Total Recall: The Best of Stan Winston

We take a look back at the celebrated career of Hollywood's beloved creature artist.

by Tim Ryan | Wednesday, Jun. 18 2008


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Edward Scissorhands (1990, 90 percent)

Winston and director Tim Burton shared a taste for the macabre, so it's little wonder the pair worked together on several films (Winston was the special effects director on Big Fish and handled the makeup on the Penguin in Batman Returns). However, it was one of Burton's most personal projects, Edward Scissorhands, that may be the acme of their collaboration. Winston transformed Johnny Depp into one of cinema's most poignant outcasts, and got an Oscar nomination for Best Makeup in the process.

With his pale, scarred visage, haunted eyes, and unkempt hair, "Depp is tender, affecting and, quite frankly, bloody pretty," wrote Desson Thomson of the Washington Post.







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Jurassic Park (1993, 86 percent)

Critics had plenty of bones to pick with the plot of Jurassic Park. However, virtually no one complained about the dinosaurs -- least of all audiences, who were dazzled by the film's technical marvels. Steven Spielberg used a number of state-of-the-art methods to bring his prehistoric terrors to life, from go-motion to groundbreaking CGI. Winston was called in to create animatronic dinosaurs, and the result was uncanny. Winston received yet another Oscar for Best Visual Effects (and would be nominated again for 1997's The Lost World. "If they didn't look real, if you didn't believe their skin, their flesh, their reality... no matter how good the performances were, it wouldn't be real," Winston said in The Making of Jurassic Park.

On that count, Winston and his crew succeeded wildly: "Jurassic Park does for live-action critters what Who Framed Roger Rabbit did for toons," wrote Rita Kemply of the Washington Post. "In that sense, it's a cinematic landmark."



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