Here at Cinema Soapbox, we strive to make our movie reviews consistent, consistently good, and for them to be applicable to our readers. Every movie review will have the same five questions answered.
This week in Movie Review Theater, we will be answering questions about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Did you make it to the end of the movie? Not only did I make it to the end of this movie, but my 8 year old daughter made it to the end and we were both engaged the entire time. I'm not positive this is a kids movie, but I'm also not positive that it's not. There were a few scary places in the movie, some forced and some legit, but the overall tone was one of hope and joy surrounded by dark characters and monsters. That is also known as "A Tim Burton movie" if you are not aware.
I'm admittedly not a fan of Tim Burton, even though he has had his moments over his career, but he's found an interesting niche here if he wants to stay with it, but he never seems to want to. Kids movies that are made with adult themes is where Tim Burton shines and this is his best effort at that. It's not hard to beat Alice in Wonderland, but I'm also of the belief that the visionary person behind a children's fairy-tale princess classic, shouldn't be a weird 58 year old man. This is his best effort at that because it never felt like Tim Burton forcing Tim Burton things into a movie, which was refreshing and exactly what the movie needed. The performances and story was more than enough and his tone suited this movie perfectly.
Would you be embarrassed to see this movie with your mom? Not at all and as a parent I wasn't embarrassed to see this movie with my child. I see several movies with her that I'm less than thrilled to see, but this movie was great for both of us and it might be the first movie that captured the imagination of both of us enough that we talked about this movie the rest of the day. That has happened before, but more of her rehashing favorite parts and me saying "yeah that was cool" when it really wasn't cool. I'm looking at you Spongebob, you dick. These conversations were about the story and characters and nuanced parts of the story that I reminded her of that made her excited when she remembered. That hasn't happened before, and I'm aware that she is of the age when that will start happening more, but this was a first and I enjoyed it.
What drink would pair the best with this movie? Probably one of those craft cocktails that take 20 minutes to make, look weird, and cost way too much. You know the one I'm talking about, it always has bitters in it and it's made by someone with a mustache.
If you replaced the main actor with one of his/her contemporaries, would it be better or worse? I've been looking forward to this question since I left the theater. This movie, directed by Tim Burton, had Helena Bonham Carter written all over it and I felt that way from the very start. Eva Green gives a masterful performance, but I found myself comparing her to HBC the entire movie, which is certainly unfair, but given the longevity of their relationship is bound to happen. Bonham Carter and Tim Burton recently split and it's going to leave a hole in both of their careers (yes, I'm sad about their marriage and heartbreak, but this isn't a gossip column). She has been able to make other movies away from him, but always in that same tone, so to see this movie without her.......let's just say I noticed. Eva Green was terrific and I love her as an actress, but if this was Helena Bonham Carter, who I'm sure was set to do it originally, I have to think it would be better.
If you see this movie on cable 3 months from now, do you stop to watch it? I will absolutely watch this movie with my daughter again, but not several times and not by myself. I liked it, but the reason I loved it as much as I did was more about my daughter and less about it being a great movie. It's very well done, well acted, and well cast, but isn't going to be a classic. I'm happy I saw it and that one time is quite enough.
Overall rating: 6 out of 10 stars
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org