Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I guess it's sort of coolio to see my name 'Todd' on the title of something that isn't just some subtitle of a young adult book-- Like "Hillbrook Highschool: Zit-Face Todd Flunks Gym Again!" or the collar-up preppie from the 80's who tried to seduce Blair on Facts of Life. This time around it's the name attached to Johnny Depp! The best looking guy in the whole world! Take that cool-name bitches! So what if he plays a creepy barber who likes slitting throats and looks like he hasn't slept in a decade or so! Todd Depp as far as I'm concerned! Double D Double P! (two fingers on each hand pointed at my chest!)
Anyway, I don't like musicals. I've never liked musicals. They never click for me. I think it's the hokey overdramatic stringy music and combined with a complete emotional disconnect. It's just unrealistic. I especially cringe when there's some sort of duet situation. So needless to say I wasn't all that psyched for the Sweeney. And I lost trust in any sort of Burton 'remake' situation by the terrible terribleness that were Wally Wanker and the Plummet of the Oops. I simply didn't want to contribute to another cash machine with the word 'Art' sloppily spray painted over it to save face.
I didn't really know anything about the storyline of Sweeney Todd. I've never seen it. I knew there was some revenge situation with the throat slitting but beyond that Sweeney was all murky fragments of something I might have seen once as a kid. A Dark Oliver or something. (Yes, I know Dark Oliver is a great title. Please don't steal it!) I knew not knowing the Sweeney plot backwards and forwards was an advantage because at the very least the turning points in the story would be somewhat new-ish. (Although with musicals... isn't everything way too obvious and telegraphed? But whatever).
This flick starts up with a very coolio creepy credit sequence and then there's the Todd Depp along with some teen kid (who looks like David Pirner's sister) singing away. Todd Depp croons out some bitter dark stuff and I was onboard with it! I just heard funny. He was such a flatline downer! Somehow the first dose of his singing went down pretty easy. I was psyched. Everyone was overacting all theatrically and I thought it was all funny. Helena Bono Carter shows up with her crazy eyes and hair-out-to-the-sides as per usual and I took no issue. I like that chick. I have a crush on her.
And this starts spinning out and I shockingly found myself 'into' it. Although the music itself didn't give me tingles or anything --the songs were lyrically goofy and funny enough to keep me involved. Yadda some of them go a little long and sometimes I couldn't understand what the hell they were saying-- but it was ok. Because I liked staring at this very bizarre movie. Especially seen cold. The colors and sets looked awesome and the whole thing has an undercurrent of flat-out grim nausea which I really dug. And crooked-headed blank-eyed Todd Depp just friggin hit only good notes for me. (Unlike Wonka where he just sat at his piano hitting high notes at random thinking it was funny.)
Bottomline is-- at some point during movies I really dig-- I get hit with a 5-second "moment". Sort of like a bubbling up feeling. It starts in my feets and shivers up my insides and settles my eyes which well up a bit. It's not anything in particular on screen that's doing it for me. It's just a moment where I know what I'm seeing is really good and was cared for and I'm appreciative of the fact that I'm simply appreciating it so much. This one gave me that.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I grimaced every time a body took a head dive to the wood floor.
- I was surprised how tight the plot actually was. And how well it moved.
- The whole thing was more twisted, modern and bizarre than I initially gave it credit for.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- I still got distracted by the loopholes here and there.
- I wanted to get physically splattered with blood too.
- There's something lingeringly unnecessary about it.
All in all, this is the flick to see this week! If you're like me and get all pukey at musicals but like horror stuff-- I think this flick really works. It's funny and creepy! And no, there's no threat that all of a sudden I'm gonna get all interested in musicals. That ain't happening. Unlesssss....They start splattering the classics in blood!! Then I'll be all over musical remakes! Let a killer loose in South Pacific! Let's introduce a chainsaw madman to a Chorus Line! Rabid Alien with giant teeth lands smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma! Cmon! Let's do it! Stab a knife their crotchety guts! Then you'll see me singing along with that crap!