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I guess I just like liking things

A wild Johnny Depp appears!

A wild Johnny Depp appears!

I’ve been a Tim Burton fan for 20+ years now. Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments about how he’s lost his way and doesn’t do like he used to do and all that and I don’t really care. I still like his movies.  Furthermore, I like that he and Johnny Depp keep teaming up for stuff. If I was an actor or director that had a great working relationship with a director or actor, I’d probably want to keep making movies with them, too.  Where you’ve gotten bored with their output, I’ve been interested. I love seeing what they do together even if the end product isn’t my favorite thing ever.

As of right now there are only eight movies on this list, so I owe you an extra two on some future list. If I revisit this in a couple of years, it seems likely I’ll have the full ten available at that time.

8. Ed Wood (1994) – I’ll probably take some grief for this one because it’s usually near the top for most people, but I’ve only seen this once and it was close to 20 years ago. The fact that I don’t remember much about it puts it down here. I’ll admit that it probably should be higher on this list and I promise I’ll do my best to rewatch it this year and get back to you on it.  Besides, this is more Martin Landau’s film than Depp’s.

7. Alice in Wonderland (2010) – If you ignore the Futterwacken dance (as I do) this take on the Alice in Wonderland is kind of interesting. I’ve not ever seen a version of the Alice tale I’ve liked (Disney cartoon included), so changing it to be more of a sequel/reimagine worked for me.  I know it did not for a lot of people, but the billion dollars this movie made means a few others thought it was okay.  And yes, I know that popular =/= good. We’ll talk more about that some day in the future. Depp plays crazy better than most, and the hair certainly helps here.

6. Dark Shadows (2012) – I’ve never seen an episode of the TV show this was based on, but I really feel like I got what Burton was going for here. I don’t think they overdid the “vampire out of his own time” schtick and Depp gives Barnabas Collins a bit more heft than a lesser actor would have.

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – This will be one of the most unpopular opinions I will ever give on this site, but I prefer this version of the Wonka tale to the 1971 version (Wonka father storyline excepted, even though it’s always nice to see Christopher Lee show up). I think Depp’s portrayal of Wonka as a more deliberately unhinged character fits better with the book. I also think Deep Roy as every Oompa Loompa is great, regardless of whether or not I like Bollywood Dance Number Oompa Loompas (I don’t, really).

4. Corpse Bride (2005) – I don’t like this near as much as I like Nightmare Before Christmas, but Johnny Depp isn’t in that one and Tim Burton didn’t actually direct it, so this is what we get. Macabre (but not overly so) + very Burton-y character designs + wonderfully nervous Depp voicing + Danny Elfman songs = works for me.

3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) – I don’t have much opinion on the songs here – they’re fine, but I never remember any of them (meanwhile, it’s been over a month since I saw Les Misérables and I still can’t get those songs out of my head). I personally think this is the darkest of their collaborations – there’s not a ray of hope to be found, not even in the young romance, I don’t think – but it’s what the movie called for.

2. Sleepy Hollow (1999) – I seem to remember people didn’t like this one, either, but I think it’s great. I particularly enjoy a story Johnny Depp told about filming this one, where he’s hacking away at the tree and Tim Burton is gleefully calling for “More! More!” blood to be sprayed on Johnny’s face. I don’t know why that amuses me so much.

1. Edward Scissorhands (1990) – Well, of course. This modern day fairytale is still fantastic 23 years later and I don’t even have to say anything else good about it because it’s a wonderful film and you should already know that.

It is not lost on me that the oldest films are the highest on the list. I’ll always be interested in a Burton-Depp collaboration, but I’ll always know going in that it won’t be as magical as it once was, but, hey, neither am I.

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