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Dark Shadows

A 2012 movie directed by Tim Burton based on the supernatural soap opera

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Semi-Dark

  • May 10, 2012
Rating:
+2

DARK SHADOWS

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith

Directed by Tim Burton

Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green

 

Barnabas Collins: Of all the servants I could have spurned, I got the witch.

 

The original soap opera television series, DARK SHADOWS, is before my time, I’m afraid. I’ve never seen the show but from what I understand, it was a bizarre endeavor that, about six months into its roughly 5-year and 1225 episode run, introduced ghosts and other supernatural elements into its world, a first for daytime television for sure. About a year in, the show reached its height of popularity with the introduction of a vampire character by the name of Barnabas Collins. Boys everywhere wanted to be this debonair creature, who is both heroic and flawed. One of those boys was Johnny Depp.

 

Depp’s boyhood dream of being Barnabas has finally come true. These kind of dreams can happen when you have enough money and clout to resurrect a cult classic such as DARK SHADOWS by convincing Hollywood that you can sell it to the masses. And not surprisingly, Depp brought on his long time director buddy, Tim Burton, to helm the project, a seemingly natural choice. After all, Burton is the director of BEETLEJUICE and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. If there is any director out there that can capture that kooky, yet sometimes scary, but still human deep down, tone needed to pull this film off, it’s this guy, right? Unfortunately, as of late, Burton is more often than not the director Hollywood goes to when you need a vividly colorful and imaginative film that plays so broad it loses all its actual character. DARK SHADOWS falls somewhere in between the two Burton’s.

 

Burton does his best to keep these particular shadows pretty darn dark. Barnabas loses his parents at a young age, at the hand of a scorned lover, Angelique (Eva Green), and then watched his girlfriend plummet to her death off a cliff while under the influence of a magic spell (also administered by Angelique). When he reemerges in 1972, nearly 200 years after he was buried alive - well, more like buried undead - he rejoins his family, now led by a lovely Michelle Pfeiffer, and insists that they work together to reclaim the power and glory the Collins name once commanded. Any steam Burton musters in the setup though is lost once Barnabas is distracted by things like lava lamps and televisions. And then this epic, century-spanning, cursed feud is reduced to a corporate competition between fishing companies. Depp is delightful as Barnabas, which salvages DARK SHADOWS from disaster, but it would be nice to see Burton’s once unbound vision become boundless again, rather than see it consistently watered down for mass consumption. The worst part is that Burton is doing this all to himself.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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May 13, 2012
yeah, I liked this one, but even I have to admit that the script was a little unfocused and tried too much to cover too many things. Still a 7/10 isn't bad. I rated this a 3.5/5 myself. Nice review!
 
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More Dark Shadows (2012 Film) reviews
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Tim Burton Brings Barnabas Collins in the Swinging, Hip 70's....
When I first heard that Tim Burton was making a film based on the vampire soap opera of the same name “Dark Shadows“, I have to admit I really didn’t know what to think. Burton is great in making his own material but I have always had mixed feelings when it comes to him re-interpreting other people’s works. I loved “Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands”. I even liked “Cabin Boy” but I had …
review by . May 26, 2012
posted in Dark Shadows
I'm an old school Dark Shadows fan who used to run home from school like everyone else, saw both of the original films when they came out, protested at NBC when the 1991 series was cancellled and have attended several of the conventions. Given all that I really enjoyed this film that injected comedy and changed the Barnabas Collins tale.     This one left off the time travel and had Barnabas freed from his coffin into a present where Collinwood is in ruins and the family is far …
review by . May 13, 2012
posted in Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows (2012) is destined to split the audience into two camps.      Camp A will love this movie because they are fans of the Burton/Depp team. In their eyes, B/D can do no wrong, because the source material is immaterial. They go in expecting only to be entertained by a certain kind of shtick...and in this particular case, they received it in spades, and therefore went home from the theater quite pleased from having their expectations met.      Camp …
review by . May 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****    "Dark Shadows" does well to give us just about everything we've come to expect from a director-and-star collaboration between the highly imaginative Tim Burton and the illusive character actor Johnny Depp. There's a heart and it's always beating; illuminated by Burton's colorful, visionary sets and camerawork. The man knows what he wants, what we want, and what the studio wants in return. He's out to please. Sometimes, this is a problem, and other times, …
review by . September 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
   There's no miracle that Tim Burton knows how to create dark cartoonish worlds in which wild colors and vivid characters battle for the enchanted ground of these fantastic universes. Dark Shadows is wild, goofy, and colorful but it kinda feels like an asthma crisis. You know you have this urgency and impatience to watch the next Tim Burton film but even as a fan of him it does nothing in the end but providing you sudden gasps time after time. It's an interesting thing because …
review by . May 15, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
A Visually Beautiful Gothic-Like And Delightful Film
      Tim Burton and Johnny Depp come together again in this wonderfully delightful film.  Depp proves again that he is capable of successfully portraying any type of character - his talent seems to reach out to the viewer in a huge way - every role he has played he always manages to convince me he really is the character he's playing; it's almost hypnotic, and his role as Barnabas Collins was no exception.      The film starts out as Collins …
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In a 2007 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnny Depp proudly stated that, as he grew up watching Dark Shadows, he wanted to be the vampire Barnabas Collins. “I think lots of kids did,” he said. “He was super-mysterious, with that really weird hairdo and the wolf’s-head cane. Good stuff.” Depp is now luckier than ever to be dear friends with Tim Burton; apart from the fact that he helmed this year’s film …
review by . May 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Remember when Tim Burton had some indie cred, and his emo movies were something new that brought credibility and something different to the movies.  Remember seeing his remake of Planet of the Apes, how he had them wear those stupid hats, just how upset you got seeing it, and wishing things could go back to the way they were.  It hasn't.  You would think a movie based on a sixties vampire soap opera would be right up his alley.  And maybe it was.  And Burton …
review by . May 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'Dark Shadows' 'Two Jews On Film' Show Their Teeth Over Johnny Depp's Campy Performance (Video)
      By Joan Alperin Schwartz      For those of you, like myself, who aren't familiar with the television series 'Dark Shadows' which ran from 1966-1971, here are the film's cliff notes...   The year...1750 (give or take)      A wealthy young man named Barnabus Collins (Johnny Depp) gets it on with his maid, Angelique (Eva Green) who just happens to be a witch...She feels the love...He...not so …
Quick Tip by . October 10, 2012
Forgettable enough take on the TV soap opera about a business magnate turned Vampire by a jilted lover and locked away, re-awakening 200 years later in the 70's. Enjoyable enough for what it is, but few laughs and the familiar trappings of the pairings of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and HBC have wore out they're welcome.
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Wiki

The first photos from the set of TimBurton’s Dark Shadows adaptation have surfaced online and they reveal Johnny Depp looking about as creepy as you would expect him to look in a Burton film. In case you’re unaware, Dark Shadows sees Depp making a turn as Barnabas Collins, a powerful playboy who is buried alive in the 18th century only to reemerge in 1972 as a vampire who is none too pleased with the ruin of his once fine piece of real estate.
Check out the set photos and an official synopsis after the jump. Also starring Chloe Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, EvaGreen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Lee and Jackie Earle Haley, Dark Shadows is slated to hittheaters on May 11th, 2012.
Click over to Celebuzz to check out more Dark Shadows set pics [click to enlarge]:
dark-shadows-set-photo-johnny-depp
dark-shadows-set-photo-johnny-depp-2
dark-shadows-set-photo-johnny-depp-1
Here’s the official film synopsis:
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 ...
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