smoketetsuo: (WhiteRabbitNeco)
dark-shadows-depp
HDTV? What manner of sorcery is this?
So I just watched Tim Burton's feature film remake of the classic soap opera Dark Shadows. This film of course stars Johnny Depp and has Helena Bonham Carter in it. This is not a full film review per say just a few of my thoughts. Feel free to skip this entry if you want to watch Dark Shadows and don't want to be spoiled. I don't think I have enough to say to make an lj-cut but I will use the spoiler tags wherever I deem necessary.



Anyway, it's hard at this point I say for Tim Burton to live up to his earlier successes especially Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice that totally surprised us with stuff that was pretty ground breaking and novel even if they where inspired by classic movies such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari like my 20th Century Art & Cinema Professor at The Art Center Design College suggested. I would say this film is more by the numbers as Tim Burton movies tend to go nowadays but when it comes to being uniquely him I would say it's better than Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

On a whole the film was more twisted and violent than I expected it to be. I half expected that he had gone rather soft now that he's gone back to Disney although Alice in Wonderland had

a moat full of decapitated heads

reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow. This movie reminds me more of Sleepy Hollow than it does Alice in Wonderland. 

I'm not sure I totally dug all the 70's references especially since the 70's is not my favorite decade. I hardly live in it though only two years... so I don't have any nostalgia for it.... I do like some things from the 70's but the style as a whole never sat well with me.. not as much as the 80's but of course I have much more experience with the 80's so again.. nostalgia...

Something I did like that was enabled by the 70's setting is: 

The scene where Barnabus Collins sat around a camp fire with some hippies waxing philosophical and then proceeding to kill them.. the lava lamps and how Barnabus Collins reacted to the one in Chloe Moretz room and those ridiculously big ones in their "happening" as well as lights from the disco ball there. I liked the interior decoration in the antagonists office especially her paintings.

Chloe Moretz at this point seems to be type cast as a cynical precocious girl with special powers and or abilities but she does it so well and I liked seeing her again.

The reveal of her being a werewolf was a nice surprise and I quite liked the way she looked but it was pretty inexplicable. 

Jackie Earle Haley was in this movie but I kind of think nothing can top his role as Rorschach in The Watchmen even though I don't really like that movie (that's an entirely different subject though). But he did have his moments in this movie although I think he was mostly just a background character and not very important. 


Barnabus thinking Alice Cooper was a woman was pretty funny.

One thing I really like about Tim Burton films is his juxtaposition of music and scenes such as his use of the carpenter's in this movie and his use of Tom Jones in previous films such as Edward Scissorhands and Mars Attacks although this time around I think it clashed a bit more. All the music was very well mixed though and the sound quality was really good.. maybe even better than if I where to get the albums those songs came from. 

In a way though I kind of feel like I'm not qualified to review Tim Burton movies as I grew up watching them ever since I saw Pee Wee's Big Adventure in the theater as a youngster. Whenever it comes to his films I am more of a lover than a hater. Some people hate his style in general and poo poo on all his films.

For me in a way I feel like it's hard for me to be objective  or at least overly negative about the film. I'm not sure how I would rate this compared to other Tim Burton movies especially realizing that nostalgia or rose tinted glasses can effect my view of say.. Beetlejuice compared to this film. That kind of makes me feel wary about putting my thoughts on this movie on the line by putting it out in the public.

There where things that I liked and things that I didn't like as always. But it's always a treat for me to watch a Tim Burton film even if it isn't all that great such as Planet of The Apes although I'm fairly certain they didn't give him any creative freedom in that movie much like he was probably under a lot of restrictions making Batman even though that turned out to be pretty good.

Was this the best film he's ever made? Nostalgia for older movies notwithstanding probably not. Is it his worse? Hell no.. I think it's probably even better than his most recent films including Alice in Wonderland. I do think he's gotten a bit awkward in his style as of late though and there's always a note of anxiety/boredom about his films now that I pick up on... and I'm not even a bored person... anxious perhaps but not bored.

I do look forward to his next project.. which is probably Frankenweenie as far as I know. It's kind of ironic how the short film that got him fired from Disney is now being made into a feature film for and released by Disney. I hear rumblings of Beetjeluice sequel but it's a bit too early to get excited over that I say.
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October 2012

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