Starting a separate thread so that folks who haven't seen the picture yet can look at the regular thread if they want to without fear of spoilers.
1)By and large, I enjoyed it. Possibly they overdid the comedy a touch, and they certainly overdid the "My, weren't the 1970's wacky" angle, but mostly I didn't find the humorous touches too obnoxious. Though, really, to pay true tribute to the old show, they should've kept one disastrously bad take or particularly egregious Hartnellism in the finished picture. As it is, the Silver Age Dark Shadowers are only in it very briefly - blink and you'll miss them. A question about the music - I didn't hear anything I recognized as the theme from the TV show in there - in the closing credits there was mention of something called "The Secret Room", by Bob Cobert. Is that some other name for the theme song?
2)I'm not the world's biggest Johnny Depp mark. I'm pretty sure the only pictures I've seen him in are A Nightmare on Elm Street and Ed Wood. That said, I thought he did did OK as Barnabas. He's no Frid, but I don't think he was trying to be, really. He may've overdone the "fish out of water" stuff a tad - I'm pretty sure that the concept of a paved road shouldn't've been all that mind-boggling.
3)Michelle Pfeiffer was good as Elizabeth. Didn't quite have Joan Bennett's "Violating my dignity would crack open space-time" quality, but she did quite well, I thought.
4)Helena Bonham Carter is definitely a better actress than Grayson Hall (It'd be hard not to be), but I was a little surprised at the decision to make Julia a raging drunk. I saw the scene at the very end coming, but I would of been disappointed if we hadn't of had it - there's such a thing as tradition, after all.
5)I never saw much of Lara Parker's time on the show, so I can't really do a comparison - I did like Eva Green as Angelique, however. Very energetic, that woman.
6)Jackie Earl Holliman was good as Matthew Morgan Willie Loomis. Good comedic touch, that man.
7)Just as well Roger wasn't in it, much. There aren't too many men that could live up to Louis Edmonds, and Jonny Lee Miller isn't one of them.
8)Hit-Girl was OK as Carolyn - a bit younger than I expected. Carolyn's "secret" was a little over the top - towards the end I felt as though I was watching The Secret Origin of the Munsters. Nice touch having Carolyn do the "Mommy, where's daddy?" bit.
9)A nice touch, having David's mother appear when everything was on fire.
10)Barnabas Collins meets Saruman!
11)As for Alice Cooper - I guess the 1970's were pretty wacky, weren't they?
12)My first thought when I saw Widows' Hill was "They really need a guard rail up there."
Overall: As I say, I liked it - enough that I'd pick it up when it came out on disk, even.
Is that the one where Victoria Winters turns out to be a cyborg from the future?
Do you know what I think that all these updates and re-makes miss? I think that the show actually benefited from the initial period before the supernatural stuff was brought in. Yeah, the Burke Devlin storyline went on a bit too long, but it let the characters get established a bit before pressing the "weird" button. The problem is, now that everyone knows a vampire is going to show up eventually, they want to see him right away.
...As far as the " real " chronology problem about the Carpenters' " Top Of The World " I pointed out above?? , apparently the movie also uses Iggy and the Stooges' " I'm Sick Of You "...which was recorded about that time , but not RELEASED ( and only on a very small independent label ) until the late 70s , after the punk era had happened !!!!!!!!!
Watched this again last night. Not a bad littl picture, but I still feel they overdid the "comedy" bits.