Friday 19 October 2012

Tim Burton: Top Five Films.

Halloween is the perfect time of year to indulge in one of my favourite directors dark, atmospheric and quirky themed filmography.  Since the mid 80s, Tim Burton has been entertaining audiences with his unique vision of the world and in doing so, became one of the most successful film makers of all time. This week, his most recent film has hit the big screen, Frankenweenie.

Over the last few years, Tim Burton's films haven't exactly been up to his usual standard and while the audience numbers have gone up, the critics stars ratings have gone down. Now he isn't going down as fast as the Titanic or worst, M.Night Shyamalan (who is just awful)so I still have hope he can redeem himself. The subjects of his most recent films are still very Tim Burton, the casting is very Tim Burton and the art direction is very Tim Burton, but almost to the extent that it feels like someone is making a film in the style of Tim Burton.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Tim Burton; I'm a huge fan of his work and not every one of his most recent efforts have been a disappointment - Sweeney Todd and Corpse Bride were enjoyable enough. This week, his newest film Frankenweenie is being released, a stop motion remake of his own short film, and critics are calling it a return to form. I'm very, very excited about seeing it. Now to get me in the mood, I'm revisiting my own personal favourite Burton's Films, starting with... 

Number 5: Sleepy Hollow.

"Their heads weren't found severed. Their heads were not found at all."

A classic American horror story about a headless horseman. This is the perfect source material for Tim Burton's dark and distorted vision of the world. I love this film more for it's tone and feel than anything else, apart from Miranda Richardson, whose fantastic performance steals the film for me, playing the dual roles of Lady Van Tassel and the old crone both brilliantly. A great performance from Depp before his work with Burton became a bit tired and a stellar cast of British Thespians help bring this moody atmospheric film to life, the tree of the dead is an amazing set pieces and you can't beat the horse jumping out of it, who saw that coming? I sure as hell didn't. 

Number 4: Ed Wood.

"My girlfriend still doesn't know why her sweaters are always stretched out."

Ed Wood saw Burton at his creative and critical best with the biopic of the worst director ever, who likes to indulge in a bit of cross dressing from time to time. Shot in black and white, this is probably Burton's least Burtonesque film, with a very real setting of 1950s Hollywood, it's the characters that make it unmistakeably his own. It's often funny and touching and while Depp has never been better, the real standout role here is Martin Landau's, whose uncanny performance of Bela Lusgosi saw him win multiple awards. This an unsual film in many ways but worth a watch all the same.  

Number 3: Batman Returns.

"I am Catwoman, here me roar"
Batman and Burton are perfect together for me, his dark style brought the character and the setting of Gotham city to life in a way that maybe too cartoony for some but for me it was just right, more so than the more recent Nolan's Batman films which I felt took themselves a little bit too serious. With Batman, Burton had a huge box office smash that would allow him to have complete creative control of his future projects. For me, Batman Returns is better then the first, it became darker, more distorted and so much creepier. and while Devito's penguin was unsettling great, it was all about Michelle Pfieffer in her most iconic role, she stole the show and she did it all with one simple word 'Miaow'
Number 2: Beetlejuice.

"Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"

This movie made a huge impact on me as  a child, I was obsessed with it. It's the rare moment in cinema when horror and comedy go hand in hand perfectly. I love how 80s this movie is, Wynonna Ryder's dress sense and the hair is amazing. I love the score, Danny Elfman at his best. I love Alec Baldwin, who is young, thin and hilarious, and Geena Davis before she disappeared into obscurity. Micheal Keaton is wonderful, sleazy and weird as the title role, I loved it all. And it scared the hell out of me, from that weird monster in the desert outside the house to the snake bannister, but the thing that terrified me the most was Catherine O'Hara's freeky bloody sculptures as they came to life.

Number 1: Edward Scissor Hands.

"Sometimes, you can still catch me dancing in it."

Without a doubt, this has to be Tim Burton's most iconic, most original, most heartfelt, most honest and most magical film he ever made and of course my personal favourite. Burton regulars Depp and Ryder make the perfect Burton hero and heroine and you can't beat a bit of Diane Weist, "Avon calling!", who sets the story in motion by visiting that old abandoned castle at the top of hill, where that creepy inventor (who looks just like Vincent Price) used to live at the end of the idyllic suburban street. This movie has everything, giant creepy hedges, a haircutting montage and even an angry mob, this movie is a clear homage to one of Burton's biggest influences Mary Shelly's 'Frankintseine'.

An influence that is even more clear in his latest film, I shall be off to see 'Frankenweenie' this weekend and I have high hopes that I won't be disappointed. Oh, and here's the trailer...

What do you think? Let me know, feel free to comment, follow, plus and share. Thanks.


  1. My number one Tim Burton film would have to be Edward Scissorhands as well, or perhaps Ed Wood which I LOVE! Frankenweenie disappointed me a bit, although it's a step in the right direction for Burton. I was slightly obsessed with the crazy girl and her cat; they should have their own film!

  2. I was a bit disappointed with it aswell, but your right the creepy girl with the cat was the best thing, but underused I would have like to see more of her, Catherine O'Hara stole the film for me, loved her