Dark Shadows

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In 1760 the Collins sail from Liverpool to North America where they find the city of Collinsport, Maine. Their son, Barnabas (Depp) grows up to be a wealthy playboy and becomes the master of Collinwood Manor. He breaks the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Green), a witch, who casts a curse on his family, turns him into a vampire and locks him up in a coffin. In 1972 he accidentally escapes and returns to his ancestral home where he finds his once-grand estate in ruins and his dysfunctional descendants in need of his protection.

This was not entertaining. I fell asleep, bored out of my mind. There are three factors that contribute to this lack of excitement: 1) the overkill of the vampire phenomenon 2) Johnny Depp is not a vampire and 3) high expectations.

Vampires were always mysterious and intriguing characters, until five years ago when they took over the literary and filmmaking world. They were romanticized until they sparkled and adopted humane characteristics – more so than before. Personally I think the world is over vampires and this movie is yet another shallow, unrealistic story to add to the many others produced over the last few years. Secondly, Johnny Depp sucks as a vampire (no pun intended). It can be because the character is not as interesting as Depp’s usual bizarre roles. But he was not convincing at all. He does, however, provide comic relief.

A Burton-Depp duo assures high expectations – their colabs are always amazing and out of this world and even more so, a Burton-Depp-Carter trio. Unfortunately this was highly disappointing. It was bizarre, but not in a good way. The visuals are great, but the movie fails to find I good rhythm to mix and blend the spookiness and comedy. The set design, costumes and make-up was creatively executed and the actors were superbly chosen for their roles. Unfortunately they, and Burton, fail to make it a success and in the end kill the fantasy aspect.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Chloë Grace Moretz and Bella Heathcote

Directed by: Tim Burton

Genre: Horror, Comedy, Fantasy

Release Date: 11 May 2012

Rating: **

What did you think?

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21 Jump Street

Morton Schmidt (Hill) and Greg Jenko (Tatum) are former classmates, where Schmidt was the geek and Jenko the jock. They apply to the same police academy; become best friends and graduate as partners. They are assigned to park patrol, but catch a big break when they arrest the leader of a group of drug dealers. Unfortunately, Jenko did not read the Miranda rights to the drug lord and he was released. Thereafter they are both reassigned to a revived specialty division on 21 Jump Street where they meet Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). Because of their youthful appearances they go undercover as high school students, at their old school, where a new synthetic drug has been circling. They have to stop it from spreading to other campuses and bring down the supplier. Back at school they befriend Eric (Franco) and Molly (Larson), who are part of the popular group, and the investigation begins.

21 Jump Street is based on the 1987 police procedural crime drama television series by the same name. It is quite a successful retelling, or revival, of the series. Just by glancing at the cast list you would expect great comic relief, but not in a way that is extremely vulgar or annoyingly stupid and embarrassing. Jonah Hill is a great comedy actor, although it seems like he always play the same type of character, but he does it well. Next to him you have the handsome Channing Tatum. Together they create a perfect equilibrium. It’s not a pair that you would expect to work so well on screen, but somehow they compliment each other – the dialogues contribute to this. Also, this is a big break for Dave Franco and he is definitely following in his big brother’s (James Franco) footsteps – watch out for this guy.

I haven’t enjoyed a comedy action film this much in a while. The story, the actors and the technical aspects work so well together and complete the film as a successful whole. Prepare yourself for a great laugh and some kick-ass action.

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle and Ice Cube

Directed by: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Genre: Action, Comedy

Release Date: 16 March 2012

Rating: ****

More reviews coming soon! 


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The Lorax

Ted Wiggins (Efron) lives in the artificial city called Thneed-Ville where everything is made out of plastic, apart from the citizens, and where fresh air is bought from O’Hare Air. His dream is to win over the affection of Audrey (Swift), whose biggest wish is to see a real living tree. Ted’s very cool granny (White) suggests that he goes and speak to the Once-ler (Helms) who lives outside of town – which is of course out of bounds. The Once-ler agrees to tell Ted his story and how he came to know the Lorax (DeVito) – a very annoying, yet charming, little orange creature who is the protector of the forest. What began as Ted’s dream to impress Audrey changes into a personal mission to remind his fellow citizens of the importance of nature.

Wacky, weird and wonderful. What else could you expect form a Dr Seuss film? The creatures from Lorax’s world are ridiculously cute, especially the fluffy bears, and the trees look like candy floss you just want to stuff into your face. The musical numbers are delightful and catchy, just a pity we don’t hear any singing from Efron and Swift. Animation wise, everything is created to it’s last detail and the bright colours add to the wacky-ness that is Dr Seuss. It’s magical. It’s colourful. It’s a dream world.

But reality hits hard when the environmental message is carried over. That is the thing about Dr Seuss, underneath all the fun and playfulness, the story always has a bigger meaning and a valuable lesson it wantsto teach us. Like for instance How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who! It’s great, but predictable and not something new.

If you are a kid, or a kid by heart, you will find this entertaining, funny, joyful and exciting. I recommend this to any animation and Dr Seuss lover.

Starring (the voices of): Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms and Betty White

Directed by: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda

Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Family and Musical

Release Date: 2 March 2012

This movie is also available in 3D. 

Rating: ***

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