Dumbo and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Tim Burton
Dumbo wasn’t really one of my favorites in the Disney cannon growing up. I was always more of an Aladdin guy myself, so the prospect of getting a Dumbo movie from Tim Burton of all people seemed like the perfect mix of baffling and uninteresting, BUT once the trailers started coming out and I realized Danny DeVito was gonna DeVito it up in there, it at least managed to get my attention even if not for all the right reasons. Sure, I’ll go to bat for DeVito almost every time (except The Lorax. Ugh…), but what exactly are they trying to do with this movie!? Is this the kind of remake that’ll make people even more cynical of Disney than they already should be, or is there some bold unique vision to all of this that I’m just not seeing? Let’s find out!!
Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) has just returned from the war to the circus he worked for prior, and finds things a bit worse for wear. Granted he lost an arm, but the circus is losing profits, animals, and oh yeah his wife died as well. His kids seem fine if nothing else (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) and the circus’s ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito) has some work already lined up for him. Okay he’s not gonna be riding horses and shooting guns like he used to, but being the elephant handler is almost as good, right? It’s a particularly sweet deal since Medici’s new elephant is about to have a baby which will bring in the crowds from all over! Unless of course the elephant is a freak with big ears or something, but what are the chances of THAT happening!? Okay, so the baby happens to be a big eared freak (because elephants don’t have big ears already?) but Medici gives him a shot at the spotlight which ends up going pretty badly for all involved as the rowdy crowd starts jeering and calling him Dumbo which sets off his mother who then gets sold to another circus; leaving Dumbo all alone to be mocked and ridiculed by the masses. Sounds a bit heavy, but fear not! The children have found out that he has a USEFUL gift which is the ability to fly, so now instead of being a laughingstock to make money for his capitalist overlords, he can be an inspiration wonder for his capitalist overlords! Speaking of capitalists, Dumbo’s ability to soar through the air with the greatest of ease gets the attention of VA Vandevere (Michael Keaton) who has a MUCH bigger circus in New York (you could call it some sort of park for the purposes of amusement) and convinces Medici to move his operation there with absolutely NO catch whatsoever! PINKIE SWEAR! He just wants Dumbo to perform with his trapeze artist Colette (Eva Green) because… I don’t know, I guess a flying elephant wasn’t enough to appease the masses? With Dumbo’s new found fame and spectacular abilities, will he be able to one day reunite with his mother as the kids have promised him over and over again? What is Vandevere REALLY up to, and is there any chance that a guy with that kind of hair ISN’T a bad guy? Was anyone really asking for this? Like… at ANY point did someone out there even suggest that Dumbo should be made into a live action movie?
“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? IS THIS NOT WHAT YOU ASKED FOR IN A DUMBO REMAKE!?”
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Tim Burton
I mean… if we’re still gonna get YA films THIS late into the game; at least we’ve got an ACTUAL director behind it unlike say… The 5th Wave which, as far as I can tell, was directed by the Film-O-Tron 9000. Still, the real life director they got here happens to be one that’s been on a downward slide for quite some time now, so while this looks like the perfect film for him to make, the circumstances don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Does Burton manage to shake off his slump with this adaptation of a book that apparently a lot of people have read, or will this come and go like so many other films in this over saturated genre? Let’s find out!!
The movie is all about Jake (Asa Butterfield) who’s living his boring everyday life in boring everyday Florida where things that are boring happen every day. That is… until the incident! One day he arrives at his Grandpa’s place and finds that he’s been dragged out into the woods and had his eyes gouged out by something. The police think it was dogs, but Jake saw something out there in those woods, and it wasn’t a dog! Not even Cujo is THAT precise with his killings! Anyway, Jake finds some information in a book his grandfather gave him that points to a bunch of stories he was told as a kid about peculiar children living in a home in some English village, and he feels that he should go there to see if the stories were true. If nothing else, it might give a bit of closure for him which convinces his dad to begrudgingly take him, out there. Naturally his dad is a bit of dip shit and loses track of Jake almost immediately. Well… it’s not ENTIRELY his fault considering the island has some sort of dimensional time portal or something… I don’t know. Just think of it like that scene in James and the Giant Peach where he crawls into the peach and turns into a stop motion character. On the other side of this portal thingy, he finds the children from his grandfather’s stories as well as Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) who watches over them and is chock full of information that she’ll doll out to Jake throughout the course of the film involving his grandfather, their time portal thingy, and the bad guys chasing them led by Mr. Barron (Samuel L Jackson). Will Jake find a new lease on life and be able to work through the grief of his grandfather’s death by spending time with these Peculiar kids? What does Mr. Barron plan to do if he ever finds out where Miss Peregrine is hiding all these kids? What the heck do they do all day in this little pocket dimension anyway?
“After dinner, we’ll play charades!” “We’ve been doing that for the last seventy fucking years!” “Hey! Watch your language!” “WHY SHOULD I!? I’M AN OCTOGENARIAN FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!” “Huh. Was Jesus a Peculiar like us? I mean, he COULD walk on water.”