Big Eyes (2014)

Big Eyes
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp
Seen on: 05.05.2015

Plot:
Margaret (Amy Adams) just went through a divorce and moved to San Francisco with her daughter, ready to start a new life. She finds a rather unexciting job and spends her weekends trying to sell her portrait skills. There she meets fellow artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) and the two of them hit it off. A short while later, they get married. When Margaret starts signing her paintings KEANE, bit by bit Walter starts to take credit for them. Margaret is appalled at first, but since Walter manages to sell the paintings very well, she gives in. But that deal can’t work forever.

Big Eyes is almost a return to very early Burton movies and the more restrained style he employed then (I’m saying more restrained and not actually restrained, because let’s face it, restraint was never his thing). I enjoyed it, though I really wish that the script had been written by a woman.

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Frankenweenie (2012)

Frankenweenie
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: John August
Based on: the short film Frankenweenie (which you can watch here and which stars the kid from The Neverending Story)
Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder

Plot:
Victor (Charlie Tahan) loves science, making movies and his dog Sparky, but he isn’t really popular. He doesn’t care that much about that, though. His world is shattered when Sparky gets hit by a car. Inspired by his new science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau), Victor tries to bring Sparky back to life – with science – and actually succeeds. But that is actually only the start of a whole new set of problems.

Frankenweenie really does have its moments, but I also have a couple of issues with it. On the whole, it doesn’t rise much above meh.

Frankenweenie

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Dark Shadows (2012)

Dark Shadows
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on: the TV show
Cast: Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham-Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Christopher Lee, Alice Cooper

Plot:
At the end of the 18th century, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) and his family emigrate to America, where they build up a town and acquire a lot of wealth. With them came Angelique (Eva Green) and her family as servants. Angelique falls in love with Barnabas. But when he tells her that he doesn’t share her feelings, she gets so angry that she curses him to be a vampire, kills the woman he loves and buries him for almost 200 years.
In 1972, Barnabas is freed and returns to his family – or what remains of it. But also Angelique is still there and ready to pick things up right where they left them.

I was not one of the people bemoaning yet another Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration – I usually like when they work together and the trailer for this film looked perfectly charming. But unfortunately the film was very disappointing.

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Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland is the newest movie by Tim Burton, based on the book by Lewis Carroll, starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Helena Bonham-Carter, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall.

Plot:
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is at a party with her family – actually, it’s her engagement party, only she doesn’t know – when a white rabbit (Michael Sheen) appears to her. Since the rabbit is wearing a waistcoat and a pocket watch, Alice is intrigued. She follows it to Wonderland where she discovers that an old prophecy is waiting just for her.

Even with the Tim Burton bonus and the wonderful cast, I cannot say that this was actually a good movie. I mean, it looked great but that script and that plot and the character CGI…

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Big Fish (Daniel Wallace)

Big Fish is the novel by Daniel Wallace Tim Burton based his wonderful movie on.

Plot:
Edmund Bloom lived his life to the fullest and always told fantastic stories about it. His son William always saw him as the biggest liar. Now, Edmund is dying and William is trying to reconcile the father and the stories into one whole picture he can comprehend.

The book is a lot like the movie (or better, the movie is a lot like the book). The stories are wonderful by themselves, but in the context, they are even better. I really liked it.

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Johnny Depp News

So, Johnny Depp will play The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton‘s upcoming Alice in Wonderland – that I knew already. [And I’m really, really excited about it. Take one of my favourite actors, one of my favourite directors and one of my favourite books and the result can only be greatness (see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).]

Anyway, this article in the Guardian tells us that apparently, there will be a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean (link’s to the first) with Johnny as Jack Sparrow (no word on whether or not the other major characters will be back as well).

And Johnny will be Tonto in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie.

I don’t know what I should say about that. I don’t really know the Lone Ranger, so I can’t say whether to be excited or not.

And a fourth Pirates? I hope they know what they’re doing, I don’t want to see the whole thing destroyed (some might argue that that happend already. I liked parts two and three).