An Open Letter To Tim Burton
Dear Mr. Burton,
This is a difficult letter for me to write – I hardly know where to begin.
We’ve had some great times together, you and I. From the wackiness of BeetleJuice to the misunderstood Mars Attacks! to the instant classic Big Fish, we’ve had laughs and chills and thrills. Thank you for all of them. Even your missteps have had good points. I didn’t care for Planet of the Apes, but your portrayal of an ape society was undeniably right on. You’re my favorite director – don’t ever forget that. Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas… the list goes on and on. I even have a VHS of Frankenweenie!
When you made Batman, you changed my view of comics and comic book heroes. I know it had its problems (the Joker did NOT kill Bruce’s parents!), but I loved it. We hadn’t seen comic book heroes treated as real characters before – even the Superman movies didn’t feel quite right – and you showed us that it could be done and done well. When asked for my favorite movie, it was my go-to answer. I used to keep track of how many times I’d seen it, but the VHS copy I was making the tally marks on has long been lost and I’ve lost track.
I liked Batman Returns, too, though I felt you missed an obvious choice. Batman 2 … Two-Face? Does this not make sense to anyone but me?!? There was too much going on, and the inclusion of two villians started an ugly, ugly trend to stuff too much into one movie. It still worked for you (and Michelle Pfeiffer is still the best Catwoman ever), but it wasn’t as good as the original.
Of course, you can’t be blamed for the next two Batman movies. Joel Schumacher deserves special and painful punishment for what he did to Batman in those movies. I still can hardly talk about them without tears coming to my eyes.
But I digress. This is about you. About us.
I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it: I have a new favorite Batman movie.
I… I’m sorry. I didn’t expect it – it just … happened. I thought Batman Begins looked pretty neat, but I’d had Batman for so long I never thought…
I got to see Batman Begins tonight, though, and I can’t help it. It’s without a doubt the best Batman movie ever made. And – this may hurt, and I’m sorry – it’s the best one by far. I don’t consider myself an expert on the Batman character or anything, but this movie captured him and the Batman universe like nothing before it.
There’s so much more I could say, but it isn’t my intention to twist the knife any further. I’m so sorry. I never expected this.
You’re still my favorite director. And we can still have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Corpse Bride, can’t we?