Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is too scary for children

Grade:   B-

Rating:  PG-13, 127 minutes

In a Nutshell:  This is a Tim Burton movie, so you know it’s going to have some weird and creepy images, even if it’s considered a child’s movie.  The film was adapted from Ransom Rigg’s best-selling novel, which was part of a popular trilogy.  So, does that mean we’re going to see two more of these films?  Um…have you heard of money?

Uplifting theme: 
  • “It’s time to learn what you can do.” – Miss Peregrine
  • “We don’t need you to make us feel safe, because you made us feel brave, and that’s even better.” – Emma
  • Aging, family, life, love, sacrifice for others

Things I liked:
  • Good special effects.   The film cost $110 million to make.  Worldwide, it earned $65 million during its opening weekend.
  • Great production value.
  • If you like time loop movies that go back and forth in time, you’ll like this, although it doesn’t make much sense in the end, so don’t overthink it.
  • Jake explains that his grandfather talked about a lake in Puerto Rico that glows in the dark.  I’ve been there!  It’s awesome!  It’s called Bahia Fosforescente.
  • Great casting.  Eva Green is perfect for a Tim Burton film because she’s already so quirky and mysterious.  Her low voice sounded like she had smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day though…or in the case of this movie, pipes.
  • It was hilarious to hear those two young Welsh boys rap with their thick accents.
  • One of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s books is featured.  Go Ralph!  By doing a search on FamilySearch.org, I learned I’m related to that iconic American writer.
  • I’m many years away from being a grandmother, but I would hope that I could have the loving, loyal relationship with my grandchildren that Abe has with Jake.
  • The adult actors you’ll recognize are Eva Green, Allison Janney (I love her), Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Asa Butterfield does a great job convincing us he’s an awkward teen, loyal grandson, and heroic boyfriend.  Unfortunately, he spends the majority of the movie just asking questions.
  • Some of the peculiar children were downright adorable like Raffiella Chapman (Claire), Pixie Davies (Bronwyn), and Hayden Keeler-Stone (Horace).  Ella Purnell (Emma) really looked like she belonged in the 1940’s.
  • As a twin myself, I was curious about the twin peculiars (played by Joseph and Thomas Odwell.)  Why were they covered up?  What was their peculiarity?  I laughed out loud when the audience finally learns those answers towards the end of the movie.
  • It kind of feels like an X-Men mutant school for children.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Samuel L. Jackson is completely transformed into a new character by simply giving him creepy eyes.  By the way, he has openly declared that he will move out of the United States if Donald Trump wins the presidency.  He has the only funny lines in the movie, but in some scenes it feels like he’s straining to act.
  • It always bugs me in movies when the children have a huge secret and don’t tell their parents.  Personally, I always want to be a part of my children’s lives and help them with their challenges.  I’m sure there are a lot of things they don’t tell me, but at least I’m trying! Chris O’Dowd plays a father who is out of touch with his son.
  • We don’t learn any backstory about the “peculiars.”  They are all very one-dimensional characters in this narrative.  I would have liked to learn more about them.  Maybe in the next two instalments of this trilogy we’ll learn more?  (I haven’t read the books.)
  • The plot has some holes that will start to really bug you.

Interesting lines:
  • “My dad said everything had already been discovered.” – Jake
Not everything, Jake.” – Miss Peregrine

Funny lines:
  • “You’ve missed me again, Jake.  I take it accuracy is not your peculiarity!” – Barron (Samuel Jackson)
  • Super shirt!” – Horace (Kayden Keeler-Stone)
  • “Some of his dreams are prophetic.  Mostly they’re about clothes.” – Emma (Ella Purnell)
  • “Oooh, you must put me in contact with your tailor.” – Barron
  • Eventually, you’re going to run out of breath and it’ll all be over…death for your beloved Jake and Miss Peregrine, and everlasting life for me…ew… and a mint for you!” – Barron

Tips for parents:   

  • Like all Tim Burton movies, this fantasy film has a lot of scary images and concepts, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for young children.  If it's still in theaters during Halloween, tweens will get a kick out of it as part of their spooky weekend.
  • There are some scary monsters called ‘Hollows” that eat humans’ eyeballs.  There are a lot of scary images of dead adults and children with their eyeballs plucked out, as well as scenes of monsters eating them.
  • There are quite a few skeletons, sometimes sitting around, other times fighting.
  • Creepy doll puppets have a battle and one gets stabbed to death.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Kids will love the end when the children outwit the adults. 
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