Tagged: Jackie Earle Haley

The Dark Tower

Summary: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th August 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Screenwriter: Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Anders Thomas Jensen Stephen King (novel), Jeff Pinkner

Cast: Michael Barbieri (Timmy), Idris Elba (Roland), Kenneth Fok (Johnny), Jackie Earle Haley (Sayre), Nicholas Hamilton (Lucas Hanson, Dennis Haysbert (Steven), Eva Kaminsky (Jill), Caludia Kim (Arra), Fran Kranz (Pimli), Abbey Lee (Tirana), Matthew McConaughey (Walter), Robbie McLean (Toby), Nicholas Pauling (Lon), Leeanda Reddy (Dr. Weizak), Tom Taylor (Jake), Matthew Thomson (Jonah), Lemogang Tshipa (Phedon), Robert Whitehead (Cantab), Kathryn Winnick (Laurie), Jose Zuniga (Dr. Hotchkiss)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification: M

OUR THE DARK TOWER REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

 

Whew… I feel like I have dodged a bullet. Reading reviews before I went into to see The Dark Tower meant I was preparing myself for an abysmal nightmare of a film – one that some critics had labeled the ‘worst film based on a Stephen King novel ever’. So imagine my surprise when I sat down and ended up finding myself watching a fun, intriguing, albeit brief, supernatural action film.

The Dark Tower sees a story that took King seven novels to tell told in a film that clocks in at just over an hour and a half. It begins with New York being rocked by earthquakes that have experts confused. Meanwhile, young Jake (Tom Taylor – Doctor Foster, Legends) is having terrible nightmares in which he sees a Dark Tower and dark characters including a Gunslinger and a man in dark jacket. Jake’s mother, Laurie (Kathryn Winnick – Vikings, Love & Other Drugs) is convinced that the dreams are the result of the trauma of Jake’s father dying while on duty as a firefighter and seeks medical advice for him.

However, soon the jigsaw pieces start falling into place for Jake. The earthquakes are being caused by the man in the black jacket… aka Walter (Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club) using children’s minds in horrific experiments to try and bring down The Dark Tower – a tower that prevents the darkness of other worlds taking over our own dimension. The only man who can stop Walter is the last known gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba – Prometheus, Zootopia) who is haunted by the fact that Walter has killed everybody that has ever meant anything to him.

Walter then realises that with Jake’s psychic ability he has the one mind that can bring down the Dark Tower so he orders all his minions to go after Jake who has found Roland… cue the music for the battle to end all battles.

When you put everything into perspective director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair, Truth About Men) and his screenwriters have actually done a pretty good job at making The Dark Tower work. Putting seven novels worth of work into one relatively short feature film has taken a mountain or work. You could have been forgiven if this had been stretched out into a trilogy or at least a film that went well over the two-hour mark. But somehow Arcel and team have managed to tell the story without making it feel incomplete or leaving the audience not understanding the world that we find ourselves in. Somehow the fact that some of the beings that surround Walter aren’t fully explained means we get to see the story from the point of view of Jake a little more… and it least Arcel doesn’t fall into the trap of filling the film with scenes and scenes of exposition.

Visually The Dark Tower looks great. Darkened scenes of man versus monster are stark reminders of films like Harry Potter while the harshness of a lot of the scenery in most scenes brings back memories of films like Priest or The Book Of Eli. Even the CGI effects work pretty well, more than enough to draw the audience into the world at hand, and while some films suffer when they try to mix the supernatural with a modern day city there is no such issue here with the scenes of modern day New York flowing well with the rest of the film, and thankfully they steered away from a battle that involved the entire city falling from the sky or the like. Really the last battle in this film just needed to be between Jake, Roland and Walter and that was what delivered, now why couldn’t we have had something like that in Wonder Woman?

The films two leads also seem to be enhanced the short nature of the film. Matthew McConaughey seems to have a lot of fun playing Walter and whether it be a scene where he is torturing poor Kathryn Winnick or messing with the mind of Roland he seems to embrace the evilness of his character while remaining smooth and charming… much like Jack Nicholson did years earlier in The Witches of Eastwick. Idris Elba is also fantastic as the cowboy inspired gunslinger. He is perfectly cast in a role that demands his action/stunt ability but also at times needs him to step up in a dramatic, gut-wrenching scene. Likewise, he is well supported by young Tom Taylor whose emotional portrayal of Jake shows that he is an actor to watch in the future.

Don’t be fooled The Dark Tower is not the mess that everybody is saying that it is. With its dark storyline that doesn’t hold back to spare the audience’s emotions and great special effects, this is just one of those supernatural thrillers that you can sit back and enjoy while you munch on popcorn. The only weakness that really annoyed me was that I could have easily spent another half an hour in this universe, but still, this is an enjoyable film with a nice graphic novel feel to it.

 

Stars(3)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Dark Tower (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Dark Tower Reviews: You can listen to Dave Griffiths’ The Dark Tower review that aired on That’s Entertainment in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on The Talking Lifestyle network on 17/08/2017 right here.

Trailer:

 

Robocop Poster

Summary: In a crime-ridden city, a fatally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jose Padiha

Screenwriter: Joshua Zetumer, Michael Miner (1987 version), Edward Neumeier (1987 version)

Cast: Philip Akin (Dr. Alan), Jay Baruchel (Tom Pope), K.C. Collins (Andre Daniels), Matt Cook (General Monroe), Abbie Cornish (Clara Murphy), Wayne Downer (Marcus), Jennifer Ehle (Liz Kline), Aimee Garcia (Jae Kim), Patrick Garrow (Antoine Vallon), Maura Grierson (Kelly), Zack Grenier (Senator Hubert Dreyfuss), Noorin Gulamgaus (Navid), Jackie Earle Haley (Rick Mattox), Samuel L. Jackson (Pat Novak), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Chief Karen Dean), Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Jerry White), Daniel Kash (John Lake), Michael Keaton (Raymond Sellars), Joel Kinnaman (Alex Murphy/RoboCop), Dwayne McLean (Thomas King), Meysam Motazedi (Arash), Marjan Neshat (Sayeh), Gary Oldman (Dr. Dennett Norton), John Paul Ruttan (David Murphy), Evan Stern (Walter Karrel), Robert Thomas (John Biggs), Douglas Urbanski (Mayor Durant), Michael K. Williams (Jack Lewis)

Runtime: 117 mins

Classification:M

OUR ROBOCOP REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(3)

Please check Adam’s RoboCop review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67

Greg King: Stars(3)

Please check Greg’s RoboCop review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67

David Griffiths:

The curse of the remake finally hits the classic RoboCop and while the end result isn’t exactly the absolute dog of a film that many people expected it is certainly very different to what you imagine director Jose Padiha had in mind when he took this project on. While Padiha might have made some pretty decent action films in his time here he finds himself well and truly blocked by a studio that were hellbent on making a PG rated film.

Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a righteous cop in the 2028 version of Detroit City that is now completely over run by criminals and violence. To make it worse it now seems that corruption is also now running rife in the Police Department as well. Just how corrupt that department is becomes painfully obvious when local gangster Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow) is able to get two Police Officers to blow up Murphy’s car critically wounding him.

The news couldn’t be merrier for business Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) who has been looking for a cop in this position so that he can sell the idea of having robotic cops to the American people and the Senate. While initially Murphy’s wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) and son, David (John Paul Ruttan) think it is great that the technology designed by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman) can bring their husband/father back to them, that all changes when the ulterior motives come to the surface and it is becoming more obvious that RoboCop is an experiment that could easily spiral out of control.

The behind the scenes battle between studio and director really seem to have affected RoboCop as a film. First of all aiming to get a PG rating for this film is completely ridiculous. The film aims to tell a story in a violent city where violence is a key to the main themes at hand, yes this needed to be a film in the vein of the remake of Dredd yet instead we end up with a ham-fisted PG rated action film that will only disappoint fans of the original.

The film itself does have its moment, at times it brings out some suspense but then at other times, including the disappointing ending, the film turns to Hollywood clichés that sadly let it down. Then there is the whole Novak storyline. Sure the idea of having snippets, interviews and footage from a fictitious television show fronted by the Andrew Bolt inspired Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson) may have seemed a good idea on paper but when it comes to the screen the idea at times becomes annoying and seems to be a lazy screenwriting tool for bringing out the film’s agenda on drone strikes etc.

What saves this film however is the screenplay’s handle on characterisation. The character of Alex Murphy is an interesting character and watching him battle to save his humanity is one of the highlights of the film. Again the characterisation of Dr. Dennett Norton is also a highlight and watching the inner turmoil his character goes through provides the elements of suspense that this film lacks during some of its action sequences.

Like the rest of RoboCop the acting performances of the cast are also up and down. Gary Oldman overcomes a fairly lacklustre beginning to really hit his strides when his character faces some inner turmoil. Likewise Michael Keaton delivers when the script provides him with some good dialogue but then seems to flounder when his lines and actions become a terrible cliché. The great Samuel L. Jackson just seems to glide through his role while Abbie Cornish really should have been given a much stronger role. The big casting problem however is Joel Kinnaman who just doesn’t have the acting range to pull off a role that requires both action and drama. Most of the time he just seems to spend his time in RoboCop looking like a second rate Michael Shannon.

RoboCop ends up being one of those forgettable action flicks that you see at the cinema once, talk to your mates about and then never bother with again. Let’s hope that some of the other remakes that are due to hit our screens this year are a little bit better than this one.

Stars(2.5) 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  RoboCop (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘RoboCop′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #67 for our full RoboCop review.

Trailer:

Lincoln

Summary: Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in LINCOLN, a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenwriter: Tony Kushner, Doris Kearns Goodwin (book)

Cast: Don Henderson Baker (Walter Appleton), Jim Batchelder (Howard Guillefoyle), Thomas K. Belgrey (Arthur Bentleigh), John Bellemer (Faust), Christopher Boyer (General Robert E. Lee), Leon Addison Brown (Harold Green), Bill Camp (Mr. Jolly), Joseph Carlson (Jospeh Marstern), Christopher Cartmill (Leonard Grover), David Costabile (James Ashley), Joseph Cross (John Hay), Daniel Day-Lewis (Abraham Lincoln), Joe Dellinger (Nelson Merrick), Colman Domingo (Private Harold Green), Adam Driver (Samuel Beckwith), Mary Dunleavy (Marguerite), Wayne Duvall (Senator Bluff Wade), Ralph D. Edlow (Leo), Chase Edmunds (Willie Lincoln), James ‘Ike’ Eichling (William Dennison), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), Ford Flannagan (Tom Pendel), Todd Fletcher (Walter H. Washburn), Walton Goggins (Clay Hawkins), Michael Goodwin (Chilton A. Elliott), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Lincoln), Dave Hager (Captain Nathan Saunders), Jackie Early Haley (Alexander Stephens), Jared Harris (Ulysses S. Grant), John Hawkes (Robert Latham), Stephen Henderson (William Slade), Grainger Hines (Gideon Welles), Hal Holbrook (Preston Blair), Jamie Horton (Giles Stuart), Gregory Hosaflook (John F. McKenzie), John Hutton (Senator Charles Summer), Gregory Itzen (Judge John A. Campbell), Byron Jennings (Montgomery Blair), Ted Johnson (John Ellis), Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens), William Kaffenberger (John A. Casson), Michael Stanton Kennedy (Hiram Price), Joe Kerkes (Andrew E. Finck), Clarence Key (Brigadier General Seth Williams), Charles Kinney (Myer Strauss), Ken Lambert (Augustus Benjamin), John Lescault (Gustavus Fox), C. Brandon Marshall (Rufus Warren), Elizabeth Marvel (Mrs. Jolly), Dakin Matthews (John Usher), Edward McDonald (Daniel G. Stuart), Bruce McGill (Edwin Stanton), Boris McGiver (Alexander Coffroth), Gulliver McGrath (Tad Lincoln), Gannon McHale (Aaron Haddam), Peter McRobbie (George Pendleton), S. Epatha Merkerson (Lydia Smith), John Moon (Edwin LeClerk), Tim Blake Nelson (Richard Schell), Kevin Lawrence O’Donnell (Charles Hanson), David Oyelowo (Corporal Ira Clark), Matthew Pabo (Lee Pace (Fernando Wood), Robert Peters (Jacob Graylor), Bill Raymond (Schuyler Colfax), Gloria Reuben (Elizabeth Keckley), Michael Ruff (Harold Hollister), Robert Ruffin (Major Thompson Eckert), Raynor Scheine (Josiah S. ‘Beanpole’ Burton), Drew Sease (David Homer Bates), Robert Shepherd (Dr. Joseph K. Barnes),  Michael Shiflett (Senator R.M.T. Hunter), Walt Smith (William Fessenden), James Spader (W.N. Bilbo), Stephen Spinella (Asa Vintner Lettor), David Straithairn (William Seward), Jeremy Strong (John Nicolay), Michael Stuhlbarg (George Yeaman), Richard Topol (James Speed), Asa-Luke Twocrow (Ely Parker), Larry Van Hoose (Avon Hanready), Richard Warner (Homer Benson), David Warshofsky (William Hutton), Christopher Evan Welch (Edward McPherson), Armistead Wellford (Nehemiah Cleary), Charmaine White (Minerva), Julie White (Elizabeth Blair Lee), Scott Wichman (Charles Benjamin)

Runtime: 153 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Lincoln’ Review: 

Director Steven Spielberg (War Horse, The Adventures Of Tintin) is not normally known for his dialogue filled dramas, sure he loves to incorporate themes into his films but normally those films are also full of well-shot action sequences. But ‘Lincoln’ is a little different, ‘Lincoln’ sees Spielberg delve into a historic dialogue driven film that may be enjoyable to watch but certainly could have used a little bit more action.

Taken from a novel by Doris Kearns Goodwin ‘Lincoln’ sees President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine, There Will Be Blood) ruling over a country that is self-destructing amidst a horrendous Civil War. Determined to see the Way bring some good to the country Lincoln decides that it is time to change the 13th Amendment and see slavery abolished.

But in order to do that Lincoln has to go against the suggestions of his right-hand man, William Seaward (David Strathairn – The Bourne Legacy, No God No Master) and begin to lobby other congress members (such as Clay Hawkins (Walton Goggins – Officer Down, Django Unchained)) so they will change their stance on slavery in The South.

Aside from that Lincoln also faces crisis on the family front with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field – The Amazing Spider-Man, TV’S Brothers & Sisters) struggling mentally after the loss of their child and his eldest son Robert Lincoln (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper, The Dark Knight Rises) determined to be able to fight in the Way even if it means going against his father’s wishes.

The fact that Spielberg has gone for a full dialogue and drama onslaught does have it pros and cons. While it gives actor Daniel Day-Lewis the opportunity to pull off one of Hollywood’s best ever performances it also holds back the film. It becomes painfully obvious that screenwriter Tony Kushner comes from a theatre background when you realise that despite the film is set during the Civil War you hear more actors talking about the war then what you see of footage from it… it’s almost like Kushner has forgotten that in film it is okay to spend a little bit of cash and actually film something rather than just talk about.

Spielberg seems to also surprisingly under use some of his cast members. While Walton Goggins gets to showcase the acting ability that made him such a big hit on ‘The Shield’ and Tommy Lee Jones puts in one of his finest efforts for years, poor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is horribly under used for an actor of his talents while Sally Field is horribly miscast as Mary Todd Lincoln.

If you enjoy historically accurate dramatic films then you will enjoy ‘Lincoln’ but if you enjoy films with a little bit of action then this certainly isn’t the film for you.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Lincoln′: Check Episode #19 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Lincoln’. Dave’s other review of ‘Lincoln’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:Lincoln (2012) on IMDb

Dark Shadows

Summary: An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th May, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 26th September, 2012

Country: USA, Australia

Director: Tim Burton

Screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith, John August, Dan Curtis (television series)

Cast: Greg Bennett (Chet the Taxidermist), Susanna Cappellaro (Naomi Collins), Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Julia Hoffman), Raffey Cassidy (Young Angelique), Alice Cooper (himself), Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard), Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis), Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres), Ivan Kaye (Joshua Collins), Christopher Lee (Clarney), Gulliver McGrath (David Collins), Glen Mexted (Captain Rubberpants), Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins), Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard), Alexia Osborne (Young Victoria), Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard), Ray Shirley (Mrs. Johnson), Vincent Curson Smith (Young Barnabas – Aged 9), Nick Thomas-Webster (Timothy), Justin Tracy (Young Barnabus – Aged 6)

Runtime: 113 mins

Classification:M

 OUR DARK SHADOWS REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(2)

Please check Adam’s Dark Shadows review of that is available on The Crat

Greg King: Stars(3)

Please check Greg’s Dark Shadows review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Nick Gardener:

Please check Nick’s Dark Shadows review of that is available on Southern FM

 

David Griffiths:

Dave’s review from Entertainment Scene 360

After seeing the trailer for Dark Shadows it is understandable that any fan of the original television series may want to give the ‘updated’ movie a serious wide berth. The trailer makes it seem that the filmmakers have taken what is a genuinely a quite dark show and turned it into a outlandish comedy that may even make Jack & Jill look like a viable option. Luckily though, you won’t be feeling that once you have watched it.

After seeing Dark Shadows, you realise that two things save this film. Firstly, it has Tim Burton at the helm as director. Burton brings his unique style of comedy to the film, the kind that has surfaced in some of his previous efforts such as Alice In Wonderland or Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street.

Burton’s comedic style actually enhances the darker aspects of the film and you have to give him credit for inserting it into the film in such the way that it comes across as being creative rather than intrusive.

The second thing that makes Dark Shadows such a great watch is the great performance by Johnny Depp (we seem to be saying that a lot recently, even with films that bomb like The Rum Diary). Depp is completely unrecognisable as Barnabas Collins a vampire who awakens after two hundred years only to find that his family, now headed by Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), are no longer business leaders and that his enemy, the sexual Angelique (Eva Green) now basically owns most of Collinsport.

The Angelique versus Barnabas storyline is what keeps the audience interested in Dark Shadows. It is easy to understand Barnabas’ hatred for her, after all she murdered his lover, cursed him to become a vampire, ruined his family and eventually sentenced him to two centuries of being chained and buried in a coffin. With all this going on it doesn’t necessarily take any special writing from the screenwriters to have the audience warming to Barnabas while really hoping for the demise of Angelique.

There are a lot of things to love about Dark Shadows, but there are some things that are slightly annoying. Product placement becomes a real issue in one scene of the film. All the creative ways that could have been used to introduce Barnabas to the seventies seem to have ignored in favour of a scene depicting him being blinded by the light of the golden arches on a McDonalds sign. It’s not hard to figure out that good ‘ol Maccas would have paid a pretty sum to have had that included.

It also seems at times during the film that the characters surrounding Barnabas, Elizabeth and Angelique have been completely forgotten in the script. Poor Chloe Grace Moretz does a wonderful job in the role of Elizabeth’s daughter Carolyn but she often seems to be conveniently left out of some of the important scenes. So, much so that when the plot twist that involves her occurs in the latter scenes the audience probably wouldn’t even give it a second glance. All you can hope is that if they do make a sequel that Moretz is given a lot more to do.

These are, however, just small gripes about a film that at the end of the day works amazingly well. For the most part the screenplay tells a story about a character that the audience is going to love (even if he kills a few people along the way) and the ‘big business’ storyline revolving around Angelique will certainly be lapped up by those critical of large corporations.

As mentioned previously, Depp clearly steals the show in the acting stakes, but it would be a crime not to mention Helena Bonham Carter’s quirky portrayal of Dr. Julia Hoffman. Carter always seems to shine when working for her husband (director Tim Burton) and Dark Shadows is no exception. In the hands of a lesser gifted actress, this role could hae become a total farce, but Carter knows when to push the comedy and knows when to hold back. The result is a portrayal of a character that wouldn’t seem out of place in Absolutely Fabulous.

Eva Green also steps up from her recent performances and seems to enjoy the fact that she is portraying the vampy ‘bad’ girl. In a lot of ways her performance completely outshines the one of Bella Heathcote who as Victoria (the ‘good girl’ and love interest to Barnabas) should be the one given the chance to shine. In reflection, Victoria is yet another character who seems to be a victim of being ‘forgotten’ in the script at times when her character should have been made a major focus.

Dark Shadows is a testament to the genius of Tim Burton. It’s a dark comedy enhanced by some great acting, a decent script and a soundtrack that really captures the essence of the 70s (watch for a cameo by Alice Cooper). This is a film that is well worth a look if you like your films on the quirky side.
Dave’s review from Buzz Magazine

With any ordinary director at the helm, Dark Shadows would have become the shallow comedy that its trailer hinted it could be. But Dark Shadows isn’t directed by any ordinary director, no it has the legendary Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) in charge… and with his unique sense of humor infused into this dark tale you have a very good film indeed.

Based on a television series Dark Shadows tells the story of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp – 21 Jump Street, The Rum Diary) a young man who is cursed by a witch, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green – Perfect Sense, Womb), and becomes a vampire whom is then imprisoned for 200 years.

When Barnabas is awakened he finds that Angelique has destroyed his family’s business and now pretty much ‘owns’ the town that his family set-up. Even the mansion he once lived in is in ruins as his distant relatives struggle to make a dime.

Barnabas arrives back at his old home and encourages his relatives, Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer – New Year’s Eve, Personal Effects), Roger (Jonny Lee Miller – TV’S Emma & Dexter), Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz – Hugo, Hick), David (Gulliver McGrath – Hugo, The Long Night), the family doctor, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter – Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Toast) and the butler, Willie (Jackie Earle Haley – Louis, A Nightmare On Elm Street) to help him rebuild his family empire and destroy Angelique.

And while trying to get used to the culture of the 1970s Barnabas also tries to find out how to impress the 1970s’ female when he finds himself falling for the Collins family governess, the mysterious girl who calls herself Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote – In Time, Beneath Hill 60).

Tim Buton’s cool imagination runs riot with Dark Shadows and it is one of the things that makes the film work. The film’s humour works, and despite some of the jokes being really obvious it seems to fit with the films style. But more importantly Burton gets the right mix of comedy and darkness. As a result you like Barnabas as a character despite the fact that he does in fact kill innocent characters throughout the film.

The screenwriters need to be congratulated for that, but they also need to be thanked for not taking away any of the suspense that this film needs either. Together with Tim Burton they really have created a surprisingly good film.

As a credit to what a fine actor he is Johnny Depp manages to outshine everyone else even though this is an ensemble cast. He is unrecognizable as Barnabas, a role he seems to totally lap up. Eva Green gets the chance to announce herself as the ‘baddie’ but so many of the rest of the cast, such as Chloe Grace Moretz, really aren’t given enough screen time to allow them to shine. You especially feel sorry for poor Bella Heathcote who does nothing wrong but at times it feels like her character has been forgotten about by the script. Let’s hope that if a sequel gets made some of the other characters get a look in as well.

As far as a good mix of horror and comedy goes Dark Shadows works absolute wonders and is a joy to watch. Dark Shadows is a lot better than its trailer suggest and really does deserve to be seen on the big screen.

 

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  Dark Shadows (2012) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Dark Shadows′: Nil.

Trailer: