Thursday, October 13, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Review: Peculiar in Many Ways!

If there is one filmmaker who has a sense of imagination it would no doubt be Tim Burton. For years Burton  has brought his twisted vision to the silver screen in a variety of films; and while the director has had his share of hit and misses, there is no denying that a Burton film has the ability to stand out from the crowd. So perhaps Burton was the right person for the job to bring the likes of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children to the silver screen. Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children centers on a boy who discovers a mysterious orphanage on a Welch Island that houses kids with peculiar abilities. With its concept and creative visuals this film looked like a must see for the fall season, but is Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children a fantasy experience worth seeing?

The story of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children centers on Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield): an average boy who resides in Florida. Tragedy strikes Jake when his grandfather, Abe (Terence Stamp), is mysteriously murdered. Investigating his grandfather’s belongings, Jake discovers that Abe was connected to an orphanage located on Welsh Island. Jake journeys to the island only to find the orphanage is destroyed. However Jake is greeted by Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell) and the other peculiar children who take Jake into the past where the home still stands. There Jake meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green). There Miss Peregrine explains Abe’s connection to the orphanage which then leads to Jake discovering that he himself is a Peculiar. As Jake discovers a place where he fits in, he realizes that the orphanage is in danger by the group known as the Wights, led by Mr.Barron(Samuel L.Jackson), who seek Miss Peregrine in order to achieve their plan of immortality.

The story to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children certainly was captivating. The world that made up this story was intriguing as it used many fantasy elements such as time travel and magical esque world. However this was not to say that the film’s plot did not have some peculiar flaws. While it implemented many ideas the story does have a hard time meshing them together. This was definitely apparent in the film’s climax which, although fun, was hard to follow when thinking about the details of the situation. Yet even with its problems the plot to this fantasy film was enjoyable. The story’s adventurous aspect, although standard in its narrative, was filled with excitement and intrigue; which helped to make this peculiar tale a fun time at the movies.

The cast to Miss Peregrine's was indeed a strong factor for the movie. Although there may not have been much development (with the exception of Jake) this was a cast that was filled with character. This was noticeable in the peculiar children as each of the kids managed to stand out in their own way. As for the leads each turned out to be decent characters. Jake was a standard (yet believable) protagonist who made for a convincing guide for the audience. Emma had an understandable direction while her chemistry with Jake was tolerable. As for Miss Peregrine herself she was an interesting character; although I wished we got to know more about the headmistress. Nevertheless Eva Green did a fine job as Miss Peregrine. Samuel L Jackson was enjoyable as the villain Mr.Barron. While he did not much screen time, Jackson’s take on the Wight leader made for a character that was delightfully evil which ended up working to the film’s advantage. Along with appearances from Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Judi Dench and Terence Stamp, this cast worked for both the movie’s concept and its fantasy aspects.

There is a good sense of spectacle to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The movie use of effects may not have been awe inspiring, but the movie managed to use this factor to the best of its ability. One scene that stood out to me was Enoch O’Connor (Finlay MacMillan) showcasing his ability of necromancy to Jake. The scene used stop-motion animation to show the doll coming to life. This was creative move on the film’s part and it felt like a homage to Burton’s work as he is no stranger to stop-motion animation. Along with the effects was the cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel. There was array of colors used in the film which helped to elaborate the fantasy element behind this adaptation. Finally the score by Danny Elfman was appropriate to the film. It may not have been Elfman’s best work but there was a sense of adventure behind the music that managed to establish the wonder behind Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is not the most glamorous of fantasy film, but that is not to say that it was a bad experience. While the like of story and characters straed at times, the movie managed to have a sense of enjoyment thanks to its  adventurous plot, likable characters and creative effects. While this blockbuster may not be one of Burton’s best work Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was indeed a delightful fantasy film with a peculiar sense of imagination.

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