Tuesday May 15 2012
The new "Dark Shadows" nothing like the old one
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
?Dark Shadows? Directed by Tim Burton Starring: Johnny Depp, Eva Green and Michelle Pfeiffer Rating: Two out of five stars Movie review The new ?Dark Shadows? nothing like the old one By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger A new movie from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp used to mean a strange and fascinating trip into the minds of two men who were equally matched when it came to matters of the absurd. These days, it feels more like an exercise of self-indulgent fetishes for cheekbone makeup and over-styled haircuts. Their latest, ?Dark Shadows,? is an adaptation of the cult ?60s TV show of the same name. It stars Depp as Barnabas Collins, a vampire who awakens after a 200-year imprisonment only to find his family?s estate in ruin. Barnabas takes it upon himself to restore the Collins name to its former glory with the help of his descendants, who are perplexed by Barnabas? sudden appearance. Along the way, he must contend with the evil witch who imprisoned him and has made it her personal goal to destroy everything Collins-related. Depp is on his game as always, playing another wacky role with his usual dedication and enthusiasm. However, with outrageous roles becoming his forte, one is curious to see him play something mundane like a toll booth operator or a mailman. That would be truly out of the norm for the quirk-chasing Depp. As usual with their star-centric projects, Depp shines as the supporting characters are left by the wayside. The rest of the Collins clan make for an interesting lot but Burton never gives them enough time to leave an indelible mark. Only Eva Green, playing the spurned witch, finds enough footing to take her place amongst Burton?s more memorable screen characters. With her lithe frame and a toothy perma-grin entrenched in her visage, Green comes across as truly demented and terrifying. ?Dark Shadows? features characters and moments that work individually but never works as a whole. All told, it comes across as lifeless as the blood that flows through Barnabas? veins. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.