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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros. & Dreamworks/ Paramount Pictures
Web Site: www.sweeneytoddmovie.com
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them to be a murderous barber.
Date Movie: Only if she likes musicals.  I mean, really likes musicals.
Gratuitous Sex: Only boobs almost popping out of dresses.
Gratuitous Violence: Sweeney's a demon barber and the movie is rated R.  Yup, a lot of throat cutting.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Tim Burton
Produced By: John Logan, Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes, Richard Zanuck

Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber
of Fleet Street

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:57 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
First let me start this review by saying Stu Gotz and I are planning on doing an animated review of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" as our next episode of "Stu & The Dude Reviewiní the Movies for You!", but if that episode develops how I envision it in my head, well, it probably wonít be posted until about the third week in January. As such I thought I would do a written review of the movie in the meantime. If you want to know when our animated review is done, feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed using the chiclets in the above left corner. Yay!

Now, to my written review.

"Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS" is a film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheimís Broadway musical, and for this movie we get Johnny Depp as Sweeney, and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. It seems that about 15 years ago, in the happiest days of his life, Sweeney was Benjamin Barker, a great barber with a hot wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), and new daughter, Johanna. But the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) wanted Lucy so he sent Ben away for a bogus crime, Lucy poisons herself, the Judge takes Johanna for his own, and then Benjamin returns, thanks in part to Anthony (Jamie Campbell Bower), with Ben changing his name to Sweeney Todd. He discovers Mrs. Lovett, a creepy woman serving crappy meat pies, and he is now looking to accomplish only a few things, especially after finding out his wife poisoned herself, namely get his revenge on the bad Judge and reunite himself with his daughter. Now in cahoots with Mrs. Lovett, who needs cheap, fresh meat to expand her meat pie business, Sweeney, with the help of his trusty straight razor, starts killing off lots of folks who wonít be missed, yet constantly keeping his eye on his prize Ė killing the bad Judge.

In the meantime Anthony has fallen in love with the older Johanna, who, at 15ish years old, has a large rack (sorry, I couldnít help but notice, and the older Johanna is played by Jayne Wisener who is actually 20 years old now, so I donít feel that bad), and the Judge, being creepy, decides he wants to marry her as well. Ramped up in his revenge mode so Turpin canít have Johanna, Sweeney, using Anthony, comes up with a plan to free Johanna and trick the Judge to his barber chair, and as things go, they donít always go as planned, thanks in part to the youngin, Toby (Ed Sanders). Boo hoo! This movie, which is really a tragedy in theatrical terms, does not have a happy ending.

And you know what, all of this happens, and more, as a musical.

Yup, everyone in the movie sings, some of them dance, and for the most part it takes a lot for me to like a musical on the movie screen, and "Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS" didnít do it. In fact, I really didnít like the movie at all.

What didnít I like? Well, for starters, the musical thing. If Tim Burton and the movie folks would have booted the singing and kept the movie as a straight-laced, creepy, horror film, I think I would have loved it. Sure, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and the rest of the folks sang nicely and all, but for me the singing just took away from the story. Also, I didnít like the over-the-top gore for Sweeneyís killings. Fine, Iíve never witnessed a throat slashing with a straight razor, but the blood looked fake, the spurting blood came across as waaaaayyyyyy excessive and not realistic, so for the me the killings looked, well, fake. And as much the Anthony in love with Johanna plotline was necessary to get the bad Judge back into the barber chair, it just seemed stupid.

What did I like? The movie looked great, in the Tim Burton fashion we love. It was dark, it was creepy, it brought in color when needed, but for the most part kept most things in shades of gray. And even though they sang a lot, I did think Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast did great, especially when they werenít singing.

In wrapping up I look at the many accolades being bestowed on "Sweeney Todd: TDBoFS," and this is one of those movies that makes me wonder what might be wrong with me because as I am writing this review, on the Rotten Tomatoes website, the movie is 87% Fresh with an average rating of 7.9 out of 10, or 4 stars out of 5 on my scale, and over on IMDB itís got an average rating of 8.5 out of 10. But for me I can only squeeze out 1 Ĺ stars out of 5 for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Maybe itís just me, but I still have a hard time transplanting musicals from the stage to the silver screen. Had I seen the thing on Broadway I probably would have liked it, but on my movie screen I just didnít like it.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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