Dark Shadows Review

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Tim Burton is a hit-and-miss director for me because most of the time I am a big fan of his work. I love Big Fish, Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands, while I consider Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street nothing short of a master piece. I however am not a fan of some of his other works such as his reditions of Batman and his recent remakes of Alice and Wonderland and what I consider to be his worst movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

When it comes to Dark Shadows I can say without a doubt that it is a definite miss for me. This actually comes as a surprise for me because this seemed like just the project to get Burton back on track. Unfortunately the film falls flat and while entertaining at times, it fails to be anything more the a campy joke. This fact is a bit sad, because as I said before this film certainly had some potential.

The acting wasn’t the problem however because as per usual, the star of the film is Johnny Depp and like always he does a fantastic job. The real stand out performance here was Casino Royale’s Eva Green playing a sultry witch attempting to gain the love of the film’s protagonist. Rounding out a great supporting cast are none other than Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter.

Dark Shadows started off on some fun notes easily playing off of its 1970s and vampire gimmicks. The relationships and the odd family at hand were very entertaining and the film flourished whenever Eva Green came into play. However by the end of it all the decent movie I was watching subtly went down hill and turned into what reminded me of The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy except with all of Dark Shadows’ plot holes and useless subplots I would’ve been much more entertained by The Haunted Mansion.

Dark Shadows was just not a good movie. It was fun for a little while, but before long I felt embarassed to call myself a fan of Tim Burton. It just amazed me how dreadfully dull the end result truly was. MY biggest problem with the film may lie in the fact that the climax was incredibly forced and ended up being easily the worst and longest scene in the film. All of this to say, I will not be watching this film again.

Grade: D+

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The Avengers Review

When I’m fond of a movie I think about it and the more I think about it, the more I find myself finding more and more reasons to appreciate it. While watching The Avengers, it was very difficult not to smile because of how much fun the movie had to offer. However, in the case of The Avengers, the more I thought about the movie the more I found myself disliking it.

The Avengers is just about the most fun I can have with a movie when it has no substance whatsoever. Sure you can get enjoyment from the film, but where do you draw the line when the film offers nothing apart from a few witty one-liners and a whole lot of action. It was kind of fun to see these stars from other movies working and having conversations with each other, but that’s all the film was, a little fun.

The villain to the super team, The Avengers, is none other than the whiney and non-intimidating, Loki, from Thor and his tremendous army that didn’t end up being much of a threat at all when all you have to do is throw a nuke at it. How imaginative. And I’m not trying to establish some sort of hate for The Avengers because I didn’t hate it. I definitely enjoyed myself, but when you realize you can tell someone the entire plot of a movie in a few short sentences, it’s hard to appreciate the film and its lack of any depth.

I will say that I wasn’t sure what to expect with Robert Downey Jr. when he had to share the spotlight with so many other people. I was very pleased with his take on Tony Stark once again. Mark Ruffalo was another standout as well creating with out a doubt the best Hulk ever to be featured in a film. The Avengers was very polished and it worked for what it was trying to do, but it often felt like the film was taking the easy way out and no there’s nothing here that I would consider great.

Grade: C+

The Hunger Games Review

The Hunger Games was actually a movie I was very excited when I actually didn’t  know what to expect at all. I never read the books and I saw the trailers and I was a huge fan of the concept and I absolutely love Jennifer Lawrence as an actress. This seemed like a great character for her to play and she was fantastic, but when it comes to the movie as a whole I will say that I was disappointed.

I was very mistaken when I thought I’d go into The Hunger Games and watch a movie as dark as its concept. It wasn’t. I think the best way I could describe would be Harry Potter or Twilight, but a with a plot about teenagers killing teenagers. It was hard not to tell who the films demographic was and in that way I found myself losing interesting in some parts.

Some of the films key points just felt a bit corny or even forced, particularly a scene where the two main characters enter and their clothes are on fire. I’m assuming this was part of the book, but it was scenes like these that just took me out of the action. While other times it felt as though the scenes were being taken very seriously and it was hard not to care for the heroine on display.

Even the heroine though wasn’t used to her full potential. During the first half of the movie it was just very emphasized that she was good with a bow and arrow and she would make for a terrific warrior, but when the time came it seemed like she was always just getting saved right in that climactic moment of the fight. Whereas Battle Royale was extremely bizarre, The Hunger Games was watered down and offered almost the bare minimum.

I didn’t hate the movie however. I thoroughly enjoyed some portions of it, but my expectations were not met and sometimes it happens. I’m not terribly excited for any sort of sequel, but I might see because there’s no reason not to. The Hunger Games was entertaining, but it wasn’t a movie for me when it easily could have been.

Grade: C+

The Woman in Black Review

I am actually quite the fan of the horror genre because most of the time it’s hard not to find some enjoyment out of a horror movie. You get the masterpieces like The Shining and The Thing and then you can watch really awful horror movies that can be entertaining in just how bad they truly are. Neither was the case when it came to The Woman in Black because it was hard to find much enjoyment at all.

The Woman in Black had everything going for it when it came to the mood and the atmosphere, but on a story front it became dull and incredibly predictable. The film failed to offer any tension or suspense because the plot just became dull and redundant. When something sad happened to the characters I couldn’t care less because it seemed like we really weren’t supposed to. The story just thrust them into uselessly frightening events and we were just supposed to tag along.

Daniel Radcliffe proves once again that he doesn’t know how to portray emotion even when he tries to portray angst and sadness at all times. The rest of the cast even given anytime to do anything cause its mostly just a movie about Harry Potter in a house by himself and for some reason he continues to feel the need to go up to the creepy bedroom where strange noises are coming from.

I found myself leaving the theater joyless. At best the film looked pretty for a horror film, but it was so hard to care about the story at hand when it seemed no care was given by the people who created it. The Woman in Black is not a movie I plan to watch ever again unless I really feel the need to fall asleep fast.

Grade: D+