Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Splurge Of The Week: Dark Shadows

I was very lucky to get early screening passes to see the newest Tim Burton/ Johnny Depp collaboration yesterday, Dark Shadows (thanks to the folks from the Old School Sinema zombie walk!). As you all know, the film is based of the 1966–1971 gothic soap opera, but with a Burton-esk twist. Now as someone who wasn't around when the original show was out, I cannot compare the film to the soap opera. I can only give my view of the film based upon how I felt about it as a stand alone movie. I will also try my best not to spoil it in this review, but if I do slip a little, let it be said I warned you!!! Now on to the review...

First of all, the previews, as funny as they are, do not do this film justice. The movie is not just funny, but hilarious! As my friends sitting next to me can contest, I snorted at least twice (shut up!) and was left with my jaw on the floor about three times (also, I choked on popcorn during a certain scene that kinda shocked the hell out of me, which I will try discuss later). But as funny as it was, Depp as Barnabas Collins is still one hell of a badass vampire (yes, twilight lovers, a vampire can be in love without acting like a wimpy little school boy!). Yes, at the heart of the film it is a love story, but no guys you will not be sucked into a surprise chick flick.

The start of the film gives us a little background about how Barnabas became a vampire. Pretty much, he pissed off a witch by falling for another girl, so she killed his parents, sent his love off a cliff, cursed his ass to be a vampire, locked him in a coffin, and left him there for 200 years...no biggie, right? Fast forward to 1972. His coffin is discovered by a group of workers and...well he was really thirsty! (I'd like to see Edward and his twinkly ass do that!). He returns home to find the Collins' home and business in disarray, and that the witch who cursed him, Angelique, is still around and is the cause for the family business's failure (man, he really pissed off the wrong chick huh?).

So now we get to meet the rest of the family. You got Elizabeth (the head lady of the home), Roger (her brother, and a complete asshole whom has no real baring on the film as a whole), David (Roger's 10 year old son, whom Roger could give two shits about...and talks his mother's ghost), Carolyn (Elizabeth's 15 year old daughter...whom later in the film we find has a bit of her secret...that I will not say so as not to spoil it), Willie (the caretaker of the home), Dr. Julia Hoffman (David's psychiatrist...and all around drunk), and Victoria (David's new teacher and Barnabas's love interest). Phew!

So now that I've given the basic layout of the film's plot and characters, we can get into the good stuff (what I loved)! For starters, Barnabas is a PIMP (no, not literally, but let's just say he's got no trouble with the ladies...) I cannot say all that I wish I could say just yet (The only downside of seeing a film before it comes out :( ), but I will say that his first...encounter...was definitely NOT in any of the trailers I've seen and yes, this is where I choked on my popcorn (nothing graphic I mind you, but just that it happened and the look on Barnabas's face!!!). Also, If you're a Depp "enthusiast", you won't be disappointed. Again, nothing is too graphic, but little ones might not...get it...just saying.

The second thing I loved is that while the film is funny as all hell, the action is great too! Like I said earlier, Barnabas is a good guy, but a badass vampire. He loves his family, but he's no sap. He knows he's a monster and admits it. He's no pushover either, as the final fight scene shows. Hell, the love scene toward the middle of the film was no day in the park either! (except for the viewer of course ;) ) There was just two minor details about the action that I must mention. First is the blood...I know this might seem picky, but It was just to bright for me. I like blood to be the right color on screen, and the blood here looked a bit too much like thick Kool-Aid. The second this is something I've had a problem with in a LOT of films...CGI. Now, a lot of the movie is actually really good with special effects (I'd say like 85% of the FX were great!). The only point I found the CGI to be a bit of a bother was at the end. Now I cannot say exactly what looked fake without giving it away, but when you see it you'll understand why good ole fashion FX would have enhanced this aspect of the film.

The last thing I want to mention are the love stories going on throughout the film between Barnabas and Victoria (who seems to be a re-incarnation of the love that was killed by the witch) and Barnabas and the Witch (not a real "love story"...but sure full of some lovin!) First, the story between is sweet, caring, and brings the film to a beautiful end. It's well done and the romantic ladies will love it. But the highlight is Barnabas and Angelique! It seems Barnabas has one weakness...the ladies (and their boobies...)!!! Like I said before, the dude it a PIMP! The love scene between these two is literally no holds barred action (no not porn, but more like a fight scene with a shit ton of making out and "grabbing"...) It's hilarious and very well executed on screen (and the crowd at the theater seemed to LOVE it as much as I did).

To sum it up, Dark Shadows is fun, campy, dark, and just plain crazy! It comes out Friday and I DEFINITELY recommend seeing it!


1 comment:

Kaijinu said...

Now I want it! XD