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I am OUTRAGED! Burton's "Dark Shadows" is a comedy!

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Showing 326-350 of 996 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:01:34 AM PDT
JNS: You have missed my point entirely. As long as you still have the text--there is still some value even in a badly acted production of Shakespeare. You cannot seriously be suggesting that the writing on DS was ever anything much more than pedestrian, are you?

And, in considering your second example, you have it exactly reversed. The original versions of The Thing (from 1951, by the way, and not 1955) is a gem--a textbook example of what you can do on a limited budget with imagination, a good script, decent acting, and good direction. (It is generally thought that Howard Hawks did a good bit of it, although he is not credited.) The Carpenter remake isn't terrible--but it's no improvement on the original.

And you prefer Terry Gilliam to Tim Burton. Well, that says it all. All I can say to that is that our tastes in this matter are diametrically opposed. Gilliam never made a film as good as Big Fish or Sleepy Hollow (in my view, Brazil is grossly overvalued), and Burton has never made a film as bad as Baron Munchhausen.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:09:56 AM PDT
Thomas Morgan: First of all, I suspect that I have studied science fiction in considerably more depth than you have. Filmed science fiction has always lagged science fiction literature in quality--but, even though I am not a fan of the series, Twilight Zone had done some respectable work well before Star Trek, as had The Outer Limits. Demon With A Glass Hand (season 2) is a particularly notable example.

Given the circumstances of the birth of DS, one might wonder that it was even watchable. And you make a tremendous logical error--popularity does not equal quality.

But it is obvious that there is no arguing with taste--or, more accuracy, with blind fanatic devotion detached from the critical faculty.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:17:04 AM PDT
Cav: I too am very fond of Mars Attacks!--but it's a complete in-joke of a film, sending up every convention of the invasion film. If one took, say, War of the Worlds with a high degree of seriousness, one might be deeply disturbed. Burton took, in effect, two sets of source materials--War of the Worlds and the outrageously pulpy card series--and turned it into a very amusing and clever film. (It was not profitable--$70mm negative cost, $101mm box office.)

Burton has probably shown more reverence to DS than he demonstrated in Mars Attacks!

I'm not going to get into a discussion of the relative merits of the various Batman films, except to note that I, for one, greatly prefer Burton's two to The Dark Knight--which was (if I may borrow from Fran Lebowitz on brown rice) ponderous, overly chewy, and possessed of unpleasant religious associations.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:45:40 AM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
Batman Returns was probably the worst and most nihlistic of the Batman returns. Batman and Robin is what I call "overdamned". Akiva Goldsmith's screenplay shows a willingness to break away from the tedious Burtonmacher formula of the first three movies. It is somewhat overwhelmed by Joel Schumacher's "camp" is a nice word sensibilities. Still I think it has more merit than most of the other movies. Mr. Freeze is certainly most 3-Dimensional of the Batman films of that arc.

As to The Dark Knight, it is like the "Citizen Kane of superhero movies" in the fact that you say you liked it instead of loving it, people scream bloody murder. It does have much more substantial plot then most of the Batman movies. Legder's Joker is more or less a decoy however as the true story is the love triangle between Bruce Wayne, Rachel Dawes, and Harvey Dent. I found Rachel's recast arbitrary but I suspect it was deliberate device to put distance between Rachel and Bruce. In Batman Begins Holmes's Rachel Dawes wasn't just a love interest, she was the closest thing other than Alfred to family. This is largely gone with Glyhenhall.

The story plays out very much like a dark remake of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" with Dent being a twisted take on the Jimmy Stewart character. Like John Wayne, Bruce Wayne is a romantic man of action. Harvey Dent is a bright-eyed reformer and Rachel Dawes is the woman in the middle. Bruce is much more starry-eyed that John Wayne who was genuinely wary of change even if he believed it was necessary. It's also strange that he can thinks he can hang it up if Gotham is reformed. It's as if he still he doesn't get why he became Batman and still buys into alGhul's arguments that it was the city that killed his parents rather than random crime.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 11:14:31 AM PDT
CJV: Nolan's attempt to infuse moral complexity into The Dark Knight (I am thinking in particular of the ferryboat sequence) just to my mind comes off as pretentious and forced. And Ledger's Joker (and, mind you, I was a big fan of Ledger) is underwhelming. In fact, the film never really coheres at all.

Nolan, unfortunately, seems to be going downhill. I was very impressed with Memento and The Prestige; less so with the first Batman; still less with The Dark Knight; and, while Inception was better than The Dark Knight, it was overlong and with a generic trick ending.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:41:51 AM PDT
William A. Smith said, "The original versions of The Thing (from 1951, by the way, and not 1955) is a gem--a textbook example of what you can do on a limited budget with imagination, a good script, decent acting, and good direction."

I agree, I believe Carpenter's version is closer to the original novelette, but I think Hawkes version is a masterpiece. The dialogue of intelligent people working out a problem is a joy to listen to. One thing many modern films lack is really good dialogue. Hawkes seemed be very good at it.

Personally I rather liked Baron Munchausen, much more than Brazil, though I need to watch Time Bandits again as I had no strong feelings toward it when I saw it in theaters. It would be interesting to see the Don Quixote movie, as "Lost in La Mancha had me curious as to how it would have turned out.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 12:29:34 PM PDT
JNS: Time Bandits, as I remember it (mercifully, it has been some considerable time) was a shrieking, noisy, nasty entertainment for children with short attention spans. As for Baron Munchhausen--I chiefly remember Sarah Polley whining continuously, and wishing that I had a way to blast her off to the Oort cloud.

For most Gilliam films, unwatchable is, I think, the word I would apply.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 2:13:10 PM PDT
Their are alot of people (fans) out their who feel exactly the same as I DO! Many of them have decided aginst going to see the movie because of the way that Tim Burton messed it up. I realize that their are alot of people out ther that are to YOUNG to appreciate D.S. But to us older devotees,who were their when it was the#1 Soap Opera in the country, it doesnt matter if we are good spellers or not, we will always be loyal to our show!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 4:21:25 PM PDT
Jonathan says:

I don't need to watch all (or any) of the original series to have an opinion about trailers vs. movies.

>"obviously you are not an avid fan of the show"<

So what. I promise you not every avid fan is going to hold the same opinion as yourself.

Get a life, huh?

You are being incredibly silly.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 4:35:29 PM PDT
Jonathan, I asure you that I AM an avid fan and that I have seen EVERY episode of the ORIGINAL SOAP OPERA, in fact I OWN IT! Therefore I feel I have a right to judge any movie made of the show! The Tim Burton movie is SILLY! And, as I have said before, Alot of D.S. fans feel the same as I do! so WHY DONT YOU GET A LIFE! I am proud to be a D.S. fan!

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 4:44:25 PM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
Terri, I think the original DARK SHADOWS was an underrated Drama that made strong contributions to the genre, notwithstanding the severe drop in quality in the last year of so. Nevertheless, I don't think you're fans of the show any favor by performing the online equivalent of yelling in their year. A Big Screen treatment probably wouldn't work in most cases because the serial element if done properly allows for much more complex storytelling than can be done in a feature film. As a non-Burton fan, I''m not really sure this film could be worse than Dan Curtis's own House of Dark Shadows which had nothing of what made the original series work.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 5:21:41 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
TERRI screams: "Jonathan, I asure you that I AM an avid fan and that I have seen EVERY episode of the ORIGINAL SOAP OPERA, in fact I OWN IT!"<

That... has never been in doubt. The long version of 'fan' is 'fanatic', after all.

>>"The Tim Burton movie is SILLY!"<<

Oh, you've seen it already, then?


Why don't we all get a life and quit the jibber-jabber conjecture about things we haven't seen yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 5:35:35 PM PDT
First impressions are very important and from what I have seen of the D.S. trailer the movie IS STUPID AND SILLY! You can waste your money going to see it if you want to, but I absoultly will not! By the way, their are alot of so called Dark Shadows FANATICS out their and they will not see the movie either from what I have read!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 5:46:23 PM PDT
C.J. Vasta, if D.S. was such an underrated drama the please explaine why it has such a cult following today and also why it was the #1 soap opera in the U.S.? Also, it had 2 movies made of it in the 1970s and also had a really good version of it made in the 1980s called "DARK SHADOWS RESSURECTED" Have you ever watched the soap opera and seen all of the episodes? If you had then you would understand why so many fans are upset about the Tim Burton rediculas version of the original soap.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 6:13:45 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Maybe Burton is pulling a 'Springtime For Hitler' and is betting on a flop, have we thought of that one yet? Does he have any major debts to pay off?

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 6:28:58 PM PDT
On the plus side, the two "Dark Shadows" films are apparently set for a DVD release and this is probably a direct result of the remake. I had a list about ten years ago of films that I was waiting to come out on DVD and now I'm just waiting for "The Haunting of Julia" and the Dark Shadows films.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:16:43 PM PDT
Byron says:
What if you value both Gilliam and Burton? I like most of Burton's films and most of Gilliam's. A flop for Gilliam just seems to be more dire since he makes fewer films. Burton can make a stinker like 'Alice' but has an opportunity to recover quickly since he will have another film out within a year.

I enjoy Munchausen and Time Bandits just as much as I enjoy Sleepy Hollow and Beetlejuice.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:50:28 PM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
I think you don't understand the meaning of the word underrated. Underrated means it's better than it's critics make it out to be. I almost suspect you're deliberately imitating a shrill Dark Shadows fan. One thing that makes me suspicious is you insistence we see "all the episodes". First of all there are some missing episodes here and there. Although, I think most of them have been restored. Secondly te show starts out in Black and White as a sort of Gothic version of the Edge of Night. There were no supernatural stories initially. Just the mystery of Victoria Winters connection to Elizabeth Stoddard. Jason McGuire blackmailing Elizabeth Stoddard over the dissappearance of her husband Paul Stoddard. Burke Devlin's determination to get the truth about the car accident that sent him to prison. Supernatural elements were added in slowly until the vampire storyline changed the show forever.

I've seen the two movies and they weren't very good. The first one especially is essentially the original plot for Barnabas Collins (It also served as template for the 1990s show.) It comes off as fairly routine knockoff of Dracula. The second movie which I think was inspired by the first parallell time storyline was a lot better with a sort of gothic feel but still didn't give much idea the TV series like.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:53:04 PM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
The trouble with that theory is that all movies pay-off eventually especially in the aftermarket. And any Depp/Burton collaboration is going to be well represented in the rental kiosks.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 1:09:58 AM PDT
G. Himes says:
The trailer saddened me, as well. You can make gothic comedies, however, and a few have worked fairly well. But I don't want to see Barnabas Collins in the lead of something like "Dracula: Dead and Loving It," or "Love at First Bite." Actually for a vampire parody, I was actually hoping Mel Brooks could eventually do one (because other than he, the parody is dead in Hollywood -- parodies aren't anymore, they are just copies of what they are making fun of, with homophobic jokes and sophomoric humor with no intellegence or underhanded praise of the original).
I wanted to see a serious, atmospheric gothic movie, with one of the first reluctant, but viciously violent vampires. A movie that would be striking enough to spawn a couple of decent sequels, going where Dan Curtis might have taken the show, or couldn't. That doesn't seem likely now. The humor in the preview was too distracting to be part of a serious gothic, maybe with a complete re-edit? Or maybe we can hope this was an early attention getting joke?

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 5:59:11 AM PDT
G. Himes, its really a sad reality because so many true fans had hoped that the movie would be a really good and true to the original soap opera. I also think it is very disrespectful of Tim Burton to make the great BARNABAS COLLINS look like such a laughing stock. Maybe some day a really good producer will decide to take a stab at it and really do a good job of makeing a good romantic drama out of it like it was ment to be.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 6:25:51 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
C. J.

Actually, only one episode of Dark Shadows was lost, but its audio track survived. The episode was reconstructed adding photos of the cast to that surviving audio track.

What you may be thinking of is the fact (or at least this is what I've read) that the videotapes of a few of the episodes have disappeared. Fortunately, the kinescopes of those episodes have survived and were used in the set. I believe I've seen one of those. It was still very viewable and did not detract at all from the DS experience.

How fortunate we are that the show has survived, essentially intact, and is there for us to enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 8:12:17 AM PDT
Terri: Let me, in the kindest way possible, repeat: just because people like something doesn't mean it's good. And "loyalty to the show"? Loyalty to your country; loyalty to great ideas; loyalty to the old school tie; but loyalty to a cheesy soap opera?

I get a sense of misplaced priorities, and a lack of aesthetic distance and understanding.

Fine, Don't see the film, that's your prerogative. But I am reasonably certain that the potential audience for Burton's film is considerably larger than one for a faithful by-the-numbers remake. Drink the Kool-aid if you like, but don't except most of us to follow suit.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 8:15:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2012 8:20:22 AM PDT
Terri, dear--You may have seen every episode of the original. You may have memorized every creak of a coffin lid. And you certainly have a right to an opinion--although, without seeing the film in its entirety, you would be making that opinion on incomplete information.

But "the right to judge" (and by implication jury and executioner)? For you to be taken seriously, you would have to exhibit a much higher degree of critical acumen than you display. And fanatical devotion is not critical acumen.

Sorry, but I can't take you seriously at all.

So what if it were the #1 soap opera in the US? The Twinkie may be the number one creme-filled sponge snack cake in the world, but that doesn't mean it's good. And to assume that it should command respect? I respect Shakespeare, and Austen, and Fritz Lang; I respect serious work; I don't respect commercial junk, even though I may at times get a good chuckle and an enjoyable evening out of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 10:44:23 AM PDT
Dear Mr. Smith. to each his own. I really could care less that you dont like DARK SHADOWS.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  135
Total posts:  996
Initial post:  Mar 17, 2012
Latest post:  May 7, 2013

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