Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tim Burton blames failure of DARK SHADOWS on DARK SHADOWS


Tim Burton is making the rounds, promoting his latest visually-beautiful-yet-soulless motion picture, BIG EYES. Naturally, journalists are picking at the scabs of his last film, DARK SHADOWS. In his efforts to assure people that his latest film will be better, he happily throws his previous movie under the bus.

But it's not his fault DARK SHADOWS wasn't more warmly received, he tells Indiewire: 
INDIEWIRE: The last movie was "Dark Shadows," which was seen as something of a failure. What was your experience on that?  

TIM BURTON: Well it was a weird tone. Because I grew up on that show and the weird thing about it is it had a cult following but it was actually pretty bad. It had the weirdest tone. I always found the tone, even though it was deadly serious, quite comedic. And your feelings always come out. So I always knew that it was dangerous territory because I tried to capture the tone and yet the tone is funny. 
I'm curious? Who's fault was PLANET OF THE APES? MARS ATTACKS? Tim Burton has never been able to tell the difference between a good script and a bad one, and that's the root of his inability to grow as a storyteller. His films have suffered from the same style-over-substance approach since BETTLEJUICE. If he'd spent less time trying to find a "tone" (whatever that means) and developing a coherent screenplay, he might have a bit more luck. Because of his knack for failing upwards, though, it's unlikely he'll ever learn his lesson. And you can't un-bake a cake.


If you want to read the entire interview for yourself, you can find it HERE. You might want to hold your nose first, though. I'm not sure if the author is trying to interview Burton or sleep with him.

27 comments:

Cousin Barnabas said...

Yeah, I had no interest in seeing the film, even though I love most of Burton's work. The "tone" he set was condescending and snarky. I grew up on DS as well, and for all it's flaws, I love it to this day for it was: entertainment.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Yeah, I had no interest in seeing the film, even though I love most of
Burton's work. The "tone" he set was condescending and snarky. I grew up
on DS as well, and for all it's flaws, I love it to this day for what it
was: entertainment.

Cousin Barnabas said...

What? The attrociously stupid script wasn't to blame? The lazy Burton visual style wasn't to blame? The awful jokes weren't to blame? It was the 'tone'?? And not the tone Burton set... the tone of the original series was to blame. This is why Burton hasn't made a good film in a decade.

Cousin Barnabas said...

I'm an original run-home-from-school fan, and I loved the series dearly. That being said, it was not the most technically well made show, the acting and writing could be iffy at times. I'll still watch it beginning to end at least a 3rd time before I croak! I adored the movie for itself. It wasn't the original, but come on- did anyone in their right mind expect it to be? I found it entertaining and thought it captured a lot of the essence of the TV show. The one thing I dreaded most was HBC being cast as my favorite character, Dr. Julia Hoffman, but she nailed Julia as she'd have acted had such ways been allowed on pre-1970 television.

Cousin Barnabas said...

It must be nice to live in such an insular world of self importance that all problems lie in other agents. I'm *sure* all DS fans were worried about this movie because we weren't sure the HUMOR or Dark Shadows would translate well. Really? Fuck that guy.

Cousin Barnabas said...

We actually enjoyed Mr. Burton's "take" on Dark Shadows... an enjoyable film....
Critics are"Opinionated A$$-Holes" anyway.... And Mars Attacks was a "Fun" movie.....
People always have to "nit-pick" anything that is not Totally "Mainstream"....
... it is a sad fact of Life that some people (like "Critics") have to try and drain all that is good or "pleasing" about things... Offering us only what "they" do Not like ... and so many of them are just ruthlessly "Spiteful"....
My G-mail account is Badly "messed up"....

Cousin Barnabas said...

What a way to turn on the fans! Even Burton himself was lucky to have a small "cult following" of his own with this lazy mess, and this even seemed a throw-off on them. Your pictures say it all. This statement was, most of all, such a cheap shot to the original cast who was nice enough to appear in the film. What a low blow to them, especially after they have been professional and gracious enough to nicely defend the film and be nice about it all. Especially to Jonathan who was in no shape to make such a long trip and be there. Shame on you, Burton.

Cousin Barnabas said...

"Well it was a weird tone. Because I grew up on that show and the weird thing about it is it had a cult following but it was actually pretty bad. It had the weirdest tone. I always found the tone, even though it was deadly serious, quite comedic. And your feelings always come out. So I always knew that it was dangerous territory because I tried to capture the tone and yet the tone is funny."

And the truth comes out at last! It's quite clear that Burton was never really a fan of the show, based on this quote, and the film he gave us. He is just some stupid hipster that ironically enjoyed how "bad" the show was by laughing at it. F@#K YOU, TIM BURTON!!

Cousin Barnabas said...

Tim Burton and Depp ruined Dark Shadows. When I first heard Depp was playing our beloved angsty vampire I was delighted. Then I saw the trailers. Avoided spendnign theater money on it, but did put out the 4 bucks On Demand. Worst 4 bucks I ever spent. Total travesty.

Cousin Barnabas said...

It
wasn't received well because clear that Burton didn't watch even one
episode. Dark Shadows the series was a Gothic Romance-Thriller. He
produce a badly craft farce. As I said in the interview with David, if
I had been producing it the first thing I would have did was burn the
script, second fired Burton, and lastly I would have fired Captain Jack
in favor of Johnny Depp, but I would have taken his make up away from
him. There was a way to honor the past, by using the original actors
and carrying the story forward. Hopefully next year, I'll have a chance
to prove it.

Cousin Barnabas said...

You are comparing current production standards to the past. In the late 1960's-early 1970, they didn't have a real budget, nor did they have special effects they have today. In comparison most home computers are capable of doing more than what they could with professional equipment they had available.

What they did have was an incredible cast, crew, writers, and production team, who knew how to make the best of what they had. Burton spend $150 million dollars, which included a huge special effects budget. It's too bad they didn't spend a little more to get a real writer for the script. There was a way to incorporate the original cast in real roles, which would have made the fans happy, and further the story.

But they choose to be stupid.

Cousin Barnabas said...

What I "expected" was for Burton to treat this as the "homage" he claimed it was. It was juvenile and sloppily mashed together as both wacky comedy AND horror. The tone and spirit of the original were completely lost in this buffalo turd with a glossy finish. The very least that Blurt-one could have done would be to remove Dan Curtis's name from the credits. He is no doubt rolling in his grave along with Jonathan Frid. The reason this movie flopped is because of the movie's insipid wacky tone that permeates the whole movie. By the way, that fight scene was more worthy of a Loony Tunes cartoon than a horror movie....oh, that's right..it's a comedy......I sometimes forget myself. The genre tag keeps changing for this movie wherever it is listed.

Cousin Barnabas said...

BETTLEJUICE?

Cousin Barnabas said...

Never mind "critics." I know a number of people (myself included) who hated this movie because it was more appropriate as a variety show comedy sketch than an homage to a series that Blurt-one claimed he was a huge fan of several times. The writer of this article had it right.....Tim Burton can't tell the difference between a good script and a fistful of cow patties. He fired John August in lieu of Seth Grahame Smith? If this had simply been a Burton movie on its own it would have been another run of the mill goth-comedy that would have disappeared from public consciousness. Instead, Depp and Burton built it up as an homage to their favorite childhood show. This is an homage. Perhaps you would understand better if someone took something that you had greatly respected and turned it into a sloppy juvenile farce to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Odd he did not mention the abandoned first script for the film that was serious in tone and was dark and scary. Studio scrapped for comedy. I think the end result speaks for itself. Meh. And yes he almost buried PLANET OF THE APES (that was just awful PERIOD!)

Cousin Barnabas said...

Tim Burton calls the original show "bad" but with a cult following. Thats the problem right there.The show was not BAD. It was low budget, with the actors and writers putting there all into a "revival theatre troupe" type show. If you think it was bad, you just aren't getting it. Campy by todays standards? yes. But if you sit down and start watching you get wrapped up into the great storytelling and thats whats fun. it transgresses its failures. Tim Burton, shame on you. you didn't understand a thing about the show.

Cousin Barnabas said...

I think he never spoke to his past self and never recalled what he liked about the show to begin with. Comedy is like a bull in a China shop in his films, and it should have been developed as a completely straight horror film and after it was scripted as such they could have added subtle moments of winks at the audience without destroying the characters and situations we all loved. Going broad and edgy was a big mistake and evidence they were at a loss as to how to handle the material at all. It was sad to see it crash and burn, even knowing that Tim and Johnny would mishandle it like Planet of the Apes was mishandled. Like The Lone Ranger was mishandled, like so many retread films are mishandled. They just don't have a clue.

Cousin Barnabas said...

I was just thinking Big Eyes might be fun to see. But that makes me not want to support any more films of Burton or his sleezey wife.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Wow. So, in short, Burton *never* understood the show at all. And that, somehow, is someone else's fault. Again, wow.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Also, I have a problem with him referring to the original show as a "cult" show. Maybe it is now, but at the time it was very popular, and definitely reached out to the mass market, and for all its flaws there was NOTHING else like it on television. Burton is not only condescending, he's also rewriting history.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Well-written article. Yes, thank you, Tim Burton, for throwing DS under the bus. I actually enjoyed the movie & the fact that they tried to retain some of the "campiness" of the original. But this movie -- along with so many others that Hollywood feels the need to create because they've run out of original ideas -- once again proves that you just can't top the originals!

Cousin Barnabas said...

He talks like an imbecile.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Helen B. Carter's performance of Dr. Hoffman was very good... and we enjoyed the "over-the-top" Fight scene... and the joke where Barnabas was watching Alice Cooper..."Ugliest woman I've ever seen".... And the way that he dealt with our "modern marvels"... thought that they were nice touches... Everyone puts down this film ... but (as a life-long fan of Dark Shadows) we found it to be a rather "fun" film in its own right.... so it did Not live up to people (and Fan's) expectations...
.. Still worth a view... Better that that "Twilight" crap...

Cousin Barnabas said...

what should have been a good dark and Gothic horror film was turned into a horrendously bad comedy by a talent less director and a talent less actor in the lead. I had serious doubts when I heard of Johnny Depp's involvement and with Burton directing the doubts turned into sincere fright. Needless to say I was expecting a seriously horrible film and that is exactly what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp delivered. The late 80's remake with Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins was far superior to the terrible mess from Burton.

Cousin Barnabas said...

http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/762762/tim-burton-explains-comedic-tone-in-dark-shadows-trailer.jhtml



If you watch this interview, at about 00:45 Tim Burton says that he remembers the show "affectionately." This is, of course, after a lot of hand gesticulation and stammering while explaining WHY there is so much humor in his version of Dark Shadows. This seems like a significant departure in tone from what he said in this quote. His comments are rather denigrating toward the show for which he had such great "affection." The snarky, half-assed wacky tone is almost a sarcastic middle finger to the show. If you want an example of a parody that was done with reverence, watch Mel Brooks's "Young Frankenstein." You will notice that Brooks changed the name of his movie to YOUNG Frankenstein, and he didn't use the same name as the source material. Why? Because when you use the same name as the original, along with all of the same names of the original characters, you will draw comparisons to the original. What Burton did was not done with love or affection, as the movie has a huge smirk on its face....right down to the Count Chocula cereal vampire clown makeup look of Depp's Barnabas. For those who say that they "enjoyed the movie for what it was" .....that is a patent excuse to justify something as a guilty pleasure that they know is bad. It this had simply been one of Tim Burton's other titled movies full of recycled yuks that only his fans find funny in one of his tone-indecisive "gothedies" , nobody would care. The fact that he built up such great expectations from fans and then takes a collective piss on them with this insipid, lazy rendering is Burton's own fault. It's not the show's fault....there are still plenty of fans....even from later generations.

Cousin Barnabas said...

He shouldn't have taken the job if he didn't think it was a great TV show. The
original Dark Shadows is awesome! I it was live theater, and despite the inevitable mistakes of live theater, the acting and the
stories were great. In fact, it reminds me of the serial drama's of
today that have become the most popular form
of TV. The producers of the movie should have hired a director who
liked Dark Shadows. The fact that it was live theater also benefited the show. For example, on one the the DVD interviews, someone says that Jonathan Frid was nervous
about remembering his lines, and that inherent nervousness made his
character seem more vulnerable to the audience, which made the audience
like him. Because the audience liked him, the producers turned Barnabas
Collins from an evil villain, who was supposed to be killed off in one
storyline, to the hero of the show. Of course they also needed a new
hero after they fired the great Mitchell Ryan due to his alcoholism.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Yeah, I think the best thing that could have happened to Burton before this film was released would have been being kidnapped by Kathy Bates and forced to rewrite this "cockadoodie movie"

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