Wednesday, March 21

Dark Shadows 2012 Trailer and Time and Again by Jack Finney

Dark Shadows started as a gothic horror soap opera in 1966. It began delving into the supernatural with the introduction of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins. I discovered the series when Barnabas was terrorizing Maggie Evans, trying to turn her into his lost love. It gave me nightmares and my mother said no more Dark Shadows.

I couldn't stay away from it though and began to watch it again when my mother wasn't in the room. This was easy because she was Deaf and couldn't hear that I'd changed the channel. The storyline at the time was a Frankenstein one--Barnabas had been "cured" of vampirism. I was totally hooked and watched the series to the end, running home from school to make sure I didn't miss any of it.

There can never be another series like it. The actors who played the characters can never be replaced. Dark Shadows fandom lives on, even though the show went off in 1971. Every year there is a Fest, bringing together fans and actors/actresses. It's a lot of fun. I've been to three.

This year, there's a new movie called Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas and directed by Tim Burton. I've seen other films by Burton and figured this movie would be offbeat and kooky. That doesn't bother me because, like I said, you can't remake the original. I'm looking forward to the movie because I like Johnny Depp and think he'll make a good Barnabas.

The trailer was released last week and it seems to have divided the fans in half--those that liked it and those that hated it. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion but I've been surprised at how hostile things became sometimes. Oh well. The debate has nothing to do with how I feel anyway and May (when the movie is released) is just a few weeks away.

Time and Again by Jack Finney is a book I always meant to read from high school on. I saw it at a library book sale and decided that now was the time I'd finally read it. It's a science fiction story about time travel and I enjoy that kind of thing.

I had really mixed feelings about the book though. Simon Morley is an illustrator in NY who meets up with a mysterious man that wants to involve him in some secret project he gives little details about. I wondered what made the guy pick Si Morley first of all and, second of all, why Morley was so willing to go with the man based on such little information. Morley meets a bunch of people in a warehouse who, once again, provide little information and convince him to join the project. Huh? Maybe 2012 me would be too suspicious to fall for that, where 1970 me might have gone along with it.

Eventually, though, it turns out that the government is working on a great experiment in time travel. They say they want to just go back and observe but I wondered to myself, why? I also wondered how this time travel was supposed to be accomplished. There were no machines or anything to go back. It turns out this was to be done mentally, although all time is a river and the past is right alongside us in the present. Okay.

After a whole lot of practice, Si takes an experimental trip back to New York, 1882. Then he goes back again to watch a specific event. Then he's sent back again, to gather more information for the researchers. Later, we find out what the researchers true motive is for all this research and it's disturbing.

Looking back, I think it was good to have an air of mystery. It was like watching an episode of Lost--as one question was answered, another rose in my mind. I also enjoyed the inclusion of photographs and drawings from the times. Some of the descriptions were very interesting.

On the downside, there was a lot of description and detail given to buildings, streets, and trees. I found it all tedious after awhile and so I'd skip those parts. Another thing I didn't like was the inconsistency of the time travel. Si had to practice and train to do it, yet some other people were able to do it without any training at all. It also wasn't really clear to me whether their minds were travelling and their bodies remained stationery or did they really disappear back into time?

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