Weekend Picks: ‘Dark Shadows’ and ‘Girl in Progress’

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk

Okay. I'm not gonna lie. "Marvel's The Avengers' is pretty much a sure bet for box office domination this weekend... again. But that doesn't mean a healthy audience of moviegoers -- ones who perhaps already saw "Avengers" -- won't pony up some dough for the delightful "Dark Shadows." Based on the late '60s-era television show, Tim Burton's "Shadows" is an artful interpretation both in visual style and standout acting performances from Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer. (It's worth noting that Pfeiffer last worked with Burton 20 years ago as Catwoman in "Batman Returns.")

"Dark Shadows" is the only new wide release this weekend, but the limited-release film "Girl in Progress," starring Eva Mendes as a single mom trying to understand her teenage daughter, could also be a good alternative for Mother's Day.  Here's the scoop on the flicks hitting theaters.

[Related: Find showtimes and tickets for movies near you]

Dark Shadows

Rated PG-13 for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking.

What's the Story?
Lovestruck vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is freed after being cursed by a jealous witch and encased in a casket for hundreds of years. He finds himself suddenly freed in a '70s-era Maine town that bears his namesake: Collinsport. Barnabas links up with his long lost family, falls in love again and does his best to right old wrongs.

Who Will Dig it?
While diehard "Dark Shadows" television fans seem dubious of this updated version (judging from comments I've read) , I'm confident they'll find amusement in this respectful-yet-comical remake, with the addition of a cameo from the original Barnabas -- Jonathan Frid. Burton and Depp fans alike should be satisfied as well as heavily made-up, industrial-music-dancing goths (if they can tolerate the '70s music in the soundtrack).

[Tickets: Get local tickets & showtimes for 'Dark Shadows']

Girl in Progress

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking - all involving teens.

What's the Story?
A rather reckless single mom, played by Eva Mendes, is forcing her often-overlooked daughter to explore her options. In seeking something better, daughter Ansiedad decides to skip adolescence altogether and go straight to adulthood, seeking the help of a friend along the way.

Who Will Dig It?
People who had an unconventional childhood or those who are unconventional parents. This film could act as a jolt to anyone who senses their self absorption is damaging those around them. It may also make "perfect parents" feel self satisfied.

[Tickets: Get local tickets & showtimes for 'Girl in Progress']

Interestingly, Chloe Grace Moretz, who co-stars in "Dark Shadows," is competing against herself this weekend, starring in a smaller, edgier release, "Hick," about a teenager who escapes her abusive parents and heads to Las Vegas.