December 29, 2007

I Hate Tim Burton, and So Can You!

/begin rant

Thats right, in just a few simple minutes, you too can hate Tim Burton! "But no, " you might say. "Tim Burton is an eccentric, grimly humorous genius who's taken black and white stripes to the heights of cinematic excellence!". Well, as "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Beetlejuice" are high on my list of favorite films, I used to think that as well. And then I saw "Sweeney Todd" and after fifteen minutes I hated Tim Burton. Granted, Burton's been making some klunkers, but they never really offended me too deeply. "Sleepy Hollow" was vaguely amusing but nothing special, "Corpse Bride" was a visual delight but defeated itself in its own storytelling, and the completely unwarranted remakes of "Planet of the Apes" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" just confused me. But Sweeney...oh..... *SWEENEY*. This is personal.

Musicals are like playing Russian Roulette with entertainment. They can be the joyful and wonderful and top-tappingly brilliant, but if you're unlucky in the spin, they will make you want to blow your brains out. Most modern-day musicals make me want to blow my brains out. But "Sweeney Todd" was an shining exception. I was mildly obsessed with it in the few weeks after I discovered it- listening to the CD over and over. I fantasized that someday I would make an animated version of it. It is, at its core, a comedy. But it is a dark, twisted, grotesque comedy. The conceit of a barber murdering his customers and then baking them into pies is ludicrous and horrible..and funny! ...And horrible. But still funny! Slap some hauntingly lovely and devilishly funny songs on top and ya got "Sweeney Todd".

Now imagine all the humor sucked out of it. Then stick in some Tim Burton pets like, oh...say... Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter who apparently have never *seen* a musical let alone perform one. Make sure they don't show any emotions other than consternation or boredom. Don't time any action or edits to the rhythm of the music. Make sure Carter's inflate-a-boob cleavage is in every shot. Add some absurdly gorey blood spatter. Oh, and black and white stripes. Gotta have the stripes. After you mish-mash all this together, you're left with a boring, dreary, predictable, dischordant, heartless waste of two hours and ten dollars. The story of Sweeney Todd is wickedly entertaining, but if this movie is your introduction to it, it'll leave a worse taste in your mouth than Mrs. Lovett's meat pies.

I urge you and everyone on your street to rent the filmed stage production of "Sweeney Todd" with Angela Lansbury. Without the use of elaborate sets or scenery or digital fudgery, that filmed stage play has ten times the believability and skin-crawling fun than this insulting film. The performances are powerful, and Lansbury is so delightful you almost forgive her cannibalism. Rent it if only to compare the "Have A Little Priest" number. In the musical, this song is exuberant and riotously funny. In the movie, Depp and Carter successfully dodge every emotional cue and garble their enunciation so that only the audience members who happen to have memorized the libretto could understand the lyrics. RAWR! I'm mad.

/end rant...until I see another Gawful movie.

9 comments:

Xavier said...

THIS IS SO DAMN TRUE!!! You resumed what I was thinking but never saying. It encourages me to say it out loud from now on. Thank you.

I'm glad I entered "I hate Tim Burton" on google.

Joanna Davidovich said...

Its so odd- I wrote this post years ago but I find that my blog still gets a lot of hits from people typing "I hate Tim Burton" into google. Is there really that much venom out there for him? Anyhow, thanks for reading my rant!

snow white said...

Yes...I actually did type into google 'Am I the only way who hates Tim Burton?' and I agree with everything you wrote.
Thank you.

Me said...

Lord knows I hate him. For me it went from a decade of thinking he was marvelous to losing all respect with one damned film: Planet of the Apes. You don't touch masterpieces if you're any sort of artist with integrity. And the gratuitous conservative insult (the leader of the evil, militaristic gorillas speaks Goldwater's famous line about extremism in the defense of liberty being no vice) is always a dead giveaway a filmmaker is making movies merely for the approval of his Hollywood peers. The movie sucked, too. That was it. I was done. So long, Burton.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what a fuck did u hate him. you cannot say for everybody to hae tim burton.You have serious problems.I hate u for this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...seriously...learn to speak, write and spell. Even if you disagree, you sound idiotic "what a fuck" should be "what the fuck" and "did u hate him" don't you mean "DO you hate him"? And you the spell "hate" as "hae". Which makes ME hate YOU...and I don't hate Tim Burton I adore every creepy bone in his unoriginal body of self-dirivitive work. He still makes better movies than most creators out there. He just clearly loves money now more than us.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I criticize you and then make an error myself in my third sentence. which proves my theory that haters never prosper. Except for republicans who hate and still prosper. Lets all agree NOT to hate Tim Burton but to encourage him to do better. positive reinforcement.

Anonymous said...

I agree! I go on deviantart as testsubject276 but I always find his crap! On YouTube as ashpdjm still there! His animations are horrendous! They're disgusting and creepy! Why must you be dark and depressing?!?!?! Jhonen Vasquez was like that but he actually made it look nice! Not gross and made you think of mold! God! Visit my pages on deviantart or YouTube! My usernames are at the top of the rant! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I hate him.
He ruined my life.