AN EMPIRE OF ONE

If you don't think everything's really weird, you're not paying attention.

Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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This film was not boring.

It was not boring despite not being original.

It’s not original in the same way most movies out of Hollywood are not original nowadays.

It’s a re-mix. A re-mix of many familiar elements.

First and foremost, X-Men. The posters already suggested that, as did the title.

But it’s also Brigadoon.

A bit of Grimm, the TV show.

And especially Burton movies. Lots of them. In fact, you could say it’s a Burton sampler, a parade of his greatest hits.

Frankenweenie.

Edward Scissorhands.

Ed Wood.

Big Fish.

Alice in Wonderland.

And more.

A lot’s there, all cleverly stitched together.

Like I said, a re-mix, or as Burton likes to say, “re-imagining,” but it’s a re-imagining of stuff that’s been re-imagined several times already.

No, it’s never boring, but it’s not original, either.

Not for lack of trying. There are some peculiar things in the mix that could just be new to the Burton universe.

Maybe. Possibly. I’m not so sure.

But even if there’s something new there, it’s not enough to add up to something unique and memorable like the originals from which this film borrows (steals?) so much.

But rest assured, don’t worry, you won’t be bored, or maybe you will. Maybe the film needs you need to be peculiar, too; that is, peculiar enough to have never seen a Burton film.

I don’t know.

However, I do know this: if you choose to stay home and watch Frankenweenie, or Edward Scissorhands, or Ed Wood, or even Big Fish, instead, don’t worry. You won’t miss a thing.

But that’s just sad.

I saw the film about a week ago at a Hollywood preview.

miss_peregrines_01Martin Landau (who was present at the footprint ceremony that preceded the screening) may have been in the audience, watching the film with the rest of us. Why do I think this? Because I spotted him making his way to the nearest restroom. No one bothered him, perhaps because they did not recognize him. Perhaps they did not care. I cared, but I, too, did not bother him. (However, it would be a lie to say the thought did not cross my mind for I was carrying a script of Ed Wood and that script was calling out, indeed, screaming for the signature of Martin Landau.)

Back to the preview: it was supposedly a “fan screening,” according to my ticket, but most seats were off-limits to fans:

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The few seats that weren’t reserved were already taken.  So we experienced a bit of adventure as we waited to see if any of those “reserved” seats would open up. Finally, they opened the unfilled reserved seats, we sat down, and the show began.

It began on an exciting note with short intro’s by the novel’s author (Ransom Riggs) and the film’s director (Tim Burton).

And then, more than two hours later, it ended with scattered, polite applause.

Just sad.

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Written by David Kilmer

September 15, 2016 at 12:00 am