Saturday, 12 May 2012

"Dark Shadows" by Tim Burton

"The legend of the vampire has been told for centuries capturing the dark shadows of our imagination and inspiring filmmakers and actors to breath new life into the undead; but there's never been a vampire like Barnabas Collins".

As you can see I come back to talk about Tim Burton, and more specifically about his latest film, called "Dark Shadows", which has been translated to Spanish as "Sombras Tenebrosas". Then, "Little Dark Burtons" is the name I have just thought to name Tim Burton's fans (If you do not like it just comment and propose a new one).

"Dark Shadows" film was released yesterday, March 11th in most of the countries including the United States. However, in other countries it was released on May 9th or May 10th; and finally in some others it will be released before June 22nd.

To put it in a nusthell, "Dark Shadows" tells the story of an uncommon family of which some members are rejected for being different and having special skills, so they start a quest to try to find a real home. This is the reason why I think that the motto which is included in the poster of the film is totally appropriate: "Strange is relative".

In this film the story starts in 1750 and ends in 1972; when Sir Barnabas Collins wakes up. For me, this is the funniest moment; when he is re-discovering the world and everything is new and odd for him, and at the same time he is strange for everyone who knows him.
The script of this film is based on a homonym TV series created by Dan Curtis, and more specifically a soap opera (which means a series of television programmes about the lives and problems of a particular group of characters) that was originally released from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971.

In fact, the names of the characters of the film are basically the same as the series ones; although "Dark Shadows" TV series included a longer list of characters. Next I will attach the pictures of the characters of the 2012 film:

The main character is Barnabas Collins, that is played by Johnny Depp, who is included in the cast of most of Tim Burton's films. That is why we can consider Depp as Tim Burtons Muse. In my opinion his performance is excellent in this film as well as in former ones. He is a seducer.

This beautiful girl is the French actress Eva Green, who plays the role of Angelique Rouchard in the film. This is the tenth time she acts in a long film and she won a BAFTA prize in the fourth one. As you can see by the fictitious surname, she is not a member of The Collins family. No need to say that she is also a seducer.

She is Victoria Winters, and the Australian actress Isabella Heathcote in the real life. Of course, she is neither part of Collins family. Before working for Tim Burton, she acted in five films.

Helena Bonham Carter plays the part of Julia Hoffman; and yes, she is Tim Burtons wife and she has a long career as an actress with many awards.

She is the American actress Chloê Grace Moretz (aged 15 currently) who already counts with several awards; playing the part of Carolyn Stoddard in "Dark Shadows".
Gulliver McGrath is also Australian and in "Dark Shadows" his name is David Collins. Where are their parents?

Her real name is Michelle Marie Pfeiffer and she is Californian. She plays the part of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. She also has a large filmography as an actress, including a role in a Martin Scorsese's film.

The English actor Jonathan Lee Miller is a secondary actor in this film, where he plays the part of Roger Collins. Of course he has acted in many films.

And last but not least, the American Jackie Earle Haley is Willie Loomis in this film.

Before ending this film critic, I would like to add something that could go unnoticed for many people. This film has been rated PG- 13 in most of the countries. However in Spain  and maybe other countries the rate is PG- 7. I do not know why did they choose to change it, but I consider it is a wrong decision because it shows comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use and smoking; which is something that children should not see.

The next animated film Tim Burton is going to direct is called "Frankenweenie", which is expected to be released on October 2012. Actually, it is the adaptation of the homonym short film that he also directed. This is its official poster:

Upcoming, he is also a producer on the fantasy horror thriller "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," opening this summer, and "Big Eyes," a drama about painter Margaret Keene, starring Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds.

To conclude I would like to invite you to watch this fantastic tale that lasts for one hour and fifty three minutes approximately, and comment if you do not agree with my opinion. I believe that "Dark Shadows" is in general terms a good film, especially if you like "Tim Burtons world". In the beginning of the film it came to my mind "Sleepy Hollow" when I saw the scene of the witch doing a charm; but both films are very different in some ways.

What I like most about Tim Burton is not the way in which he uses narrative resources but the staging of his films and even more the characters he creates, because they have a special personality and they show it in the way they are dressed. Then, if you do not like Tim Burtons films may be because you do not like those worlds or because you do not identify oneself with the story or with any of its characters; which is respectable. Everything is full of dark shadows in Tim Burtons worlds.

"And what a bewitching corpse he makes in "Dark Shadows,"  Mr. Burton’s most pleasurable film in years." The New Tork Times


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