The new Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows is finally here. Yes, I know it came out a week ago, and if I could have gone to see it sooner I would have, as I have been eagerly awaiting the movie's release for a long time. 40 years to be exact. So when Hollywood began doing do-overs of old movies and TV, I knew it was just a matter of time before I got to see my old friend Barnabus Collins, and the whole crazy Collins clan once again. When I was a kid, I ran home from school every day to watch Dark Shadows... who didn't? And when it was cancelled it left a huge hole in my afternoons. It was a delicious distraction from the craziness of my own family, and a nice escape from the deep heartache of watching my big brother go off to Vietnam.
Rather than thinking about my brother's absence, I plunged into all the wonderful characters of Dark Shadows. My favorite character was the witch Angelique Bouchard. Actress Lara Parker was so beautiful and glamorous to me, and her portrayal of Angelique gave me nightmares. Delicious, scary, creepy nightmares, but I always preferred them to the nightmares of my family's constant fighting, and my brother's absence. My mother fell into a deep depression after he left, and my father became quiet distant, and at times downright hostile. My sister being 10 years older than I, had her own interests, which is normal, but it left me lonely. Dark Shadows was there every day to keep me not just entertained, but served to stimulate and inspire my imagination as well. I used to wonder what it would be like to walk through the town of Collinsport, Maine. What would it be like to actually talk to Barnabus Collins. Scary? Nah... he was a good guy deep down, but he was also a tortured soul to be sure.
When I found out that Johnny Depp was to play Barnabus, I thought it was strange casting. Barnabus was a bit older, and Johnny Depp is usually a bit... well... goofy. Could he do the part justice? You bet he did! He bought a dimension to Barnabus that hadn't occurred to me before. Depp's Barnabus was indeed a bit goofy, but frankly, it was the part of Barnabus should have been there from the start. A bit of a fish out of water, his transition into modern times was a wonderful flight of fancy. The original Barnabus seemed to fit in rather easily, in fact a bit too easily. I enjoyed watching Depp's Barnabus become accustomed to life in 1972. Everything was different, music, fashion, culture, values, mode of transportation, even food had changed, but what was a vampire to do? It was time to sink or swim. And swim he did!
I kinda had to admire the modern day Barnabus for his courage. He was a man...a vampire with a mission. The marvelous choices of music from the time, kept the movie funky, while we watched Barnabus strive to fit into the new world he had found himself in. I loved the use of every piece of music, and cultural references were spot on. So, while I really thoroughly enjoyed the movie, there were things it lacked. While it did deliver some wonderfully campy thrills, and stuck fairly close to the original story, I missed some of the most quaint elements of the original. Where was Josette's theme? Her music box was a HUGE part of the original storytelling. And I would have loved to have seen the movie do more flashbacks in time, to show the great romance that was Barnabus and Josette. I think it would have been good to have seen Barnabus's dalliance with Angelique, and the heartbreak his rejection brought her. She was a woman scorned, and it would have been good to have seen why. Angelique had cursed Barnabus for a reason, and it was an all too common reason, good old fashioned heartbreak. And that is what made the whole situation so relatable. Who can't identify with heartbreak?
The rest of the movie was well cast, especially Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, but over all the actors and the characters seemed to lack the same amazing chemistry of the original cast.
So, while I enjoyed the new movie, which completely stands on it's own, I will always love the original more.
I give it **** kernels of popcorn out of ***** Seriously... go see it!
Okie Doke, That's my posting for both the Round Robin Photo Challenge and my new project APAD For 6 Months. If you would like to join in either meme, you are more than welcome to do so. Click here to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog where you will find all you need to know about playing along. As for my project, just post a photo and come back to the comment thread of this entry with the direct link back to it. I will post your link with tomorrow's posting.