Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear Tim Burton,

You're great. I really think that.

When I was in third grade, I went to see Nightmare Before Christmas at least five times in theaters. While all my other peers squirmed at all the dark spookiness, I ate that shit up. Everything from the concept to the design of that film, I obsessed over it. I filled pages and pages with doodles of the characters. At the risk of sounding cliche, my imagination was captured.

I went on to watch more of your films, with adequate delight. I like your noir-infused take on Batman. I don't think there's a single soul of my generation who doesn't love Beetlejuice. And, as has been said many time before, Edward Scissorhands stands as your shining masterpiece. That film typifies everything you're about: scrawny outsiders with deep-set eyes, tragically misunderstood by the world. How could a scrawny adolescent with deep-set eyes not be into that?

But let's be honest: things haven't been going great recently. True, you stylishly nailed the tone for Sweeney Todd, that's what you do best. But did you really think it was a good idea to give the most difficult roles in musical history to un-trained singers? Johnny Depp is undeniably awesome, but he kinda barked his way through that movie. You can't rely on him to make your films great, that's too much pressure. After all, there weren't exactly rave reviews for his interpretation of Willy Wonka. In fact, that whole film was one big sugary, flashy mess.

Needless to say, I'm extremely wary of this image from your forthcoming Alice in Wonderland:

As the saying goes, "casting Depp and adding your signature curly twists/gothic accessories does not great cinema make." Or something like that.

I think it's time to step back and do some reflecting. Why don't you go check out the MOMA exhibit dedicated to your work. Maybe you'll reconnect with your kick-ass roots, maybe you'll feel refreshed. Then maybe you'll put all my misgivings to rest and turn Alice into a solid, heartfelt film, where the visuals add to the substance instead of replace it entirely. You know, like the good ol' days.



P.S. Surely you're not gonna let Mrs. Carter look like an illy-photoshoped balloon in the actual film, right? Come on dude, who does that to their girlfriend?

Okay, I'm done.

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