Sunday, January 06, 2008

Demon Barbers and all that jazz

Is there nothing Johnny Depp can't do???

I swear, after seeing the initial trailers (that made it look like they'd turned the musical into a non-musical) and then the ads where they show a few talking through a song bits from Depp, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by Sweeny Todd.

I've seen the musical on stage a few times and it's my all time fav. Stephen Sondheim's challenging yet unforgettable music and lyrics. The dark, dark humour and the incredible irony of a broadway cast singing and dancing about murder and blood and canibalism. Love it.

And I really enjoyed the movie. Sure, it's super gory. I had to look away a few times even though Burton made the blood quite unrealistic looking. Kind of like water stained with fire engine red paint most of the time. Probably a smart move on Burton's point. People might have barfed otherwise.

And Johhny Depp can sing. Sure, he's not likely to have a career as a singer, but he was in tune, and had a nice clear tone and more to the point sang with true emotion -- which I guess you'd expect from a talented actor, but sometimes actors fall apart when they try to sing. (Helena Bonham Carter's voice, on the other hand, I found a bit shrill and thin... But it's a shrill character and very difficult music, so maybe I should give her more credit. She was good in the part. And it's a great part. Gotta love Mrs. Lovett. "Have a little Priest.")

If you like musicals at all (or at least don't hate them). And you don't mind a little blood (okay, quite a bit of blood). Go see this tragic story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Oh, and I saw Juno again. Held up on second viewing. Pretty sure that movie won't ever get old for me.


Barrie said...

Maureen, I just saw Juno!! And loved it!! Actually convinced one of my teens to go too. Oh yeah, I linked to you on my blog. Happy New Year! May our paths cross at least once in 2008!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Maureen I too loved Sweeney Todd. It's one of my all time favorite musicals (I saw the original Broadway production). Everyone in this movie was amazing. Yes, I missed the Ballad of Sweeney Todd and wished it had played over the credits, but this is definitely one movie that I will buy when it comes out on DVD.

Maureen McGowan said...

Elizabeth, I missed that song, too. I also expected it to play over the end credits. I liked the opening with the I hate London song (whatever it's called) but my favorite thing in the musical is that big number (I didn't know it's name, but I'm sure it's the one you're talking about). I wish he'd fit it in somewhere...

Maureen McGowan said...

Thanks for the linkage! And I hope our paths cross, too. San Francisco?

Unknown said...

Oh I loved Sweeney Todd! My husband didn't know what to make of it when I told him about it, but we both walked out of the theater loving it.

And I don't think there is anything Johnny can't do.

Eileen said...

Nope- for the record there is nothing that JD can't do although I note he is taking his sweet time in giving me a call and asking me to run away.

Not that I would go- but it would be nice to be asked.

Heidi the Hick said...

We saw Sweeney last night and I was not disappointed!

My husband is way more squeamish than me- he chalks it up to my farm upbringing making me tough- yet I am not a fan of horror movies at all. I agree with you- it did look stylistic and unrealistic. I still cringed though. Had a bit of a yuck feeling in my gut.

We giggled and snickered our way through it. Those lyrics are hilarious.

I was aware of the story but I'd never seen it before.

Of course on the way out, when I asked my husband the recording engineer about the singing, he replied that there was a lot of Melodyne involved but that I shouldn't get upset because EVERYBODY gets tuned these days. Everybody. He said he liked it- the vocals weren't tuned so much that they all sounded robotic and fake. He said Johnny has a good sounding voice and I purred just a little bit.

I love Tim Burton.

Melissa Walker said...

I ADORED Sweeney Todd! Juno less so, but I also liked that one. I think I had sky-high expectations, which messed me up.

Also, just found your site and it's GORGEOUS. Entry page is stunning.

Maureen McGowan said...

Melissa! Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment about the website. I hired an amazingly talented designer to do it. Wish I could take full credit. :-) There's link to her at the bottom of the home page.

Expectations can really mess me up for movies, too. I was lucky enough to see Juno at the film festival before there was much buzz. I guess I'd heard a couple of things from people who were at the first screening... And I had high expectations because of Jason Reitman and Ellen Page... But I really went in knowing nothing. Which I find, with some movies, helps. said...


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