I know I did a blog similar to this one a couple years ago, but I think another one is due. Remember back when I talked about the remaking of movies? You know, like Psycho and The Thing?
And now there is a new trend where they take TV series and make them into a movie. Examples are Mr. Bean, Alvin and the Chipmunks and even South Park. But when they try to make a cult classic into a movie, it's a hit or miss operation.
Case in point. The Star Trek movies. While I wasn't impressed with the first one, I didn't think it sucked big hairy donkey balls the way a lot of critics did. And I really enjoyed all the rest of them. But I'm a trekkie and proud of it. For the most part I accepted the way they "updated" things and could handle how they made Jim older (but not so much wiser), Bones just as starchy, though he had trouble walking, Scottie given it all he had in a uniform about three sizes too small, and of course Spock, who other than sagging jowls, seemed just the same as he did back in the sixties. The others too, worked for me, so I was able to enjoy the movies.
The new Star Trek with hot Chris Pine and Zachery Pinto was a little bit harder to get into for me. I loved the movie, don't get me wrong, but some of the changes made--Uhura bonking Spock--as well as the timeline switch did bother me a bit. But I was able to get over it and just let the story take me away.
But I wasn't sure how I would respond to the new Dark Shadows movie with Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. I LOVED that show. Loved, loved, loved it. My best friend Kris and I would watch every episode and discuss it ad nauseum. So when I heard they were making a movie out of it, AND Tim Burton was directing, I wondered just how out there it would be.
I saw a few of the trailers and knew immediately it wasn't my childhood Dark Shadows. If the original was campy, this one was over the top, just short of ridiculous looking. But...I always like to give a movie a fair chance, so while Jonathon went and saw Act of Valor (Good, but not enough SEAL action in his opinion) I went and sighed over Johnny.
Except I couldn't. As Barnabas, his makeup was so over the top ,I couldn't get past it. It was one of the things in the movie that to me was too much. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Knowing it wouldn't be MY remembered Dark Shadows, I tried to put that away and go into the movie as if it were a new story for me. And I was able to for the most part. The storyline was similar--but not exact, the actors all were pretty damn good in their parts and of course, Collinswood and the surrounding areas look pretty beautiful on screen.
Overall I liked the movie. It WAS campy--majorly so--but I still enjoyed it. Many times I found myself laughing out loud over something when I least expected it. There were parts that were just silly, and IMHO it gave only a passing resemblance to the original, but it was fun, never-the-less.
The only thing I took exception to was... ***SPOILER ALERT***
The sex scene between Angelique and Barnabas. It was awful. I mean, not in a too much sex way. They made it silly and stupid, the both of them rolling around her office, destroying furniture and ripping holes in each other's clothes. I think they were hoping for CAMP, but it was so over the top I cringed through the whole scene. I was grateful for the obligatory cigarette at the end. At least I knew it was over.
Part of it was it always bothers me when a character--vampire, human, werewolf or space alien from the planet Zenox--has sex with someone they despise just to save the one they love. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. As a plot device you'll NEVER see me using it. One, I find it despicable when lovers cheat-no matter what reason--and two, it's lazy. Find another way to introduce angst. But keep his pants on while you do it!
Now you may think I'm panning this movie, but I'm not. Other than a few missteps, I think it was very entertaining. They set up for a sequel and I'd go see it. But I warn all who are fans of the original, don't see the movie expecting a trip back in time to the Collinswood of your memories. I'll say it again, it ISN'T your childhood Dark Shadows.
Instead try going into it with an open mind and just let it entertain you. Once I did that, I had a great time. Except for the weird makeup...and the sex scene. And Helena Bonham Carter's hair.
Have you seen this movie? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
See you on Friday with a tale from the Lighter Side of Life!