I have been ridiculously busy since my move: setting up my apartment, my office, and my classroom -- and then summer school started up right away. I have had little time for anything else, though I have squeezed in two movies when I felt like my brain just had to do something else: Dark Shadows and Prometheus. These were two movies that I had been looking forward to, and overall I was not disappointed in either.
I have a special place in my heart for the Dark Shadows franchise, partly because my mother and grandmother were fans. (I wish I knew how they'd take this turn of the original story towards dark comedy.) If you don't like the Tim Burton-Johnny Deep take on the macabre, skip it, because this is another addition to that duo's establishment. However, it may be my favorite of their partnerings, and I enjoyed Burton's placing it in 1972 for all the little period touches -- like the mug that Michelle Pfeiffer's character drinks out of at breakfast, which is almost identical to the one I inherited above from the aforementioned grandmother. The cast works together as a nice ensemble, keeping up with Mr. Depp, the show ends with the promise of a sequel. As much as I generally decry sequels, yes, I will give you more money, Mr. Burton, if you bring it.
Prometheus has two annoying flaws in my opinion that both involve verisimilitude in action, but it is great in every other way and lives up to the hype and beyond the facile criticisms I've heard. It's neck-in-neck between Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender for who takes the brass ring in the this one. As far as the Alien franchise goes, this movie is second only to the original. Aside from my spoilerific complaints which I'm keeping to myself for now, the film is brilliant. While I guess I can stretch my imagination to understand those who don't like Burton, I can't quite do the same for those who don't like Sci-Fi of this quality.
One movie is good plain fun with some thoughtfulness about (gasp) outsiders injected, the other is grand visual sweeps and effects with reflection on what it means to be human threaded throughout. Though very different kind of films, and likely to earn as much disparity in respect as in profit, I think I'd still give both the same grade. Don't pass on either of these, is my advice, with the one caveat above. Here's to 2012: a great year for films so far!
DARK SHADOWS: A-
|Yay, more Giger!|