Monday, December 15, 2008

Sweeney Todd

Tim Burton, 2007 (7.5*)
Best Picture (GG)

This has to be seen to be believed, as Johnny Depp shows that he has a David Bowie-esque singing voice in this musical about a barber who murders his victims in Victorian London, while girlfriend Helena Bonham Carter, who also sings quite well, cooks them up into Mrs. Lovett's meat pies that become the popular delicacy in London.

This is not for all tastes, and is actually quite gory, so it will likely appeal to teenagers more than anyone. As a successful stage play, there wasn’t realistic butchery like this, just simulated violence, so it would work better as a musical fantasy in that medium than it does in cinema. Some of the Stephen Sondheim music is actually quite unique and good, and this was one of the biggest musical plays since the 50's. Depp’s awesome range as an actor now has to include musicals.

More: for those interested in the gory story without any music, check out The Tale of Sweeney Todd with Ben Kingsley as Todd (!), and Joanna Lumley as Mrs. Lovett.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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