Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/User:Skinfan13/Upsilon Sigma Sigma/Collaboration/April2010collab
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The collab is about director Tim Burton. Thank you for taking on this review, and the frat will give you many cookies and beer parties for an honest and in-depth review. Appreciated. Aleister in Chains
- So does this mean we're leaving out Alice? Jenny? 02:17,23April,2010
|Humour:||7||Ok you have some good stuff here but I think the article has a problem with consistency. This of course is not surprising given that it was written by about 10 different people. You have some more minor problems when it comes to the characterisation of Burton, and also the use of random humour, however these themselves probably stem from inconsistency.
Anyway, let's start with the random humour. The bulk of the article is made up of short summaries of Burton's films. While some of these are good (Batman, Edward Scissorhands) others are verging on nonsense. The reason I chose Batman as a good example is because although it employs an objective and encyclopaedic style, it is still clear to the reader that Burton is all style and no substance, and that many of his choices when it comes to filmmaking are poorly made. Then there's the Scissorhands section, which does a really good job of pulling apart the absurdness of Burton's plots and characters. The film itself of course is very absurd, so the article handles this part well. This is the kind of thing you should be doing in the other weaker sections, which I will talk about now.
A clear example of this nonsense that I'm talking about is in the Nightmare before Festivus section. In my opinion this whole part doesn't work. The Seinfeld references are too random, and don't really have any deep connection to the film itself. They are also difficult to follow (mainly because they are just so zany) so if you did choose to keep them try to word it a little more clearly. However I would recommend you rewrite this whole section from scratch - more in the style of the sections that work (as described above).
Same with the summaries of Big Fish and Ed Wood. In Ed Wood specifically, the 4th wall breaking and interplay with the film Glen or Glenda is a tad too random. While there's nothing wrong with the ideas, a short description like this doesn't really get to grips with what the film is about, and doesn't comment on the film in a humorous way. These jokes could be about any film, really. So intead, reign in the zaniness, make more jokes based on Burton himself, his odd choices and superficial tendencies in his work, and the ludicrous nature of his plots and characters - most of which are simply there so he can flaunt some of his famous visuals.
Now when it comes to working on this, there are a few things you should think about when it comes to characterising Burton. At times in the article, you go slightly over the top here. The text makes Burton out to be very crazy - something I found a bit unconvincing. Burton is generally percieved to be eccentric, but quiet and unassuming - and is usually pleasant in interviews. Making him out to be a deviant, as the article tends to do, is not only a bit lazy but isn't really true to life. It seems you're clasping at straws to achieve this characterisation; the joke in the 1980s section for example about Frankenweenie falling in love with a gothic poodle expects way too much from the reader. You describe it as "peyote inspired" and generally make out that it's a very surprising twist born of an insane mind. The fact is, the article just couldn't convince me that Burton was as crazy as described. At the end of the day, Burton's films are quite family-friendly. And apart from a select few, they're even aimed at kids.
Instead, play on the real ideas people have of him, don't make things up. Do away with the references to raping virgins and bestiality, it's totally out of character. Sure you can keep it so he's into necrophilia, after all he does have an obsession with dead things (and all his girlfriends have pretty much looked like corpses). But I think it would make more sense if he was into it in a more naive, childlike way. Almost like a Michael Jackson figure.
So whatever you do, try to keep it consistent - that really is the main problem, I feel.
As a final note for humour, I've got a few things to say about the long note thing, the part written by Burton himself towards the end of the article. While I found this rather humorous, I couldn't help but think it didn't work in this particular article. It was very off-topic and clashed with the rest of the article, which apart from a few kinks was encyclopaedic. Like I said, it is funny, so maybe getting rid of it would be a little over the top. How about trimming it down to just the best bits? There is the odd part that is too random, or that overeaches on the characterisation, so these should go first. Another idea I had was using it in the footnotes, as "evidence" of the assertions made in the main article. Otherwise just try to put it somewhere more relevant, perhaps with its own header, as it's out of place here.
|Concept:||6||I don't really have much to add here, having said most of the things related to concept in the humour section. Conceptually it's a bit all over the place. The description of the films differ too much from each other, and your characterisation of Burton flits from one extreme to the other. The main thing I will say here is to keep it about him, the plots of his films are not what is being explored here (unless it's really funny, as the Scissorhands bit is), this article is about the man Tim Burton - his choices, his personal life and his public facade. I'm repeating myself a little.
Again inconsistency is an issue here. The article goes from venerating him to openly criticising him, and everything in between. Most of the stuff on his films for instance is slyly critical, while the Directing and Artistic Style section is written in the style of a defensive fan. The whole article really needs re-wording to get this all in order. Perhaps just one person should do this, to keep the style as consistent as possible. By the way, I thought the jokes about Ebert were among the best, so it might be a good idea to revise the whole article in this style.
|Prose and formatting:||6||The biggest problem you have prose-wise is the cumbersome nature of the text. While the spelling and grammar are pretty much flawless, a lot of words feel out of place and sentences end at unusual times. I'll give you some examples. In the 1980s section for instance - "The film is entirely autobiographical as Burton's hero is in fact Vincent Price, whom Burton would spend hours fantasizing about as a young man." This does not flow well. It tries to cram too much into a single sentence. Just say something simple like "the film is autobiographical". There are many occasions like this where the article collapses under its own wordiness. It's not possible to cite every one, there are far too many for that. I will give you a few examples however, so hopefully you will know what sort of thing to look for. In The Planet of the Apes section, you say "simplified it down", when you could just say "simplified". And then; "adding in a bizzare concept such as bestiality" could just be "adding bestiality". Remember to keep it simple and clear, describing things in as few words as you can. Avoid cluttered sentences that will confuse your reader. Don't throw in lots of random clauses separated by commas. There were also times when the prose had me confused. Like when you say Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the first film to have "Depp in Carter". What exactly do you mean by this? Do you mean Depp and Carter? Nor could I figure out the thing about Christina Ricci being cast out - do you mean she hasn't been used in any other films?
Another inconsistency here is the way you use commas. Your heading of 1980s doesn't use a comma, whereas all the others do. Now, in Britain it is forbidden to use apostrophes when writing decades in numbers. Forbidden I say. However, this might be allowed in America. Whichever system you choose, just remember to keep it consistent. Either no apostrophes or all apostrophes.
To counter all of this inconsistency and clumsy prose there are two things I think you could do. Since it seems that each writer was only responsible for their own section, perhaps you should encourage the rest of the frat to edit the sections they didn't work on, trying to improve the flow and cut down the wordiness. This might still end up being a bit inconsistent, but it would help to get a lot of different opinions on how things should be worded. The other method would be a more totalitarian one, whereby one user is nominated to comb through and rewrite anything awkward. This might be against the spirit of the collab but will probably be the only way to get the voice truly consistent. Of course, it's up to you. Maybe discuss this as a group before deciding anything. I trust your judgement here.
|Images:||5||The images here aren't terrible but nor are they hilarious. My favourite was probably the one that said "use generously" with the skeletons, because that made fun of Burton and had a funny caption. The rest just seemed like they were just thrown in by whoever was working on that section of text, adding anything they could find that was relevant. I really suggest you spend some time looking for new images, and would recommend IMDB as a good source. Check out Burton's page, the pages of his principal cast, and the pages for each of his films. Then you just need some humorous captions - my comments in the humour section are relevant here, keep the jokes about Burton himself and his eccentricities (without going over the top). Also try to keep them consistent. If you use a still from one film and make a joke about how bad it is, try doing this again for another one. Maybe just get together a big bunch and take a frat-vote on what's funniest. In fact, that might help for prose-based jokes too...|
|Miscellaneous:||6||Averaged. A few comments here though too: In the intro, it might help to describe Lars von Trier a little more. Also I feel I should point out an errror: Bonham Carter was in Planet of the Apes, which is where they met - not Big Fish.|
|Final Score:||30||Ok, so reading over that I come across as a bit harsh. Fear not, you've all done some great work here, and I for one am glad we've finally got a decent article on such an important subject. I guess in a way, the collab element is its biggest weakness. But if you can all be civil and work on the things I've described, this could be a truly awesome article. I can see it now!
Anyway, that's me done. Get back to me if you have any questions or want to take a closer look at anything. The review might seem a little short but that's just because there isn't that much wrong with the article. Like I've said, inconsistency is the only major problem. Whatever direction you choose to go in, make sure you stick to it all the way through. Good luck editing.
|Reviewer:||--Hugs and kisses, Black_Flamingo 20:15, April 29, 2010 (UTC)|