Compiled by: Jack Foley
IT APPEARS that Tim Burton may be back on form, after the relative
disappointment of his Planet
of the Apes remake.
The majority of critics in America have hailed his latest movie,
Big Fish (released at the height of the Oscar season, and starring
Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor), as his best work in ages; even
though a minority still had cause for concern.
The film tells the heart-warming story of a fabled relationship
between a father and his son and is described by the Newark
Star-Ledger as Burton's best film since Edward Scissorhands.
Rolling Stone opined that director, Tim Burton,
finally hooks the one that got away: a script that challenges
and deepens his visionary talent.
While the New York Observer notes that not only
is Mr Burton at the top of his form in endowing his tallest stories
and wildest magical conceits with emotional conviction, but he
is aided by a superb acting ensemble that never loses its footing
in the treacherous swamps of make-believe.
Impressed, too, was the New York Post, which wrote that
there are quirks aplenty in Big Fish, but spirited performances
from a talented cast, led by a standout Finney as the slippery-fish
raconteur, help domesticate the wall-to-wall weirdness.
And E! Online, which noted that nobody paints a
moving picture as fantastically as writer-director Tim Burton.
Again, he hooks viewers with the wonderful Big Fish, although
the magic sometimes overpowers the storytelling.
Less impressed, however, was the Hollywood Reporter, which
described it as a belabored oddity that is one long-winded
tall tale illustrated with hammy, artificial sets and gee-whiz
And the New York Times, which wrote that the most
curious thing about this magical-realist fable
is how thin
and soft it is, how unpersuasive and, ultimately, forgettable
even its most strenuous inventions turn out to be.
Worse still, was an alternative review by the New York Observers
Rex Reed, who wrote it off as a load of tripe that no attempt
on my part could make sound half as pretentious and conceited
as it really is.
But Entertainment Weekly enjoyed it, referring to it as
a gently overstuffed cinematic piñata, crammed with
tall tales - with giants and circuses and fairy-tale woods, plus
a huge squirmy catfish, all served up with a literal matter-of-fact
fancy that is very pleasing.
And the Los Angeles Times, which opined that big
fish often swim in small ponds, but in Tim Burton's wistful new
film about a son, a father and the lies that come between them
there are no small ponds - just big, bright movie sets shimmering
and bubbling with the director's imagination.
Strong, too, was USA Today, which felt that Big
Fish takes a while to get its bearings, but it gets better and
And Reelviews, which concludes this round-up by stating
that Big Fish is a clever, smart fantasy that targets the
child inside every adult, without insulting the intelligence of