I don't get this blatant hate on Tim Burton's Dark Shadows remake.
by, 28th March 2012 at 03:10 AM (1714 Views)
First of all, you should know that I'm a open Burtonist and pretty much in favor of everything he produces. I AM BIASED IN HIS FAVOR. Helena Bonham Carter is my favorite actress, and I could probably recognize their children in a crowd. When a new Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter collaboration is announced, the consistent anticipation is basically the highlight of my year. I'm already working on reserving tickets to the midnight premiere at what I was told is the largest IMAX screen in North America.
But still, I feel inclined to point out the absolute blatant hate that this movie is getting for no reason, and before it is even out. Honestly, this feels like another case of the Wind Waker effect, like when The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was degraded by supposed "hardcore" fans before it even was released, due to its cel-shaded graphics style which some fans immediately regarded as a (quote) "baby-easy kiddie game." The game turned out to be one of the most difficult in the entire series.
I think the Dark Shadows situation can be applied to this effect also. People constantly recite the proverb "don't judge a book by its cover" but then turn around and proceed to do just that. You cannot judge an entire film by its trailer and two one minute-or-less TV spot ads. Are these fans of the original soap opera who are pissed that the film seems to encompass lots of eccentric humor? Given that Johnny Depp was cast as an out-of-place vampire in a 1970's anachronism-stew setting, I ask what they were really expecting. Aside from this, Tim has also publicly stated that he approaches everything in a serious manner, and humor falls in along the way. He even opts "for gonzo comedy that should please many, but may rile, fans of the original soap opera."
The comedy situation was also, at least in my opinion, probably played up by the marketing department. Obviously, comedy is the number one appeal for a summer movie in terms of box office. Their angle has got to be along the lines of "Oh look everybody, Johnny Depp is being silly again just like in all those wacky Pirates of the Caribbean shenanigans!" From what I can tell from the movie posters, Tim has given the film a dark gothic horror theme much like the original series, and sloshed on lots of fun black comedy. I.e., what he does great in all of his films. Just look:
The ambition here really looks like playing the film up to the notion that Tim's intention was to stay true to the soap opera, and add his own imaginative twists. I really don't think the film should be something to be lumped in with the other terrible romantic comedies that are bound to hit the screen this summer, along with what, probably a bunch of old films in 3D, or sequels.
The people primarily complaining about this films because of its originality are surely the same people who were overtly satisfied with the somewhat run-of-the-mill Alice in Wonderland a few years. Did they really want a carbon copy of the soap opera? Have we transcended to that whole new level of film mediocrity yet? I hope not. As a Burtonophile and Helenaist, it's difficult and sad to think about it from that perspective.
The hate I just can't comprehend. Be happy with a new Tim/Johnny/Helena collaboration, honestly. Beggars can't be choosers.
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