Ticket or Click it: Fangs for the Memories

Johnny Depp in 'Dark Shadows' (Photo: WB)

by Rebecca Kelley

What’s your best bet for a movie this weekend? Is it better to head to theaters and watch something on the big screen or to snuggle up on your couch, hopefully with a sweetie, and watch XFINITY On Demand? What to do? Luckily for you, “Ticket or Click It” is here to break down the choices. Click on the movie title for more information about ordering On Demand or buying tickets through Fandango.


What’s On Demand?

Underworld: Awakening

In this third (or fourth, depending on how you count) installment of the “Underworld” series, the Death Dealer (a.k.a. vampire) Selene is back to fight the Lycans (a.k.a. werewolves) in their enduring war. This time, however, the humans get in on the action. They’ve started a campaign to free the world of both Death Dealers and Lycans. Great. Now Selene has another faction to fight. Plus, she must protect her Lycan-Death Dealer hybrid daughter.

Our take: Kate Beckinsale is kick-butt as Selene, which is good because the plot requires a lot of butt kicking. Fans of the series – and we know you’re out there – will enjoy this installment. It’s action-horror-sci-fi at its most satisfyingly campy. The rest of us just wonder if, just once, the vampires and werewolves can’t be friends.

The Vow

Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) have the perfect new marriage. They’re madly in love. That is, until an accident leaves Paige with no memory of her life, including her adoring and adorable new husband. Faithful and besotted Leo sets out to win her heart all over again.

Our take: All together now: Awwwwwww. This cornball romance is based, loosely, on a real-life story. It’s a sweet tearjerker for sure, although many will find it as corny as June in Kansas and as syrupy as a breakfast buffet. If you like those kinds of movies, this is a three-hankie treat for you. If you’re allergic to irony, this will make you break out in hives.


What’s In Theaters?

Dark Shadows

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp reunite, along with the inevitable Helena Bonham Carter, in this movie about a vampire coming back to his dilapidated family. Barnabas Collins (Depp) was turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin by a jealous witch, who killed his true love to boot. Returning to what’s left of his creepy family 100 years later, he must adjust to life in 1972, which was hard enough for people from 1972. Plus, he must revive the fortunes of his cursed family, defeat the witch and reunite with his lost love. That’s a lot on anyone’s plate.

Our take: It looks and feels like a Burton-Depp collaboration – all gothic quirkiness and stylized images – but doesn’t have the macabre magic of an “Edward Scissorhands” or “Sleepy Hollow.” The movie has some great moments and fun scenes, mostly as Barnabas’ 18th century attitudes clash with the hippies, feminists and technologies of the modern era. Electricity is surely a form of sorcery! However, the movie cannot decide if it wants to be comedy or drama and thus fails at both. The plot never twists in any surprising way and creepy horror elements feel uninspired. Despite some wonderful parts, the movie never quite reaches the level we’ve come to expect from Depp and Burton (and Bonham Carter).


Ticket or Click It?

Ticket! Although it’s not their best, “Dark Shadows” has enough good moments to give Burton and Depp another shot.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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