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Big Fish (SE)
DVD disk
11.25.2005 By: Quigles
Big Fish (SE) order
Director:
Tim Burton

Actors:
Ewan McGregor
Albert Finney
Billy Crudup

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After hearing only stories of his now-dying father's life, William Bloom, soon to become a dad for himself, confronts him in order to find out the truth.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Excluding PLANET OF THE APES, all of Tim Burtonís films have been full of wonder, bizarre ideas, and dazzling visuals; BIG FISH is no different. It is different, however, in that itís his first exploration into the world of true drama. The other huge difference is that instead of having a dark, gloomy atmosphere, this movie feels sunny and warm. It's quite a big change, but it pays off big time.

There are dozens of wacky fantasy stories to enjoy, all fluidly streamed together, that perfectly fill out the contrasting reality of the father-son story. If I remember correctly, my first viewing of the film left me ancy to get past the drama and into more of the tall tales. But now that I've gotten the chance to sit down and enjoy each aspect of the movie on its own, I was able to truly to appreciate both sides of this fantastic film. There's the feel-good humorous side, and the weepy, emotional side. It knocks out quite a double punch for viewers.

After the visual storytelling, my favorite aspect of the movie has to be Ewan McGregor. He's absolutely perfect in his role. He has that extremely charming quality about him, and a smile that could knock Julia Roberts on her ass. The others are very strong too, with great performances from Danny DeVito, Albert Finney, and Steve Buscemi. With the combination of BIG FISH's great cast, astonishing visual style, and intricate story, the enjoyment continues even further with repeated viewings.
THE EXTRAS
This isnít so much a new Special Edition of BIG FISH, but rather an equally priced re-release of the same Special Edition, except that now it has a nice-looking brown slipcover and a short book.

Commentary (with director Tim Burton): In the past, Tim Burton has had some questionable commentaries. Here though, there's an interviewer, and he helps keep things flowing very smoothly. Burton talks about production, casting, and plenty more.

The Characterís Journey:
  • Edward Bloom at Large (8:44): A good featurette that discusses McGregor's and Finney's separate portrayals of Edward Bloom, as well as information about the character.
  • Amos at the Circus (4:37): Another character featurette, except focused on Danny DeVito.
  • Father and Sons (7:20): A very strong extra that details the father-son relationship from the movie.
The Filmmakerís Path:
  • Tim Burton: Storyteller (6:44): This featurette contains a little too much praise and not enough info in my opinion, but it's still decent. It basically talks about bring the book to life through Burton.
  • A Fairytale World (9:32): A super-cool extra that explores everything bizarre from the movie, especially the ideas which the story is partially based off of.
  • Creature Features (6:26): An interesting featurette that details how Stan Winston and his crew worked to bring various elements from the film to life, such as the trees, the werewolves, and more.
  • The Authorís Journey (7:58): Both the book's author, Daniel Wallace, and screenplay writer, John August, discuss how they worked together in order to bring BIG FISH to the big screen.
Fish Tales: A simply feature that allows you to click an icon during the movie, each of which will take you to one of the seven featurettes above. Pretty pointless, in my opinion.

The Finer Points: A Trivia Quiz: A nice quiz for major Tim Burton fans like myself.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Fairy Tale For A Grown-Up: This 24-page hardcover picture-book is filled with cool drawings from Tim Burton and a simple retelling of the story. Good for parents wanting to read something to their kid.

There are also 12 Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
BIG FISH continues Tim Burtonís streak of bizarrely brilliant adventures, following in the footsteps of BEETLE JUICE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and ED WOOD. It feels a whole lot different than the latter films, but it's just as deranged, except in a more fantastical way. The extra book in this new set isn't amazing by any means, but it's still a nice addition. If you don't yet own the film, then here's your chance to get a slightly better version for the same price.
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