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WesternSFA
Dark Shadows
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote Director: Tim Burton
Running Time: 113 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Rated: PG-13
Released on: May 11, 2012

I was one of those teenagers who raced home each day to be in front of the TV at 4pm to watch the coolest daytime soap opera…ever:  Dark Shadows.  So, when I saw the trailers that were obviously intended to resurrect my old love but only to poke fun at it…well, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t want to see it.  But the trailers seduced me…that, and Johnny Depp. 

I knew I wouldn’t be seeing the dark, spooky, atmospheric rendering so I just put that old memory aside and went to enjoy Johnny Depp.  I can’t say I was enamored by this movie but I was entertained.  Burton never plays anything just for laughs and although Barnabas could have been made to look more foolish, the movie took itself seriously enough to keep it this side of camp.  Burton could have ruined the movie with the typical one-liners of this sort of movie – a man out of his time.  Thankfully, he didn’t.  And there were some nice subtle touches that I appreciated.  I also really loved the photography when it played to the gothic origins of the story.  The original TV show ran for five years, four of which included the supernatural story lines and this movie brought just about every single one of those story lines into it.  Again, it could have become a real mish-mash with any other director but Burton .

In summary, it was entertaining but not an epic.  I’d probably pay bargain prices to see a sequel. ~~ Catherine Book

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