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Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars These Fangs Need To Be Sharper, October 13, 2012
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This review is from: Dark Shadows (DVD)
Let me start right off the bat by saying that I am a die hard fan of Tim Burton. I will see anything and everything the man does. I think he's a genius. However, even geniuses can have those moments where they aren't knocking it out of the park. 'Dark Shadows' is one of those moments. It has all the right ingredients, but isn't fully stirred to a wonderful brew.

Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is turned into a vampire, cursed by the witch Angelique (Eva Green), and buried. Centuries later, Barnabas is dug up in 1972. Upon returning to his home, Collinwood, he meets the latest Collins family descendants, headed by Michelle Pfeiffer. Barnabas then sets out to return his family, home, and family business to it's former glory, but witch Angelique once again raises her head to cause problems.

I never saw the original 'Dark Shadows' TV series or movies, so there is nothing I can say about that and I can't compare. Tim Burton is certainly brilliant when it comes to style and flare, but his recent output has all been just that - style and flare. That's 'Dark Shadows'. It also doesn't help any that the movie has the same cold detachment that his previous movie, "Alice In Wonderland", suffered from. Burton has no problem putting together a stellar cast who seem to want to rise to the occassion, but the movie doesn't rise to their level. Depp is fantastic, of course, with a great, classic look. He sparkles in his scenes. The supporting cast of Pfeiffer, Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, and Christopher Lee, all do their best, but they are in a movie that mostly slumps along not realizing the dazzling people it has to work with. Style-wise, the movie is wonderful, of course. It has some great cinematography, production design, and striking visuals. Sometimes, in some movies, that's enough. But it's not here. Burton can do better.

'Dark Shadows' isn't a bad movie by any means. It's certainly watchable, and even enjoyable and entertaining in parts, but it doesn't feel like all the parts are there. That the filmmakers settled for middle of the road. The potential is there in abundance, but no one took too much interest. The final climax is rousing, to be sure, but it felt too quick and not exploited to the the crazy, over the topness that it could of been. A "Death Becomes Her" sort of thing, especially with the character of Angelique. That's the feeling throughout the whole movie. That feeling of 'What could of been'.

In the end, 'Dark Shadows' is a mixed bag and a lost opportunity. I used to like seeing Tim Burton do his spin of well known, existing properties, but enough is enough. I am really eager for Tim to go back and do something original. Give us the next 'Beetlejuice', the next 'Edward Scissorhands'. Hopefully, the recent "Frankenweenie" returns Tim to his former glory. But this one? It's basically a "Well, it looked good" kind of a movie.
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