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.
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.