I just got back from Alice in Wonderland and noticed something. But first, an introduction:
I was a fan of Burton back before some terrible films got made. Like Planet of the Apes and such travesties. I also used to enjoy Johnny Depp before he started playing every possible obnoxious person he could find (with some great roles thrown in the mist, of course). But what Tim Burton has never failed to do is make some amazing humor in the midst of his bleakness or insanity, depending on the picture. The moments, when at their best, tend to be dry and subtle. And it was while viewing the opening scenes of Alice in Wonderland at the party in London that I realized something neither Depp nor Burton has done, while both should. I was thinking just a short time back how Depp has never been in something I'd refer to as a comedy (not including his early work that he isn't proud of, nor is anyone else. I mean Private Resort). In recent times, there's been actions, family films, dramas, a few horrors in there. But not a straight comedy. I include Fear and Loathing, because that was definitely something more. And I never saw Arizona Dreaming, which may or may not be a comedy. I don't really know.
My point? The two have worked together over and over again, and in their collaborations, never has there been a comedy. Now, Burton's not the comic type. Once he got the recognition as a director to stop making comedies, he never looked back. And I wish he would. I'm a fan of Beetlejuice and I grew up loving Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. But Burton or Depp working on a laugh out loud sort of film like those that are so popular nowadays would just be awkward to watch. I think Tim Burton should direct a dry, black comedy. He's made several scenes in his films with entirely droll sort of humor, but never an entire film. And, in the midst of some great artwork, I think I most enjoyed the awkwardness in the opening party in Alice. If Burton really wants to hold onto his seat of respect as a director, he has to start making new films. Not another gothic flick like he's been doing for years, though he's clearly great at it. He needs to try something new. And Depp has to be in a less serious film. That's my thought. Happy Oscar night, everybody.