Saturday, May 12, 2012

DARK SHADOWS, starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Eva Green, directed by Tim Burton, is a movie based on the 1960's daytime soap of the same name.  To give a bit of background, as the 1960's were a bit before my time so I have no reference point...ok, maybe not before my time, but I definitely was too young to watch this...Depp's character, Barnabas Collins has been imprisoned for nearly 200 years after being cursed by a witch to be a vampire and live forever without his one true love, is now released to once again deal with his dysfunctionally cursed family and his nemesis Angelique Bouchard aka The Witch.  WHEW!  There!  You've got the premise.  Now for the review.

May appears to maintain the monicker Mediocre Movie Month!  I've sat through The Raven, The Five-Year Engagement, and The Avengers and now this, Dark Shadows.  Sorry, everyone, I will NOT review The Three Stooges as I am afraid of that being even less than mediocre and my time is more precious than that!  Back to Dark Shadows.  Let it be known that I love Johnny Depp.  I don't know why, but I will go see him in a movie even if the movie looks bad.  I have a feeling that I am in a large boat with like-minded people.  He is a draw.  And he continually looks younger without the freakish aspect to it!  (Note to self:  Figure out how he does this!)  This movie, as all movies do, had promise.  The trailer looked funny.  Apparently, the original series was not.  That's ok. A funny vampire movie sounded great.  Sorry, but it didn't turn out that way.  It tried to be way too dramatic.  As my husband said, "They should have focused on the humor."  He's right.  (I don't say that too often, so pay attention!)  The dramatic aspect dragged on and on.  Please.  We are talking about vampires, witches and surprise guest stars here.  However,  I did get a kick out of watching for detail in the movie.  Look for McDonald's representation early on as well as the movie marquis!  For those of us born prior to 1970, it's pretty entertaining!  The music is great.  I think my daughter and her 17 year-old friend were totally embarrassed when I started singing along with Karen Carpenter's song  Top of the World. (For those of you who know me, you know I don't listen to lyrics so for me to sing along is a HUGE deal!)  And then there was Alice Cooper.  I'm not sure which was funnier, Alice Cooper or the references throughout the entire movie!

Let's take a look at the cast.  It's great.  Michelle Pfeiffer plays the matriarch of the Collins family and does so with such command.  Johnny Depp.  Need I say more?  Eva Green is beautiful and a drop-dead gorgeous witch, pun intended!  Helena Bonham Carter drops her English accent to become an American psychiatrist and does so effortlessly.  The rest of the cast of fine.  I think that the story becomes cumbersome and dreary due to the script and direction more than any other aspect of the movie.  It was relatively entertaining, but I wish I could have screened it at home as I would have taken my dogs for a walk in the middle of it for a reprieve.  The special effects and the make-up were wonderful and I did want to know how it ended.  So for that reason alone, I will give it 5/10 reels. (My mediocrity spectrum appears to be around the 4-5 reel area.)

If you are looking at this last paragraph only, then skip the movie in the theater.  Go buy a couple cups of coffee and discuss whether or not dogs should be allowed at outdoor cafes.  It'll be much more stimulating conversation.  Please, wait for the DVD.  If you're a Johnny Depp or 1970's music fan, you can enjoy him and the era in the comfort of your own home.


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