Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Dark Shadows




                                         Not Much That Is 'Dark' About This Film

              Tim Burton has always been a favorite director of mine. He is one of top three favorites, along with Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. He has such a unique visual eye and his films usually have such a unique blend of comedy and drama, and he has made another success with Dark Shadows.

               Story:
            Dark Shadows is based on an old Gothic soap opera, and is about a vampire named Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), who was cursed by an evil witch (Eva Green) and buried in the ground for centuries. Upon his awakening, he realizes he is now in the early 1970's and must restore his family business back to its former glory.

             What I Liked About It:
          One thing I loved the most about this film was the acting. Seven of the actors in particular that really stood out. Johnny Depp unsurprisingly delivers a scene-stealing performance as Barnabas Collins. Eva Green delivers a deliciously evil performance as the film's villain Angelique. Helena Bonham Carter, another Tim Burton regular, brings some nice comic relief as the family's drunken psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman. Michelle Pfeiffer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Bella Heathcote also deliver strong supporting performances as well. But the last actress I'd like to talk about is Chloe Grace Moretz, who is terrific in everything I've seen her in, and Dark Shadows is no exception. I am more than positive she will bring in her A-game when she plays Carrie, and I look forward to her future work.

        Another thing I loved was the overall look of the film. Like I said before, Tim Burton has a very unique visual eye and he certainly uses it here in Dark Shadows. I loved the 70's setting and how it blends with Burton's traditional Gothic atmosphere.

            What I Didn't Like About It:
        Now, while I did enjoy this film, my biggest problem was that the film wasn't too sure of what it wanted to be. It was unsure if it wanted to be a comedy or a drama. I thought it had some nice comedic moments, but it would go from funny to downright serious. Burton successfully was able to blend comedy and drama in Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, but in this, it was just slightly different.

       The only other thing I wasn't too crazy about was what they did with Jonny Lee Miller and Gulliver McGrath, who plays his son. In my opinion, they weren't given much time to really shine on screen, at least not as much as the other lead actors.

           Consensus:
       Overall, despite my issues with the film's dilemma of being a comedy or a drama, and with the development of a few of the characters, there isn't much I hate about this movie. Dark Shadows is another successful feat from the dynamic duo of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and I can only hope they continue to make more successful films.

Rating: 4/5