MRS. PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is the latest work of the talented, eccentric director, Tim Burton. His new film is about a group of freakish kids and their female protector who live in a time loop that repeats the same day in 1943 over and over. But Burton undercuts this fascinating concept by turning the story into a kids versus monsters horror film near the end.
Mrs. P.: "We're what's known in common parlance as peculiar. It's a recessive gene carried down through families. (Girl chews meat from a mouth full of sharp teeth on the back of her head.) Because our abilities don't fit in the outside world we live in places like this. To keep us safe we create a time loop. A loop preserves the last 24 hours. Reset it daily and you can stay there forever."
Eva Green is Mrs. Peregrine, the shape shifting, time manipulating protector of a group of extraordinary children.
Asa Butterfield is Jake, the teenager who's stumbled into their time loop.
Jake falls in love with a girl who wears lead shoes to keep from floating away.
The special effects are terrific, and all the kids are delightful characters, but I was disappointed to see their movie degenerate into a wild and crazy battle with a psychotic monster played by Samuel Jackson.
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Robert:Young girl, come inside. What is your name?
Young girl: Phiona.
QUEEN OF KATWE is an surprisingly effective coming of age film about a poor young girl from the slums in Uganda, who becomes a chess champion.
Robert: Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe your belong; where is that for you, Phiona?
The movie follows a crowd pleasing formula we know very well, but it benefits from fine direction by Mira Nair, excellent acting by David Oyelowo as the girl's mentor and Lupita Nyong'o as the girl's mother, plus an astonishingly good debut performance by Madina Nalwanga in the title role.
QUEEN OF KATWE is about twenty minutes too long, but it's a good film that adults can take their children to see.