Tim Burton?

Mike Broadman

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Ok, can someone please explain this guy to me?
I like the "weird" directors, or the ones with a unique style. Kubrick, Scorsese, Hitchcock.
I don't get Burton.
I didn't get the point of Edward Scissorhands. Sleepy Hollow just seemed so lame. I refuse to see Planet of the Apes, it just looks so stupid.
I've read that his movies are supposed to be fairy tales for adults, or something. I'm not seeing it.
I don't mean to bash his work, maybe I'm missing something. I watch his movies with a giant question mark on my brain.
 

Marc Colella

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Basically Tim Burton use to be a very creative director.
His movies had a great balance of originality, style and quirkiness. Ed Wood was his career pinnacle, and will be considered a classic if it isn't already.
Since then he has sold out to Hollywood and is now only making popcorn type movies that offer style over substance.
 

Wes Ray

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So, what kind of substance over style does Pee Wee's Big Adventure have? haha. Come on, cut the man some slack. He's an entertainer. He makes entertaining films. He's always been this way. His movies are supposed to be fun, thought-provoking, and visually spectacular. I think he's succeeded in achieving those in most of his films. Tim Burton rules.
 

Sean Oneil

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His movies are supposed to be fun, thought-provoking, and visually spectacular
So for that we can thank the Writers and the Art Directors and Designers.

He does work with some of the best artists ...but knowing what to do with them, that is a different story. I find that with Burton films the 'Look' or the art ALWAYS outshines the direction. Ed Wood being about the only exception, and you can thank Landeau and Depp for that.

Oh well, Directors get all the glory.
 

Josef_K

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i grew up watching his movies and still love them.
he is a good entertainer.
as a kid my amagination exploded seeing the art direction in his movies with the batman and edward scissorhands,
ed wood, peewee, i love all those movie and i hope he stays for a long time. i always look foward to his movies.
 

David Echo

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Mike,
To truly understand and apprecaiate Tim Burton's work I think you have to be aware that all of them are stories of "outsiders" who either do not or can not mesh with the larger social order around them. This theme really began in his first animated film "Vincent" (available on the Nightmare Before Christmas SE dvd, I beleive) but one only has to look at his mainstream work to see it in evidence.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Pee-Wee
Beetlejuice (1988) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Beetlejuice, Lydia Deitz
Batman (1989) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Bruce Wayne/Batman, Joker
Edward Scissorhands (1990) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Edward Scissorhands
Batman Returns (1992) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: All of them really (Bats, Penguin, Shrek, Catwoman)
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (producer & story) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Jack Skellington
Ed Wood (1994) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Ed Wood
Mars Attacks! (1996) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: The Martians
Sleepy Hollow (1999) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Constable Ichabod Crane
Planet of the Apes (2001) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Capt. Leo Davidson
Burton will always sympathize with his Outsiders and once you have identified them the films make a kind of sense from their point of view. Burton has said in interviews that he loved monster movies as a child and (like Clive Barker) always felt sad when they were destroyed or run off at the end. He wished that Frankenstein would grab one of the pitchforks and stab those stupid villagers.
It's interesting to note that in many of these films the outsiders are put in the role of having to protect/defend/save those very same social orders which they themselves do not fit into. There is sometimes a "Bad/immoral Outsider" to work against the "Good/Moral Outsider."
Next to Vincent, Edward Scissorhands is Burton's most personal film and is essential viewing to understand his body of work. Here Edward the "Artist" is clearly a stand-in for Burton the "Artist/Director"
His films are also noted for the incredible art direction and uniqueness of his designs, which he (being a gifted illustrator) always influences by hands-on participation.
His films can have an "artsy" feel to them and sometimes skimp on plot and story resolution but these are not critical elements to "getting" them. Theme overides all else.
Well that's my take on him at least and I hope you are able to re-visit some of his films with this in mind. You might change your mind about him.
Dave
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Iain Lambert

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Its not to the same extent as much of Clive Barker's work, but its worth mentioning with 'Batman Returns' how the one character who is the nastiest, plotting all sorts of horrible things rather than just acting outside the norms is Max Schreck, who is the only major character who doesn't dress up in a strange costume. There is a recurring theme of how the 'alien' characters are percieved by society as evil, when the greatest damage is actually caused by those who are superficially 'normal'.
 

Andy Sheets

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Batman (1989) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Bruce Wayne/Batman, Joker
Batman Returns (1992) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: All of them really (Bats, Penguin, Shrek, Catwoman)
Planet of the Apes (2001) OUTSIDER/MAIN CHARCTER: Capt. Leo Davidson
I very much agree with the overall message, but I just think it's interesting that in these movies many people had problems with the heroes/outsiders. I've read a lot of comments that in Planet of the Apes, for example, Burton was clearly more interested in the apes than the humans, who are all pretty dull (and Mark Wahlberg does look too much like a gymrat to fit in among Burton's usual scrawny heroes
). And I have read comments from Burton that he always had problems with his Batman films, especially the first one, because he hates Batman/Bruce Wayne. Almost all of his sympathies are with the villains in those films, and when those movies came out many people remarked on what little meaningful screen time the superhero got in comparison to the villains. I suppose it's not coincidental that these are the films that are probably the most compromised in comparison to Burton's usual style, the most seemingly friendly to audiences looking for a summer blockbuster (although with Batman Returns some people got a bit more Burton than they were ready for
).
 

Rob Tomlin

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I really think that David Echo nailed what Tim Burton is all about in his post!
He has a certain style, and I can understand why some people don't like it, or "get it". However, I am definitely a person who really enjoys the majority of his work!
I think Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure were excellent!
 

Mike Broadman

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Well, I guess taste and preference overcomes all.
I've always said his movies look fantastic. Very pretty.
I do want to see Ed Wood.
I guess what I can't like are the stories. They're too "nice." It's not a complaint, I guess I like to be challenged more.
Burton's not a "bad" director. I give him credit for making me think about his work. That's more than I can say for the Spielberg's of Hollywood.
Burton's movies are a little too safe for me. You pretty much know what you're getting. I haven't seen Planet of the Apes, but I probably can imagine everything that happens.
 

JonZ

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I think Tim Burton makes shitty movies that look great.
While I love Ed Wood and Nightmare Before Christmas(which he didnt direct),his other films fall so short.
He needs to be around better writers, as he has great ideas, but they never seem to become a great story on film(with 2 exceptions).
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Mitty

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I'm on the fence about Burton. He's created some interesting stuff, wonderful visual worlds, but he has surrounded himself with some amazing production design talent which accounts for a lot of what is good about his films. What was really special about Sleepy Hollow aside from the "eye candy?" I think people love that he's weird and unusual - outside the mainstream - but is he? Is he really that weird? He dresses in black, has unruly hair and wears berets, I'll give you that. I'd contend that Burton is very much a mainstream director who makes films for middle America, despite what he says. Yet, he maintains a rabid fan base commensurate with a rebellious underground artist. He's a gothic artist for people who hate gothic art.
I guess on the whole, I sometimes like his work, but I'm by no means a "fan." I just don't feel he's necessarily earned his reputation as a bastion of creativity and imagination.
 

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