I went to see DARK SHADOWS with my older sister and she laughed and hooted and clapped through the entire movie. This made the movie a lot more fun, obviously, but it was interesting because I didn't think it was quite that amusing. To me it was the same sorts of jokes that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp like to tell. Visual jokes like vampires doing normal stuff
or vampires trying to find someplace to sleep
and cultural contrast jokes like vampires presented with eggos
or sitting in beanbag chairs.
Caroline loved it and it prompted me to do some googling.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are only a handful of years older than my sister. When they came of age they began to make films with a very specific ethos, a vision very different than anything anyone had ever seen. Twenty years later, what they created has become NORMAL, and the distinctions between their subversive vision and normal pop culture today are almost non-existent. DARK SHADOWS is a fine film, and the campy soap-opera acting was fun, but it showed the Burton/Depp ethos to be shockingly conventional. I mean, little kids run around dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow and Jack the Pumpkin King at Disneyland. It doesn’t get any more mainstream than that.
|However homo-eroticism has never gone out of style|
I'm thinking the real reason JOHN CARTER was made was a lame attempt to cash in on the Steampunk trend that was happening there for a bit. Yes, there is a community who still enjoys steam punk gear and books and lifestyles, but when Steampunk is part of an episode of Castle and has spawned a line of romance novels... well, I think we all agree that it, as a trend, has jumped the shark.
That said, you do have to give props to the writers of JOHN CARTER for explaining how something we KNOW looks like this:
|"Hey look! There's my shovel!" -- Mars Rover|
|"Does the BLM know yall spray painted all that sagebrush here in Death Valley?"|
Their VERY clever explanation is that, sure, Mars is a complete wasteland now but that's just because the Martians wreaked ecological disaster on their own planet. In the 1890s it was totally just a desert-ish place populated with cute things like toad dogs
|It's both cuter and creepier than you think.|
and six-limbed "primitive" native peoples who live in caves.
|"Welcome white unattractive dude. We expect you to go native & then betray us for a white woman in exactly 1.5 hrs."|
Now, it's not all bad. The princess has some fantastic henna.
and I liked the Star Wars monster
but other than that it was pretty ho-hum. I think a lot of my apathy was because of the leading man, Taylor Kitsch. Bad acting, over acting, speech impediments,and general unattractiveness I can live with but please, please, don't let the leading man be BORING!
|Admit it. You got bored just looking at this photo.|
Also, when casting a leading man, make sure he can make skirts look manly. Kitsch looks like he's wearing a nice party dress for most of the film.
|"What? Skirts don't chafe!"|