Friday, December 21, 2007

person pot pie

In the new movie, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Benjamin Barker gets sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit by a judge who wants to steal Barker's pretty wife. Barker gets out of prison, changes his name to Sweeney Todd and re-opens his barber shop with the intention of getting revenge on the judge who sentenced him. After missing an opportunity to murder the judge, Sweeney decides to take out his anger on all his other customers. Somehow, he has a steady stream of victims to dispatch. Wouldn't someone notice that people go in and don't come out? Where do they go? Fortunately for Sweeney, his business is directly above Mrs. Lovett's meat pie shop.

The movie is chock full of blood, gore and music. Or as they might say on Broadway: Blood! Gore! Music! The only song from the stage musical that I ever heard is not in the movie. It's the one that goes "attend the tale of Sweeney Todd." It was part of a Broadway medley that my wife and the rest of the church choir once sang in a special benefit performance.

We went to an advance screening the other night. Even though the film hadn't opened yet, we saw some people dressed as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, which made me wonder why the movie is opening at Christmas instead of Halloween. Sweeney's motive for wanting to kill the judge was clear. He thought the rest of his victims deserved to die only because they were the vermin who live in "a hole in the world like a great black pit." Sweeney seemed a lot less discriminating about who he killed than than my favorite fictional serial killer with a conscience, Dexter Morgan.

Johnny Depp
looked a little like Edward Razorhands when he handled the tools of the barber trade. His character even says that the razor makes his arm complete. Sacha Baron Cohen got laughs as a flamboyant Italian barber. The audience members probably recognized him as Borat.

All in all, "Sweeney Todd" is a well-made film although definitely not a feel good movie. The colors are bleak and the story is tragic. It's the ultimate date movie for Goths.

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Anonymous B said...

I went to the advance screening of Sweeney Todd also. Of course I was running late and my husband and I had to sit on the second row. So needless to say the spray of blood was almost 3D like for us!! I think you really have to be a Tim Burton and/or Johnny Depp fan to REALLY enjoy this movie. I liked it. It was much better than I thought it would be. I agree with you about the release date of this movie is at an odd time of year.


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