Posts tagged "Dan Curtis"

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows


2012
Written by John Augus and Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on characters created by Dan Curtis
Directed by Tim Burton

Needs more spires…

The thing about Dark Shadows is it is the type of film that Tim Burton directing and Johnny Depp starring should make it a natural hit and an amazing cinematic experience. But instead things just don’t turn our right, in fact, they go pretty wrong pretty quickly. The dark and dreary atmosphere is unfortunately too familiar with Burton’s other works, even though it should stand out here. The plot is the weakest part, the whole jilted ex-lover out for revenge trope we’ve seen time and time again. Sure, it’s dandied up with all the spooky trappings, ghosts and vampires and witchcraft, but it’s nothing new. Unfortunately, that’s a big problem. Just reading through the plots for the series, there was a lot of things going on, most of which is ignored and discarded, though there are a few references. But what we end up with is bland.

The Transylvanian version of The Help didn’t do as well

Though the period setting of 1971 is largely used on a few jokes that fall flat and hippie murder (killing hippies is soooo Kent State…) it does help in giving some characters a distinct look as they’re dressed in period clothing as opposed to modern fashion (and it helps that retro looks are in and what old is new!) Beyond that, you’ll not even notice that it is set in the past and not modern day, the few times older technology is used, it’s not intrusive and it keeps things from getting diluted with cell phone videos of vampire action being uploaded to YouTube.

The film is not all bad, there are bright spots. The strongest aspects of Dark Shadows are the actors. Everyone is bringing their A games. But they got little to work with, and the film can’t be carried by performances alone. And remember that it’s Collins, not Cullen. Let’s not say things we can’t take back and have sparkle vampires starting to wander around…

Three Stooges witchcraft

Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) – A 17th-century man cursed to become a vampire by a scorned lover. He’s imprisoned in the ground for 200 years and is freed in 1971, where he sets out to try to bring his family back to prominence. There is no actor I could have conceived of playing this part except Johnny Depp, and no one else could have done it justice. But Depp seems to be acting a constant stream of Jack Sparrow variations, eventually it’s going to get tiresome. Eventually means real soon.
Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) – A former servant of the Collins family 200 years prior and a witch, who has been enacting revenge against the family ever since Barnabas spurned her. Eva Green is spectacular and looks spectacular.
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) – The matriarch of the Collins family, and the only thing holding it together until Barnabas arrives with help and secret treasure. Michelle Pfeiffer is frakking awesome. It is great to see a strong role for an older woman in a Hollywood film.
Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Moretz) – Elizabeth’s teenage daughter, who seems to think she’s some sort of rocker chick and is permanently scowling.
Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) – Hired to be the governess of David Collins. Victoria is a name she made up on the train ride over. She bears a striking resemblance to Barnbas’s true love, Josette du Pres, and quickly catches his eye.
Actual photo of the original test audience five minutes after the film ended…

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3 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,