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Thread: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

  1. #16
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac K. View Post
    Sure you can. Where it's a bit harder is in taking a soap opera like Dark Shadows and making it feel original enough for modern audiences. Virtually every storyline Dan Curtis used was lifted from classics of horror literature. That was fine for afternoon TV audiences 45 years ago, but if they did another adaptation of the Barnabas/Josette storyline then most moviegoers today would probably accuse the studio of ripping off Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula.
    If you've got a great script, great acting, and great direction, what does the source material being a classic film or a soap opera have to do with it? It isn't harder to make a serious film if the source material is a soap opera. That's just plain silly! And I seriously doubt that the majority of young moviegoers today have ever seen BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. Besides, DARK SHADOWS is so distinct from it, as well as Bram Stoker's original novel, that I can't see anyone but the most stupid seeing DARK SHADOWS as ripping it off. The only similarities Bram Stoker and anything related to his work and DARK SHADOWS bear is the fact that they have vampires.

  2. #17
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Douglas View Post
    I don't think Burton captures spookiness too well with his thick fog machine atmosphere giving all his horror an overbaked Disney-like quality, here I feel a tad disinterest from the cast and some really awkward timing in the humour that is intentional of course but surely must have a limited audience appeal.
    This is rare, but I couldn't agree with you more, Jonathan.

    There is some remote chance that this film might end up being entertaining. But even if that happens, it isn't some weird proof that doing a serious take on the original, soap operatic source material would have bombed or couldn't have been done, or even would have been difficult to do. It would simply have taken a better filmmaker than the redundant Burton has ever been...

  3. #18
    Registered User Mark R. Hill's Avatar
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    Pre-Reviewing Films-What If It Turns Out Good?? / Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Not sure what to say about the modern practice of reviewing a yet to be released film TO DEATH! Also not sure what to think of a potentially incredible director like Tim Burton who has made so many disappointments. I too have been initially put off by the TRAILER we have seen for DARK SHADOWS. But what if, with the 1970s, "fish out of water" elements that SEEM to be presented for the character of Barnabas, Burton goes the direction (for that part) of a parody of the "vampire ball" comedies (VAMPIRE HAPPENING, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, ROCKY HORROR) (That could explain ALICE COOPER being in there!) ***AND PULLS IT OFF***!!! And as for changing elements of a beloved movie franchise/TV show. Have they yet to do a movie remake of an older TV series- and made it completely like it was THEN? (I don't think they have.) And did that flop or make money? I'd like to see just one remake done to TOTALLY appeal to it's ORIGINAL fan base and see what happens.
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  4. #19
    Registered User Isaac K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Quote Originally Posted by cworkman View Post
    If you've got a great script, great acting, and great direction, what does the source material being a classic film or a soap opera have to do with it? It isn't harder to make a serious film if the source material is a soap opera. That's just plain silly! And I seriously doubt that the majority of young moviegoers today have ever seen BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. Besides, DARK SHADOWS is so distinct from it, as well as Bram Stoker's original novel, that I can't see anyone but the most stupid seeing DARK SHADOWS as ripping it off. The only similarities Bram Stoker and anything related to his work and DARK SHADOWS bear is the fact that they have vampires.
    I don't know if you have noticed, but straight up "serious" horror films haven't really done very well at the box office of late. That's why I get the feeling that they've played up the trailer as a comedy perhaps more than it really is. Times have changed quite a bit in 45 years. I love Dark Shadows but I'm just being honest: if taken completely dead pan serious it would have been sure to bomb in today's market. Sure, we cult types would have loved it, and maybe the critics as well, but I just don't think that mainstream audiences would be as jazzed about seeing it. It probably would've topped out at $30 million domestic, if that.

    I wasn't comparing Bram Stoker's novel to Dark Shadows, I was comparing Coppola's film to Dark Shadows. Anyone who has read the book would realize that BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA is not Bram Stoker's DRACULA and that the whole idea of Mina being the reincarnation of Dracula's lost love was ripped off from DARK SHADOWS with Barnabas and Josette. (and perhaps THE MUMMY before that, but because both DRACULA and DS both deal with vamps the comparison is far more obvious.)

  5. #20
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    On the contrary, Isaac, I've noticed that several 'straight-up serious horror films' have done very well at the box office late, and those didn't get anything like the advertising that you KNOW DARK SHADOWS is going to get. Have you seen THE WOMAN IN BLACK, INSIDIOUS, the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films, and THE DEVIL INSIDE? And these films were made on extremely small budgets, and, while one can argue how good they are, they're all serious.

    One thing you may be right about is this: the trailer may play up the comedic elements more than is actually in the film. Some inside sources have said that, while the film does have funny moments, it also has very serious, horrific moments. We'll have to wait and see, and that's why I'm reserving final judgment until after I've actually seen the film. (I'm not a big Burton fan, but I love ED WOOD and SWEENEY TODD, so I know he can knock it out of the ballpark on rare occasion.)

    True, Coppola's version of Bram Stoker's novel is NOTHING like the novel on which it's based (one of many reasons it stinks), but it's also not a whole lot like DARK SHADOWS, other than the fact that contains a vampire and a reincarnation subplot. DARK SHADOWS had all kinds of elements that are not in Coppola's film. And again, I doubt many young people today have ever seen BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA in the first place to make even the mildest of comparisons between the two. And many of the older people who have seen BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA are generally aware of DARK SHADOWS and its basic plot. Then there are people like my parents: They aren't horror fans in the least, but they seem to know everything about DARK SHADOWS and nothing about BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA...

  6. #21
    Registered User Scott P's Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    To tell you the truth, I'm a big fan of Coppola's Dracula. However it isn't really the book and Coppola seems to have misread the themes of Stokers work: Dracula was all about lust, not love. People called it a love story because they weren't allowed to called it a lust story. In the past if was very common to disguise stories about sex as love stories or romance. Dracula (to me at any rate) was all about lust (in particular lust for that which you cannot have, in this case Mina, a married woman) and the conflict between passion and responsibility: Dracula represents a lust and passion minus any responsibility, he just goes about satisfying his lusts with no heed to the cost to others or himself (look at the way he's reduced to living when Harker first meets him). Van Helsing, on the other hand, represents a responsibility devoid of much in the way of passion. He cannot defeat Dracula alone because he needs Johnathan and Mina who embody attributes of both passion and responsibility; and are stronger in the end then either Dracula or Van Helsing. I'll get off my soapbox now.

    In any event, I haven't ever seen a true adaptation of the book. All version deviate quite severely from it, and so far no one has done justice to the sequence on the ship.

    Opps, I forget to talk about Dark Shadows. But that's kind of hard when I haven't really seen the original show much, and haven't watched the movies in years.

  7. #22
    Registered User Brian W's Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Burton couldn't make a Horror film if he tried.

  8. #23
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    I find most of Tim Burton's films tend to look the same, sound the same and feel the same, you could probably piece 15 minutes from each film, stick them altogether and be fooled into thinking it was all part of the same film you were watching.

  9. #24
    Registered User Isaac K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    To tell you the truth, I'm a big fan of Coppola's Dracula. However it isn't really the book and Coppola seems to have misread the themes of Stokers work: Dracula was all about lust, not love. People called it a love story because they weren't allowed to called it a lust story. In the past if was very common to disguise stories about sex as love stories or romance. Dracula (to me at any rate) was all about lust (in particular lust for that which you cannot have, in this case Mina, a married woman)
    Granted it's been 20 years since I read the novel, but from what I got from it at the time is that there was nothing particularly loving OR lustful about Dracula towards Mina. Dracula took Mina purely as revenge for Van Helsing and Harker destroying Lucy, who he considered his property. He contaminated her with his foulness by forcing her to drink his blood (in essence, RAPE) and then left her uncaringly and returned to Transylvania. To my recollection nobody has EVER treated Dracula as the rapist he really was on film.

  10. #25
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    You also have directors like Almodovar who did cross horror and melodrama recently with The Skin I Live In.

    And serious movies based on the past like Hugo and The Artist were recently a success as well.

    They must be regretting the inbuilt market they would have for a serious adaptation of this property from recent successful movies.

    And Tim Burton should know better when he started the more serious remake genre with his original Batman's and Ed Wood.
    Last edited by Marc K; 04-05-2012 at 01:00 AM. Reason: Edit

  11. #26
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    I was surprised to see it was a comedy, but if it's by the guy who made "Beetlejuice" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure'. I'm there.

  12. #27
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Simon View Post
    I was surprised to see it was a comedy, but if it's by the guy who made "Beetlejuice" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure'. I'm there.
    Too bad for you it's by the guy who made "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Alice in Wonderland".

  13. #28
    Moderator? Troy Howarth's Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    As I noted in another thread, I didn't think this worked at all. Depp is very good, and I enjoyed the Lee cameo, but it's too arch and too flatfooted to be effective as comedy. The shifts in tone are just plain jarring, truly, and it builds to a climax that's all bluff and bluster. I guess Burton fans will enjoy it more, but I truly am not in that camp - and this one merely served to drive that point home even further.
    "One cannot 100% trust a screenshot that someone else made."

  14. #29
    Registered User Scott P's Avatar
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    The film was entertaining but it could have been a lot better. It drifted too much between comedy and horror so that it wasn't quite that funny and never quite that serious. Also,

    *spoiler* the revelation that the daughter was a werewolf came out of left field, there should have been some hints earlier in the film that all was not as it seemed with her. She did make an adorable werewolf, though.

  15. #30
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    Re: Tim Burton's Dark Shaddows

    That reveal was a groaner of epic proportions, and the one liner the character utters when it comes about was totally out of place. The script is problematic, but Burton's approach is even more problematic for me.
    "One cannot 100% trust a screenshot that someone else made."

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