By now, you've probably heard about Tim Burton's new movie, "Dark Shadows." Based on the popular '70s soap opera, the adaptation stars Johnny Depp (of course) as Barnabas Collins, a vampire who seeks revenge on a jealous witch. Does "Shadows" breathe life into the director's recent crop of underwhelming films? Is the latest Depp-Burton collaboration in need of resuscitation? Will [INSERT THIRD CLICHED PUN ABOUT VAMPIRES]? Let's take a look in this week's Pro-Con.
PRO: The set design and costumes
One thing the movie nails: The 1970s aesthetic, with its lava lamps, music, clothes and cars.
CON: The script
Sure, the movie may be great to look at, but that doesn't matter when the script is in total shambles. "Dark Shadows" is filled with plot holes and unanswered questions.
PRO: The soundtrack
The film features a terrific selection of classic rock hits, from "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" by T.Rex to the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" to (appropriately) "Season Of The Witch" by Donovan.
CON: The misuse of Danny Elfman
The legendary composer has worked on almost every Tim Burton movie. But here, his score is banished to the short intro and end credits.
PRO: Eva Green
Even with a bland script, the French actress succeeds at playing the menacing evil witch, Angelique Bouchard.
CON: Chloe Moretz
The 15-year-old actress has been deservedly praised for her roles in "Kick Ass" and "Let Me In." But her portrayal of the despondent (and stoned) Carolyn Stoddard is, for a lack of a better word, terrible.
PRO: Collinwood Manor
Along the same lines as the first "pro." The house is filled with secret passages, ancient artwork and an unbelievably cool caretaker played by Jackie Earle Haley.
CON: Collinwood Manor montage
Barnabas' arrival in 1972 was Burton's perfect excuse to film a cheesy montage at Collinwood Manor, filled with bad fish-out-of-water jokes.
PRO: Johnny Depp
The movie star is his usual reliable self in "Shadows," lurking around Tim Burton's gorgeously gothic sets as only Johnny Depp can do.
CON: Johnny Depp
Still, we've seen this role from Depp before; he's played the pasty-faced creeper in almost every one of Burton's films.
PRO: Jonathan Frid cameo
The original Barnabas Collins, who passed away last month at the age of 87, made his final film appearance in "Shadows." As Depp told the LA Times on set, Frid was "as elegant and magical as I had always imagined."
CON: Alice Cooper cameo
You know what's cool? Seeing Alice Cooper perform in 1972. You know what isn't? Watching a 64-year-old Alice Cooper perform in a film that's set in 1972.
PRO: This Mondo poster
CON: This photo at the "Dark Shadows" premiere, which would have been great ... in 1972.
So why see Dark Shadows, on a weekend when The Avengers beckons you for a second look? Five reasons, and they're all females. <a href="http://entertainment.time.com/2012/05/10/johnny-depp-in-tim-burtons-dark-shadows-death-warmed-over/#ixzz1uU4LQC55" target="_hplink">Each of the actresses in the cast looks great and star-acts up a perfect storm</a>.
Of all the morbid beauties in Tim Burton's work, the spooky goth girls and deathly pale boys, none wear their ghoulishness as lightly or winningly as Johnny Depp. And what a bewitching corpse he makes in "Dark Shadows," <a href="http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/movies/johnny-depp-stars-in-tim-burtons-dark-shadows.html?adxnnl=1&seid=auto&smid=tw-nytimesmovies&adxnnlx=1336665813-SzIQtbwa/XZYLznZab9L4Q" target="_hplink">Mr. Burton's most pleasurable film in years</a>.
As the door to Collinwood creaks open... we glimpse a powerful, almost Proustian totem leaning against the front porch: A Schwinn kids' bicycle, with a banana seat. I had already suspected I was going to love "Dark Shadows," even before that moment. <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/05/10/johnny_depps_delirious_dark_shadows/" target="_hplink">But that's when I knew it for sure</a>.
Some of director Tim Burton's costume parties are livelier than others, and the new "Dark Shadows" -- from the man who gave us "Edward Scissorhands," "Sweeney Todd," "Alice in Wonderland" and other chalkface-makeup spectaculars starring Johnny Depp -- <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/sc-mov-0508-dark-shadows-20120510,0,4747332.column" target="_hplink">feels like a place-holder, a meandering first draft of an adaptation of the supernatural soap opera that ran on ABC-TV from 1966 to 1971</a>.
Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" is all dressed up with nowhere to go, an elegant production without a central drive. It offers wonderful things, but they aren't what's important. <a href="http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120509/REVIEWS/120509983" target="_hplink">It's as if Burton directed at arm's length, unwilling to find juice in the story</a>.
The film delivers precisely the satisfaction a sympathetic audience could expect from its director, not one degree above or below. The audience is whelmed. <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/may/10/dark-shadows-review" target="_hplink">It's a whelmer</a>.
Burton's greatest strength remains his visual artistry. "Dark Shadows" obviously springs from the same brilliantly ma-cabre imagination that has given us such works as "Beetlejuice," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Corpse Bride." But when the script is as weak as this "Munsters"-level pastiche by John August ("Big Fish") and Emerson graduate Seth Grahame-Smith, <a href="http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/view/20220510fumbling_in_the_dark_depps_vampire_flick_a_bit_lifeless/srvc=home&position=7" target="_hplink">Burton is helpless</a>.