Release Date: May 11, 2012
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Tim Burton
Screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath
Genre: Thriller, Comedy
Plot Summary: In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet--or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy...until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth's ne'er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger's precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David's new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
Wow, this actually looks....good! I'm excited for a Tim Burton movie for the first time in forever!
Please, Tim, don't mess this up.
I don't know if the trailer accurately represents the film, but it looks too silly and wacky. I mean, I would expect any Tim Burton movie to be humorous, but this looks a little too over-the-top in its silliness. But hey, I can't fully judge it until the actual movie comes out.
A red flag was raised for me when I saw a disco ball in a movie that's supposed to be set in 1972, which, of course, is WAY before disco came around. It reminds me of Richard Linklater complaining that a smiley face ended up being the symbol for Dazed and Confused, when it was inconsistent with the movie's setting of 1976. I feel like people see the '70s as one big mish-mash, with no distinctive periods.
Of course, I am encouraged by the very notion that Tim Burton is creating an original work, as opposed to the abysmal remakes and adaptations he's been doing lately. Though I worry that it might be too late, and that he's just awful now.
Last edited by Fritz Zwicky; March 17, 2012 at 3:42 AM.
I've seen the first 10 episodes. Dark Shadows was a daily soap opera, and the story moves at a snail's pace. The production values are chintzy, the acting is stilted, and the actors flub from time to time. I probably won't ever plow through the 1000+ episodes, but it is a strangely fun show to watch.
This looks terrible. It seems more like Willie Wonka and I thought that was boring. There were just tons of shots of Johnny Depp mugging while they cut between a hectic CGI'ed "Comedy" scenes.
I hope they're not going to do a billion "Guy from the past is confused by the 70's which is funny because we're in the 2000's and those times seem simple to us" bits. How hilarious is it that he rips the back of a TV out guys? I mean he thought the tiny lady was actually in the tv. IN THE TV!!!!
I was really excited because Dark Shadows is an interesting show. It is oddly enjoyable to watch. You can watch it and see that it could be redone really well.
Last edited by Americas Team; March 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM.
"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game. In the deed the glory."
I hope they're not going to do a billion "Guy from the past is confused by the 70's which is funny because we're in the 2000's and those times seem simple to us" bits. How hilarious is it that is rips the back of a TV out guys? I mean he thought the tiny lady was actually in the tv. IN THE TV!!!!
For better or worse, this is probably the best movie that Tim Burton has directed since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was maybe a little long, but overall there were a nice mixture of spooky and comedic elements. Some of the big comedic set-pieces (the montage set to "Top of the World" showing Barnabas taking over the family business, and the sex scene set to Barry White's "First, Last, My Everything") are great and really remind you of what a terrific director Burton can be when he wants to be. The movie has a great look and all the '70s costuming and period detail is entertaining. The performances are uniformly good, although Chloe Moretz is maybe a little one-note.
I think I can safely say that this is about 10 billion times better than Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" though. It still would be kind of nice if Burton would direct something that's an original screenplay again though instead of adapting some previously existing property.
This movie is gorgeous, the cast is uniformly solid, the soundtrack is fun -- all of the groundwork for a great movie is here but it's wasted on a truly godawful script that is so technically inept that you wonder how anyone thought it was filmable. This movie has no story, and I mean that in the most literal way possible because nothing genuinely happens throughout the two hour running time of this movie, it's just a random hodgepoge of disconnected scenes thrown together until it all culminates in a out-of-nowhere lame final action sequence which is a complete mess. I'd love to know if this episodic structure was done on purpose, to mirror the feel of the show, or if it was just done out of sheer ineptitude. Given the way the characters are completely wasted - especially Jonny Lee Miller's Roger, whose total two minutes of screentime might be the most incredible waste of time I've seen in a major motion picture in a very long while - I'd have to go with ineptitude.
Is it worth watching if you see it on cable in ten years? Sure, why not. But this movie deserved to be more than just something mildly diverting at best, especially since there are isolated moments that work really well within it. Shame on everyone involved for settling with such a lame script when a little more work would've led to something far better.
Doesn't really bode well for Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", does it? (The trailer for which looks awful)
Even more upsetting is the fact that Seth is writing Beetlejuice 2. If he couldn't make a coherent, dark funny comedy about Dark Shadows then I shudder to think what a mess he's going to make out of the world of Beetlejuice.