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post #1 of 25 Old 09-25-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
90





Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Horror/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michele Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva, Green, Jackie Earl Hailey, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote
Directed by: Tim Burton
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: Seth Grahame-Smith
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 2, 2012







"Strange is relative"


Film Synopsis:

From the wonderfully warped imagination of Tim Burton comes the story of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a dashing aristocrat who is turned into a vampire by a jilted lover and entombed for two centuries. Emerging from his coffin into the world of 1972, he returns to his once-majestic home, only to the few dysfunctional descendants of the Collins family who remain. Determined to return his family name to its former glory, Barnabas is thwarted at every turn by his former lover - the seductive witch Angelique.



My Take:



In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy...until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) by falling in love with the beautiful Josette.

A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique exacts her revenge on Josette, curses the Collins family, and dooms Barnabas him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets.

Family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the one person Barnabas entrusts with the truth about who and what he is while his somewhat bizarre behavior raises the suspicions of the remaining members of the household which includes live in psychiatrist Dr. Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter). Barnabas quickly begins efforts to restore Collinwood manor as well as the family business but immediately runs into an obstacle: The town’s leading denizen, who goes by the name of “Angie” who just happens to bear a striking resemblance to Angelique…

Struggling against the tide of blood thirst, Angie’s evil tinkering, and a completely dysfunctional household Barnabas finds solace in the eyes of young Victoria Winters, the new nanny, whose beauty and heart speaks to him from a place not felt in two hundred years.

Based on Dark Shadows an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971, this film adaptation by Tim Burton has a comedic twist that I imagine may not be appealing to diehard fans of that original series. I really never watched the TV series with any regularity but had friends that were fanatical about it (in reruns of course). After seeing the trailer for the film the cast caught my eye and the concept looked interesting enough but I opted to wait for it to come to home video.

Dark Shadows starts out well enough but quickly loses its way teetering amidst inconsistent themes, tiresome wink and nod satire and beleaguering subtexts. I liked the first act which set things up quite well by introducing the characters, establishing the thematic tone, offering a few well placed chuckles and working in some entertaining time period specific references. By the middle of the second act the focus begins to erode, it gets silly and never really turns around. It’s a shame because there’s lots of potential in the concept as well as the cast. Johnny Depp is, well, Johnny Depp and Eva Green is wonderfully wicked as Angie/Angelique. Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, and Chloe Grace Moretz were underused but I thought Jackie Earl Hailey as the longsuffering Collinwood caretaker was hilarious.

With the tandem of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton I had higher hopes for Dark Shadows. It starts out just fine but quickly fizzles descending into a slightly incoherent and forgettable one note gothic comedy that will leave audiences scratching their heads.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Dark Shadows comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson, red, and muted sepia tones. Warm golden accents are used to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide angle shots of the darkened interiors of Collinwood Manor look stunning. The use of filtering occasionally softened the image but I found the quality of the video to be high. It isn’t always razor sharp but is cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement that increased the perception of fine detail. I was enamored by the film’s deep grays, rich contrast and intriguing use of color. Framed at 1.85:1 images onscreen have excellent depth and stimulating visual aura. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. It looks great on Blu-ray.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is noteworthy. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however when applied provides an enriching level of immersion which is punctuated by palpably rich bass. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this excellent soundtrack as it augments the enjoyment of this film.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 5 Deleted scenes

  • (HD) Focus Points (viewed either with the film or separately)
    1. Becoming Barnabas – 5 minutes
    2. Welcome to Collinsport – 4 minutes
    3. The Collinses: Every family has its demons – 6 minutes
    4. Reliving a decade – 5 minutes
    5. Angelique: A witch scorned – 3 minutes
    6. Alice Cooper rocks Collinsport – 2 minutes
    7. Dark Shadowy secrets – 4 minutes
    8. A melee of monstrous proportions – 4 minutes
    9. Dark Shadows: The legend bites back – 2 minutes
  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Based on Dark Shadows an American gothic soap opera that originally aired on network television, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971, this film adaptation by Tim Burton has a comedic twist that I imagine may not be appealing to diehard fans of that original series. Unfortunately the screenplay suffers from inconsistent themes, tiresome wink and nod satire and beleaguering subtexts that result in a middling film experience. On a positive note its high definition audio/video presentation on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video looks and sounds terrific. If you’re already a fan this is a worthwhile addition to your collection otherwise a rental should suffice.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 25 Old 09-25-2012, 02:24 PM
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This was one of the most awful movies that I have seen in years, would not even suggest a rental on this one (regardless of A/V quality). frown.gif

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-25-2012, 04:36 PM
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I thought it was worth a rental and enjoyed it for what it was.

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post #4 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

I thought it was worth a rental and enjoyed it for Michelle Pfeiffer.

Fixed it for you Dave. biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Fixed it for you Dave. biggrin.gif
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Greetings,

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post #6 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 05:04 AM
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I was going to give this a rent this week but opted for Men In Black 3. Will still give it a go next week hope I will enjoy it for what it is.

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post #7 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 06:06 AM
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I enjoyed this, even checked it out in theaters at the time. Thanks for the review Mr. Potts.

Plus, Eva Green in this movie . . . woof! wink.gif

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post #8 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

Fixed it for you Dave. biggrin.gif
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You read my mind biggrin.gif The witch wasn't half-bad either.

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post #9 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 08:07 AM
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My wife wanted to see this at the theater but we never got around to it. Looks like it may be only a rental even though I'm quite the Burton fan.
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 11:50 AM
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I had high hopes with this one when it was first announced but the end result seems no where close to the movie I imagined--and your review pretty much confirms that with me. This will be a rental for me.

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post #11 of 25 Old 09-26-2012, 10:47 PM
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I totally clicked with the unique nature of this beast right off the bat and found it to be a pretty fun ride, though I can easily see how it isn't for everyone. The "sex fight" and Chloe Moretz's strained "teen angst" performance (shockingly bad considering how solid of an actress she really is) were pretty much the lowest points of what is otherwise an enjoyable off-kilter horror/comedy hybrid. No regrets here! biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 25 Old 09-27-2012, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

I totally clicked with the unique nature of this beast right off the bat and found it to be a pretty fun ride, though I can easily see how it isn't for everyone. The "sex fight" and Chloe Moretz's strained "teen angst" performance (shockingly bad considering how solid of an actress she really is) were pretty much the lowest points of what is otherwise an enjoyable off-kilter horror/comedy hybrid. No regrets here! biggrin.gif

Greetings,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts gridbug. smile.gif


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post #13 of 25 Old 09-27-2012, 11:31 PM
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I'm old enough to have seen a few episodes of the original Dark Shadows tv soap opera as a young teen back in the late 60's/early 70's and have a decent liking for the 1970(?) movie which pretty much compressed the initial first couple years worth of story into a fairly gory if cheaply done film (which also comes out on BR in a few weeks). When I first heard Burton and Depp would tackle a remake/reboot, I had high hopes knowing Burton's love of the old classic gothic Hammer films. However, upon seeing some pre-production stills of Depp looking like a cross between Michael Jackson and Eddie Munster and worse, the trailers which made it look like a lousy slapstick comedy, my heart and interest sank and I never bothered to see it during it's short theatrical run this Summer.

So upon watching the Blu-ray of the movie tonight, for the first 10 or so minutes, I actually thought this movie was going to be a pleasant surprise. But once Barnabas ingratiates himself in the Collin's household, not only does the film seem to lose any focus, it schizophrenically goes between terrible slapstick bits and deadpan plodding drama. The comic bits seemed like they were added afterthoughts by meddling studio execs who (admittedly correctly) thought the movie needed more to keep audiences from dozing off. Aside from Depp and to a lesser extent, Hailey, the rest of the cast range from boring and disconnected to downright unlikable even when they're meant to be sympathetic. You can almost sense Michelle Pfeiffer's "wtf am I doing here" attitude at times when she's rattling off the arch dialog her character is saddled with. The party scene with Alice Cooper is utterly cringe-worthy.

One of the few redeeming features, small though it is, is the short scene featuring a commanding Christopher Lee who seems hell-bent on not only being the actor with the most films under his belt, but the oldest living actor as well. Otherwise, this is easily Burton's worst film and on the merits of the movie alone, I couldn't even recommend a rental.

I firmly agree with Ralph regarding the audio and video quality of this disc - it really does look beautiful and makes full use of the surrounds. It's too bad the movie, er ... sucks.
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post #14 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 09:13 AM
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I believe there's a deluxe version of the film and a movie-only version available on blu. Would anyone know if the movie-only version is the same bit-rate on a 50gb disc and lossless DTS track, when compared to the deluxe?
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post #15 of 25 Old 10-03-2012, 10:49 AM
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Partyslammer pretty much summed up my feelings on this one.  Very disappointing for me, even with Eva Green who overacts very badly, has obvious difficulty trying an American accent and whose part devolves into quirky poses and twists when she re-appears in the 2nd act.  I do agree that the technical aspects (video/audio) are well done.  It's just a shame that they are well done in a mostly bad movie.


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post #16 of 25 Old 10-05-2012, 07:08 AM
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Ralph,

In your final thoughts paragraph you say that Dark Shadows aired weekly. You do mean daily correct? I remember the show being on every day just like any other soap.

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post #17 of 25 Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Blount View Post

Ralph,
In your final thoughts paragraph you say that Dark Shadows aired weekly. You do mean daily correct? I remember the show being on every day just like any other soap.

Greetings,

Thanks for catching that Chris. I amended that line. smile.gif

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post #18 of 25 Old 10-06-2012, 07:20 AM
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Thanks Ralph was on the fence about this. Now I have jump down and will wait for a low price to buy.
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post #19 of 25 Old 10-10-2012, 03:34 PM
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I saw this in the theater and thought it was a fun movie. I wouldn't be in a hurry to add it to my collection but it was enjoyable enough.
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-23-2012, 07:38 PM
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All I can say is - delicious irony.

Johnny D stars in this somewhat "remake" and it is garbage.
Johnny D's first big break was in a TV show, 21 Jump Street and that was also turned into a garbage movie.

Seems that studios still go by the formula - throw a big star in it and people will come no matter how bad the film is.
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post #21 of 25 Old 11-27-2012, 03:44 PM
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Such waste of talents. Michelle is showing her age; Eva is hot, both the cars and her dresses, the only redeeming quality.
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post #22 of 25 Old 11-28-2012, 08:23 PM
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Well, the opening song is a classic - Nights in White Satin.
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post #23 of 25 Old 11-29-2012, 09:30 AM
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Although it falls apart in the third act, I didn't think this was all that bad. Nice to see vintage 1972 Alice Cooper. Also liked seeing the cameo with the original cast. (Although the late Jonathan Frid looked beyond-frail.)

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post #24 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 07:04 AM
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As mentioned, I had pretty low expectations from the trailers almost for exactly the reasons others have described, but I like Johnny Depp and was curious how Chloe Moretz performed in this too. Edward Scissorhands was one of my all-time favorite films so I have a favorable disposition toward the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp combo – not that I’m a Burton aficionado.

Anyway, I actually really liked this movie a lot more than I anticipated I would. I’ve been on a Blu-ray disc watching binge since getting a new plasma screen a little over a month ago. I loved the visual elements of the film. I thought the splashes of color contrasting with a somewhat overall dark theme just made them pop that much more and the darker elements showed off the plasma’s blacks fairly well. I would dare to declare this as a possible purchase for me based on the visual elements alone that I found exceptionally enjoyable. I’ve recently picked up a number of discs that were regarded well for showing off a plasma and I might say this one did it for me as well as any.

The movie wasn’t nearly as slapstick and goofy as I believe the trailers portrayed it to be. It was funny, but not super goofy.
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-10-2013, 12:16 PM
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I liked it - there's not really a Tim Burton film I don't like....esp when Danny Elfman scores the soundtrack cool.gif
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