Posts tagged "Helena Bonham Carter"

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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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

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

Attack of the Public Domain Source Movies!

Since Harry Potter is winding down, Twilight has hit the last book as well, and recent franchise attempts have produced a string of failures (I’m looking at you, Percy Jackson & the Olympians!), Hollywood is instead looking to the public domain to find the next big thing! Just think about it: no one to pay author royalties to. A familiar brand. Other, classic films that you can leech off of. Little creative risk. More money from Satan. It’s a wonder we haven been flooded with 50 Snow White movies a year for the past two decades!

Let’s start with the biggest offender, the Wizard of Oz, who will be giving us an impressive 9 films (so far) in the next 2 years.

Oz, the Great and Powerful
This is a prequel of sorts from Disney, with James Franco signed on to play the Wizard in his pre-Oz days in a traveling circus and subsequent entrance to Oz. Sam Raimi is directing and Joe Roth (whose name will show up here a lot) is producing. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Zach Braff also star.

The Witches of Oz
Leigh Scott (of Transmorphers fame!) directs this modern day version where famous children’s author Dorothy Gale finds out her books were based on repressed childhood memories. Sean Astin, Christopher Lloyd, Billy Boyd, and Lance Henriksen star, hopefully none of them play Dorothy! We’re in luck, because it’s this chick, Paulie Rojas
Preview here
The Witches of Oz

Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz
An animated Direct-to-Blu-Ray film featuring the cat and mouse team getting their Oz on.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
This is John Boorman’s CGI version that was supposed to come out a year ago.

Dark Oz
Based on the Calibre Comics series, where Dorothy returns to Oz to find Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion have all gone evil. Pearry Teo directs, the budget is $40 million, Marjorie Jean plays someone named Scraps, and they’ve promised to yank concepts from the 1939 film (like black and white vs color) and Return to Oz.

Surrender Dorothy
Drew Barrymore is fresh off the success of Whip It (ha!) to direct this sequel where Dorothy’s great-great-granddaughter uses the ruby slippers (not in the original book, btw) to fight the Wicked Witch, who is somehow not dead. Zach Helm writes.

Dorothy of Oz
Another animated film supposed to drop in 2012.

L. Frank Baum’s the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Another damn adaptation of the original novel (there’s 40 Oz books to choose from, people!) directed by Clayton Spinney and written by Sean Gates. The CGI and live action mix reminds me of a low-budget fan film. I can’t get the preview video to play, so here are two creepy promo images:
ScarecrowWoodman

Wicked
Wicked is a book that is a reinterpretation of the Oz series that became a hit musical that has been in talks to become a film forever. But before that happens, we’ll get a tv miniseries based solely on the novel from Salma Hayek’s production company!

There are currently 3 Snow White films worming their way through production:

The Brothers Grimm: Snow White
Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, the upcoming Immortals), this entry is a “dark twist on the classic fairy tale, in which Snow White and the seven dwarfs look to reclaim their destroyed kingdom. ” Featuring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Lily Collins as Snow White. Nathan Lane is also in it, and dwarf names include: Half-Pint, Teach, Renbock, Grub, and Stench.

Snow White and the Huntsman
Universal has their own Snow White, and it has Kristen Stewart fresh off of birthing a vampire baby! Besides Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth is the Huntsman, and Charlize Theron is the Evil Queen. As for the dwarfs, it’s like a whole pack of awesome with Ian McShane, Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham, and Ray Winstone. Joe Roth produces this as well. The dwarf names are: Caesar, Claudius, Tiberius, Constantine, Nero, Trajan, and Hadrian. Rupert Sanders will direct (his debut)

Snow and the Seven
You’ll have to wait until 2013 for the long-awaited Disney’s Snow and the Seven, the Kung Fu version of Snow White where she goes to 1800s China for some reason and 7 warriors take the place of the dwarfs. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing the newest draft, and the director attached is Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend)

Wash down your three Snow Whites with four Peter Pan films and one miniseries:

The.Never.Land
The.Never.Land has the dumbest name of the four films, and predictably they’re trying to make it a Twilight version of Peter Pan as Peter acts all creepy and Wendy sleepwalks her way through her role… John Swetnam wrote the script.

Untitled Peter Pan Project
This yet to be titled version is a “family adventure” from the producers of Wedding Crashers and some guy named Jeff Rake.

Pan
For some reason, Pan is the hottest commodity of them all, where Peter Pan and Captain Hook are brothers. Channing Tatum will play the most believable boy who never grew up you ever did see! Joe Roth makes his third appearance on this page as producer, and the writer Billy Ray.

Neverland
This time Peter Pan is evil and kidnapping boys, and Captain Hook must stop him. Aaron Henry and Kirk Kjeldsen were the writers who realized there was little else to do but flip the script.

Neverland
Yes, another Neverland, this one a SyFy prequel miniseries with Keira Knightley as Tinker Bell

And here are some one-shots:

Great Expectations
Mike Newell will be directing this straight adaptation, with Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter in negotiations. Producers are Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.

Mr. Pip
Sort of related is the adaptation of the novel Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones. The novel’s plot involves reading Great Expectations and mirrors part of the story. Hugh Laurie stars and Andrew Adamson (director of Shrek 1&2 and Chronicles of Narnia 1&2) directs.

Dark Little Mermaid
This “dark” Little Mermaid version is also based on Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon, where there is a love triangle or something. Expect this to get Twilighted the frak up like that Red Riding Hood movie did. Shana Feste will write and direct, and Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping produce.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Review)

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit


2005
Starring
Peter Sallis as Wallace
Ralph Fiennes as Victor Quartermaine
Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Campanula Tottington
Directed by Steve Box and Nick Park

The year 2005 gave us Son of the Mask, The Honeymooners, Alone in the Dark, XXX 2, Stealth, Elektra, House Of Wax, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, The Perfect Man, Kingdom of Heaven, The Cave, Into the Blue, Fantasic Four, War of the Worlds, Alexander, The Island, Bewitched, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Man of the House, and Cry_Wolf. More horrors are undoubtedly on the way, such as Bloodrayne. There were a few bright spots, but out of the darkness comes a beacon so bright it blinds all competition. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is too good of a movie to have come out of this year. It is a miracle. A beacon of hope. A sign of things to come. Wallace and Gromit are the first in a wave of decent films that are due out, and they are a sight for sore eyes. Hollywood has been complaining all summer about their being in a box office slump, then they release another weekend of garbage. Deservedly, people are staying home and staying away. Sure, Episode III, Sin City, Batman Begins, all decent, but not enough to keep people going to the lesser fare. Smaller productions such as Broken Flowers entertained but didn’t get much exposure, nor would they appeal to the masses as they weren’t designed to. Mot of the best films I saw this year were foreign films from 2004 or earlier, such as Kung Fu Hustle, Kontroll, Oldboy, and The Warrior. W&G is a great film. Everyone will love it, unless you are dead inside.



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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 14, 2005 at 4:32 am

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