Customer Reviews


124 Reviews
5 star:
 (83)
4 star:
 (32)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming and heartwarming piece of whimsy
Tim Burton has often been, well, a little too weird for me. This film is one of his more accessible ones, and is very charming with it.
With a great cast (Billy Crudup of Almost Famous is particularly good, as are Ewan MacGregor and Albert Finney), the general impression is of a sort of Alice in Wonderland for the modern age.
A son and a father who haven't...
Published on 7 Nov. 2004 by Andrew Kerr

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars I Had Too Much Trouble Swallowing This Fish Story
I've never been converted into a full fledged Tim Burton fan. Yes, I have enjoyed a few of his more main stream hits, but most of his films just looked too strange to me, so I'd pass right on by. Some friends raved to me about Big Fish and loaned it to me, so I gave it a chance. It confirmed what I've thought of Tim Burton.

While our story is about the...
Published 11 days ago by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming and heartwarming piece of whimsy, 7 Nov. 2004
By 
Andrew Kerr "Alabony" (Dunfermline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Tim Burton has often been, well, a little too weird for me. This film is one of his more accessible ones, and is very charming with it.
With a great cast (Billy Crudup of Almost Famous is particularly good, as are Ewan MacGregor and Albert Finney), the general impression is of a sort of Alice in Wonderland for the modern age.
A son and a father who haven't talked in 3 years are brought together when the father seems like he's about to die. The son has been embarrassed by his father's tall tales for years, and now he wants to REALLY know what his father did with his life. It appears the truth is at least as stange as the fiction, as we are taken through numerous flashbacks to see the incredible life he led.
There's no huge drama here, and nothing in the way of explosions or other obvious Hollywood tools for manipulating the audience. Just a darn good tale and some wonderful photography to set it off.
The extras on the DVD are excellent too, making this well worth buying for those kind of Saturday nights where you just want to relax and watch a NICE film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Fiction is Better than the Truth, 16 July 2007
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Tim Burton's return to genuine film making is a welcome endeavor indeed. Here he creates a film that reminds me of what great film making is all about: fantasy, love and reflecting on the human spirit. I scoffed at a review that compared Big Fish to The Wizard of Oz when Big Fish first came out, but upon viewing it the comparison is really not hyperbolic at all and is actually quite justified. There is a unique carelessness and an innocence that resides perfectly and constantly in both films. To me, both films are truly a breath of fresh air and hope.

Big Fish is a book written by Daniel Wallace and is the delightful story of Edward Bloom, who has reached the twilight of his life and surrounds himself with his son, daughter-in-law and his wonderful wife Sandra. Eddie has seemingly lived a fantastic life of lies and exaggerations and his son has grown to call his bluff on more than one occasion. In fact, his son returns not just to possibly say good-bye to his father, but to attempt to get him to spill the beans on the truth of who his old man really is. Eddie of course, stands by his stories and brushes off his son's accusations nonchalantly. Most of the film we see Eddie revisit his life as a whole, seen through only his own stories. How he once befriended a 12 foot man; how he arrived in a town that was paradise, once to early and once too late when he turned it back into paradise again; how he joined the circus for three years so he could find out pieces information once a month from Amos the ringmaster about the girl Eddie was sure would be his wife and how Sandra would believe Eddie to be dead in war but he would return. The stories are full of details that would clearly indicate they are false but sometimes they are just better that way. Eddie is a mythological figure and that is just fine with him and as a viewer it's fine with me as well.

Eddie is played by Albert Finney who is in turn mirrored by Eddie's youthful version, the outstanding Ewen MacGregor who once again proves his versatility. Jessica Lange plays the older Sandra and she is played as a youngster by the talented Alison Lohman who carries as much energy and beauty as you could expect for a role with so little dialogue and so much importance. She is a real find and makes you fall in love with her right along with Eddie. Helena Bonham Carter brings her talents to the roles of The Witch and Jenny (or all of the other important women in Eddie's life). Steve Buscemi shows up, which is always a pleasant surprise and of course Amos is played by Danny DeVito who is as enjoyable as ever. The flat Keanu Reeves clone Billy Crudup is perhaps the only drawback, but he is a safe casting call as Eddie's son and does what he can in discovering that his father is exactly what he says he is and more.

Let me just add that I believe Big Fish is a family film. I don't see why it shouldn't be rated PG rather than PG-13. The language rises above the prime time television level once, there is blood only in a comedic and romantic fight sequence that has a truly admirable message and there is a women's nude rear displayed briefly and non-sexually. This is not grounds for a PG-13 movie. I would bring a seven year old to see this. In fact, my guess is that the movie was directed at this demographic. When content is not exploitative, it is not really inappropriate. I can't see why Rock Diesel films get PG-13ed when the message is nothing short of "Kill the bad guys, make a lame joke, drive and crash really cool vehicles and get the dirty chick". Anyway, Big Fish may be about a guy who is stretching the truth but the characters' hearts couldn't be more firmly in the right place. The scene when Eddie fills an entire field with Sandra's favorite flower and stands in the middle of the field, outside of her window and calls out to her comes to mind. It brings joy to my heart in a way that only a film like The Wizard of Oz can, and a small child should never ever miss that kind of message. Big Fish is a smart film that really generates a ton of emotion and convincing special effects. I don't doubt for a moment that more work went into the effects than money. This film carried a sense of hope, pride, real love, respect, fantasy and the crucial element that films of these tainted times often forget: natural and unforced optimism.

Then there is Tim Burton. He is the filmmaker that can put all of these elements together and for the first time tug at your emotions as well. Two things make this film better than Burton's other work. Firstly, it is real and doesn't dwell on being over-stylized and under-dramatized. Secondly, it is pure, clean and full of moments we can all relate too. Tim Burton has made a film that will alienate his older fans who haven't matured like he has, without "selling out" (he's done that before) and he has made a film that the whole world can watch, enjoy and discover this unique filmmaker. I'm glad that he saved some of his real film making inspiration for this wonderful little story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical (and much better than Tim Burton's others), 21 Oct. 2006
By 
Petrolhead (Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Big Fish is a truly marvellous film, a tear-jerking, smile-inducing journey through a whole bag of fairy-tales, all wrapped up in the evolving relationship between a good son and his larger-than-life father. The whole film is perfectly judged. The cast is just right, the humour is finely judged, the pathos is heart-warming. (And the DVD has plenty of extras about special effects, the author, the director, the characters, etc, if that sort of thing matters to you.)

A really nice, underrated film to watch with a loved one, or at least someone you won't mind laughing and crying with...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The life and death of the immortal Edward Bloom, 15 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
One of the biggest achievements of this film (apart from the fish) is that it’s incredibly feel-good without being remotely sentimental. That may not come as a huge shocker considering it’s is a Tim Burton movie, but that’s what stands out most as the viewer is swept along on the tide of emotion and spirit in the mysterious waters of the river in which this big fish swims. There are very few high points, low points or any great tempo changes at all in the course of the film, instead it’s strangely consistent and on an oddly intangible, but intensely enjoyable level throughout, which only makes the finale of the film and conclusion to the fantastic adventures in the life of Edward Bloom all the more transcendent and genuine.
At its core this is the story of a father and son and their fraught relationship that neither can quite restore to what it once was and the quest of the son to finally reconcile the myth and the man and to know his Dad. The performances too are wonderful, even by those actors in small roles- Matthew McGrory as ‘Karl the Giant’, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alison Lohman. But it’s Albert Finney who breathes life into the movie and imbues such truth and believability into an immensely surreal character who could easily have come across as false and shallow. To reduce an entire life down to two hours just doesn’t seem right somehow, but by the end of this film the director, actors and production team had managed to convince me that that was exactly what I’d just witnessed- a whole life and THAT is the biggest achievement of this film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spellbinding and thought provoking, 3 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Fish [VHS] [2004] (VHS Tape)
I loved this film. On the surface, it is about a young man, William, who is estranged from his father, Edward Bloom, because of the latter's long absences from home and unbelievable stories he tells. As his father is dying, William tries to come to terms with who his father is, and realises that he cannot separate fact from fantasy so easily. His father was defined by the stories he told, and the son can only truly accept his father by accepting this and entering into his world of fantasy.
This is why the film may seem bizarre, even surreal, as we are drawn into Edward Bloom's fantasies and entertained by them, even while realising their impossibility, as the son does. Our scepticism is put on hold by the end, as we begin to accept the improbable and impossible, and we too are charmed by the stories that are Edward Bloom.
It is, of course, a metaphor for the human condition and consciousness, in which we are no more or less than the stories we tell about ourselves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Gem, 3 Aug. 2004
By 
A. E. Baker (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I have been a lover of movies since I was old enough to go to the cinema and I thought I had seen it all by now. We all know that effects get fancier, but true innvoation that works without seeming elitist or fringe - that's harder to come by. This film relies on an excellent plot, and the Director tells the story perfectly. Add some fantastic acting performances and the film becomes essential. It tells the simple tale of the relationship between a boy and his father - a relationship that has been disfunctional for many years. As the film moves towards its conclusion, we are reminded that we are all heroes in our own lives. Truly a brilliant film
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY..., 10 Mar. 2006
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is, indeed, a magical, mystical movie about fathers and sons, which is based upon the book "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" by Daniel Wallace. The book is a perfect vehicle for Director Tim Burton's signature melange of reality and fantasy. The story is that of a father and his son, their estrangement, and their eventual reconciliation. It is a beautifully realized film that will bring tears to one's eyes.
The father in question is Ed Bloom (Albert Finney) who loves to tell, at least it seems so to his son, Will (Billy Crudup), tall tales about his past. The son becomes estranged from his father on his wedding day, when his father tells one tall tale too many for Will's tastes. For the next several years, Will communicates only with his mother, Sandra (Jessica Lange).
When his father becomes seriously ill, however, Will and his wife rush to his side. Father and son take final stock of each other, and the seemingly tall tales continue. As his father gets progressively worse, Will, feeling that he really does not know his father, embarks on a journey to discover for himself, once and for all, the man his father really is. What he discovers is that his father was not so off the mark with his stories, and he finally begins to appreciate who his father really is and the impact that he has had on others. It allows Will to be able to say goodbye to his father in a way that his father understands and to be at peace with the man whom he discovered his father to be .
The film takes the viewer on a ride through some of Ed Bloom's tall tales, in a series of vignettes, where the viewer sees a young Ed Bloom (Ewan McGregor) living an almost fantastical life. We see him meet the love of his life, Sandra, as a young girl (Alison Lohman). We see him as a circus worker, a soldier, a traveling salesman, and even a bank robber. We see some of the people that cross section his life: a giant, a diminutive ringmaster, a witch, singing Siamese twins, and a bank robber. Ed even comes across a perfectly heavenly town full of wonderful, happy people.
This is simply a marvelous film with fantastical elements reminiscent of "Forrest Gump" and "The Princess Bride". Wonderful performances are given by veteran actors Albert Finney and Jessica Lange. Look for the very touching bath tub scene, where, fully clothed, the love between Ed and Sandra is palpable. Albert Finney, in the role of the senior Ed Bloom, is exceptional as a raconteur of the first order. Ewan McGregor is remarkable as the charismatic, younger Ed Bloom, infusing the role with a joie de vivre that is as infectious as it is engaging.
Jessica Lange is terrific as the senior Sandra Bloom, grounding her relationship with her husband with a steadfastedness born of years of mutual love and respect. Alison Lohman is simply lovely as the younger Sandra, imbuing her character with a beautiful sense of innocence and longing. It is interesting that both Alison Lohman and Ewan McGregor strongly resemble their more senior co-stars.
Billy Crudup is excellent as the angry Will Bloom, the son who needs to reconcile his image of his father with the man his father actually is. Robert Guillaume is masterful in the small role of the senior Dr. Bennett. The rest of the stellar cast is superlative, though Danny DeVito's southern accent needed a bit more work. The direction, however, is deft, and the cinematography is brilliant. This is an absolutely exceptional film. I really enjoyed it immensely, even though I initially viewed this film most reluctantly, and only after much persuasion by my son. I am certainly glad that I did. This film has made me a fan of Tim Burton. It is filmmaking at its best. Bravo!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burton at his best!, 28 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Big Fish is by far one of the most imaginative and fun films in a long time. Its story may resemble the imagination of a child, yet its audience is far greater, a film for all the family. Lets be honest this is Tim Burton and if their was no aspect of a child like fun atmosphere, then we would be some what disapointed with Mr.Burton.
Big Fish portrays the story of Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) a man ripe in age who loves to light up a room with his remarkable stories, that he insists are true. His son Will (Billy Crudup) over the years has become somewhat fedup of his Fathers tell tail habbits that distract attention from him even on his wedding day, this leads to a communication breakdown between the two. The real fun begins when its time for Edward to say goodbye, with Will coming home to visit his Father on his death bed, Edward Bloom's life unfolds infront of us with Ewan Mcgregor taking the lead role of the young Edward Bloom.
What is remarkable about the film are the numerous small tales and adventures that the young Edward Bloom has been on, yet what realy lights up the story is the celebration of life. With Edward continuingly telling his son Will troughout the film that his death will be a remarkable story of its own, it is his persistance to reconnect with his son that draws to a perfect and fitting climax.
Big Fish is a tale that brings a tear of sadness to the eye with a tear of happiness not to far behind, a film that brings Tim Burton back to the forefront of cinema, in a film which was highly charged by the loss of Burton's own father at the time. To end a review of this film will only fall short of what Big Fish realy exudes, yet to some it up I would say it is a celebration of life rather than death and to simply enjoy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fishy Tales..., 30 Jun. 2004
By 
Priyan Meewella "Phoenix" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Many critics would have you believe that Big Fish marks a huge departure for director Tim Burton. But while visually this may be true, in essence this heartwarmingly surreal tale of loneliness, inability to fit in, and struggling with being misunderstood by the world make this perfect Burton material. And recovering from his shaky Planet of the Apes remake, he delivers his most mature work so far.
Edward Bloom [Albert Finney] has always told tall tales about his oversized life as a young man [Ewan McGregor]. His fabulous exploits take him from small-town Alabama around the world meeting giants, witches, and a pair of conjoined lounge singers, until he finally meets and woos his true love, Sandra [Jessica Lange]. While his tales capture and charm almost everyone, his frustrated son Will [Billy Crudup] is struggling to learn the truth of his dying father's life before it is too late. Unable to change his Edward, Will must learn to separate the fact from the fiction as father and son are reunited.
The driving force of Big Fish is its characters and the casting is simply superb. Finney's scenes were apparently filmed first, allowing McGregor to watch and assimilate some of his mannerisms into his younger portrayal. Crudup is able to amply portray the Will's frustration as he finds himself unable to connect with his father. And the resemblance between the wonderful Lange and Lohman as the younger and older versions of Edward's wife is uncanny. McGregor is particularly successful in walking the same fine line as the story itself, balancing between the real and unreal without ever seeming absurd or silly. Will's wife is an especially beautiful character, being both the perfect wife and a charming fresh audience for Edward's anecdotal stories, he brow knotting prettily in concern as he tells the delightfully twisted tale of the prophetic crow. The performances are all heartfelt, but Mcgregor manages to blend this with Burton's quirkiness perfectly.
Burton's eye for such absurdity is brilliantly realised and the new bright palette is both striking and suitable for the usually darker-toned director. The dazzling special effects are used exactly as they should be, to enhance the story and complement the selection of vividly portrayed cameo characters, not to overshadow them as is so easy in this age of big-budget Hollywood extravagance. The cameos are indeed crucial to the pacing of the film. Every scene in which Danny DeVito or Steve Buscemi appear are filled with such vibrance that the audience are swept away with the tales just as Edward's own audiences are.
Big Fish is ultimately a film of beautiful and breathtaking moments in the extraordinary tale of an ordinary man. One of the most moving is a simple sequence with scarce dialogue in which Lange slides into a bath with Finney, both fully clothed, and their love could not be better displayed. Our first glimpse of the siamese twin singers is simply stunning, and equally the other myriad of visually crafted images like the field of daffodils Edward uses to woo his wife in one of the sweetest, grandest cinematic romantic gestures. Equally, underplayed scenes such as the delicate hospital sequences at the end become all the more moving in juxtaposition, as they gain an added intensity. Burton freely admits he was influenced here by the recent death of his own father, although he adds that he was never particularly close to his parents.
But Burton's true skill is in carefully drawing and manipulating the emotions of his audience. As Edward is beaten by his future wife's boyfriend, we first wince in pain, then laugh at McGregor's inane grin, and then are filled with real concern as he lies broken, all within a few seconds. We cannot help but be endeared to both father and son which makes us intrinsically a part of Will's discovery that sometimes fact and fiction are not so far apart, and sometimes they cannot be unravelled at all, in the "surprise ending" Edward always promised his death would be as he saw it in a witch's eye so many years before.
While whimsical on the surface, Big Fish represents Burton's most mature and personal work to date. Perhaps it marks a new and more honest direction for the director, but it certainly ranks among his best with it's delicately balanced poignancy and humour.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy classic, 21 May 2006
By 
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
When i bought Big Fish i had no idea what the film was about. It looked interesting and it was a Tim Burton which, for me, is immediately worth a look.

I have to say i was captivated by this tale of Edward Bloom's colourful life. When the movie ended my first thoughts were that this film is just plain "Lovely".

There was no blood and guts, guns, foul language, sex, lies, inuendo or any of the other elements that frequent most of the movies we a presented with these days. It was just simply wonderful to sit down and become enthralled in such a fantasy story and enjoy.

Like Edward's son, i think we are all in need of someone to pull us into a fantasy life in which the stresses of reality disappear. Where giants exist, and perfect towns are hidden away from the rest of society.

This movie is escapism with plenty of big names involved, albeit in small parts. I loved the beginning, middle and especially the ending which causes you to question the truth in what you have just been watching.

Tim Burton is a gifted story teller and movie maker. He deserves more credit for the work he has done and critics shoud lighten up and, like we all should once in a while, search for the Edward Bloom inside us all. A little fantasy goes a long way and when i am feeling a bit down or fed up with the world i escape into this movie and chill out.

Highly recommend it to anyone who suffers the daily hardships of life and fantasises about a happier way to live.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Big Fish [DVD] [2004]
Big Fish [DVD] [2004] by Tim Burton (DVD - 2004)
£2.69
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews