The books had a delightful conceit where they constructed a narrative around a bunch of snapshots taken a hundred years ago that Ransom Riggs, the author, collected from swap meets and other places where you find Victorian-era pictures of children. He wanted to put together just a coffee table book but an editor told him to maybe put a narrative together around the pictures and the book took off (and had a couple of sequels).
Of course they wanted to make a movie about it and of course Tim Burton was the only guy who could have directed it. And then they switched these two characters, added a couple, toned some of the other characters down, made sure that the main romantic characters didn’t have any chemistry, and, voilà.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie is visually stunning and it’s kind of a child-friendly, if ersatz, X-Men (with Samuel L. Jackson playing a much, much, much creepier Magneto-type). It’s just that the story strikes me as one that would be exactly as interesting if the sound were off as it is when you can hear what the characters are saying.
Plus a couple of the added characters, at the end of the film, reveal what their power is and it’s a power that would have changed the story.
And that always drives me bonkers.
But if you’re looking for a kid-friendly super-hero adjacent movie with gorgeous set pieces and, hey, Terrance Stamp, you could do a lot worse than this one.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?