Some of the students of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Some of the students of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Reel Reviews: Fall season offers peculiar films

Review of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Masterminds.

  • Oct. 7, 2016 5:00 p.m.

When his beloved grandfather leaves, Jake clues in to a mystery that spans different worlds and times. He finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

The mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents, learning of their special powers and terrifying enemies. Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special peculiarity can save his new friends.

We ask, “Do either of us really know what is going on?”

TAYLOR: One kind of knows what to expect when one attends a Tim Burton film. He has his trademark looks, sounds and feelings. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is Burtonesque, but not overly so. It nearly takes place in reality. However, as the above synopsis so vaguely illustrates, it is difficult to summarize what this film is about.

HOWE: It’s really hard for me to sum it up because I went and watched something else. I saw Masterminds, starring Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Zack Galifianakis.

Based on true events, this story revolves around three characters pulling off the largest robbery of its kind in American history, $17 million to be exact. It also stars Jason Sudeikis, who seems to be popping up in everything at the moment, as the hitman after Galifianakis’ character David.

There are some funny moments dotted throughout, but I didn’t find them strong or funny enough to hold the film together and found myself nodding off.

The film doesn’t play to its strengths. In other projects, Wiig is fantastically funny and Galifianakis is usually uncomfortable to watch, which is his niche, but I found it didn’t work in this.

Please don’t get me started on Wilson. He does what he always does, talk in a low whisper that you find it hard to hear. Boring, yawn, yawn, do something different Wilson, we have seen this role from you a million times.

TAYLOR: Miss Peregrine seemed to be about a boy who finds a merry and strange time travelling gang of peculiar kids, with various super-powers in a magical class led by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green). Then there are monsters to contend with, so they are running and hiding followed by working together to fight back. It is in the fighting back that we get to know the students and the teacher, but alas, this film falls apart half way through. It’s bogged down in the threat rather than exploiting the promise, simply out of a desire to create tension.

It is the gifted/cursed children and their amazing teacher that are interesting. This can’t be said of what happens to them, so I stopped caring and the film became uninteresting. I suspect fans of the book will love it, already knowing what happens and why.

HOWE: Seeing we had a few movies to choose from this week, the two listed above along with Marky Mark’s Deepwater Horizon, I wish I had taken a look at that one instead.

TAYLOR: With Mark Wahlberg as the main character, I’m sure it’s doomed.

–Taylor gives Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 2 lead shoes out of 5.

– Howe gives Masterminds 2 attempts at ramming the gates out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films in Reel Reviews every Friday.