The collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp seems to be delivering diminishing returns.
The first pairing of the director and actor, "Edward Scissorhands," was pure magic. "Ed Wood" yielded a powerful performance, and so did "Sweeney Todd." But some of the more recent films they've done together, like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Alice in Wonderland" and now "Dark Shadows," have left something to be desired.
"Dark Shadows" is a goofy, kitschy take on the '60s Gothic soap opera, with Depp as the morose vampire Barnabas Collins, cursed to blood-sucking after spurning a witch, Angelique (Eva Green). After being buried for 200 years, Barnabas surfaces in 1972, determined to restore the Collins' good fortune to matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer) and family. The set-up is better than the payoff, and Depp has fun with Barnabas' grandiosity. But the jokes, and the thrills, fall apart in the chaotic finale. (By the way, a Utah Internet firm is involved in the movie's marketing, as the Tribune's Tom Harvey reports.)