Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Family Pedigree

If you're the young David Collins circa 1972, then
  • your mother's a ghost
  • your father's selfish thief
  • your cousin's a werewolf
  • your aunt's an elegant Goth
  • your shrink's a flame-haired drunkard
  • your nanny's a reincarnated dead girl
  • and your uncle's a vampire recently awakened from the 18th Century.
And so that is the Collins family of the fictional Collinsport, Maine, the backdrop of Tim Burton's big screen remake of the television show Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins, the 18th Century vampire and family patriarch.  Like any Burton/Depp collaboration, the movie is fantastically quirky and full of over-the-top characters.  I liked them all, especially Depp's embodiment of Barnabas.  BUT, I couldn't help to think that the movie itself was just an elaborate background portrait of the characters and not a full-fledged plot-driven story where you get a beginning, middle, and end.  It seems to me that this material still works better as an episodic series as originally envisioned.  It will be interesting to see whether a sequel gets the green light.

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