I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
To borrow an expression I’ve heard from a few people, this IS Tim Burton’s X-Men.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a family film directed by Mr Burton. It follows Jake as a boy who is taken to a magical place, a time loop of one day in 1942, where there is a children’s home for children with supernatural abilities run by a shape-shifting woman played by Eva Green.
This movie gives me not much to work with due to its lack of originality in the broad strokes. That premise I just gave, with a couple of words changed could summarise a thousand Y.A movies. I will give credit to the whole time loop thing being pretty cool, but Doctor Who did it first and better.
That’s just the start of this film’s problems. Asa Butterfield, that kid who I think was the other boy in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, plays Jake. I generally try to give credit to young actors. Acting is not easy, particularly at that age. However, Asa is just bad here. Whether it’s his fault or a script or directing issue, I have no idea, but he is so boring to look at and listen to.
Samuel L. Jackson plays the main bad guy here as an evil scientist who wanted to become immortal yet inadvertently turned his masters into things that look like Slenderman (don’t ask, I don’t get it either). He and his evil brethren have a dastardly yet confusing and boring plan to gain immortality by consuming the eyes of children or something. It’s stupid and I hate it, plus it leads to some of the most gratuitously gory imagery I have ever seen in a movie and that is no exaggeration. This is the level of “surface cool” Tim Burton provides here.
Now don’t get mad, but I don’t think Tim Burton is the genius everyone thinks he is. I hate being the guy who says this kind of stuff. I don’t like being negative about the work of one guy. Yet in spite of all the praise that gets thrown his way for how “original” and “dark” his films are, I can only think of 3 or 4 good ones, the last one being Sweeney Todd and that was just less than 10 years ago.
I put Burton in the same category of director as Zack Snyder and Michael Bay. They have one cool thing that they do and they put it on loop. Cool being the operative word as there is no warmeth or depth to it, it’s just “hey ain’t this neat”.
I appear to be trashing this film, and I am, but I will give it credit that some of these cool things I mentioned are indeed cool. It’s just a shame that there are just so many layers and layers of nonsense.
Recommended Scenario: If you’re a Tim Burton completionist.
I really enjoyed this movie and felt it was a return to form for Tim Burton. I like your perspective, but I definitely disagree. All the fantastical and absurd aspects of the movie, while not necessarily explained in depth, were plainly -as you said- cool, and that’s what I look for in these types of movies. That being said, I totally agree with your thoughts on Asa Butterfield.
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