Hard, isn’t it? To avoid making a joke about “the first rule of fight club.” Yes, very good. Everyone is thinking it. Jot it down on a bit of paper. Scrunch it up. Bin it. Everyone else that came before you have done it, and everyone else after will do it too. It’s not original, it’s not interesting, and neither is Fight Club, not really, anyway. Fight Club? Fine club. Fine indeed. It’s fine. But what makes Fight Club a struggle to view is not its commentary and fundamentally skewered take on Chuck Palahniuk’s view, but the response to it. The misunderstanding of it. An audience problem, that one, albeit a benefit to Fight Club anyway.
Here we are then, the worst film ever crafted. From the daft and weird mind of Tim Burton and the collaborative efforts of industrialisation commentary and working-class woes. But it worked better when it wasn’t so aggravating or sickly to look at. Acknowledging the insanity of a man that owns a chocolate factory that employs squirrels is the only positive step taken by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a film that fails to provide much use in its adaptation of a Roald Dahl classic. Still, no film with Noah Taylor can be truly bad, right? There are exceptions to the rule. Sadly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of them.
Grim, grey palettes and an ensemble separated from one another with little reason, what a quick and horrid change of pace Terminator Salvation is compared to the previous instalment just six years before it. Grip the fun of the third instalment like it were the final days because that is the last film in the series to inspire any level of slight enjoyment. Even then, the confusion founded in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was on thin ice to begin with, the rest of the series is the scurrying fear of trying to break free from the depths. No such luck for Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, who don’t quite get to grips with the worldbuilding around them, or lack thereof. Even with simplicity and the fears of a new Terminator model, they struggle to figure out their place in an ever-changing landscape of miserable characters and poor twists.
What we as audience members and movie lovers must remember is that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Not really, anyway. Adapting Alice in Wonderland to the live-action arena, for instance, is not a bad idea. Animation provided Disney with some magnificent visuals and a thoroughly well-defined feature that brought the characters written by Lewis Carroll to life with faithful effectiveness. What we as audience members and movie lovers must also remember is that, if there is even a little crux of whimsy found in a feature film, then Tim Burton would, probably, love to adapt it and slather his strange shtick all over it. Hence, Alice in Wonderland, of course starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Why must Englishmen be told they can do a convincing American accent? It leads only to disaster. Ewan McGregor finds this out with his leading role in Big Fish, the oddball family drama from Tim Burton. His hick-like accent is an odd approach to the role of Edward Bloom, a man whose passions are huge. Bloom has the material of a larger-than-life man, so larger-than-life performers are necessary to bring him to life. Albert Finney and McGregor are the men responsible for this, and under the direction of Burton, are capable of drawing on their own desires to live a free and famed lifestyle. That is the goal of many, is it not? Big Fish understands that, somewhat anyway.