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Sweeney Todd (the movie) Sweeney Todd (the movie)

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Unread 01-03-2008, 11:27 AM
Cool - Sweeney Todd (the movie) Sweeney Todd (the movie)

Well, I had high hopes for this one, being a huge Johnny Depp fan. So, last weekend my boys (now 18 and 14) and I went to see the new movie version of Sweeney Todd. Both boys had seen it on Broadway, the older one three times, so they were very familiar with that version. I hadn't, though I'd heard some about it.

I wasn't really prepared for how graphically violent the movie was - the trailer is a bit misleading in that way. My kids said I would have much preferred the musical (they did), where the violence was indicated via changes in lighting and music rather than displayed for all to see.

It was a little too much for me (I hate scary or gory movies, but went to this thinking it would be more along the lines of the Pirates series). Now it's clear to me how it got its "R" rating - and that it would have been better to artfully cut some of that stuff and earn a "PG-13" and appeal to a wider audience (and more of Depp's fan base).

As for the performances ... well, Johnny Depp was Johnny Depp. He was basically the same character as Jack Sparrow in a lot of ways (movement, accent) only he sang - and not all that well. (Sorry, but my older son is now a musical theater major and was very detailed in his criticisms and I had to agree once I thought about it.) Some of the best musical numbers were cut from the show, presumably because the cast couldn't sing them (they're more than a little difficult, being Sondheim and all).

Other than that he had to sing, it really didn't seem to us that Depp 'stretched' or grew for this role ... it just looked like he changed costumes and brought Jack Sparrow into a new setting. Fortunately, it worked, since Depp is a master at playing offbeat, quirky and even downright demented characters.

It's just - well, none of the actors (in our opinion) actually sing all that well, and most have not had formal voice training - and it shows (again, our opinion; critics may disagree). And Sweeney Todd is, after all, a musical. Look at the movie version of "RENT" - not the same as the Broadway version, though they tried by keeping some of the original cast, but still really well-sung. It CAN be done.

Don't go see this movie if you're looking for a film adaptation of the musical. Go see it if you're looking to see a somewhat gory but very interesting, twisted story starring good-looking, popular actors and you aren't picky about whether or not they can actually sing what they're singing.

And DON'T, whatever you do, take your young kids to see this despite the "R" rating thinking that, because Johnny Depp is in it, they'll love it. They might, or they might have nightmares from it. It is NOT Pirates of the Caribbean. Some of the aspects of the story are not suitable for children (or even some adults!).

However, DO take them to see the Broadway version, which both my kids assure me is much more dependent on brilliant writing and scoring and less on violence and gore to convey the story.

I still love Johnny Depp. I'll still go see everything he does - unless it's rated "R" or worse. And I hope in the future he sticks to acting, which is what he definitely does best (fabulously, in fact).


**** slight spoilers below... stop here if you're going to see the movie and don't even want a hint about it ****

Just a few other comments for anyone who's already seen it.

Watching this movie totally ruined the song "Not While I'm Around" for me forever - I had loved that song since I first heard Barbra Streisand sing it, not knowing it was from this show or what it was really referring to.

Also, I find it odd that Todd is referred to as the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street" when, to me, Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter's character) was the bigger demon; but, oh well, maybe that's how it's supposed to be.

It was very weird for me to see Snape (Alan Rickman) as the Judge (for that matter, anything other than Snape); although in retrospect, it's not at all a stretch to see him play yet another sleazy character.

I had bad dreams about cockroaches for several days after seeing this film. Yuck. A few might have been enough to get the point across.
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Unread 01-04-2008, 05:11 PM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

Thanks for the review. I think I'll give the movie a pass. However, my DD, Laura will still want to see the movie - she LOVES Johnny Depp ( me not so much ). She also loves twisted stories and gore doesn't seem to bother her. I don't even like to read explicit gore.
Unread 01-05-2008, 01:13 AM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

Yeah it was rated R and since it was about killing people.... I KNEW I better not see it. I cant take the stress!!
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Unread 01-05-2008, 11:44 AM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

Thanks Linda. I had already decided to pass on this show because it seemed like it would be a scary gory movie. Now I know I am correct in passing. I have not seen the Broadway version either and am not decided if that is on my list to see or not.
Unread 01-20-2008, 07:53 AM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

This is a well thought out and well written review. I don't know if I'll go to see the movie now; I love Johnny Depp, but I saw a knockout stage version of Sweeney and always hate it when movies don't live up to the original.
Unread 01-26-2008, 11:47 PM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

My DD went to see it with her best friend, She said it was ok , way to much gore and not something they want to see again. I dont like a lot of gore either so i know I will pass on this one for sure!
Unread 01-27-2008, 09:44 AM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

I have been a huge fan of Sweeny Todd (the musical) for many years. I am also a huge Depp and Burton fan. That being said I feel the total opposite for your review. For those who like the gore I feel this was a great film. In portions of the film I felt that the singing voices were almost identical to the original with Angela Landsbury. I feel like it was very artistically done. I really feel it is a lot of gore and if you do not like this type of thing you will not like it no matter what the rest of the film has to offer. It is a great movie if you can over look that part of it.

This being said I am not trying to bash your review just simply giving my opinion on this film.
Unread 01-28-2008, 07:13 PM
Sweeney Todd (the movie)

i had not seen the musical, but i knew the storyline, so wasn't surprised with the gore. i love music and musicals, but quite honestly, i can't tell the difference between a trained and an untrained vocalist; i thought johnny depp's voice suited the movie. i must admit i had to (partially) cover my eyes several times but i love "quirky" movies. (i thought sacha baron cohen's portrayal of his role was magnificent...i couldn't help thinking of him as "borat"...lol). it looks like there are a few other movies with graphic violence nominated for oscars, "no country for old men", "there will be blood", "eastern promises"...i wonder why so many this year and why a lot of us are so attracted to that type of story?

thanks for the review...i will be sure to see the live theatre musical version next time it comes to my city.

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