Dark Shadows – Review Mar25

Dark Shadows – Review...

2/5 – Another 2/5 – Watch the trailer instead. After the disappointment that was Alice in Wonderland, I had high hopes for Dark Shadows to be the movie that would redeem Tim Burton in my eyes. The trailer looked very funny. But as can often be the case, the best parts of Dark Shadows were in the trailer. If you’re not familiar with the origins of Dark Shadows, the film is based on an old soap opera of the same name. A family from the 60s (or the 70s in the film version) has a very distant relative move in with them…namely a recently unearthed vampire ancestor. The trailer for Dark Shadows made the movie seem like it would be very tongue-in-cheek and campy, like the excellent Brady Bunch movie from the 1990s. Unfortunately, the tongue-in-cheek campiness is kept to a minimum beyond what what was already shown in the trailer. Instead, we get a movie that was overly long and slowly paced. The screenplay seemed lazily written. Maybe screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith was trying to make the movie feel like a soap opera brought to the big screen, but there was a little too much deus-ex-machina towards the end. One character gets special powers out of nowhere, turning the tide in the climatic battle. The love story between Barnabus and Victoria never goes anywhere and seems tacked on. Victoria is often relegated to the background, despite being Barnabus’s supposed reincarnated true love. The movie is not completely bad. There are some funny lines and amusing montages, but as a whole it’s a disappointment. Johnny Depp should play Michael Jackson in the Michael Jackson story. After watching the movie, I turned on an episode of the Dark Shadows television series on Netflix’s streaming service. Wow,...

ParaNorman – Review Mar11

ParaNorman – Review...

I was really excited to see ParaNorman.  I remember cackling during the trailer in the theater every time that little Igor kid would come on. And this would happen every time I saw the trailer. So when ParaNorman arrived from Netflix, I immediately put it in my DVD player. That funny Igor kid never showed up. When is this kid appearing, already? It turns out that the movie I was excited to see was Frankenweenie. It was about a half hour into the movie that I realized this. Oops. The movie I was looking for. ParaNorman is an enjoyable movie, even if it’s not the movie I meant to watch. I didn’t laugh during it as much as I did during the trailer for Frankenweenie, but it is still a well told story. It’s like The Sixth Sense for kids. Young Norman sees dead people, a lot of dead people. There’s a cool sequence where he’s walking down the street and we see all the ghosts that he sees. It basically turns his quiet suburban commute into the crowded streets of Manhattan. A lot of people are dead, and they all want to talk to Norman. I was surprised to see ParaNorman earn a Best Animated Feature nomination. It was not even in the same league as Wreck-It-Ralph. But I can see why kids would love this movie: ghosts, parents who just don’t understand, kindhearted fat jokes. What more could a kid want? Still, I hope Frankenweenie is...