Tim Burton


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Tim Burton

Beetlejuice (1988)

Due coniugi muoiono e tornano alla loro amata casa sotto forma di fantasmi. La vita da fantasmi non sarebbe cosi` dura se la loro casa non venisse venduta a una famiglia di artisti. Quando gli artisti prendono possesso della casa, i fantasmi non si danno pace. Purtroppo sono sprovveduti, alle prime armi, e possono soltanto consultare il manuale dei fantasmi, ma non sanno come liberarsi della famiglia. La figlia, Winona Ryder, un'adolescente sempre triste, ossessionata dall'idea della morte, sembra in grado di sentirli o perlomeno percepirli, ma non sembra per nulla terrorizzata dalla loro presenza. Nel frattempo loro vanno a chiedere aiuto alla burocrazia dei fantasmi in un grande palazzo popolato da impiccati ed esseri deformi. Ricevono soltanto un consiglio: non chiamare Beetlejuice, perche' causa piu` guai di quanti ne risolva. I due inetti fantasmi le provano tutte, ma invano. La ragazza ha la facolta` di vederli e non si spaventa per nulla nell'apprendere che si tratta di fantasmi. La ragazza a sua volta tenta invano di convincere la matrigna che ha fotografato dei veri fantasmi. La madre ha indetto una cena per sette persone, ma non sa quello che l'aspetta: i due fantasmi, disperati, evocano lo spirito di Beetlejuice, un mostro davvero disgustoso e scatenato, che semina il panico alla cena facendo danzare tutti il calypso. Purtroppo gli avidi ed eccentrici amici della famiglia sono deliziati dallo show e pensano subito a come far soldi. Mandano la ragazza a invitare i fantasmi ad unirsi a loro, ma i fantasmi sono depressi perche' non riescono a spaventarli. I genitori sono ansiosi di capitalizzare sulla presenza dei fantasmi, i fantasmi adesso sono ansiosi perche' non riescono a controllare Beetlejuice, che e` anche uno sporcaccione fissato con la ragazzina. Non solo: la burocrata ordina loro di eliminare tutte le prove della loro esistenza, dal manuale alle fotografie. Beetlejuice viene rinchiuso nella riproduzione in miniatura del paese e invano supplica la ragazza di liberarlo (basta pronunciare tre volte il suo nome). I fantasmi si sono affezionati alla ragazza e sono disposti a coesistere con la famiglia, ma non sono disposti ad essere usati come attrazioni turistiche. Quando i genitori invitano due personaggi potenti, la ragazza rifiuta di aiutarli a intervistare i fantasmi. Ma l'amico di familia, Otto, ha messo le mani sul manuale e riesce ad evocare i due fantasmi, eccetto che la sua formula li fa anche morire. Per salvarli, la ragazza corre a liberare Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice si scatena subito in una serie di acrobazie horror. Non e` facile imprigionarlo di nuovo. Alla fine i due fantasmi sono ridiventati esseri visibili e vengono accolti a braccia aperte dai genitori della ragazza. La ragazza e` felice e diventa persino un'adolescente normale. Beetlejuice rimane nel suo inferno, incorreggibile anche con gli altri fantasmi. Fiaba surreale che sposa l'horror alla commedia e al volo di fantasia.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me.
Ed Wood (1994) is a fictional biography of Hollywood's filmmaker Ed Wood, who was mainly remembered for his ineptitude. But Burton turns it into a silly comedy that is rarely funny. Whether intentionally or not, Burton's film is almost as clumsy as the films that Ed Wood directed. On top of the low quality, it is also a very long movie. It is also a totally inaccurate biography, both of Wood and of Lugosi. Ed Wood and his friend Bunny (Bill Murray) fail miserably with their first theatrical play, starring Ed's girlfriend Dolores. Ed is then refused a director's job for a sex-change film, despite revealing his secret transvestite passion. But he's lucky enough to meet an aging Bela Lugosi, who is out of job. When Lugosi consents to star in it, the producer hires him for the film. His direction is even more akward than his awkward team (he wears woman's dresses on the set and always likes the first cuts). The producer fires him and Lugosi is desperately broke. Wood can't find work for himself or Lugosi. He repeatedly tries to raise money for a new horror project, helped out by a new friend, magician Criswell, who predicts a big success, and finally Ed gets the money by promising leading roles around. The incompetent actors, that now include wrestling champion Tor Johnson and the usual, rapidly aging Lugosi, are a recipe for disaster. Eventually, Lugosi has to be hospitalized for his drug addiction. Dumped by Dolores and ignored by tv starlet Vampira, Ed dates a sweet girl, Kathy, who doesn't mind his strange transventite hobby. The film is an absolute disaster: the audience chases the team out of the theater. Furthermore, Lugosi dies.
Vampira, fired from her tv show, joins the team for their next horror project, funded by Ed's bigot landlord. Inspired by Orson Welles, Wood decides to press ahead with his vision. The movie is Ed's first success.

Mars Attack (1996) is a funny farce and satire, that relies on special effects and an impressive cast.

In the White House the president (played by Jack Nicholson) is informed of flying saucers. His advisers are split: a general would like to nuke them, a scientist thinks they must be peaceful.
The president goes live to announce that Martians have been spotted by the space telescope. As the president speaks on tv, some Las Vegas residents listen: an ex-boxer black waiter dressed liked an Egyptian and waitress Sidney, a selfish gambler (Danny DeVito), millionaire Art (played by Nicholson again), and his wife Barbara, an helpless alcoholic who practices new age spirituality.
In a small, rural town of Kansas, a gentle and shy teenager, Richie, takes care of his grandmother, while his rude, trigger-happy father swears to kill any Martian that invades his land and his brother, an obnoxious soldier who calls him "retard", is preparing for the historical events.
Life goes on. A black bus driver stops the bus to pick up her children who are playing videogames. The president's press secretary picks up prostitutes.
In New York a tv show hostess, Natalie, interviews and flirts with a professor, Donald. Jason, her boyfriend, also works at the tv station. The president watches the show with his wife Martha and his teenager daughter Taffy. Suddenly, the tv image disappears and a martian appears. A fleet of flying saucers has already surrounded the Earth and are about to land in the desert.
Donald elucidates the president and his generals about the Martian anatomy. He believes they are peaceful, and they have more to fear from humans than humans from Martians. The president opts for a friendly course.
Art the millionaire wants to hire the former boxing champion to take care of some business, but the man is more interested in getting back with his wife, the bus driver.
Thousands of soldiers converge towards the spot in the desert where the Martians are going to land. The new age alcoholic is out there with her crystals. The vain Natalie and her boyfriend cover the landing live from the desert. A flying saucer finally lands, the door open and the Martians come out. A clumsy machine translates their greeting in English and the general's greeting in Martian. The machine translates that they are coming in peace, and the crowd explodes in an ovation. But the Martials start shooting like crazy. Their weapons burn the entire human body, leaving only the skeleton. People and tanks are disintegrated. The first encounter turns into a massacre.
Ritchie's brother attacks like Rambo holding the American flag but is pulverized in front of the tv, as his parents are watching. Natalie's boyfriend is one of the victims. The president has watched all of this live. Donald the scientist thinks that there was a simple misunderstanding. The president's teenage daughter suggests that maybe the machine does not work. Using another of the scientist's invention, the president broadcasts another message of peace to the Martians. But the chief of the Martians simply bursts out laughing, while he's flipping through the pages of a porno magazine. The Martians have captured Natalie and her very annoying dog, and have performed an experiment on her: Natalie's head is in a bowl, while the dog's head has been transplanted on Natalie's body.
The Martians send a new message, which the scientist translates as a formal apology for what happened and a request to meet with the USA Congress. The president accepts. But the Martians do it again: they incinerate the entire USA Congress. This time they kidnap the scientist. They remove his head and perform electrical experiments on it. Natalie, who now has the body of her dog, doesn't miss the opportunity to flirt again with him (or, better, with his head).
In the meantime, an attractive female Martian enters the compound of the White House. The sex-crazy press secretary lets her in. The Martian heads for the President's room and almost succeeds in kidnapping him. But the aliens wreak havoc anyway in the capital and in the White House. The videogame-dependent children of the bus driver, on a tour of the White House, steal the weapons of the aliens and defend the president shooting like in their favorite videogames.
While the millionaire is talking business to his partners, the aliens attack Las Vegas. The wife of the ex-boxer calls him and tells him that there are Martians everywhere (her children are shooting from the window). Martians enter his casino and start shooting at everybody and everything. The alcoholic, the boxer, the gambler and a singer manage to escape.
The Martians are now attacking also the small town in Kansas. Ritchie's parents are loading the guns.
The president finally authorizes the use of the nuclear weapons. Martians destroy all the missiles in a few seconds. Martians attack all the countries in the world, and particularly enjoy destroying the most historical monuments in ever more creative and irriverent manners, and take pleasure in it like mean children.
Ritchie's parents are crushed by a giant Martian, while Ritchie is rushing on the highway to save his grandmother. She is actually saved by the music she's listening to (old country music that blows up the brains of the aliens).
The Martians enter the control room, where the president and the generals are hiding. The general attacks them, but they shoot him with a beam that shrinks him down and then the ambassador just crushes him under his shoe. The president tries to move the Martian embassador with a noble speech, but the ambassador makes fun of his speech and kills him. Martians are on a rampage everywhere.
The ex-boxer protects the take off of his friends (including the alcoholic) by facing the aliens with no weapons, just his fists.
Finally, the teenager saves the world by broadcasting country music throughout the world. The music destroys the brain of the aliens. Martian soldiers drop like flies. The flying saucers collide and explode in the air.
Life returns to normal. In front of the ruins of Washington, the daughter of the president presents the medal of honor to the teenager and his grandmother. The boxer returns home, to his wife and his children.
References to Dr. Strangelove, Godzilla, Welles' War of the Worlds, but mostly a colossal satire of USA society at the turn of the century: high-tech industry, new-age mystics, politicians, generals, patriots, entertainers, news media, etc. The heroes are the old-fashioned ones, notably a teenager and an old lady. However, the world is saved by them accidentally, and it is saved by playing the holiest of all USA-made forms of music: country music.
(Translation by xxx/ Tradotto da Corrado Cantelli)

Mars Attack (1996) e' una commedia satira che si basa principalmente sugli effetti speciali e su un cast imponente.

Alla Casa Bianca il presidente (interpretato da Jack Nicholson) viene informato dell'avvicinamento di dischi volanti. I suoi consiglieri sono divisi: un generale vorrebbe attaccarli con le armi nucleari, uno scienziato ritiene che debbano essere pacifici. A Las Vegas vive Sidney, un ex-boxer nero vestito da egiziano che fa cameriere e cameriera, Art, un giocatore d'azzardo egoista e miliardario (interpretato ancora da Jack Nicholson), e sua moglie Barbara, un'irrecuperabile alcolizzata che pratica la spiritualita' new age. Il presidente annuncia, in diretta televisiva, che i marziani sono stati avvistati dal telescopio spaziale. a New York la presentatrice di un programma TV, Natalie, intervista e corteggia un professore, Donald. Anche Jason, il suo ragazzo, lavora nell'emittente televisiva. Il presidente guarda il programma con sua moglie Martha e con la figlia adolescente Taffy. In una piccola citta' del Kansas, un ragazzino, Richie, si prende cura della nonna, mentre il rozzo padre giura di uccidere ogni marziano che invada la sua terra. Una flotta di dischi volanti ha gia' circondato la Terra e stanno per approdare nel deserto. Il presidente opta per la via amichevole. Centinaia di soldati danno il benvenuto ai dischi volanti. La vanitosa Natalie commenta l'atterraggio per l'emittente televisiva. Ma i marziani sono cattivi e cominciano a sparare come pazzi. Le loro armi bruciano tutto il corpo, lasciando solo lo scheletro. Il primo incontro si trasforma in un massacro.
Gli umani decidono di riprovare e li accolgono a Washington. Di nuovo gli alieni annichiliscono l'intero parlamento e rapisco anche lo scienziato cordiale. L'assistente del presidente (una maniaca del sesso), lascia entrare nella Casa Bianca un'aliena che quasi rapisce lo stesso presidente. Ma gli alieni provocano comunque distruzioni nella capitale e nella Casa Bianca. Due bambini, che erano in visita guidata, prendono le armi degli alieni e difendono il presidente come nei videogiochi. Mentre il miliardario di Las Vegas sta parlando d'affari coi suoi soci, gli alieni attaccano anche la sua citta'. I marziani si burlano delle armi umane di distruzione di massa. Distruggono tutti i monumenti famosi in modi sempre pi— creativi e irriverenti, prendendoci gusto come dei bambini cattivi. Il presidente degli Stati Uniti cerca di convincere l'ambasciatore marziano con un discorso toccante, ma l'ambasciatore se la ride del suo discorso e lo uccide. I marziani si scatenano ovunque. Tutti i personaggi principali vengono uccisi tranne l'umile ragazzino che ha salvato la nonna, e l'umile boxer, che protegge la fuga dei suoi amici facendo a pugni con gli alieni. Il ragazzino salva il mondo causando la morte degli alien e la distruzione delle loro astronavi. La figlia del presidente conferisce la medaglia d'onore al ragazzino davanti alle rovine di Washington.
Troppo episodico, troppi personaggi. Riferimenti a Dottor Stranamore, Godzilla e La Guerra dei Mondi di Welles.
Charlie And the Chocolate Factory (2005) is a simple fable and a stylish divertissment. Charlie is the child of a poor couple, who lives with his parents and grandparents in a humble hut. Granpa used to work at the chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Wolka, but one day Wolka closed it, and ever since it has been a mystery what goes on inside. Granpa would give anything to be able to peek inside. Just then Wolka announces that he is giving away five tickets to five children for a tour of his factory, and that one child will win a special prize. The first four tickets are announced with much fanfare around the world. Charlie wins the fifth one and joins the other children at the factory, accompanied by granpa. Wolka is an odd tour guide, and his factory is a giant amusement park made entirely of chocolate. After a series of lushly choreographed musical numbers, that borrow from both Busby Berkeley's musicals and rock videos, the other four children are eliminated. Charlie wins the special prize: the factory itself. But upon one condition: that he renounces his family. Charlie refuses, and Wolka is puzzled why someone would prefer a family over his factory. The family returns to its humble life, while Wonka, in a bad mood, can't make good chocolate anymore. Eventually Wonka understands the value of family and visits his old father. Charlie accepts the factory, and Wolka accepts Charlie's family. (Translation by/ Tradotto da Federico Morganti)

Charlie e la Fabbrica di Cioccolato (2005) è una semplice fiaba ed elegante divertissment.

Charlie è il figlio di una povera coppia, che abita con i genitori e i nonni in una modesta capanno. Il nonno lavorava un tempo nella fabbrica di cioccolato posseduta dall’eccentrico Wonka; un giorno questi la chiuse, e da quel momento è rimasto un mistero tutto ciò che vi accade dentro. Il nonno darebbe qualunque cosa per dare una sbirciata all’interno. Proprio allora Wonka rende noto che distribuirà cinque biglietti a cinque bambini per un tour della sua fabbrica, e che un bambino riceverà un premio speciale. I primi quattro biglietti sono annunciati nel mondo con molta fanfara. Charlie vince il quinto e raggiunge gli altri bambini alla fabbrica, accompagnato dal nonno. Wonka si rivela una strana guida turistica, e la sua fabbrica un gigantesco parco di divertimenti fatto interamente di cioccolato. Dopo una serie di numeri musicali dalla sfarzosa coreografia, che attingono sia ai musical di Busby Berkeley che ai video rock, gli altri quattro bambini vengono eliminati. Charlie vince il premio speciale: la fattoria medesima. Ma a una condizione: che rinunci alla propria famiglia. Charlie rifiuta, e Wonka è confuso sul perché qualcuno possa preferire una famiglia alla sua fabbrica. La famiglia ritorna alla sua modesta esistenza, mentre Wonka, di cattivo umore, non riesce più a produrre del buon cioccolato. Infine Wonka comprende il valore della famiglia e va a trovare il suo vecchio padre. Charlie accetta la fabbrica, e Wonka accetta la famiglia di Charlie.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016), the adaptation of Ransom Riggs' novel "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (2011), first of a trilogy and followed by "Hollow City" (2014) and "Library of Souls" (2015), is a confused mess of a fairy tale which could be simply a boy's wild dream or the delirious imagination of a mentally insane boy. Jake, a teenager, finds his granpa dying in the forest and for a second sees a monster behind the trees and a woman who shoots the monster. The granpa always told Jake about the house of children run by Miss Peregrine on an island. He told Jake that the children have supernatural powers. Upon dying, granpa tells Jake to look for the house because it really exists, except that it is stuck in a day during World War II, in a loop of time. Upon that day the house was bombed by German planes and all the people there died, except for Jake's granpa. Eventually Jake's parents have to hire a psychiatrist because Jake truly believes in this fairy tale. Jake "heals" in the sense that he starts admitting that there was no monster and his granpa was killed by dogs, which is the official version by the police. However, on his birthday he is given his granpa's final gift: it is a book by the writer Emerson and it contains a letter addressed to his granpa by Miss Peregrine. Jake convinces his father to take him to the island, a trip that the psychiatrist thinks is a good idea. They arrive on the island to find a primitive community that doesn't really like to socialize. Father and son take a room in the only pub. In the morning Jake's father gives a little money to one of the teenagers to guide Jake to the place where the house of the children used to stand. The guide takes him there and then abandons him. Jake enters the ghostly ruins and wanders around until the ghosts of the children start materializing around him. Terrified, he runs out but falls and hits his head. A girl carries him inside to Miss Peregrine. Everybody is exactly like granpa used to tell him. The children have supernatural powers: one flies, one projects everybody's dreams, one has the head full of bees, one eats from the neck, one can set fire to buildings, one is invisible, one builds dolls that move and fight. Miss Peregrine looks at the clock all the time and explains that they re-live that date of 1940 every single day. She has the power to rewind time, and she does it every night just when the bombers are approaching in the sky. They will never age and will be there forever, repeating every day roughly the same actions. When Jakes leaves the house, after having disappeared the whole day, he tries in vain to lie to his father. His father is furious and worried that Jake is still mentally insane. Jake knows that everything truly happened because he has taken a picture of himself and Emma, a girl who has fallen in love with him. Jake reads a letter addressed to Miss Peregrine by his granpa. It contains a warning that she needs to find another loop in time. The following day his father is watching him every second, but Jake sneaks out from the window and runs to the house again. Miss Peregrine is hiding something from him. The inventor child, who is jealous of Jake, takes him to a secret room where a dead child lies. The inventor takes a heart from a drawer and sticks it into the dead child's chest. The child, Victor, comes alive and speaks like a robot. Nobody seems to know who killed Victor. The girl who is in love with Jake, Emma, takes Jake to an underwater city. Inside one of the buildings she shows him a safe. The safe contains photographs and he recognizes one, the leader. Emma takes Jake to spy on a secret encounter between Miss Peregrine and a monster. Miss Peregrine kills the monster. Actually, Emma cannot see the monster. Jake's granpa could see the monsters and Jake can. Nobody else can. Miss Peregrine tells Jake that the leader thought he had found a way to live forever outside loops in time, but instead turned people into monsters. The monsters eat eyes, especially of children, to return to being human. A woman brings news that the leader and the monsters want to try the experiment again. The children must leave the house immediately. Jake leaves the house and his father shows him that a murder has been committed on the beach. A photographer who just arrived at the island chases Jake into a cave and turns into the psychiatrist who turns into the leader. The leader forces Jake to walk with him back to the house where the children are preparing to leave. The leader threatens to kill Jake. The leader wants to cage Miss Peregrine: to save Jake's life, she has to turn into a bird and fly into the leader's cage. After the leader leaves, Jake's granpa phones and Jake tells him how much he misses him. The children barricade themselves. When the monster attacks, Jake is the only one who can see them. He is the only one who can defend the children. The children flee the house just when the bombers are coming. This time the bombs falls on the house and destroy it: the loop has been broken. Emma uses her supernatural powers to suck a ship from the bottom of the sea. Then another child ignites the engines. They sail to the city nearby. They find the theater where the monsters have assembled. Only Jake can see them as monsters. Jake and Emma lure them into an amusement park where skeletons brought to life by the inventor kid attack the monsters. The children fight the leader and his associates using their supernatural powers. The leader/pychiatrist transforms himself into Jake. The other children see two Jakes and don't know which one is the real one; but the fake Jake (the leader/psychiatrist) cannot see the monster that is about to attack them. Ironically, the monster eats the leader's eyes. Then the children kill the monster and flee. The children get back into the ship and sail back home, leaving Jake behind. Jake bikes home and finds his granpa who gives him a birthday gift. He encourages Jake to go and join the children. Jake runs to the pier and boards the ship but to get there in the right time (1940) he had to go through a number of time loops. Miss Peregrine, meanwhile, is still a bird, albeit free. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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