Saturday, 12 May 2012

Fresh from cinema.. ..Dark Shadows

Those of you who are my friends on facebook will know it - I watched a film I was waiting actually some years for on Thursday (the first day it was aired in Germany) in cinema:

DARK SHADOWS (USA, 2012) by Tim Burton

It's 1972 and 200 years after he was burried alive vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is finally freed. He returns to the family manor - and has not only to struggle with the spirit of the time but also with the witch who once turned him into a vampire: Angelique Buchard (Eva Green).

A little distraction in this fight is that the new governess on Collinwood Manor - Victoria (Bella Heathcote)  - looks exactly like Barnabas' fiancée Josette (again Bella Heathcote) - who died 200 years ago..

~ the main cast of the movie ~
If you are a fan of...

... non-sparkling vampires
... wicked witches and other females in amazingly beautiful shoes
... ghosts
... early 70's pop music (awesome soundtrack - just by the way..)
... goth kitsch mixed with 70's pop culture and a good share of humour

 please watch this film!

~ not gone for good: Josette - with Victoria following.. ... ~

I was never able to watch the original TV series - so I can't tell you anything about that. What I can tell you - and what I actually did tell my facebook friends: I am still highly in love with Helena Bonham Carter - who is in fact my number 1 favourite modern actress (together with Sally Hawkins - who unfortunately was not in DARK SHADOWS.. ...*hint - Mr. Burton! - hint*).

Helena Bonham Carter's part in this film was Dr. Julia Hofman who tried to help young David Collins (very impressiv young actor Gulliver McGrath) who since the death of his mother (Josephine Butler) sees her as a ghost. Of course that's not all about Dr. Julia Hofman - but I won't tell you much more besides that you can see in this film how marvellously Helena Bonham Carter plays one (or more..) hangover(s).. She is an amazing and really funny actress..

..That was my little song about her and now I'll behave again.. Promise.

~ Vampire rule #1: keep your teeth well-groomed. ~

One thing about Tim Burton - who is one of my most favourite recent directors) is that he usually picks actors who are great - and I have to confess that just because of him I started to take an interest into Anne Hathaway - who I by now like very much. I did not care for her before - but I hope she won't mind.. (I wonder if she cares at all..) After all it was not that I could not stand her - she simply did not interest me.. But things and minds change..

After saying this - I am afraid that this time Tim Burton and I disagree: I am still not too fond of Chloë Grace Moretz. Maybe it was just her film character - I really was annoyed by her.. Actually I would not mind at all if for the DVD version all her scenes were cut out.. (same goes for a certain overdone and by that boring sex scene..) By now the nicest thing I can say about her in this film is that she looks good in those short dresses we girls used to wear - for she has pretty legs.. Well.. at least Ms. Chloë Grace has in real live apparently a cat and other pets she loves.. (a plus in my book..) So who knows: maybe one day I will adore her and run into every film where she appears in - even if it was just a cameo.. But I really can not see that now..

~ Michelle Pfeiffer looking stunning
in maybe the first film I ever saw her in wearing macramé (!) earrings.. ~

Speaking of cameos: Tim Burton and I (now - that does sound cool, doesn't it?? ...) not only both adore Vincent Price - we both like also Christopher Lee. And much to my pleasure Christopher Lee since some years now is a steady member of the "Tim Burton ensemble" and by that of course has a little part in DARK SHADOWS..

Some of the newer faces for Tim Burton films are real good picks - and I hope to seem them more regular in those:

What did not work for Chloë Grace Moretz and me worked with Johnny Lee Miller: I was not too much into him - but his part here is that unappealing and convincing that I actually can see a future in our "film-aficionada/actor" relationship.. He was great. 

I was of course very pleased with Michelle Pfeiffer who as always was just great - she has this wonderful though rare talent of mixing comedy with elegance. I just adore her. She is so very self-deprecating - and: well.. Who else could carry a young girl down some stairs that elegantly while wearing high heels??

~ finally we learn what Vampires eat for breakfast: waffles, of course.. ~

I also liked Bella Heathcote. Actually I never saw anything she did before (as far as I remember that is..) - and I was amazed that at least in one scene she resembled Tim Burton's CORPSE BRIDE very much - just that would have made me love her.. And another very private reason: she resembles a person who once was very important to me..

Fans of Johnny Depp will get their money's worth (esp. when they like to see some chest.. yes.. pun intended..) - and so will those who ever asked themselves how Jack Sparrow would act when he was a vampire.. ...

~ Eva Green - I love her and of course her outfits - esp. her heels.. ~
Still my second favourite (after Helena Bonham Carter to whom I can relate more) in this film is Eva Green who did an amazing job - and who has a formidable ability to control her body.. Very visibly in the scenes towards the end of the film when she shows "her real self".. Eva Green is another recent actress I like a lot so you might not be surprised by me raving about her.. 

Have a look:

The film itself is solid - though Tim Burton made better ones. Frankly I was left a little bit disappointed. It's a good film of course and I love this overdone kitsch which makes this film very funny - and so is the "culture clash" of this "18th century gent Barnabas Collins meeting the 1970's" plot.

I also love the soundtrack which has next to Danny Elfman's (who else??) great score some really cleverly picked 70's songs.. (Some of them still stuck in my head though it's two days since I watched this film..) And some of you might be happy to hear that the "ugliest woman I've ever seen" Alice Cooper has an appearance as himself..

And yes: actually a bit of blood will be shed - though done quite tame.. and again: the cast is great.. but still.. Well.. Enjoyable but not really mind-blowing 113 minutes of film.. You might should give it a try yourself..

Thank you very much for listening!




  1. Awesome review Irene! Can't wait to see it!

  2. I see. Thank you, Monty. Hope you enjoy it.

  3. I'm a huge Michelle Pfeiffer fan. So.. I have see this film. Thank you for the awesome review..

  4. You're welcome, Dawn. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. My daughter went to see this as well. I haven't been yet. I'm a big helena fan for sure. I think the costumes and music will really appeal to me from the sounds of it. So I'm definitely going to give it a look. Non-sparkly vampires - lol;)

    1. I hope you're going to enjoy it, Kate! It really is a fun film - and if you like Helena that much (yay for that, my friend!!) you will love her performance here - I am quite sure of that! She was awesome!

  6. I was looking forward to Dark Shadows but reading so many negative reviews prior to its release had put me off watching it at the cinema.
    Your wonderful post has caused me to re-think.

    1. Aww.. Thank you, Paul! That's such a wonderful compliment! I am sure you will enjoy the performance of Michelle Pfeiffer - since we both ate fans of her I think we'll agree on that.. but even if I wasn't I would love her here. She did a marvellous job. As I said before there are just two things irking me: The performance of Chloë Grace Moretz and this overdone sex-scene (which I found not very exciting..) - besides that it really is a solid film. Anyway: In case you'll watch this film I hope you're going to have a great time with it!

    2. I do find overdone sex scenes one of the negatives of modern films, but I'll try not to let it spoil my enjoyment of this one.

      By the way Irene, I really enjoyed your assessment of the talents of Michelle Pfeiffer in this post.
      It never ceases to amaze me how little attention and respect Michelle receives from the general public, so it's always nice to read the thoughts of someone who's on the same wavelength.
      Tim Burton certainly seems to bring out the best in MP, who could forget their previous collaboration in Batman Returns?
      Hopefully we'll see them working together for a third time in the not too distant future.

    3. Agree about the sex scenes, Paul.

      For this post I am sorry that I had not more space to talk about her - without being unfair to the other (outstanding) actors. She would have deserved more.. If I had to do a rating I think after of course Helena Bonham Carter being my #1 in this film and Eva Green being #2 with just a smidge distance Michelle Pfeiffer would be #3.. Or maybe #2, too.. Well.. Eva Green has the bigger part here.. There are great actresses in this film..

      Oh.. yes! BATMAN RETURNS! That was great! Loved that.. Would love to see her again in a Tim Burton film for sure! Great we agree on that, Paul!


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")