(K. Brent Tomer),
ONE of the characters in Tim Burton’s fantasy-adventure hodge-podge, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, has the power to build grotesque puppets out of crabs, cutlery and Victorian dolls, and then bring them, briefly, to life. The film as a whole is a bit like his Frankenstein’s monster-ish creations, in that it is cobbled together from parts of other books and films, but never quite becomes a living, breathing entity in its own right. What do you get when you cross all of Mr Burton’s previous work with “X-Men”, “Harry Potter”, “Peter Pan”, “Groundhog Day” and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion skeletons from “Jason and the Argonauts”? The answer, unfortunately, is nothing in particular.
Based on a best-selling “young adult” novel, the film has a typically wet “YA” protagonist: a Florida teenager, Jake (Asa Butterfield), who stacks supermarket shelves while the cool kids ignore him. His one pleasure in life is listening to his grandfather, Abe (Terence Stamp), spinning yarns about his time in an orphanage in the 1940s. Abe fled from Poland, we hear, to a house on a tiny Welsh island where all the children were outcasts…Continue reading