Dark Shadows at the Carmike

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There are very few things that will get me to shell out X number of dollars and sit in a movie theatre: Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Robert Rodriguez, and an occasional super-hero flick.

So tonight we ventured forth to see “Dark Shadows” at the Carmike. Fortunately, the movie was way better than the several reviews that I read over the weekend – Johnny Depp *killed* it as Barnabas Collins, and the supporting cast did quite well, too. Not enough to elevate the movie to 4-star status, but this movie is a very comfortable 3-star effort.

Yes, there were a few throwaway laughs, but it was far more serious and less “campy” than the previews would have you believe. The overall design was mostly spot-on, too – early 70s tone, complete with lava lamps, “Superfly” at the Roxy Theatre, a few hippies. Not too many mis-steps, in terms of period authenticity, at least that I could see, although Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything” came out in 1974, after the film’s 1972 setting. It was used to humorous effect, so whatever.

And yes, a few chuckles at the “fish out of water” thing – Barnabas cursing at a McDonald’s sign, assuming that Alice Cooper is a woman, etc.

But make no mistake: Barnabas is a vampire, and his adversary is a witch, and there are more than a dozen dead bodies by the time the credits roll.

Note: never saw any of the original “Dark Shadows” series – a few snippets over the years when flipping the channels, but other than knowing the name Barnabas Collins and that it involved a vampire, I went into this movie cold.

As far as the Carmike Theatre: didn’t realize that ticket prices had cracked $9 in Great Falls. Surprised that there was a line on a Wednesday night. Popcorn was fair. Bottle of water cost $4.10. Viewing experience was fine. Employees seemed a bit more friendly than in previous outings.

ALSO: the official start time of the movie was listed as 7:15. We had to suffer through several movie previews and a couple of “enjoy your movie experience!” promos. So start time of 7:15, but the movie actually began at about 7:36.



  1. Saw the movie as well and enjoyed it. Anyone who is in Helena or Billings should check out the Cinemark and Carmike theaters in those towns, respectively. They are much nicer theaters than what we have here. Better managed, better customer service, larger screens, better seating… I could go on, but you catch the drift. It’s embarrassing that a city of over 50,000 people has such a dump for a movie theater.

  2. Our theatre is an embarrasment. Bathrooms suck. I’ve never seen such a mess. We’ve complained numerous times, but nobody cares.

  3. Jim, I know how much the GF theatre upsets you…if we won the lottery, wouldn’t it be cool to open a NEW movie palace in town, with kick-ass service, etc? Sigh…time to buy a few more lottery tickets!

    And Boone – yep – they don’t *have* to care, because they’ve got no competition.Grrr.

  4. David,

    Yes… it’s my Holy Grail. If I did hit the lottery, I’d run a movie palace in town at a loss, just to see Carmike load up the moving vans and hit the road. Never to return. BTW – bought my MIB III 3-D tickets today for the Cinemark theater in Helena. Driving down on Sunday to see it.

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