Dark Shadows

When this movie was first announced, I thought it sounded like some really warped, twisted horror film. It’s the title. When the first trailer came out I was pleasantly surprised, and giggled all the way through it.

I enjoyed the film, however I did feel it lacked something. Maybe it needed a little more character development, I don’t know. What’s sad is that the trailer is fantastic, and the movie just misses the mark, maybe because the scenes in the trailer, when taken out of context are hysterical, but in the movie they fizzled a bit.

I did love that it was set in the 70’s, it gave the film a marvellous flavour and vibrant aesthetic. I also loved the Collinwood Mansion, it was an incredibly detailed set, over the top ornate carvings that so easily could have been gaudy and over the top, but managed not to be. I mean seriously, giant Seahorse statues on the outside of the mansion, can easily make it look kitschy but for some reason didn’t.

I enjoyed Johnny Depp as Barnabus Collins, you couldn’t see any Captain Jack Sparrow in his mannerisms. However I did find him a bit lacking. Maybe because they didn’t deal with Barnabus’s self hatred of what he is, and his inner turmoil with feeding on humans to live. In this regard I have seen these problems dealt with better in the Twilight Saga and Vampire Diaries, plus the golden oldies, Angel, Blade and Interview with a Vampire. Now these films and shows knew how to deal with the vampire with a conscience. Dark Shadows dealt lightly with the issue, and Barnabus fed too easily, and with not enough self loathing and remorse. Edward and Angel had it in spades.

I enjoyed Eva Green as the evil witch who Barnabus spurned. She was a fun villain. She also had great clothes. The way her immortality was dealt with reminded me of Death Becomes Her (1992) starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis with hair, and Goldie Hawn. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn’s bodies become similar to that of a doll, their movements rigid and spastic, the same kind of movements Eva Green starts to make in the final battle.

I also enjoyed Chloe Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, she was fantastically monotone with lots of lip. Sometimes I wondered if the character was high or not. She had spunk and sarcasm galore.

This was an enjoyable movie; it also aroused my curiosity about the original series made in 1966. What’s interesting is that this series is credited as the first day time soap show to have supernatural elements. The first supernatural element was the appearance of ghosts, six months into the shows airing and Barnabus Collins only made an appearance in the show a full season in. What I find very interesting is that during its five year run, Dark Shadows managed to produce 1,225 episodes, since it was a daily show; the series has the most episodes in a sc-fi / fantasy series produced for television, surpassing Doctor Who and the entire Star Trek franchise! (And there’s a lot of Star Trek) The series has it all, vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, zombies, a Frankenstein named Adam, drama, mystery, long lost loves, flashbacks, time-travel, parallel universes –  it sounds like the 60’s version of my favourite shows Buffy, Angel and Supernatural. This series sounds like a fun watch, but it would be a daunting undertaking to first locate the series and then sit down and watch it!

The Avengers

Only the most anticipated movie EVER! Fans everywhere have been waiting since 2008, when at the end of Iron Man not only did we get Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, but the hint of an Avengers movie! Iron Man was Marvels first movie that was written and produced by them, so fans accepted that if they were going to make such a promise they would try their hardest to ensure that it would happen. Four years later and an Iron Man sequel another Hulk movie, a Thor and a Captain America film with a sneak peak of the Avengers film later, The Avengers was finally released a week earlier world wide than its American release. I don’t know why this appeals to me, it just does.

So we have a star studded cast, an amazing director and the assurance of stellar special effects. So the question is does Avengers do justice to the hype that surrounds it? My answer is: HELL YES AND A BAG OF CHIPS!! It’s been a long time since I went to a film that not only lived up to its hype, but surpassed it! The Avengers hit the spot, with equal blends of action, comedy, suspense and gob-smacking special effects. I guess that’s the only thing that has really been holding back the superheroes movie genre, the special effects, but Iron Man, Thor and X-men movies have proved that they can been done.

I was really worried that the Avengers wasn’t going to live up to the mass amounts of hype started for it until Joss Whedon was brought on board. Then I didn’t have a single worry, why because: JOSS WHEDON IS GOD. Now not only was I getting and Avengers movie I was getting an Avengers movie scripted and directed by Joss Whedon. We know his genius from Buffy, Firefly and Dollhouse, and I’ve read his run on Astonishing X-men and the Buffy Season 8 comic series, so I know that this guy will know how to deal with superheroes.

One thing that really irritated me was the advertising campaign for the Avengers. Ok so here in SA we didn’t really get much of it, but the internet was lit up lit a Christmas tree with all the trailers for America, Russia, Japan, all the TV spots, there was just too much. I didn’t watch any of it, well maybe 4 no 5 of the earlier trailers, but you have to stop at some point before you spoil the movie for yourself. Like I tried very hard not to watch trailers with the alien enemy in them because I wanted to be surprised, I still haven’t managed to figure out who they are. Obviously alien villains I haven’t read. Oh well. BUT I have finally figured out who the villain is that was shown during the credits! Would you like to know?

So I can’t really speak about the film because most of my favourite bits are kind of spoilery. One of my absolute favourite little moments is during the epic battle at the end of the film, between Thor and Hulk, in Grand Central Station. Let me just say, it was taken straight out of the Avengers cartoon series. Which by the way is a fantastic series, brilliant stories and character development, I can’t wait to watch the second season. I also loved the Shield Base. Was such an epic scene to see in live action!

I loved this film; I cannot wait to see what they have planned next! What would really make my day is if Luke Cage and his wife Jessica Drew, Spiderman and Wolverine were on the cast for the next film. This won’t happen because Marvel doesn’t have the film rights for Wolverine. Wolverine and Spiderman on the Avenger’s roster are such fun. Spiderman is such a fan boy, and brings a lot of witty one liner’s that eases the tension. Wolverine is just awesome, and can be quite funny in his own dark and brooding way. Well one can hope and dream.