Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Depp the neck slicin' music man...hmmm


Burton is god. Well okay not 'the' god (Buddha, Allah, Christ, whatevs your poison may be), but he definitely has a cloud on Olympus reserved. I mean, Batman, Beetlejuice, Nightmare before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, etc, etc. The list is extensive (despite the occasional falling, 'Planet of the Apes' for example) and almost entirely rocking. The guy is a strange looking, Helen Bonham Carter sex having, whacked out movie making fool. And his following is extensive, as is the fanbase for his, often, partner in crime, the legend himself Johnny "Don't call me Cry baby" Depp.

Arguably Depp is one of the greatest actors of our generation, or any for that matter. His talents are in full display here. So first, do you like musicals? If not, this film will either win you over, or you will forever be unconvinced of the musicals place in modern film. I mean there is a chance the strange factor, buckets of blood, and Depp, might be just be enough to win you over. Depp plays a former barber master, who hooked up with uber hot blonde. The local creepy bad guy (played by the ever so wonderfully evil, Alan Rickman), the Judge, makes up some charge, and ships Depp off to a black hole prison somewhere on false charges, so that he can get his wife.
15 years later Depp returns as the revenge driven Sweeney Todd, finding his wife dead, and his daughter grown and in possession of his nemesis, the Judge (who actually intends on marrying the 15 year old). He opens a barber shop with a creepy pie maker, Helen, and he begins to thin London's population care of neck slicin' shaving jobs. And then Helen bakes them into London's new hit pies. A side plot of a young sailor that rode with Depp to London pursuing his grown daughter, much to the dismay of the Judge.
The blood shed is extreme, the film is distinctively creepy, Depp is awesome, as are the supporting cast. And the singing is good... I never did see the play it is based on, but I have been assured by a few friends that have, that it is a great stage to screen transfer. So did I like this film? I am so torn. On the one hand the film is a great time, Burton and Depp, on the top of their game... on the other hand, the singing just annoyed the hell out of me. Now I love musicals, okay, if done right, they can be quite the great little passing of time, and the thought of a blood soaked Burton musical made my left nut tingle. But my pet peeve with musicals is when the characters sing every thing, like every plain Jane sentence has to be sung. Like I want to explain how I walked to the door and back... why say it when I can sing and dance it. God at some parts I was like, shut up and talk dammit. There is maybe 17 sentences of non singing in this film, I understand the play is sing sing sing, but this is a film. Sitting in a theatre and watching people dance across the stage is lost in the transfer, and the continual singing has a tendency to really take you out of the film. 
I'm sure folks are already getting out their angry thumbs and fingers, and getting ready to hate mail me on this, well bring it douches, i have no inbox, wha ha ha ha ha (I think the evil laugh loses something in the transfer). I am sure with the production, and directional flare of Burton, as well as the plot, this film will find itself (and rightfully so) to cult status in no time, but it is not a favorite of mine. Just too much high pitched plot singing. Too much. 
(Picture me singing this, while dancing) "OOoooooo, I must now go, my review is done, it was fun, and long because I type slow.... Ooooooo, hopefully you laughed, so hard your seventh drink made a splash, have no fear, shed not a tear, Chuck B. Boonsweet is here... and this bitch bees goin no where... 

movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Cult status 3.5 out of 5 stars

Oh look out for Sacha (Sexy time Borat) Cohen, he was fantastic in a small supporting role.

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