Monday, December 3, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Dark Shadows (2012)

This tongue and cheek take on the inventive, eccentric, and over the top 70's TV serial attempts to do too much with far too little time. Borrowing much from the original, Burton still crafts it with his own sense of Avant-garde style and range.  The down side, the film never actually defines itself, always falling between a slick and stylish reboot and joke of  itself. His attempt to squeeze years of storyline from the vamp classic into a 113 minute silver screen adaptation ends up diluting key elements of the melodrama, transforming into a campy and sometimes silly and  choppy retelling. The upside, Depp's performance is outstanding; as his adaptation of the brooding Barnabas Collins again defines why he is the best character of modern time. He owns every persona, good and lousy and creates, in this movie, one definitive  hip and romantic, Nosferatu style blood sucker. However, the rest of the cast earns a B- at best.  Even Mortez, who has an impressive resume of stellar performances, is lackluster. The dialogue and chemistry between players is not inimical or impressive either.  The love story has no authenticity or emotion. Burton's recapturing of the 70's is, for what it is worth.  The comedy is a bit stale for the most part with only a few laugh out loud moments. Don't expect any horror or suspense unless you find the Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld terrifying. In the end, what you do get is Burton doing what Burton does best, making films that are undoubtedly his own, exuberant costuming, impressive set work, and fantastic glimpses into his own demented view of reality. 2 out of 5 Kernels: I am thoroughly convinced that the Twilight Saga has continually besmirched the good name of the nocturnal legend, this is yet one more example of that after effect.

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