Everyone waits until the year is over to compile their “Best of whatever” movie lists. This has become a mundane practice. Time for a bit of a change, kids.

Two cinematic MVP’s with an assortment of talent just couldn’t put a cohesive game-plan together this time around. The team of Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton have the cache but couldn’t execute much in their latest effort Dark Shadows. In what should have been a relatively easy victory, ended up leading people (film pundits) to cite that this coach (Burton) and his go-to player (Depp) need to part ways and cherish the artistic success they’ve had prior to 2010.

The new releases for the respective week will have a capsule review at the end of the column. An updated list comes out every Monday. Here’s how things are shaking up so far in 2012:

1. Chronicle
2. The Cabin in the Woods
3. The Avengers
4. Red Tails
5. The Grey
6. Game Change
7. The Secret World of Arrietty
8. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
9. Friends with Kids
10. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
11. The Raid: Redemption
12. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
13. Big Miracle
14. Think Like a Man
15. 21 Jump Street
16. Brake
17. Mirror Mirror
18. This Means War
19. The Three Stooges
20. Gone
21. Blue Like Jazz
22. American Reunion
23. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
24. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
25. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
26. Safe
27. Searching for Sonny
28. The Hunger Games
29. John Carter
30. Wrath of the Titans
31. Dead Dad
32. Underworld: Awakening
33. The Devil Inside
34. The Five-Year Engagement
35. Downtown Express
36. Project X
37. Dark Shadows
38. The Raven
39. Silent House
40. Bully
41. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
42. Lockout
43. The Woman in Black
44. The Vow
45. Man on a Ledge
46. The Lucky One
47. Contraband
48. Act of Valor
49. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
50. Safe House
51. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
52. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
53. Kill List
54. Haywire
55. A Thousand Words
56. Joyful Noise
57. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee

Dark Shadows

The atmosphere is there, but what in the bloody hell happened to the fun? Director Tim Burton seemed confused on a game-plan (script & screenplay) and this leads to a talented cast hustling to nowhere entertaining or even substantial for that matter. Johnny Depp as a vampire, strolling around 1972 America after a lengthy nap, ends up being a lifeless movie trapped in a bland uninspired sitcom.

Releasing this week: The Dictator, Battleship, What to Expect When You’re Expecting

SEE THE 5/7 RANKINGS

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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