DVD releases: ‘Dark Shadows,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Sound of My Voice’
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Hard to believe it’s been more than two decades since Tim Burton and Johnny Depp got together for the first time, doing their kitschy riff on Frankenstein iconography with 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands.” Now, conveniently in time for Halloween-season home viewing, comes “Dark Shadows” (2012), their inevitable vampire-themed bookend. Frustratingly, though, the duo’s eighth collaboration is their least tonally assured. The goal here is to lampoon the cheesily Gothic TV soap of the ’60s and ’70s, remembered for Jonathan Frid’s featured role as decorous old-money vamp Barnabas Collins. There are fun flashes where the movie gets it right, particularly in a music montage showing Depp’s 200-year-old Barnabas acclimating to his groovy new environs in 1972 Collinsport. (Best Carpenters sampling ever?) But more often, Burton’s penchant for the macabre — abetted here by writer Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) — just leaves the movie stranded somewhere between not-so-scary and not-so-funny. Deleted scenes inadvertently show some of the struggles with tone. For a Depp-Burton movie that clicks, pick up the recent Blu-ray reissue of “Ed Wood.” And for true old-school Halloween fare, check out this week’s Blu-ray box “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection.” Among the titles bundled in the eight-film set: Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula,” Boris Karloff’s “Frankenstein” and “The Mummy,” Lon Chaney Jr.’s “The Wolf Man’’ and “Creature From the Black Lagoon” — featured in 3-D for the first time since it was in theaters. (“Dark Shadows,” Warner, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99; “Universal Monsters,” $159.98)
The Disney classic comes to Blu-ray, all dressed up with interactive games and activities that sync to the family iPad, laptop, etc. The featured hi-def extra is the frenetic new short “Tangled Ever After” — not a bad way to (indirectly) salute a classic, given what a nice balance “Tangled” struck between Disney-princess tradition and contemporary story demands. Previously unreleased storyboards show an alternate opening with Cinderella delivering a cheerily poetic lament for her plight. And a featurette takes a quick look at the animator’s wife, who served as inspiration-in-spirit for Cinderella’s fairy godmother. (Disney, $39.99)
SOUND OF MY VOICE (2012)
Actress and screenwriter Brit Marling (last year’s “Another Earth”) flirts with more low-fi sci-fi, teaming with director Zal Batmanglij for the story of a cult leader (Marling) who may or may not be from the future. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius are a wannabe-documentarian couple working to infiltrate the cult and expose Marling’s prophet. Like “Earth,” the film is indie-mindedly eager to dig into emotionally potent material, even at the risk of setting the table with material that’s fairly ridiculous. (Secret cult handshakes?) Extras: In featurettes, Batmanglij sounds like the one voice not taking himself more seriously than he should. (Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99)
Tom Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.