Weekend Roundup: Addams Family Musical, Phantom of the Opera, Dark Shadows

Happy Monday all! 

Hope you had a nice weekend. Mine was quite busy but in a good way. For our anniversary celebration, we went to see the Addams Family play on Friday night at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul.

Truth be told, I’m not that familiar with the story nor have I seen the 1991 film version, but the trailer looks like a hoot so I thought, why not. Well fortunately, unlike what the critics think of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, the show itself is as amusing and fun as the preview. Instead of Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth on Broadway, the touring cast of Douglas Sills and Sara Gettelfinger as Gomez and Morticia are both excellent. Sills practically stole the scenes every time he came on stage with his zing-y one liners and impeccable comic timing. I think I’d like him a lot more than Lane in the role.

I quite like musicals, and this weekend I also got to revisit one of my all time favorite musicals, The Phantom of the Opera. I have seen the stage performance twice and I could easily go a few more times as I’m just so in love with the doomed-romance story and its incredibly beautiful music. I even enjoyed the short-run sequel Love Never Dies when it was still playing in London’s Adelphi Theatre, but no, it still can’t hold a candle to the original. No wonder it’s still the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time!

THIS is the role why I’ll forever be a fan of Gerry Butler and remains one of my top five favorite GB roles. He’s been somewhat off my radar lately for one reason or another, but seeing him as the passionate, emotional tortured soul gets me every time. Now, I’m not a fan of Joel Schumacher’s work in general but I’ll always thank him for casting the then unknown Butler over John Travolta and Antonio Banderas who were vying for the Phantom role. I also like his idea of making it a young romance between Christine and the Phantom. Thus, having 16-year-old Emmy Rossum in her first feature film role is inspired casting. There’s certain beguiling innocence about her that makes it so bewitching to watch as she falls for the dark and irresistibly seductive musical genius.

The powerful combination of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s haunting music, the stunning set pieces and Butler’s sultry performance is why I’m an unabashed POTO phan for life. There are just so many favorite scenes that I may just dedicate a post for it one day, but this steamy rendition of The Point of No Return definitely takes the cake.

On Saturday, I got to see Haywire as well which I wanted to watch back in February but it was no longer playing in theaters. Soderbergh, Gina Carano and Channing Tatum was promoting the film at the Hall H panel in Comic-con last year, which piqued my interest. Review coming later this week but in the meantime, check out this guest review from FC contributor Cecilia Rusli:

DARK SHADOWS (2012)

Yes it’s the eighth film where a collaboration between Tim Burton as the director and Johnny Depp as the cast happens. I personally have only watched three of them, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and this Dark Shadows where Johnny Depp has his face painted white just like he did as Willy Wonka.
Dark Shadows is a fantasy film telling about the life of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) which was cursed to be a vampire and buried alive by a witch whose heart is broken by him, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). As always, Tim Burton has this imaginary fantasy in creating characters and ambiance on a film. Fairytale-like, Dark Shadows offers a vampire storyline with a little Twilight-like at some points. However, the comedic scenes by Johnny Depp shows that he’s successful in bringing this vampire movie to a different level.
I personally put my high appreciation on the vintage stuffs I find on the film. First is the soundtrack. Bringing great 70s tunes to the movie is such a superb idea to connect the film which tells about Collins’ life in the 70s. Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues and Top of the World by The Carpenters are the soundtracks I definitely will have on my iPod. Secondly is the wardrobe. I finally find the gorgeous Chloe Moretz back. I was a bit disappointed with her performance on Hugo, but she managed to look fabulous on vintage outfits and awkward personality on Dark Shadows. Lastly, the Collinwood house of the Collins family. The statues, paintings, and decoration at the house did a great job in creating the dark ambiance of the movie.
I still feels that Dark Shadows is not Tim Burton + Johnny Depp’s best collaborations. There are some absurd scenes on the film, some people may find it entertaining or just plain weird. But I actually find nothing special on the storyline, it’s hilarious, but not much… it’s dark, but not strong either. However, it’s still worth to watch for one looking for a light comedy film with great music.
– review by Cecilia Rusli 

3 out of 5 reels


So what did you see this weekend? Anything worth watching?

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42 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Addams Family Musical, Phantom of the Opera, Dark Shadows

  1. I’m surprised that you aren’t familiar with “The Addams Family” since it’s a classic TV series (itself based on the comic strip by Charles Addams), not to mention two feature films. I’d love to see the musical, as it looks fun.

    As for the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations, viewing “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood” is a must.

    1. I didn’t grow up in the US so there are a ton of shows I’m not familiar with, like Gilligan’s Island and this one, but then again lots of Americans have no clue what Tintin is, ahah. I don’t know if die hard fans of Addams Family would feel about the musical as they made some changes to it. Oh yeah, I saw Edward Scissorhands, that’s a good Burton/Depp collaboration right there.

  2. Ted S.

    I used to watch the old Adams Family TV show from the 60s when I was in grade school, I never seen the movie versions though, I was never interested in seeing them.

    Dark Shadows looks interesting but it’s a rental for me.

    I was kind of busy over the weekend so I didn’t see or watch any movies, in fact I haven’t down in my mini home theater in a while. I need to watch The Guns of Navarone BD that you lend me.

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah, I met with a few more actresses over the weekend, the ones who couldn’t make it to the audition a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to choose about 5 candidates for a second audition.

  3. Cecilia Rusli

    Haven’t seen Phantom of the Opera. Looks like very interesting.

    I pretty much liked the fighting scene in Haywire. Lookin forward for your review on it, Ruth.

    Anyway, thank you for posting my review.

    1. Oh my, you MUST see POTO, Cecilia. Are you a fan of the music at all? I used to listen to the POTO CD that my mom owned so I’ve been a fan of the music all my life, but then the film came out and I just fell in love with it.

      Hey THANKS for the review. Glad you enjoyed it somewhat, I really thought it’d be an all out comedy judging from the trailer. The music does seem to add a lot to the movie though.

      1. Cecilia Rusli

        Hahhaha i also haven’t heard the music at POTO! pity me. Looks like i really need to get some of them.

        You’re very much welcome, Ruth.

        Burton seems to be a bit disappointing in Dark Shadows. But i’m still curious about Frankenweenie which will be out this oct. I like the trailer. And it’s B&W. Reminds me of The Artist.

  4. You should really see Addams Family films they are so much fun! Ricci and Huston deliver some of their most memorable performances there.

      1. Actually, the second film, “Addams Family Values” was better than the first, though they make a great double-feature. Avoid the TV movie “Addams Family Reunion,” though.

  5. That’s funny, I also watched Haywire on Saturday evening. I enjoyed it well enough, and had fun watching Gina Carano take down a motley crew of big Hollywood stars. Looking forward to your review.

    Not sure if I will bother with Dark Shadows. It has an intriguing style to it, but it doesn’t sound like there is much substance to back it up.

    1. Oh cool! Glad you enjoyed it too. Soderberg has assembled an awesome cast to be taken down by Carano, ahah.

      Yeah, too bad about Dark Shadows, looks so promising!

  6. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Sounds like a fun play. Curious as to if there was an orchestra and if it allowed time for the audience to finger snap during the theme song?

    I saw many, many Charles Addams cartoons in ‘The New Yorker’ and like magazines when I was a kid. There was something very free and macabre in Addam’s humor. That was also tinged with a sense of family.

    Like Wednesday sweeping away the middle part of cast shadow with a broom. Or the family on the roof of their manse preparing a wassail of boiling oil to be dumped on Christmas carolers outside. Which, oddly enough was a gag that made it onto both the trailer for and in first Addam’s Family film.

    John Astin and Carolyn Jones were great as Gomez and Morticia on television. As were Raul Julia and Angelica Huston, in film. While Christina Ricci stole every scene she was in.

    1. I missed the first 10 minutes so I only saw the opening montage from the TV. But yeah, sounds like they did play that song, was it called ‘When You’re an Addams’ in the TV show also? Here’s the clip from the touring version (which I much prefer than the original w/ Nathan Lane: http://youtu.be/M2E3sGUyUgE)

      Yeah, the sense of a close-knit family is very cute. Sure they’re very kooky but I like that they love one another and there’s a good message about a healthy marriage as well which is rare these days. I will rent the movie now, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  7. GB’s been off your radar because of your new crush GP!!!! 😀 The trailer for Dark Shadows made it seem like it had potential but like all Tim Burton movies these days, the potential seem completely wasted. The guy is just firing blank at this point.

    1. Oh and this past weekend, I watched a Jackie Chan movie Little Big Soldier which was actually quite good. I also went and watched The Avengers again 😀

    2. Ahahaha, yes that’s partly why, but he also hasn’t done anything since Machine Gun Preacher and one of his movies I was anticipating got pushed to December! 😦

      I hadn’t even heard of ‘Little Big Soldier,’ is that a Hollywood production? Wow, you saw The Avengers again, cool. Did you enjoy it more the second time around, Cap? 😀

      1. Little Big Soldier is a Chinese production I think. The Avengers was still nice but I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it the second time. It’s a really light movie with not that much substance beneath the surface but hey, it’s a comic book movie after all 😀

        1. Hey, are you gonna do a review of Avengers? I miss reading your review man. I know you’re super swamped with your work so I understand 🙂

  8. I must watch Phantom one day. I do love a good doomed romance. Think I’m going to wait for Dark Shadows on rental. I can’t even remember what I watched this weekend. Can’t have been anything worth recommending!

    1. YES you do, Pete! It doesn’t get more ‘doomed’ than the Phantom + Christine. It’s well worth a watch even for the music alone, but if you like GB, you’d get a kick out of seeing King Leonidas actually could belt out a tune 🙂

  9. filmplicity

    Don’t much fancy Dark Shadows. Beginning to lose faith in Johnny Depp’s project choices. As well as that his collaborations with Tim Burton seem to me to be blending into one another.

    1. Yeah I think you’re right. Too bad though, I really like the trailer. Whoever made that trailer is a genius, but misleading as well!

  10. Have heard a lot of mixed things about Dark Shadows. Think I might try and make a bit of an effort to see it. Coming up a little bit better a week after release.

    Funny thing – I grew up with The Munsters rather than Addams Family! Though, I remember The Addams Family film.

    1. Someone was telling me about The Munsters yesterday. I’ve never heard of ’em I’m afraid, but then again I wasn’t that familiar w/ Addams Family either 🙂

  11. Flixy dearest, have you heard my beloved Nicole Sherzinger in the lead role in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA? Check it out, she’s amazing. I love that she is a pop star who sings opera 🙂

    Don’t forget to listen to the last 30 seconds 🙂

  12. I just saw Dark Shadows yesterday and felt it was a little weird. Laugh a couple of times, and for some reasons Chloe Moretz was far more scary than Johnny Depp (I guess Depp was meant to be more into silly character). I agree it wasn’t the best collaboration from Depp and Burton.

  13. Nice weekend! You know, I tried to watch Schumacher’s POTO a few years ago and I just couldn’t get through it. I normally love musicals but I couldn’t stand all the singing in that one. It was way too much.

    1. Oh no, too much singing in a musical?? Well that’s to be expected, no? 😀 I just LOVE POTO’s music as I grew up listening to it, so I don’t mind all that singing, especially when it’s The Phantom singing. Perhaps you can just skip to the Point of No Return scene, Fernando 🙂

      1. Haha, I know the whole point of a musical are the songs but there were too much of them in POTO! Besides, I didn’t really like Butler’s voice. Rossum, on the other hand, sings like an angel.

  14. How odd that of the Burton/Depp collaborations you’ve seen THOSE three, which I wouldn’t say are the best by a longshot. Sleepy Hollow is probably the best thing they’ve done (it’s almost definitely my favourite Depp performance in a Burton film and one of Burton’s most beautiful ones to look at). And considering that you like musicals somewhat I’m surprised you’ve not seen Sweeney Todd.

    1. Hi Andrew, the review came from my friend Cecilia, not me. Yes I’d agree w/ you that Sleepy Hollow is my fave of Burton/Depp combo. I’m surprised I haven’t seen Sweeney Todd as I like musicals AND Alan Rickman, I should get on it soon! 🙂

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