BY MICHELLE MEDFORD
Some of the most underrated movies this year missed it with critics as a result of expectations. Well, sorry those of you felt the way you did, but I loved them.
3) Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows works for moderate Tim Burton fans and people who didn’t watch the original show, ie. people like me. I generally like Tim Burton movies, and love a few (Big Fish, Sleepy Hollow and, obviously, TNBC), so you can almost always count me in if you’d like to invite me to one of his movies (which was the case here). However, Dark Shadows didn’t really appeal to me. I hadn’t seen the show and I thought that would make me feel out of the loop. I’m also not big on campy movies. But I left the theatre really surprised. This movie was light, silly, highly-stylized and well-paced. However, I think if I’d been a fan of the show, I wouldn’t have liked it as much (or at all maybe). So, for all you somewhat-Burton fans who have never heard the name Barnabas Collins, this one’s for you.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUE8ZbLZpMM]
This was another one that seemed to fail based on expectations. We all know that Alien is adored as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. Although this movie never posed as a definitely prequel to the Sigourney space horror, fans knew that’s what it was (sort of), so it fell victim to very high expectations. I never expected this movie to be the be-all, end-all answer to all (or any) of Alien‘s questions, and it definitely wasn’t. However, it added to a history we already knew a bit about and made for an extension of a beloved storyline, without having to re-write it. It was mysterious, mythical and rich, much like the greatest TV show of all time, Lost, because guess what, it was co-written by one of Lost‘s co-creators/writers/showrunners, Damon Lindelof, who is proving to be a brilliant sci-fi writer. Unfortunately, he’s stepped away from the rumoured sequel, but he’s attached his name to another promising series, Star Trek. Get me tickets right now.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDyyyeCW6v4]
This movie wasn’t the easiest to find this summer. It either had a limited release or quickly dropped from several theatres, I don’t know which because I didn’t know much about it prior to seeing it. I don’t even remember seeing a trailer. After seeing the movie, it’s hard to forget it. Critics praised this film for its tremendous acting (well, obviously, with Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska on the roster, but also surprisingly from Shia LaBeouf) and high production quality (gorgeous cinematography, and beautifully-styled actors and sets), but docked the story and its telling. I disagree. It was slow (in a good way) and gritty with complex characters, fuelled by emotion, who fit together perfectly and spoke well-written lines. It’s based on a true story, told as legend, and it’s everything you’re looking for in a powerful, thoughtful 1930s bootlegging gangster-flick.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTlNMdNK_0M]