My joy for today is another date afternoon, with a better movie.
My brother and I had been looking forward to Dark Shadows for a while. Since neither of us are old enough to have seen the original soap opera from the 70’s, we were just pulled in by the Burton/Depp duo, as well as the entertaining “someone from the past is in the present day and doesn’t know about cars, roads, television, etc.” story line. I love that from Hocus Pocus and it was enjoyable in this movie as well. I also adore Michelle Pfeiffer, harkening back from her days as Catwoman in Batman Returns. That was actually the first movie I ever owned, which I obtained at a silent auction in 7th grade. Although it scared me a little, Tim Burton’s Gotham City will always be Gotham to me.
Dark Shadows was enjoyable, and despite having 4 kids at home, I never even checked my phone to see how much time was left. In my opinion, there were several plots and genres happening within this movie, which kept this audience member entertained, yet also confused for a great deal of the movie. From the previews, I thought it was going to be primarily a comedy, yet while watching it I felt it was somewhat in that category, but was also a romance, somewhat of a horror, and a drama. One of the most confusing aspects of the movie was the rules on the supernatural. Let me tell you about just a touch of the confusion: this movie contains a vampire, a witch, a werewolf, several ghosts, and humans, some of which can see ghosts and some cannot. But apparently, vampires cannot kill witches, werewolves cannot kill witches, some ghosts can defeat a witch, a witch doesn’t die, a vampire doesn’t die, a witch can set an entire factory on fire by looking at it, but has to kill people one by one. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout so much of the movie, I felt like I needed a flow chart as to who was the most powerful and what special abilities they possessed.
Again, my astute filmmaking brother suggested that since Tim Burton and Johnny Depp wanted to make this movie based on a beloved, yet somewhat obscure soap opera, they/the studio/the Hollywood powers-that-be decided to make it at this moment in time, in order to ride the coattails of the vampire phenomenon. Personally, I have totally avoided that craze until now. I have not seen or read any of The Twilight saga, but while watching this movie, I felt that if I knew a little more about the rules of vampires, some of the plots in Dark Shadows would have been easier to understand.
With all that being said, this movie was fun. In a lot of ways, I felt that it encompassed what we need as moviegoers a great deal of the time, which is a simple escape. For a little under two hours, I was enthralled by Tim Burton’s Collinsport and Johnny Depp’s Barnabas Collins. It was a lovely way to start Mother’s Day weekend, and to rejuvenate me to come home to put my precious little ones to bed and appreciate my family. Like Barnabas says, “Blood is thicker than water.”
Enjoy your joys for today.