the dim shadows of tim burton's "dark shadows" - THE FRONT PAGE ONLINE

Whenever Hollywood adapts a television series, fan base reaction follows a familiar alliterative pattern of despair, dismay and disdain. Despair at Hollywood’s lack of originality. Dismay at the potential ruination of a beloved show. Disdain for the studios’ mercenary motives. The list of failed adaptations is long and certainly aggravates the allergy to adaptations. But the conclusion shouldn’t be a moratorium on future attempts. In principle, a feature film offers the creative opportunity for modernizing and distilling television series that, however loved, might be otherwise dated or bloated from content parceled out in episodic format. Such an adaptation, done properly, could serve equally well as a gateway to its inspiration while offering its own parallel narrative. That most adaptations fail stems from the simplest of incompetentcies: An inability to grasp a television series’ essential character and confusing pandering for storytelling. Despite Hollywood’s repeated failures, the dream stubbornly remains that somewhere, sometime, a filmmaker will take a much-loved television series and give it a worthy cinematic treatment. 

This adaptation of the cult gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, alas, is not that worthy effort...

Read of the rest of my review of Dark Shadows at The Front Page Online.

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