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 DARK SHADOWS (2012) 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:51 am
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Location: NH
 DARK SHADOWS (2012)
So, like the THREE STOOGES movie, I was really dubious about the new Tim Burton DARK SHADOWS feature, especially after seeing the initial trailer, which revealed the film not to be a faithful adaptation of the old TV show as much as it was an AUSTIN POWERS-esque spoof featuring a character from the past reacting broadly to waking up in the future. Being a huge fan of DARK SHADOWS, I sighed and chalked it up to yet another instance of Hollywood filmmakers taking the easy way out when adapting an old TV show to the big screen, which is to just essentially turn it into a comedy and make fun of it. Knowing I'd have to see this for CINEMANIACS, I went in with an open mind and hoped that it at least would be fun, giving up hope that it would contain any of the elements of the show I came to love long ago.

Well, like the THREE STOOGES movie, I really liked it. Yes, it does have the comedic elements seen in the trailers, but it's not simply a comedy. There are plenty of atmospheric and creepy moments in the film, and it often feels like an old Hammer or AIP flick. Burton nails the feel of the era (1972, the year after the original DS went off the air), and loads the soundtrack with fun rock tunes of the day, as well as a very Robert Cobert-esque score by Danny Elfman. The storyline here has elements of what was done on the old show, but fans going in expecting a beat-for-beat retelling of the Barnabus Collins origin story are going to be disappointed. Personally , I was OK with the deviations, as we've already had the standard Barnabus origin three times already (the original series, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, and the 1991 revival series), and they're there for eternity for whoever wants to revisit them (the entire 1225 episodes of the show are out on DVD, as is the revival series--the two 1970s feature films will hit DVD/Blu-ray soon, probably when this new film is released on video).

My only real quibbles were a couple of moments of ugliness (because what keeps the old show from enduring is a distinct lack of reefer, puke and bjs...) and turning the Julia Hoffman character into a pill-popping booze hag, another trend of modern TV adaptations (make the characters all dysfunctional or deviant).


So yeah, I had a really good time with this. Would love to see it again at a Drive-In, if I can find it playing with a good co-feature.

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Sat May 12, 2012 4:52 pm
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
i'm going to see it eventually. heard mixed things about it. seems people really like it or really hate it.

penny dreadful hates it.

the globe loved it.

i have a friend who knows every episode of the original show like the back of his hand. i'm curious to see what he thinks about it.

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Sat May 12, 2012 6:19 pm
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
Saw this again last night at the Milford (NH) Drive-In and really like it a lot. It's a shame that it had to open in the shadow of THE AVENGERS, pretty much crushing its chances to doing too well at the box office, as I'd like to see additional installments of this new take on the material.

Watching it again, it really struck me that there's a good balance between the silly and the serious, maybe leaning more toward the serious. I think this is one where a talented and enterprising individual could knock out a "fan edit" that turns this into a straight-on gothic horror tale (or at least 95% of one).

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Sun May 20, 2012 8:51 am
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
sorry mark but i'm on penny's side with this.
here's her review i think it spot on sums up this movie.

http://pennydreadful13.livejournal.com/10406.html

the opening credit sequence with nights in white satin was stunning. if the whole movie had been like that it would have been burton's best movie ever.

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Mon May 21, 2012 7:10 pm
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
I can't really disagree with any of PD's comments, which I'm sure ring true for any DS fans hoping to see a faithful adaptation of the series in this film. I think the fact that I went in with low-to-zero expectations of the film being either A) good or B) faithful to the show helped me enjoy it for what it was, and the fact that it did turn out to be atmospheric and take elements from the series at times were bonuses for me.

But yeah, if you're looking for a good feature adaptation of DARK SHADOWS, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS from 1970 would be the go-to flick.

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Sun May 27, 2012 6:12 am
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
i'm wondering if in another 10 years or so someone will try to revive it on tv or cable again.

i think the show really lends itself to a good re-invention. there are lots of good ideas in the show to explore.

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Sun May 27, 2012 6:31 am
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
There was an unsold pilot made for the CW network a year or three ago, attempting to start another revival. It's yet to turn up anywhere for viewing, but I'm curious to see what that show's take would have been. I'm guessing the standard younger/hotter casting, but beyond that, I hear it was a straight-ahead approach to the material.

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Sun May 27, 2012 7:39 am
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 Re: DARK SHADOWS (2012)
I rented it on Blu-ray today, I didn't think it was that bad

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:22 am
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