*** Official BIG FISH Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Bob Movies, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Bob Movies

    Bob Movies Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 15, 2000
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    I saw "Big Fish" tonight, and it absolutely blew me away. It was easily the best film I've seen this year... Nothing else even comes close to matching how funny and touching this one is.

    See it! It's amazing! If this doesn't win best picture, they should stop making movies. Definitely Tim Burton's best... Big Fish more than makes up for Planet of the Apes and Sleepy Hollow.


    EDIT: Title changed from "2004" to "2003" as mentioned in Matthew's post. You're absolutely right, even though it's being widely released on January 9 2004, it's coming out on December 10 2003 for Oscar consideration.
  2. Sam E. Torres

    Sam E. Torres Second Unit

    May 31, 1999
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    hey, sleepy hollow was good...[​IMG]

    i, too, just came back from a screening of the film, and was pleasantly surprised at how warm and touching it was. it certainly has its share of ridiculous tim burton moments, as well as some ridiculously FUNNY scenes...wow. the movie just had me wowed in every aspect. i will leave my review real vague because i don't think anything at all should be spoiled for anyone with this film. i took my brother with me and he hadn't seen any previews or anything for the movie at all and he was overwhelmed with excitement(he's 21 years old) over how incredible this movie was. i will say one thing though-i held back tears in the end because i was embarassed to cry in front of my brother, only later to have him make the same revelation to me while walking to the car, leading up to me finally just losing it in the parking lot of the theater and i just sobbed at how beautiful and personal the movie was.

    i can't recommend a better movie to see this holiday season.
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Feb 8, 2001
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    Big Fish

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]¾ out of four

    Big Fish is an incredible film. It delighted me throughout it's meandering path and tangential stories. It's a thoroughly satisfying and quite beautiful film.

    But at the same time it treads an extremely delicate balance of storytelling and real life. Because Will Bloom is so obsessed with the truth, we're just a little bit interested to hear the other versions too. In the end it's up to the viewer to decide what it is that they want to hear, believe and enjoy--I don't think Will Bloom would much like this film.

    I think my biggest problem is that there is not enough here, Ed Bloom is a man of enormous porportions--not physically of course--and his story does not fit in such a brief and breezy tale. It seems there are no time for the tangents Ed would himself go off on that might have little-a-nothin to do with the main tale, but then they add character and make things interesting.

    The moment of intimacy between Ed and Sandy Bloom was so beautiful, it may well be my favorite film moment of the entire year--that alone makes this one of the best and most powerful films of the year. And the moment when time stops is absolutely breathtaking and perfect.

    I will see this film again, I went in expecting to love it, and I do, but I'm not crazy over it. My one complaint is that a catfish is obviously cgi and as a fisherman, I am extremely skeptical of any fish story--big or small--that ends with a catfish flopping out of the water like some damned showoffy dolphin or bass. that closing moment just made the whole movie a little less believable to this fisherman.

    I can understand though why people aren't talking about Ewan McGregor for an award, he's very good, but in the non showy way. He gives a great performance, but Albert Finney owns the film. I did not recognize Alison Lohman and Jessica lange is so perfect but her role is too small. [​IMG]

    A word on my rating, I never give out 3/4 stars, but big fish just doesn't fit at all in my other categories (which shows how silly those categories are, but they're a useful comparison tool nonetheless) and it'll probably be on my top ten for the year, but I think this is a fish that deserves a slightly different measure.

  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Big Fish". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Big Fish finally showed up in Atlanta, so I decided to check it out.

    This film creates characters out of tall tales that make for a charming film-watching experience. The tone of the film is its strong point. It never forces the viewer to accept anything at face value, but by the end, you want to ... hook, line, and sinker, even if it seems to stretch the veracity of past exploits of its main character, Ed Bloom, to absurd lengths.

    The cast is up to the task in creating characters that find common ground in the tales being spun, which is no small feat as the film could have easily spiralled out of control and become a parody, rather than a nice heart-warming tale of a son and a father finding one another in the language that both come to understand even if the world being envisioned isn't quite the factual truth, in the end, it's the style in how history gets passed on from one generation to another that gets explored in a very tender and human fashion.

    I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
  6. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Tim Burton’s Big Fish tries to be something but in the end, it is empty as the emotions it tries to advance. Some of Edward Bloom’s stories go on far too long with very little relevance to the main story at hand. Yes, I can easily see how some can categorize this as being one of the worst of the year. But unfortunately for me, May has already earned that coveted spot.

    As a fantasy, it fails to engage the mind as it lacks magic and charm. As a dramatic tale of father and son coming to terms with each other, it fails miserably as Ewan McGregor’s southern accent and him acting the part of an eighteen year old. And just when you think that it has something deep to say, it disintegrates as quickly as Albert Finney’s southern accent.

    Big Fish is an immature treatment of a potentially very mature material.

  7. Michael Patrick

    Dec 20, 2003
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    As I stated in a thread I started in the lists section. Big Fish might make you cry but definitely feel something. It was simply marvelous and Finney is great.
  8. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 1999
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    Metro NYC
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    Tim Burton's Big Fish had the potential to be a really great film. Unfortunately, it has turned out to be a very mediocre film.

    I can't say that I hated Big Fish, I reserve that distinction for truly terrible films, like MAY, as Edwin noted above.

    As I said in the discussion thread, virtually nothing worked in this film for me. I felt it was forced, dull, unimaginitive, and ultimately immediately forgettable. Lot's of potential, very little payoff.

    Albert Finney was portraying such an annoying character that it was impossible for me to care about him, and therefore the film or any of it's other characters. He was the atypical "Big Bore". Ewan McGregor was miscast with an annoyingly fake accent. Jessica Lange didn't really have anything to do. Helena Bonham Carter was the only actor in the film that was memorable.

    In the end I feel this is Tim Burtons weakest film and one of the years biggest let downs. [​IMG][​IMG]
  9. MikeRS

    MikeRS Screenwriter

    Jul 17, 2002
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    Great film.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2

    This is the first time in Burton's career he has had material which allowed him to meld his private and distinct universe with the "ordinary", and not feel like he was held back because of it. The way he effortlessly weaves the pronounced clash between the whimsical and wondrous "fantasy" of a young Edward Bloom with the hard edged reality of his aged self, evokes a profound metaphor detailing how spiritual TRUTHS found within an individual's dreams, yearnings and creations, can ring more truthful than the hard facts of the real. That comes through loud and clear in this film due to the combination of some wonderful storytelling and a perfect duo in Ewan and Albert. It's alchemy. Mark my words, this film will hold up.

    Ewan Mcgregor can be such an uplifting actor when he chooses to be!
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Oct 31, 1997
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wow, I'm still a little bit emotionally affected by the film. I'm not a huge Burton fan, and this is not a technically perfect movie. But for me, it was a very moving movie, which is one of the most important ways I judge a film - how much it moves me.

    This one I don't evaluate based on breaking down technical aspects. I was totally engrossed for 2 hours and loved it and was moved to tears at the end. This is exactly what I want in a film of this kind.
  11. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

    Aug 3, 2003
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    New York
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    Jack Theakston
    After talking to all of my friends who have seen this one, I find it falls into three categories: "It moved me (I liked it)", "It was fun (I liked it)" and "Eh... it was ok (I hated it)".

    I think I fall into the middle category of "I thought it was fun." BIG FISH is obviously Columbia's way of casting out the line to hook a Oscar, to put it the punniest way possible. They added all of the important elements: a notable, artsy director (Burton), a time-old tale of mythalogical heroism (anyone note Hero of A Thousand Faces on Finney's nightstand?), and throw in Helena Bonham Carter just for good measure.

    Looking aside the Oscar fodder, a good story it behind this here. It's obviously a very emotional story; one filled with both happiness and sadness in a way. The setting is really what makes it a Burton film, and the story is deeply engrained with Joseph Campbell's Hero-Myth structure, while setting itself with the same quality of an Alabama folk-tale.

    Lots of good performances here, mainly by McGreggor and Finney, but it's really Danny DeVito and Steve Buscemi who steal the show. They really stick out as Burton-world characters should, in an otherwise not-Burton picture. It's definitely his lightest since PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, and even then-- not so in-your-face.

    My experience was miserable at the movie I went to see, but since this isn't the moviegoing complaints thread and I went to see it for free, I won't discuss it any further.

    This one is for anyone this season who wants to have a little eye-candy. Worth the matinee price, but certainly not the full admission. 7.5/10
  12. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 18, 2002
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    Color me one of the amazed! I was completely bowled over by this movie and left choking back tears and awed by the experience.

    I did not know what to think going into Big Fish. Most of my friends were going to see ROTK again, and this was a compromise movie with my fiance. I was afraid the film was just going to be loopy, self-indulgent, and ponderous. I like Tim Burton but haven't cared for much he has made since Ed Wood (which I loved.) Instead I found the film to be a visual feast (which I knew it would be), devoid of savage, post-modern irony (which completely surprised me.)

    With this film, it appears that Tim Burton has grasped that sometimes a good-hearted comedy/melodrama can make a great film. Whimsy is the order of the day, as the film does a great job of intercutting the tall tales of the past, with the modern day story of a son trying to understand his father.

    There are obvious parallel's to this movie Two that come to mind are Forrest Gump & The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I did not enjoy Forrest Gump, but Big Fish makes me believe I *might* have enjoyed it, had it been made by Tim Burton. All of the actions in Gump seem manipulative and didactic. Big Fish does bring on the tears, but it does not feel artless and forced like in Forrest Gump. I think the big difference was a feeling of whimsy present in Big Fish that was missing from earlier "Alabama movie."

    As for Baron Munchausen, I feel that this film succeeds much like Terry Gilliam's earlier ode to tall tales by giving in to it's flights of fancy. Both Gilliam and Burton are visual directors who are at their best when their imagination is left unfettered. Also both directors are known for making films with an often bleak vision; but, paradoxically, both Muchausen and Fish work precisely because their makers have decided to "lighten up."

    Reviews of Big Fish have been wildly mixed, so obviously your mileage will vary. But for myself and many others, this movie stands as one of Burton's greatest films to date.

    Bill S.

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