Movies opening up this weekend of May 11, 2012 are: Dark Shadows, God Bless America and Girl in Progress.
Dark Shadows was a gothic soap opera that ran on weekdays on ABC from 1966 to 1971. It was a spooky and moody show starring the vampire Barnabas Collins (played by the late Jonathan Frid). It had an intense cult following over the years.
Director Tim Burton has re-imagined the soap opera as a comedy starring Johnny Depp (as the vampire patriarch of the family Barnabas Collins), Michelle Pfeiffer (back from the dead herself it seems), Chloe Morentz (who wowed us as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass), Eva Green and Helena Bonham Carter (amongst others).
Baranabas (Depp) is a rich, powerful playboy who is master of Collinswood Manor. He breaks the heart of Angelique, who happens to be a witch – and not a very forgiving one. She curses him to be a vampire and then buries him alive. He’s entombed for 200 years, until he’s revived in the groovy 1970’s. Things are different, as he returns to his estate and descendants, very different. The estate has become a mess in 200 years, so has his family.
Like most Tim Burton movies, it’s visually stunning and trippy. It’s fun and strange, more Twilight on acid than anything else. Let’s be honest, the original show was not fine art, it was definitely cheezy, over-the-top and cheap looking – but we tend to be trapped in the memories of what something meant to us when we were younger, so it’s likely that fans of the old series might not be overjoyed by a comedic re-imagination of their beloved show – but most of them are remembering a show that never really was as good as they thought. For everyone else, you’ll enjoy it.
God Bless America
Bizarre comedian Bobcat Goldthwait directs his commentary on America and what it’s become. Frank is an everyday putz who has nothing left to live for – his wife is gone, so is his job and as far as he knows.. he might be dying. Frank has nothing going for him at all. Rather than kill himself, he decides to go all Natural Born Killers and kill off all the morons that make life intolerable, starting off with reality TV stars (Big Brother contestants watch out!). Along the way, he teams up with a similar soul by the name of Roxy, who is a high school student just as pissed off at how things are as he is. They tour America on a quest to rid the world of the country’s most annoying celebrities.
It’s viciously funny and a great satire on what’s going on in pop-culture. It’s a revenge fantasy on acid, equal parts Natural Born Killers, Falling Down and Taxi Driver.
Girl in Progress
Eva Mendes stars as a single mom to a teenage girl, who seems to be growing up faster than her mother. It’s your standard coming-of-age story, but this time applies to both mom and daughter. We’ve seen it before, but it’s sweet and charming.