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Caryn James

The Vampire Who Came To Dinner: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton Do Dark Shadows

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 8, 2012 9:30 AM
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I’m a big fan of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and vampires in general, so Dark Shadows is a film with my name on it. But you don’t need that perfect storm of tastes to fall for this funny pop confection. You don’t even have to be familiar with the 60’s afternoon soap opera the film is based on, but you do need to appreciate of the movie’s tongue-in cheek wit. Burton sets the story in the disco 70’s period of the television show, then tweaks the horror genre and bubblegum culture. Take one look at Depp as 200-year-old undead Barnabus Collins in the daylight – a visual homage to Michael Jackson complete with pasty-white skin, sunglasses, black fedora and giant umbrella – and you have a sense of the movie’s light-hearted, spoofy tone.

Gervais Skewers Fame in Life's Too Short, With Tall Guest Liam Neeson

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 19, 2012 8:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
No one is smarter or funnier at tweaking celebrity than Ricky Gervais, and if you loved the inexhaustible wit of Extras as I did, you will probably also love his new HBO series Life’s Too Short, even though it doesn’t revolve around Gervais himself. Created by Davis, Gervais and his often underappreciated creative partner Stephen Merchant, the hero – or self-defeating anti-hero – is Warwick Davis, a dwarf and an actor who plays a skewed version of himself much the way Larry David does on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Davis is fine, but let’s be honest: the heart of the show is Gervais and Merchant, who in every episode meet some wildy funny star who makes a cameo appearance. This week’s guest scene is - and I am not exaggerating – one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and the unlikely comic is Liam Neeson.

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