Escape to the Movies: Dark Shadows

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Surprisingly positive review, Bob. My parents caught an ad for Dark Shadows on TV & Mom talked about it being one of her favorite shows as a kid for the same reasons you said in your review. Also, at around the 1:30 mark, when Barnabus' popularity was brought up, I immediately thought of the TVTrope "Ensemble Darkhorse". Anyone else think of that? And it looks like that one pic of Tim Burton in the purple shades is going "Yeah, whatevs, punks" to all his haters.

Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Has Bob become some mainstream snob?

Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Because it hasn't been released in the US yet?

Also might very well see this because Eva Green: hottest woman alive? I'm thinking so.

Dammit, I want to see this.

It looks like FUN.

I actually remember my mom watching reruns of that show on cable when I was a kid in the 80's. It was stupid and we laughed at it. I think that is when I discovered the concept of 'unintentionally funny'

The reason everybody's taking a pass on Burton these days is because the counter-cultural goth bit is worn out. It was one thing when it was a not-so-subtle subversion of Middle Class Utopian America, but everybody's goth now. Hipster goth was goth before it was cool, you know.

Beetlejuice is the high water mark because it is just freaking BIZARRE, making death and the afterlife anti-climactic and letting Michael Keaton run wild in what has to be his greatest performance. Edward Scissorhands arguably works because the setting is a deeply ironic take on suburban borg housing and hipster housewives (read: desperate before it was cool).

But since then, every gothy or macabre Burton film just feels like it is trying to capture Beetlejuice in a bottle again. For me, the most memorable Burton films since Beetlejuice/Scissorhands would be Ed Wood, Big Fish, and to a lesser extent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What you may notice those films have in common is that they have that creative kookiness but without the dark undertones.

Ed Wood was a clever biopic because it was written and presented in the style of an Ed Wood film itself, and because of a very sympathetic Bela Lugosi character played masterfully by Martin Landau. Big Fish was a tale filled with oddities but again in a different vein than the tired act of death and darkness. Willy Wonka just is what he is, that's why it gets an honorable mention.

But that's the main reason my interest in Dark Shadows is nominal at best: oh look, another Burton/Depp collaboration full of death and darkness. wowee.

I'm going to go see this movie and I'm damn sure I'm gonna like, if not love it. Call me easily pleased but when Burton and Depp get together, I'm happy. Yes, maybe they don't make amazing epics as much as they may have in the past but...fuck they always turn out a good movie which is a lot more than I can say for Michael Bay or M. Night Shamalamadingdong.

Would I be pleased if they dug a little deeper? Certainly, but that I'm not going to let that get in the way of just enjoying myself with a fun story.

Casual Shinji:

Maybe it's because I've gotten older, but I just don't buy into his quirky gothic shtick anymore. Now Burton just seem to be going through the motions without any attempt at showing some new and interesting visuals, which is what was always a big selling point for his movies.

Blond Eva Green looks like fucking stone cold fox however.

Agreed (on both points). In the 90's Burton was bold and unique, but after all these years it's actually starting to feel a little tired. Also, Burton isn't terribly adept at directing his actors. He does fine because he generally has talented people all over his work. Johnny Depp is great in the right hands, but he hasn't turned out a really great performance since Public Enemies, and hasn't excelled at Burton's hand since Corpse Bride, which probably barely counts.

I'm passing on this. I'm admittedly biased, one of my acting teachers produced the original series and he's not particularly enthralled with this production. We have very similar taste in films, so if he doesn't enjoy it odds are I won't either.

I'm just going to sit back and continue hoping that Burton will magically transform himself back into the mad genius he appeared to be in the 90's.

I am completely appalled that Bob would show a picture of Alice Cooper when mentioning pop music.

Other than that, good review as always. I will be checking Dark Shadows out when it comes to DVD.

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Because the review could be condensed to two words? "It sucks."

This review was waaaaaay to charitable. I'd stop short of calling this movie bad, but it wasn't good. At all.

Not funny, lazily written, does almost nothing with the fish-out-of-water element that should have been a central part of Depp's character, not funny, the amazing visuals only enhance how poorly the setting is used and further highlight everything else wrong with the film, most of the characters are set up and then completely underused (especially ChloŽ Moretz) and most importantly: it isn't funny!

The whole time I watched it, I kept waiting for it to get good, and it never did. Skip it.

Tim Burton has to be one of the most oddly revered filmmakers in living memory; i get that an entire generation of semi hipster goths thought that Nightmare Before Christmas was 'their movie' and that Burton's aesthetic was 'their thing' but the ratio of good movies to meh movies to truly horrible movies is pretty bad by this point.

Why is Tim Burton still seen as this visionary auteur by some? Can it really just still be the black nail polish teenage melodrama crew? He's a borderline bad filmmaker that has far more misses than hits.

SpiderJerusalem:

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Because the review could be condensed to two words? "It sucks."

Hasn't stopped Bob before. He could just fill it up with a rant about High School

370999:

SpiderJerusalem:

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Because the review could be condensed to two words? "It sucks."

Hasn't stopped Bob before. He could just fill it up with a rant about High School

Zing!

Well played sir, well played.

Scrumpmonkey:
Tim Burton has to be one of the most oddly revered filmmakers in living memory; i get that an entire generation of semi hipster goths thought that Nightmare Before Christmas was 'their movie' and that Burton's aesthetic was 'their thing' but the ratio of good movies to meh movies to truly horrible movies is pretty bad by this point.

Why is Tim Burton still seen as this visionary auteur by some? Can it really just still be the black nail polish teenage melodrama crew? He's a borderline bad filmmaker that has far more misses than hits.

Your criticisms are both extremely broad and vague. To dismiss Burton as just a "hipster goth" pandering director is to dismiss a director who has done extremely varied work in a number of genres that people don't give him credit for. He also is an auteur, whether or not you like his style is a completely different matter.

He also pretty much revolutionized the comic book movie at the time, gave voice for an alternative subculture, brought back stop motion (along with Wallace and Gromit) by a storm and brought back iconic b-culture figures into the public conscious like Christopher Lee and Vincent Price.

He is generally a well reviewed filmmaker who has had a consistently good success at the box office. That's not something you can say for a whole lot of directors.

Scrumpmonkey:
He's a borderline bad filmmaker that has far more misses than hits.

Eh, i don't think so. His Hits:

Batman, Batman Returns (Still one of my favourite Superhero movies ever), Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, Big Fish, Nightmare before Christmas (Even though you may argue that it's not really a Tim Burton movie) and, arguably, Mars Attacks

His misses: Planet of the apes, Charlie and the chocolate factory (which wasn't actually _that_ bad.), Alice in Wonderland.

I'm not really a Tim Burton fanboy, to me he always seemed like a less talented Terry Gilliam. But he made a lot of really good movies. Ed Wood and Batman Returns are all time favourites of mine. I'm probably still not going to see Deadly Shadows... seems pretty mediocre.

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Has Bob become some mainstream snob?

Because they havent even set a theatrical release date for it in the united states...

http://www.ironsky.net/site/film/releasedates/

Though why the UK is getting it sometime this month and the US is still undecided confuses me.

FelixG:

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Has Bob become some mainstream snob?

Because they havent even set a theatrical release date for it in the united states...

http://www.ironsky.net/site/film/releasedates/

Though why the UK is getting it sometime this month and the US is still undecided confuses me.

Why doesn't he just download it and review it then? This isn't the 50's, you know.

Mullahgrrl:

FelixG:

Mullahgrrl:
Why oh why doesn't the man review Iron Sky?

Has Bob become some mainstream snob?

Because they havent even set a theatrical release date for it in the united states...

http://www.ironsky.net/site/film/releasedates/

Though why the UK is getting it sometime this month and the US is still undecided confuses me.

Why doesn't he just download it and review it then? This isn't the 50's, you know.

You're asking MovieBob to pirate a movie to review for his job?

Don't hold your breath.

evilneko:

Mullahgrrl:

FelixG:

Because they havent even set a theatrical release date for it in the united states...

http://www.ironsky.net/site/film/releasedates/

Though why the UK is getting it sometime this month and the US is still undecided confuses me.

Why doesn't he just download it and review it then? This isn't the 50's, you know.

You're asking MovieBob to pirate a movie to review for his job?

Don't hold your breath.

Well, excuse me for thinking he was a dedicated movie lover.

Mullahgrrl:

evilneko:

Mullahgrrl:

Why doesn't he just download it and review it then? This isn't the 50's, you know.

You're asking MovieBob to pirate a movie to review for his job?

Don't hold your breath.

Well, excuse me for thinking he was a dedicated movie lover.

A dedicated movie lover doesn't pirate movies.

Gawd I loved BeetleJuice.

That was a more positive review than I was expecting, based on the trailer I sat through during The Avengers and Pirates. It looked terrible. Oh well, will still be giving this a miss I think, it just isn't my style, but interesting to hear it has some redeeming qualities.

Not even going to acknowledge the 90s revival series? It was pretty good.

Well, this is the closest thing to a positive review I've heard on this movie.

One reviewer said it reminded him more of Blackula than Dark Shadows, Jesuotaku said that it was not only the worst film Tim Burton ever directed, but the worst acting she'd ever seen from Depp. The Cinema Snob said no one in the movie appeared to be acting in the same movie as Johnny Depp & that the film would have worked better if it only claimed to be inspired by DS & was a softcore porn. The ones that did like it said that the comedy still failed. A couple of podcasts claimed that the trailer alone reportedly "broke the hearts" of 30-40 somethings who grew up with the show.

I ask myself, do I want to see this?
*Do I, a Burton fan, want to see his directing at it's worst? No.
*Do I want to see Johnny Depp in unflattering clown makeup or having sex with a woman? God no. (I'm a fujoshi, I can't help it if Het grosses me out).
*Do I want to hear 70s music? Hell no.
*Can I remember that last time I laughed at a modern American comedy? The 90s.
*Do I want to see an unfaithful adaptation of something I enjoyed as a kid? Of course not.

Personally, I can't stand Tim Burton ever since I watched Charlie and The Chocolate Factory remake with some friends expecting a good movie. It. Was. AWFUL, and I have looked at the man with a baleful eye ever since. If I hadn't been surrounded by people whose group I hadn't yet become a part of, I would have been yelling at the screen. "You decided that Willy Wonka has daddy issues? Seriously, again?! STOP MAKING EVERY CHARACTER YOURSELF, YOU HACK"

More recently, I would say that Corpse Bride was alright but would have been way better if it hadn't been treading old ground and Vincent wasn't a cringe-worthy-ly useless main character. Big Fish, on the other hand, was probably his only moderately recent movie I was impressed by. I didn't even known it was him until I looked it up. Sure it wasn't covered in stripes, but the central plot was still "daddy issues" and it took me a while to make that connection. Even then I can't bring myself to dislike that movie, it was just genuinely sweet and charming.

Sweeney Todd was... ehh... nothing wrong with it. If there had to be a Sweeney Todd movie then I would say that Tim Burton was indeed the man for the job. If it seemed formulaic to me, well, that's because of my close connection and understanding of both Burton and Sweeney Todd, and for a newcomer it was probably better. Then here comes Alice in Wonderland, sweeping the "stomping childhood flat", "retreading old theme" and "movie that shouldn't exist" awards, reminding me why I hated Charlie. Once again tossing around Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp because they're his two favourite people on earth and not because they'd really suit the role. Helena Bonham Carter, for instance, I can't think of a movie she's EVER been right for or good in in my eyes. I just never liked her as much as Burton seems to.

I won't say that we need to get rid of him, because for all his sins the man is still the only one doing what he does. He has a preferred gothic theme that most filmmakers aren't interested in, and that alone makes him special. I don't know if he has that unique "spark" he did before, especially as he seems to think he's the greatest thing ever and immune to criticism these days. We just need to wait for more of his initial fanbase to grow up and start directing, writing and producing their own unique movies, using Burton's best and most creative as an aspiration.

Uhh... I don't know where all of that came from. I just started that first paragraph to weigh in, and then I dumped a whole review of Tim Burton's career on everyone without ever being asked for my opinion. Anyway...

What I was going to ask was, have you all seen the Frankenweenie trailer? I'm very confused by it. Is it the original short in 3D (maybe alongside something else), or is Tim Burton actually remaking his childhood story into a full-length feature? If so, I can't imagine why he'd do that except because he can.

Would people still go to see something like that?

ImSkeletor:

Mullahgrrl:

evilneko:

You're asking MovieBob to pirate a movie to review for his job?

Don't hold your breath.

Well, excuse me for thinking he was a dedicated movie lover.

A dedicated movie lover doesn't pirate movies.

If you are not prepared to bend the law to indulge your passion then you are not dedicated.

Really, without movie-piracy great wealth of movies would be unavailable to the common public, especially to the increasing parts of it that is low on cash to spend on culture.

When you argue that culture must be bought to be apriciated you are in fact saying that poor people don't deserve to consume culture.

Mullahgrrl:

ImSkeletor:

Mullahgrrl:

Well, excuse me for thinking he was a dedicated movie lover.

A dedicated movie lover doesn't pirate movies.

If you are not prepared to bend the law to indulge your passion then you are not dedicated.

Really, without movie-piracy great wealth of movies would be unavailable to the common public, especially to the increasing parts of it that is low on cash to spend on culture.

When you argue that culture must be bought to be apriciated you are in fact saying that poor people don't deserve to consume culture.

Except you know, MovieBob has a real job, and doing illegal activities for said job is probably frowned upon at the Escapist.

Secondly, just because I have to bite: movies do not encompass all of culture. Also, seeing movies is a luxury activity. No one is obligated or entitled to see a movie. If you can't afford a $10 movie ticket then maybe you should spend less time watching movies and more time evaluating your priorities.

"At least two of these young fans grew up to be Tim Burton and Johnny Depp"

Wait. So, potentially more of these fans also grew up to become Burton and Depp...?

Taunta:

Mullahgrrl:

ImSkeletor:

A dedicated movie lover doesn't pirate movies.

If you are not prepared to bend the law to indulge your passion then you are not dedicated.

Really, without movie-piracy great wealth of movies would be unavailable to the common public, especially to the increasing parts of it that is low on cash to spend on culture.

When you argue that culture must be bought to be apriciated you are in fact saying that poor people don't deserve to consume culture.

Except you know, MovieBob has a real job, and doing illegal activities for said job is probably frowned upon at the Escapist.

Secondly, just because I have to bite: movies do not encompass all of culture. Also, seeing movies is a luxury activity. No one is obligated or entitled to see a movie. If you can't afford a $10 movie ticket then maybe you should spend less time watching movies and more time evaluating your priorities.

So you ARE saying that poor people are less worth than rich people!

Explain to me how that is any less arbitrary than saying that black people are worth less than white people.

On the topic of Bob, what if a reporter in any other field would refrain from reporting a current event just because the only way of getting information was breaking the law? Democracy would stop working. Now, I know it is just a movie in this case but the principle still stands and if we back down now, how can we expect other people to stand when it is a more important issue?

Sorry at $12.50 just for one ticket to see a movie at the theatres nowadays. Movies have got to be a tad better than Tim Burton's, Dark Shadows "not a great film" but look at the actors having fun. Any movie that doesn't have decent reviews or does not need a big screen experience, can wait for DVD or cable, that includes great movies.

Movies that get a warmer theatre reception like The Avengers. Which are hyped action/popcorn movies but geared towards a huge screen experience, with their over the top visuals get the nod. Which is unfortunate that just about anything else that doesn't measure up to that standard, typically does poorly at the theatres. Most people simply can't afford it.

Once you account for your ticket, snacks, gas, parking, etc. Works out in excess of $25.00 easily for one person, imagine a family of 4 going to the movies twice a month. Not realistic for most families. More and more people are saying to hell with it, investing in home theatre packages and waiting for the movies they want to see on DVD or cable. The "Not so great films" can be cheaply seen in such a fashion.

Mullahgrrl:

Taunta:

Mullahgrrl:

If you are not prepared to bend the law to indulge your passion then you are not dedicated.

Really, without movie-piracy great wealth of movies would be unavailable to the common public, especially to the increasing parts of it that is low on cash to spend on culture.

When you argue that culture must be bought to be apriciated you are in fact saying that poor people don't deserve to consume culture.

Except you know, MovieBob has a real job, and doing illegal activities for said job is probably frowned upon at the Escapist.

Secondly, just because I have to bite: movies do not encompass all of culture. Also, seeing movies is a luxury activity. No one is obligated or entitled to see a movie. If you can't afford a $10 movie ticket then maybe you should spend less time watching movies and more time evaluating your priorities.

So you ARE saying that poor people are less worth than rich people!

Explain to me how that is any less arbitrary than saying that black people are worth less than white people.

On the topic of Bob, what if a reporter in any other field would refrain from reporting a current event just because the only way of getting information was breaking the law? Democracy would stop working. Now, I know it is just a movie in this case but the principle still stands and if we back down now, how can we expect other people to stand when it is a more important issue?

Except I never said any such thing. So how did knocking down that strawman feel for you? Was it therapeutic? Bonus points for arbitrarily bringing up racism.

You have a very weird definition of democracy if you think investigative reporting encompasses all of democracy. Kind of like how you think movies encompass all of culture.

And in most cases in the US, investigative reporting is itself not illegal, so I don't know where you came up with that one. And believe it or not, news reporters do not do things that are illegal, considering it would kind of cost them their job.

What principle? What important issue? You're trying to make this into a discussion about morals, and it's not a discussion of morals at all. Pirating movies is illegal. MovieBob has a job. Doing illegal things would get him fired. End of story.

Taunta:

Mullahgrrl:

Taunta:
Except you know, MovieBob has a real job, and doing illegal activities for said job is probably frowned upon at the Escapist.

Secondly, just because I have to bite: movies do not encompass all of culture. Also, seeing movies is a luxury activity. No one is obligated or entitled to see a movie. If you can't afford a $10 movie ticket then maybe you should spend less time watching movies and more time evaluating your priorities.

So you ARE saying that poor people are less worth than rich people!

Explain to me how that is any less arbitrary than saying that black people are worth less than white people.

On the topic of Bob, what if a reporter in any other field would refrain from reporting a current event just because the only way of getting information was breaking the law? Democracy would stop working. Now, I know it is just a movie in this case but the principle still stands and if we back down now, how can we expect other people to stand when it is a more important issue?

Except I never said any such thing. So how did knocking down that strawman feel for you? Was it therapeutic? Bonus points for arbitrarily bringing up racism.

You have a very weird definition of democracy if you think investigative reporting encompasses all of democracy. Kind of like how you think movies encompass all of culture.

And in most cases in the US, investigative reporting is itself not illegal, so I don't know where you came up with that one. And believe it or not, news reporters do not do things that are illegal, considering it would kind of cost them their job.

What principle? What important issue? You're trying to make this into a discussion about morals, and it's not a discussion of morals at all. Pirating movies is illegal. MovieBob has a job. Doing illegal things would get him fired. End of story.

Saying that it would be illegal for Bob to download Iron Sky is ridicolus.

He has no other way to view the film. Him viewing the film would lead to him reviewing the film, thus increase demand for it and revenue for the film makers.And thirdly, the film could never have been made if people didn't download their previous film star wreck, creating enough demand for it to get dvd distribution.

Actually, Bob hit the nail right in the head with this one.

The movie is just mindless fun. The story introduces the idea that Barnabas was into dark magic at some point, but they never explore that. The romance between Depp and that one other girl is mentioned, I believe, 5 times during the film? And that's kinda the main drive of the story, or so it seemed at some point (I don't wanna spoil the movie too much). By the third act/climatic battle, there's at least 3 new elements that are added and that have never been mentioned before. And I mean stuff like "Whoa, where did that come from?" and "...Wait, what?".
And one last thing: during the beginning, you see Depp's character using superspeed and whatnot. Useful and elemental vampire powers...that he never uses again. Ever again.

Elements from the original series are thrown at random into this brew. Only like 20% of the original canon is there. The rest is just elements from the show incorporated at random to try and come up with a pseudo-coherent plot.

The plot or the characters don't capture me because they're all over the place. But again, it's just fun to watch. *Shrugs*

Yeah, Eva Green is uber hot...but her smile. I find it awkward. Am I the only one? I can easily get over it, though.

Mullahgrrl:

Taunta:

Mullahgrrl:

So you ARE saying that poor people are less worth than rich people!

Explain to me how that is any less arbitrary than saying that black people are worth less than white people.

On the topic of Bob, what if a reporter in any other field would refrain from reporting a current event just because the only way of getting information was breaking the law? Democracy would stop working. Now, I know it is just a movie in this case but the principle still stands and if we back down now, how can we expect other people to stand when it is a more important issue?

Except I never said any such thing. So how did knocking down that strawman feel for you? Was it therapeutic? Bonus points for arbitrarily bringing up racism.

You have a very weird definition of democracy if you think investigative reporting encompasses all of democracy. Kind of like how you think movies encompass all of culture.

And in most cases in the US, investigative reporting is itself not illegal, so I don't know where you came up with that one. And believe it or not, news reporters do not do things that are illegal, considering it would kind of cost them their job.

What principle? What important issue? You're trying to make this into a discussion about morals, and it's not a discussion of morals at all. Pirating movies is illegal. MovieBob has a job. Doing illegal things would get him fired. End of story.

Saying that it would be illegal for Bob to download Iron Sky is ridicolus.

He has no other way to view the film. Him viewing the film would lead to him reviewing the film, thus increase demand for it and revenue for the film makers.And thirdly, the film could never have been made if people didn't download their previous film star wreck, creating enough demand for it to get dvd distribution.

It's not ridiculous. It's an objective fact. There's no debate to be had here. Pirating movies is illegal. End of story.

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