Dark Shadows

“MTG show selection was today. Looks like we’ll be doing Chicago in the fall (provided MTI aren’t bitches about giving us the rights…again) and Rocky Horror in IAP. Add that to Reefer Madness this summer, and it looks like the rest of 2012 and a lil bit of 2013 is all planned out for me. And it also means that I’ll hafta wait a while until I see something worth directing (alas, my Saw inspired Sweeney I’ve been scheming will hafta wait).

Nothing really came together for the rest of the day, which resulted in me being able to stick to my ideal movie schedule. I’m technically caught up now, althought I do aim to get in a second shot at Avengers tomorrow. This also points to me being able to start my new side project tomorrow, but I’ll hold off until then to announce the plan. Tonight was about Dark Shadows.

For me, Tim Burton falls into my demigod category. There’s others I rank higher that keep him outside of my holy trinity, but he is still a film deity in my eyes. When you pair him with his hetero life partner Johnny Depp, you get pure gold. I know and love all 8 of their collaborations. Some are more classic than others, but all of them very much loved.

I’ll admit, however, that I approached Dark Shadows with some hesitation for a couple reasons. One, the idea of Johnny Depp playing a vampire is so obvious and inevitable. You kinda wonder why it’s taken so long (esp since he was almost in Interview With the Vampire) but at the same time, you kinda roll your eyes and think “”really? Him too?”” since the fanged fiends are EVERY-\m/-WHERE nowadays. The other thing that concerned me was how overly campy and unbelievably silly the trailer looked. I’m all for camp, but I worried that Burton/Depp may have finally crossed over the line of “”too much”” that they’ve always so carefully toed. Turns out my specific fears were unfounded. Depp made a fantastic fanger (more later) and the camp worked pretty well. Unfortunately, the plot was rather thin.

The premise was great. The feel that Burton created was phenomenal. Dark setting with a light attitude. New spins on old cliches. And I was totally digging the 70s vibe from the way too prominently placed souveniers of the decade to the smooth yet rocking soundtrack. I was totally with it for the first hour or so. But then the plot came in, and it just didnt succeed in drawing me in. I almost would have prefered to have stayed with the substanceless set up instead of having to constrain into a story. I dont know, it just felt forced.

As I was saying earlier, Johnny Depp fit the role perfectly, as if there was ever any doubt. He was effortlessly sexy and suave without realizing it, but vulnerable and subdued when his plight called for it. And oh yes, he did make a pretty creature of the night. Again, doubt anyone? Chloë Grace Moretz was a rather fitting addition to the Burton family. She’s got that perfect mix of dark and quirky spirit that laces all of Burton’s films. By far, her Carolyn was my fave character in Dark Shadows (yeah, even above Depp’s Barnabus Collins). She had this sass and attitude, that seemed slightly less shallow than your typical annoying and moody teeny bopper. Eva Green was wonderfully wicked, although her character seemed a lil too one dimensional and disproportionately extreme given that lack of dimension.

I wanted to love this. I really did. Maybe if it stopped after the first hour, I would have. I know, I’m usually the one that insists I need to be told a story, but sometimes the story is in the setting and the details.

Dark Shadows – \m/ \m/ \n

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