15 May

Dark Shadows

Retreating into dark shadows and having a private but very audible sob was my reaction to watching the trailer for Tim Burton’s latest catastrophe. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter have shown Burton unrivalled loyalty in recent years (one senses they’re in on some sort of terribly unfunny joke) as he slowly undoes any of the good will that his early work may have garnered with clangers following swiftly on from stinkers. The fact that Dark Shadows shows little sign of breaking that run means that save for Corpse Bride, Burton hasn’t made a good film since Mars Attacks in 1996 and even that was iffy at times.

Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a cursed 200 year-old vampire who awakens from his slumber determined to restore his family’s good name only for vengeful witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) to upset the apple cart. If you think this sounds like the plot of some dreadful ‘60’s gothic sitcom then you’d be right, as Burton’s pic is based on the US TV series of the same name. Burton and Depp are self-confessed superfans, but such indulgences should very much be restricted to the self.

Elsewhere and burning off these gloomy shadows is the ray of light that is the return of Jim, Shitbreak, Stifler and of course his mum in American Pie: The Reunion. As the gang descend on East Great Falls for their high school reunion all the predictable gross out gags ensue. Original it might not be, but nostalgia dictates that this still promises to be far superior to many of its decidedly pale imitators. I for one will be chanting along with John Cho in his role as MILF Guy #2 as the inevitable Milf comes into shot. MILF MILF MILF! You get the picture…

From the writer of The Notebook and starring Zac Efron is a premise that sounds about as appealing as a punch in the face. But Efron showed in Me and Orson Welles that there is a bit more too him than a ludicrous name and a slappable face, so The Lucky One may not be as torturous as it first sounds. Unfeasibly perhaps, Efron plays Logan, a Marine who journeys to Louisiana searching for a mysterious woman whom he believes acted as his lucky charm whilst on tour in Iraq, only to land a job at her grandmother’s kennels. What? Anyway, soppy nonsense of sorts is almost guaranteed.


Rounding things off this week is Piranha 3DD, the latest instalment in the ‘illustrious’ franchise. This time around in a knowing nod to Jaws 3D, the menacing fish lay siege to the delectably named water park Big Wet. Any film that affords screentime to Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames and David Hasselhoff gets my vote regardless of quality, so this should be bloody fun if taken with a massive pinch of salt. In any case, it can’t be as bad as James Cameron’s Piranhas II: Flying Killers. Can it?

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