Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell
Release Date: December 13, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
When 16-year-old Jake unravels a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he discovers a secret world for children with unusual powers, including levitating Emma, pyrokinetic Olive, and invisible Millard. But danger soon arises and the children must band together to protect a world as extraordinary as they are.
Based on the bestselling books, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ invites you to a hidden world where anything is possible, certain individuals have fantastic abilities (and curses) and time, as well as anyone within its controlled grasp can stand still. A world that teenager Jake believed to be no more than an imaginative fiction created by his beloved grandfather. At least that was the case until a tragic accident causes Jake to travel across the globe for answers where he subsequently uncovers a remarkable world hidden within that which is visible to the naked eye. Upon this amazing discovery, he soon learns that his grandfather was in fact speaking the truth all along and is soon recruited to join the young gifted individuals (called the Peculiars) and their teacher Miss Peregrine in order to defeat a terrifying being who along with his followers may be the end of them and all their kind if they aren’t able to somehow put a stop to his murdering madness once and for all.
Directed by the legendary Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Big Fish) from a screenplay written by Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass) which was based upon the bestselling novel by Ransom Riggs respectively, Burton does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ guiding the film along with a beauty and wonder that perfectly matches the magical tale. The film also owes its share of credit to the capable cast who helps to keep things continually afloat including Eva Green (Casino Royale, Dark Shadows), Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight, The Avengers), Ella Purnell (Intruders, Maleficent), Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent, TV’s The IT Crowd), Terence Stamp (Superman II, Wanted), Judi Dench (Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and many more, the majority of which deliver competent performances at the very least in each of their respective roles.
‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is a magical, thrilling and simply beautiful fantasy for the whole family (or at least most of it, some young children may find a few sequences somewhat frightening). Based upon the bestselling novel by Ransom Riggs, talented filmmaker Tim Burton takes the helm for this film adaption and his unique style and the vivid colors always on prominent display within his work make a gorgeous fit for this peculiar tale. Plunging viewers into the hidden world along with the key character and allowing us to be introduced to this breathtaking world beyond the realm of belief along with our hero, the end result is a thoroughly enjoyable and clever adventure that should have no trouble holding the attention of anyone who enjoys similarly themed films. It may not be perfect, and surely its biggest fault is the lack of information provided for the majority of our key “peculiars” who can’t help but come off slightly less human and relatable when no back story or real information of any kind is provided for the majority of them. Fortunately the capable guidance of director Tim Burton, the capable cast and the gorgeous and exciting overall tone of the story help tremendously to balance the few weaker aspects that ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ suffers. I haven’t (yet) had the pleasure of reading the book(s) by Ransom Riggs which the film was based upon, so unfortunately I’m unable to provide any information relating to the similarities, differences or any other questions fans may have regarding the two versions. Nonetheless, if the comments from the author included in the bonus content are any indication, he does seem quite thrilled with the film or at the very least with having Burton at the helm. For anyone who enjoys more family friendly, magical adventures (I can’t help but think of Harry Potter as the perfect comparison) that aren’t afraid to take things to a somewhat darker place when necessary, you will definitely want to give this one a shot, it’s certainly a great deal of fun at the absolute least.
Overall, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is a (largely) family friendly adventure that takes viewers along on a magical, clever and just plain enjoyable ride that should easily thrill anyone who enjoys stories (or films) of a similar nature such as the Harry Potter franchise, as well as hardcore fans of Burton’s work. It keeps the content family friendly for the most part, yet isn’t afraid to approach some slightly more sinister and frightening (at least for younger children) aspects and characters. It does have a few issues, particularly the lack of information regarding what could potentially be a number of enthralling characters if they had only been granted a bit more time to evolve or been allotted some explanation as to their life prior. The beautiful style courtesy of notable director Tim Burton and a well selected cast fortunately help to keep the film from ever really suffering. ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ definitely comes recommended, especially for fellow fans of Burton’s work and those who enjoyed the book which serves as its inspiration.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and delivers a consistently sharp, detailed and colorful presentation that perfectly captures Burton’s unique style and suffers no notable faults throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast paced sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily please the fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a sharp, active and crisp audio presentation from start to finish that contributes plenty of additional fun to the overall viewing experience. It frequently utilizes all seven available channels in order to send the score and plenty of water, bees and much more making its way throughout the various speakers, and never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint in any way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ includes a collection of enjoyable and informative extras. Included on the release are a number of behind the scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and include behind the scenes footage, plus interviews/comments with the cast and crew, the author of the novel(s) and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Peculiar Story’ (running approximately 13 minutes in length), a closer look at the various characters in ‘The Peculiars’ (approximately 1 hour, 5 minutes altogether), plus ‘Hollows and ‘Ex-Hallows’ (approximately 9 minutes), and ‘Map of Days’ which is broken down into two segments (approximately 18 minutes combined). A ‘Music Video for “Wish That You Were Here” by Florence and the Machine’ (2 minutes), along with ‘2 Still Galleries: Photos and Sketches by Tim Burton), and ‘2 Theatrical Trailers’ (5 minutes combined) for the film are also included.