benedict cumberbatch

What the Hell Did I Just Watch: Dark Shadows Film Review

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Last night I reeeeeeally didn’t want to cook. Whenever I don’t want to cook on a week day I use it as an excuse to go to the Alamo Drafthouse. In Austin, and now numerous other cities, to go to the Alamo means getting dinner and a movie all at once for a reasonable price without having to put up with other peoples’ crappy, crappy children.

There are a number of movies coming out this summer that I’m very excited about.

MIB III. Oh, fuck yeah, I’m gonna see this!…at some point.

Moonrise Kingdom. Can. Not. Wait. I’m currently stalking tickets for this because, even though today is its opening, it is no where to be found in the Austin area.

Prometheus. I don’t have to explain this.

Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller. This is only available on June 6th and 7th. I’m still searching for a theater that will feature this incredible piece.

And those are just the movies coming out between today and June 8th.

Yeah, I mean, the MIB III is a little shameful, but everything else I am truly excited for. Which is why I allowed myself of seeing Dark Shadows last night: to promote Tim Burton’s career. This is a review of said film.

Photo Credit SomeLikeItRetro

Dark Shadows is the tale of Victoria Winters and the Collins family set in the small sea side town of Collinsport, Maine. Once a wealthy shipping and canning family, the Collins have fallen from their former glory in the eighteenth century to the town outcasts in the 1970’s. The very few remaining Collins still reside in the original mansion of two hundred rooms though only Elizabeth Collins Stockard, the matriarch without husband, her dishonest, slimey brother Roger Collins, Elizabeth’s daughter Carolyn, and Roger’s son David are all of the Collins name that remain. Also living in the home are two caretakers who provide minimal comic relief and Dr. Julia Hoffman, a psychiatrist hired to aid David work through the tragic death of his mother whom he believes is still living. Victoria Winters, an assumed name she adapted in an effort to forget her horrifying past and build a new future, is drawn to the Collins family through outside powers to accept a governess position for David. The story is entertaining, though flawed, and blatantly left open-ended; a sequel, however, is highly doubtful.

In usual Burton form, Dark Shadows is visually appealing, colorful, feeds your inner child. Johnny Depp, coming into his own as a deeply true character actor, transforms into a creepy, bloodthirsty, and honest Barnabus Collins with an excellent post-Britain/New Colonies accent that never falters. Just as well done was Johnny Lee Miller, perfect as the philandering, sleazy uncle, Helena Bonham Carter, playing a psychiatrist and her hangovers as an art form, Bella Heathcote acting both the delicate and beautiful Victoria Winters and Josette, and Eva Green perfectly portraying the vengeful Angelique, and all flawlessly hiding their own native accents from England, Australia, and France.

Photo Credit INeedMyFix.com

With the exception of Chloe Moretz (something I never thought I’d have to say about her) the acting was fantastic and, in fact, my favorite was Michelle Pfieffer – her acting through looks alone could kill. I always expect Johnny Depp’s characters to become how he personally portrays them, the way Santa Claus has become what Coca Cola has dictated, something done so well that it is that which is committed to memory above any prior notions. Eva Green is evil, vengeful, and immensely seductive as the witch Angelique, the scorned lover of Barabus, who is hell bent on ruin all Collins family members until the end of time. Gulliver McGrath as David Collins was fleetingly wonderful, simply not in the film enough, where as Moretz’s overly dramatic and poorly timed teenage angst was rubbed in our faces far too much. In fact, without revealing any spoilers, I will go so far to say that her entire character could have been scratched from the script without having any impact on the story.

The story starts off at a rapid pace. We learn quickly that Barnabus is easily swayed by pretty flesh though his heart is not. Once in the ’70’s, the roles of those living in the Collins Manor are played so thickly that their actions become a bit predictable all too soon. Some bits are over played (we get it, an eighteenth century vampire attempting to reconcile disco is super silly, the sex scene is hysterical, but does it have to go on for so long?), but other characters that have depth and mystery about them, such as Victoria and David are barely touched upon. The actors did the best they could with the script they were given, with the exception of Moretz, who, again, wasn’t really necessary to the story at all.

Photo credit BlogOfDarkShadows.com

Unfortunately, good acting is not enough, nor is a performance by Alice Cooper and excellent costuming. Dark Shadows does not need to be seen in theaters. It simply doesn’t. It’s entertaining if you’re a fan of Buton’s work and worth seeing at home once it’s streaming through Netflix, but it lacks the heart breaking beauty of Sweeney Todd or the larger than life characters of Beetlejuice or Peewee’s Big Adventure that are simply art in a theater. The laughs are primarily small chuckles and some characters that are very interesting are barely seen making the veiwer come away wanting more, but not in the form of a sequel. That being said, I am deeply interested in his Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, also due out this year, and will not hesitate to see it when it arrives at my local Alamo Drafthouse.

Today I turn 30 and – OH MY GOD STAR TREK NEWS!!!

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I was going to do this post about life and crap, and maybe I still will later, but for now…

SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to hear about Star Trek 2 RIGHT NOW, then go away.

Okay?

Good. It’s about to get real.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH IS KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

I mean, we knew that. You knew it, I knew it, we all felt it. Like falling in love with someone you shouldn’t. People deny it, tell you it’s wrong, but you wake up in the morning and there it is:

Cumberbatch is Khan.

Awesome.

A big thank you to Sarah B. for making my morning a little more exciting.

Get Out of My Poppin’ Way: Dark Shadows, Sherlock, Hunger Games + More

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Argh.

I finally had the interview for the job I truly, truly want and I’m not sure it went super well… it went okayish, but I don’t think it went exactly awesome. I just wanted to blurt out “I want this job more than anyone else you’ll ever interview and the work I’ll produce will prove it!”…but what kind of crazy bitch would do that? So, I’m kinda pissy. On top of the job search, it’s SXSW, the time of year when my town is both awesome and super annoying. So, I’ve been busy. I’m throwing out some bytes and moving on until a weekend recipe comes up. It’ll be thrilling. I think.

*First things first: The first trailer for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows has been released. It’s…well, it’s not like the original series, that’s for sure. Oh, is Helena Bonham Carter in it, too? Oh, good, ’cause I’ve always wanted to see her do a movie with Depp. It’s going to do as well as his stuff normally does, i.e. you’re going to see it because you love Tim Burton, or it might peak your interest a bit, or you’re not a Burton fan so you’re just going to pass. I, of course, will see it. See the trailer below.

* Going back to SXSW, let it be known that it was here in Austin that Joss Whedon announced a sequel of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog is on its way. Dr. Horrible sat in my Netflix cue for the longest time. It took forever for me to get around to watching it. I’m not normally into stuff like that (Glee can kiss my shiny, metal ass), but I was thrilled once I finally sat and watched it. My one disappointment was its brevity. It’s hysterical and well worth the hype. A continuation of the story is definitely an exciting prospect. [Wired]

*Remember when you read Ender’s Game in junior high? Well, some punk kid made a complaint against his teacher reading it aloud, claiming the content was “pornographic”. We are raising a bunch of entitled sissies. Suing is entirely too easy and this twerp just ruined his teacher’s life over a book that has been deemed suitable for school children 12 years of age and older for well over two decades. We’re reaching a point where being appropriate will wind up being entirely too sheltered. This really sickens me. If they think Ender’s Game is pornographic, they must think Hunger Games is down right hardcore bukake. [Blastr]

* If you haven’t watched the BBC’s Sherlock, stop wasting your life on the internet and go watch it right now. Amazing, thrilling intelligent, very well directed, love, Love, LOVE. And, thankfully, a third series will be upon us soon!…Well, I say “soon.” Perhaps “eventually” would be better. Alright, you want to know the truth? We will all see both parts of The Hobbit before we get to see the next series of Sherlock. BUT at least we’ll be able to get our Sherlock Holmes and Watson fix in the form of Smaug and Bilbo, respectively. No, you’re right, that’s not much consolation at all. [NME]

* How cool is Gillian Anderson? So cool that she turned down a role in Downton Abbey. Lady Cora’s got nothing on this stone cold fox. I don’t look at this as a mistake on Anderson’s part; I look at it as her solidifying her BadAssed-ness. It’s a word. I’m sure that’s a word. [Metro]

* Mario isn’t just a video game character. He and his tall, thin, clumsy brother are an intricate part of my childhood. I would tend to disagree, however, that they are the world’s greatest piece of surreal art. In a new show on PBS’s Idea Channel, the Mario Bros. are scrutinized in an entirely new light. Entertainment in a new scope. I don’t play video games to waste time – I do it for ART! Watch below.

* Eugene Fomin over at Ugo.com has compiled a list of Doctor Who‘s most famous guest stars. Simon Pegg is near the top of a very short list of Plan B guys if this whole marriage thing doesn’t work out, so Pegg’s a natural favorite guest star of mine, though it is pretty funny to see Rowan Atkinson with long flowing hair. [Ugo]

* And, finally, the newest clip released from the Hunger Games  is of a scene that any fan of the books can tell you was not in the original novel. It is, however, a good summarization that could help the storyline if, over the course of what I assume will be a trilogy of movies, the producers decide to cut some necessary points. Watch below.

Poptastic 4 U: Hunger Games, CumberbaTch, Hobbit News, & More

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I’m poppish and I know it.

*Ugh, new Hunger Games. I can’t wait for this movie. I am a nerd for this movie. I already have tickets to a showing (no, not midnight – I’m nerdy, but I’m also old). A spot aired on TV last night and, being a fan of the book, I have immediate reservations about it. Yes, I’m one of those asses that has problems when a movie doesn’t follow the book, i.e. the opening 4 seconds of this new trailer. Still excited, though. I’m mostly faux indignant. I do  love the newest clip I’ve posted below the District 12 focused trailer.

*Speaking of The Hunger Games, a new report shows that even though the movie based on the young adult novel of the same name doesn’t come out for another three weeks, it may already be more popular that Twilight. I’m assuming it’s because The Hunger Games isn’t crap. …Did I mention I already have my tickets? [Blastr]

* Do I care about Top Chef? Not really. You see, living in Austin means I have access to more restaurants, and tattoo parlors, per capita than any other American city. I’ve been lucky enough to go to Uchiko a number of times. Their social hour is fantastic, the $6 Ham & Eggs of katsu pork belly served with yolk custard and espelette is amazing. This doesn’t even touch on their fish caramel sauce and maguro sashimi paired with goat cheese, fuji apple, pumpkin seed oil, and black pepper. It’s an incredible delight to sit there for hours tasting a million different things that you never dreamed were possible. So it was no surprise to me that Uchikos head creator, Paul Qui, won Top Chef recently. He may have “…felt pressure to win”, but that’s probably because everyone in Austin expected him to do so. [TV Guide]

*Wish there was a way for those Girl Scout Cookies to stick to your ass even faster? Well, yearn no more: You can soon get Girl Scout Cookie CHOCOLATE BARS! How about a Thin Mint Crunch Bar? No? Well, personally I’m holding out hope for a Samoa Reese’s cup. I’d call it a Katie Cookie FatAss Chunk. It would be awesome! Apparently the Thin Mint Crunch will be available in June. And who’s spreading this rumor, you might wonder? Why none other than the Girl Scouts of America themselves! [HuffingtonPost]

* You can take the Lindsey Lohan out of a train wreck, but you can’t take the train wreck out of the Lohan. I think that’s just about the nicest way I could word that. And, just for the record, I loved Mean Girls. In an attempt to ‘slum it’, Matt Lauer interviewed Lohan on the Today show. And in an attempt at a ‘come back’, Lohan…tried to have a coherent conversation. Ugh. It’s rough to watch and her hair only adds to the sad situation she’s in.  [BuzzFeed]

* I want to live in Middle Earth the same way I want to work at Hogwarts. I’ll happily take being employed at a museum while living in New Zealand in exchange for that which does not exist. And this has absolutely nothing to do with Peter Jackson’s newest video production diary entry about The Hobbit! Is it me or is Andy Serkis getting kind of hot? Jackson is currently working on Part II of The Hobbit, no spoilers of which we’re able to see in the video. Many of the dwarves discuss their experiences and you get to see Hobbiton, which is beautiful beyond imagination, but you don’t really want to read me talking about it – you’d much rather watch it, right? See below.

* It’s about damn time: Johnny Depp is finally working on The Lone Ranger. The film will be coming to us from Walt Disney Studios and also stars – surprise, surprise – Helena Bonham Carter. I know: because we’ve all wondered what it would be like to see Depp and Bonham Carter in a film together and now we’ll finally get the chance. Depp will be Tonto to Armie Hammer’s John Reid, and Ranger will hit theaters in May 2013. [USAToday]

* Global warming is upon us. Our presidential candidates are an all new low of human scum. It is a leap year and the year the Mayans believed the world would end. But more than anything else, 2012 will be known as The Year of the CumberbaTch. He was Sherlock, he will be Smaug, and he’s currently portraying the new Star Trek villain. That’s not to mention War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, both of which were up for Academy Awards. No, there’s nothing that Brit can’t do apparently. Oh, wait. He can’t keep his mouth shut. In a recent interview with MTV, CumberbaTch notes that he couldn’t stop giggling while on The Hobbit set. He’s just such good besties with Martin Freeman, who portrays both Watson and Bilbo, that his pal’s hobbit get up kept causing the confident Englishman to burst into laughter. Very mature. A brief excerpt of the interview is below. [MTV]

* COMIC CON BADGES GO ON SALE THIS WEEKEND! Every year I get soooo excited for this. And every year I don’t go. I’ve never been to a Con and I feel sad and pathetic for it. I don’t know if I even truly want to go to SDCC at this point; it’s massively popular meaning there are too many people for too small a space, Hollywood has stepped in to make it less Comic-focussed and more Con-the-people-esque. Maybe I’ll drag my ass to Dragon Con one day, but I will always dream of SDCC before and after. Doesn’t really seem fair to DC, huh? [LATimes]

* Artist/Genius Igor Kieryluk decided to take it upon himself to imagine what the characters of Batman would look like if they were active during the Renaissance. Just check out Two Face below. [BuzzFeed]

Photo credit BuzzFeed

* Yet another ‘Worst Idea Ever’ is coming out of that stink pit known as Hollywood. A remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation is heading back to the big screen in the form of a remake. I couldn’t care less about this, so I’m ending it here: LAME. [DenOfGeek]

* Speaking of Hollywood, Netflix’s contract with Starz is coming to and end. Roughly translated this means that you have one week left to watch anything in your queue that’s a Starz feature. More than 800 titles will be soon to leave Netflix, so get off your ass and…and go sit on it, to watch some good family fun before it’s unavailable. Starz and Netflix were unable to reach a deal regarding pricing. Awesome. [SlashFilm]

* I once made my father an apron of questionable taste, as ironed onto it were the words “Heil to the Chef”. But aprons don’t have to just be plain or funny. They can also be hot as hell, as proven by Etsy store Nerd Alert. Love2Right came up with fantastically themed aprons including Harry Potter, Portal, and Super Heroes – oh, so many Super Heroes! My personal favorites are Wolverine and the Link aprons, but the S-Mart one is pretty great, too! By far the best thing about these aprons? They’re super affordable! [GeeksAreSexy]

* I have to tell you: Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. I’ve written about it, sure, but let it be know he is a stupid, stupid man. Birth control has nothing to do with prostitution, is not prostitution, and a man who confuses the two has no place in any role of authority or power. Just the latest news in his long term goal of proving himself a Class-A Moron. [BuzzFeed]

* And, finally, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie trailer has finally hit the web. Both the new trailer AND the original 1984 movie in its entirety are below. Enjoy.

Pop It Up: Sherlock, Bizarro Hobbit, & More

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* Remember that time that William Shatner said that Star Trek was way more popular that Star Wars. And then Carrie Fisher told him he was out of his ego maniacal mind and stated that Star Wars was, in fact, better? And then George Takei tried to make peace by awesomely stating that they should join forces and both fight against those craptacular Twilight films? Well, Shatner has now created a response to dear, sweet Takei. Let’s watch!

* DrFaustusAU of Deviant art created works depicting Seuss inspired Batman comics. A beautiful, perfect mashup. Each shows an easily recognizable Batman character in an undeniable Seuss style. [BuzzFeed]

* Robot Chicken will be airing its 100th episode this week. To celebrate they’ve set up a live webcam where fans can watch the actions of a robot and a chicken in a wee little hotel room. It’s a real robot and real chicken. And it’s adorable. [RobotChicken]

*Want to see a super bizarre animated Czech version of the Hobbit? Okay! [Blastr]

* Eight new stills from the upcoming Hunger Games movie have hit the internet to feed the over excited spoiler beast that dwells within all of us.  [DenOfGeek]

* It’s no secret that I’m a huge Sherlock fan. And not just ’cause I’m chubby, I mean I really love Sherlock. So, I’m over the moon that the spectacular, gripping, and beautifully shot drama has been signed to a third series! I just wish it aired sooner in the States. BBC1 is currentlyairing Sherlock series 2 over in the UK, but it won’t air here until May. It will be on PBS, though, so even I, a fan without cable, will be able to catch it. [Zap2It]

* Parks and Rec just got even cooler: Paul Rudd will be playing Leslie Knope’s city council opponent on upcoming episodes! Rudd has perfect timeing, an excellent knack for improv, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him bounce off Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Actually, I’m pretty sure that if SNL wanted to throw together a skit of just Rudd and “Ron Swanson” Offerman it would be a viral hit in no time. Just when I thought I couldn’t get more addicted to this show… [NYMag]

* Love Downton Abbey? Perhaps it’s because there’s something familiar about it. And it seems even Hollywood isn’t immune to the harsh economic times. In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, it was stated that roughly 60% of Downton‘s costumes are recycled from other shows and movies. Even still, many of the dresses and costumes have been adapted and are barely recognizable from their previous turns on screen. If I were an actress I’d find it extra thrilling, having a bit of vintage and historical movie magic in the dresses I got to wear each day. Of course, I’d probably be so light headed from starving myself to fit into said dress that I wouldn’t even be able to remember my own name let alone be excited about who might have worn my outfit previously…  [DailyMail]

* They’ve finally made it: An Alien vs. Predator chess set. In sharp detail and color, and even some almost clear pieces for the Predator’s side, the board was created by Deviant Artist Joker Laugh. Don’t act like you don’t want it. [iO9]

* The new season of East Bound and Down hits Sunday, February 19th. Here’s a trailer to tease us until then.

* Star Wars: Underworld. I’m not crazy about the name. Underworld is just to reminiscent of those terrible Kate Beckinsale movies that are forever needlessly in theaters. But this is the titled rumored for the Star Wars live-action series. In an interview with IGN George Lucas stated that this series would take place between Episode Puke – I mean, Episode Three and what we purists know as Star Wars, i.e. Episode four. [Blastr]

* Jeff Tweedy’s kids are growing up and to prove it, his eldest son made a music video…for his dad’s band. Spencer Tweedy created the video for  Wilco’s song “Whole Love”. [StereoGum]

Pop To It: Star Trek, Star Wars, Dark Knight Meets the Lion King, & More!

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* I’m not going to delay this. Everyone everywhere needs to watch this Lion King/Dark Knight Rises right now. It’s genius and brought to us by Moviemaestroten at YouTube.

* Worst. Food Promotion. Ever. Burger King has had the fabulous idea to offer a Dark Side Burger and a Jedi Knight burger in honor of Star Wars 3D. I really, really hope they decide against the black bun. [BuzzFeed]

* Just in case you haven’t heard, Ab Fab is back in a big, beautiful way. Jennifer Saunders discusses it’s rebirth, smoking, and aging with Vulture Magazine. [NYMag]

Photo credit BestMoviesEverNews

* Wheel of Fish never had anything this awesome. A blue fin tuna recently sold at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market for $736,000. At weighing in at 593 pounds, that fish wound up costing about $1,238 a pound. And I’m sure every bit of it is delicious. Mmm… [Inquistr]

* The New York Times had to issue a correction recently due to an error in a story from last week. And it was spectacular, hysterical. I’m honestly glad they took the time to correct something that was important to those they feature in a front page story. See the clipping below. [BestWeekEver]

Photo credit Kerri Hicks

* Welcome to something I like to call “The Grossest Thing Ever.”  Apparently the new teen fad is Vodka tampons. No, they’re not soaking up vodka with tampons to drink later. Teens are soaking up vodka with tampons and inserting them into their vaginas for a quick, mild buzz. According to the article, boys can also do this, too, through something called Butt Chugging. I’m not kidding. My favorite part of this little expose, however, was when Dr. Lisa Masterson said that the practice of vodka tampon use would “…literally destroy the vagina.” I like to imagine Jim Gaffigan dressed as a woman doing his Hot Pocket skit, but replacing “It will literally destroy your mouth.” with the above quote from Doc Masterson. Awesome. [HuffPostCA]

* A new Doctor Who rumor has hit the interwebs. As we all know, Amy Pond and Rory Williams out – heart breakingly – out. Word on the street is that the new sidekick might be none other than, Miranda Hart, an actress I know best as Diplomatic Officer Chloe Alice Teal of Hyperdrive. She’s funny, punky. She may not be my first pick for a replacement, but I’m not too sure I have one…’cept for maybe Gwen Cooper. [Blastr]

* Benedict Cumberbatch is going to be the new villain in the Star Trek sequel! I am over the moon about this! I can’t wait to see his Smaug and now I get him in Star Trek. Just fantastic, very exciting! I think 2011 is really going to be his year. [MTVNews]

* Speaking of Star Trek AND Doctor Who, ex-Who sidekick Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) is also rumored to have signed on to the sequel. I loved him…until he got all up in Martha Jones, who I couldn’t stand. There’s going to be a number of cocky, villainous gazing come that movie. [Variety]

* And, finally, Portlandia performs Salt n Pepa’s Push It

New Sherlock Series 2 Trailer…Missing

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Still to be unfound, the newest Sherlock Series 2 trailer continues to elude, and Steven Moffat has been unclear on whether the damn thing did actually air last night after The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe.

In an attempt to make good, Screen Rant has compiled three of the trailers released since August of Series 2 Sherlock. But they’re rather pretentious and boring, aren’t they? Let’s just watch clips.

Oh, alright. One trailer, then.