movies: dark shadows

dark shadows - every family has it's demons
Sometimes the collaborations between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are excellent, other times they're only so-so...

Dark Shadows (their eighth pairing) is mostly so-so, with a few moments of potential excellence.

I realised about halfway through that the whole thing was feeling very much like the TV show that it was based on... not that I've seen the show, but it just felt more like TV than a fully fledged movie.  It was almost episodic... the sequences didn't seem to flow from one to the other, it was often very choppy, and there just seemed to be too much stuff thrown in at times.

The final sequence however was where it all really kicked in and felt like a proper movie, even if there were a few moments that seemed to come completely out of nowhere.

Most of the cast are excellent... Johnny is at his awkwardly gothic best, Michelle Pfeiffer shows that she's as elegant and strong as ever, Helena Bonham Carter is somewhat underutilised but is wonderfully strange, Chloë Grace Moretz is proving that she can pretty much do anything you throw at her.

It's just a shame that they weren't all given more... or else that parts of the movie had been scaled back so that characters could have been given more time or more story.

If there's a major flaw in the cast, it's definitely Eva Green... she's trying to be sexy and vampy, but she just comes off as unappealing and weird looking.  Maybe it's the horrible blonde wig... maybe it's just Green, I've never been particularly fond of her, so she just felt clunky in this role.

As usual, most of the strength in Burton movies are in the set design and costuming, and that's no different here... there's a meshing of 1700's and 1970's in both that appealed to me.

However, often-times Depp's make-up looks exactly like it's makeup, especially the sunken cheekbones, although at other points it looks perfect.

I think Burton may have tried to be too faithful to the television show he loved and so the movie seems a little scattered, and kind of like a cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sleepy Hollow without being the best parts of either.

yani's rating: 2 octopus chandeliers out of 5

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