Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Buckets, upon buckets of blood! That's all I can say to describe SWEENEY TODD. Johnny Depp as usual can get away with just about anything. I'm not big on musicals as a general rule, and this one falls into that dreaded category of one where everything (for the most part) isn't said it's sung. Not like LION KING or whatever, where there's story then every now and then there is a, the most of the dialogue is spoken. But once I was able to get used to this (I find this convention works better on stage, in movies it just looks bizarre to see people randomly singing in such a "real" environment)I enjoyed myself.

At first, the movie was a bit slow. The set-up seemed a bit rushed as well (instead of seeing Todd's tragic past, we've told about them (via song) and a few quick flashes of flashback (that lazy narrative device).

Once things "get cooking," however, SWEENEY TODD was magnificent. Once again, Tim Burton has struck back at the mainstream world for all those sad "emo" and "goth" kids the world over. While I don't fall into either category, I am endlessly fascinated with Burton's somber, macabre, gray-tinged version of reality.

The movie is gruesome--but what do you expect? The story of a revenge-seeking barber (who's lost more than a few of his marbles) who kills people upstairs, while the lady that makes meat pies downstairs (guess what's in those pies?) is bound to have a few dabs of the red stuff. But Jesus was there a lot of blood. Definetly not for the faint of heart. However, there was some pretty funny (non-blood related) stuff. My favorite scene was a beach fantasy (I'll say no more, but it was the funniest thing I've seen in a theater all year).

If you like Depp, Burton, and/or musicals (and don't mind a bit of gore) go see SWEENEY TODD. Also Alan Rickman is the greatest bad guy-actor around (don't believe me? Go watch DIE HARD 1 and this movie...he's so slimly...I love to hate him!).

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