Top 5 Tim Burton Films !
Tim Burton is an insanely creative director. His unique style is loved around the world and sure made a lasting impact on me. Ever since I saw the first Batman film in the early 90's, I knew this man had something special. Here are my 5 personal favorites from him !
5. Mars Attacks ! (1996)
I believe that Burton, after Ed Wood in 1994, decided to make his own Ed Woodesque film and this was the result. The movie was not the box office success it deserved to be, only grossing back its 100 million dollar budget. However, just a quick glance at the film's poster is enough to make you realise you are in for something special. Tim Burton was at the top of his game back then and he was able to get the best of Hollywood for this ridiculously crazy movie. Jack Nicholson especially is hilarious, playing two completely different characters. The film is campy and it was meant to be like that. The special effects are still holding up pretty well today, considering that this was a parody of 1950's sci-fi monster disaster movies. It is often overlooked in Burton's filmography. It shouldn't.
4. Beetlejuice (1988)
I think Beetlejuice is the movie in which Tim Burton first developed his trademark style, a mix of horror and comedy with gothic elements thrown in the mix. It is a supernatural comedy and one of the best at that. It is undoubtedly Burton's funniest film. Michael Keaton is a showstopper and the long awaited sequel is suposedly in the works. The old-fashioned special effects give the film a lot of charm (it won an Academy Award), just like the musical numbers. Truly a unique film that will remain a classic for the ages. Beetlejuice also marked the beginning of the Burton-Keaton working collaboration, which leads us to...
3. Batman (1989)
Batman is probably the most important film of my childhood. The movie was unlike anything else at the time. Moviegoers were surprised by how dark it was and yet it remained a crowd pleasing blockbuster. Burton finally proved that Batman was more than the parody the 60's TV show made of him and the film had a huge influence on how the character was perceived, even in the comics. It also gave birth to the amazing animated TV show in the early 90's. To me, Michael Keaton remains the definitive Batman and Jack Nicholson is perfect as the Joker. While it doesn't have a lot of Burton's trademark elements, the movie remains one of his most financially successful and allowed the director to basically do anything he wanted after.
2. Ed Wood (1994)
This movie is probably the most overlooked one in Burton's filmography, as it received a limited theatrical release back in 1994 and was shot in black and white, perhaps limiting its commercial appeal. That's a shame. Ed Wood is a deeply touching and funny film that is sure to please anyone interested in the art of making movies. Johnny Depp delivers one of his finest performances here as Ed Wood (the worst movie director ever) and Martin Landau rightfully received an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi. With almost no special effects, the attention is centered around the relationship between Depp and Landau's characters, which is fascinating and truly heartwarming. The movie is the only biographical film Burton ever made and it is worth a watch. Or many !
1. Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Returns is what happens when you give free rein to one of the most creative directors out there. This movie feels much more like a Burton film than the first one, as it features very tortured characters and an almost nightmarish fairytale-like style. It is arguably one of the most unique superhero films ever and was not what audiences were expecting back in 1992. However, I believe it is infinitely superior to its predecessor. Danny Elfman's score is Oscar-worthy and the performances are electric, especially Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, delivering what I think is the definitive portrayal of the character on the big screen. The backlash due to the film's violence led to the rebooting of the Batman movie franchise in 1995 with Batman Forever. Batman Returns is still my favorite Batman film of all time. Don't miss this one !