Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh, The Horror! #1: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

As I've mentioned in my last post, I am a fan of horror. I'll be posting stuff of horror that I really enjoy, whether it be movies, stories, pictures, anything of the like. Also, for horror fans I'd recommend checking out the blog of Tristan Jones (look to the right, there's a link "Mind of Mongo") as he has some nice updates on characters from horror fans who stand out to him. They're always great fun to read about.

But yes, for my first entry...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

You've no idea how much fun I have watching this movie! I saw it when it came out in theaters and truly felt it was probably Tim Burton's masterpiece, and I say that as a Tim Burton fan since I was in Junior High. It was Burton who got me interested into film and whenever I'm in a bit of a rut while filming, I th
ink of Burton films. He truly is an inspiration when I'm behind the camera doing something. But I digress. Edward Scissorhands will always be my favorite movie hands down, but Sweeney Todd is Burton's masterpiece in my opinion. The way I see it, all of Burton's previous films, most notably Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nightmare Before Christmas, etc, were all practice leading to this! A truly bloody horror musical! And I LOVE musicals. You can ask my buddies. So a horror musical directed by Burton. That's definitely asking for my approval as a great film and darn good time.

The mood and atmosphere is very gloomy and lovely. Like a lot of Burton's film, although there's color, it's still gives a sense of watching an old black and white film. But with this movie also, the make up helps us imagine it also as a bit of a silent movie setting, the way certain shots are, the way the characters look and react, etc. Then all you need is the lovely musical scores and numbers by Stephen Sondheim and voila. We have a work of genius in our hands! And the way the blood is used is an extra goodie treat! It's so over the top and adds some nice humor as Depp, as the demented barber, is singing a love song of his daughter while slicing the necks of his customers. And Helena Bonham Carter is wonderful as Sweeney's partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett. As Mr. Todd kills his customers, Mrs. Lovett takes the body and turn them into successful pies. Yum-my!

I have to also say this is certainly one of Johnny Depp's best performances. It's great hearing him belt out in song but his look and anger through the movie and those eyes of pain and hate just puts a smile on my face as an actor. As an actor, I actually get typecast as the evil, demented, or plain evil or weird guy and this is certainly a role that I applaud as it's a role I would certainly love to reenact. Heh, first I gotta complete those singing lessons I stopped doing a few years back. But it truly is a lot of fun seeing Depp fall into this character and like Burton, also inspires me in an actor side mostly due to him picking to play actors that aren't formulaic. I mean Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Willy Wonka. The guy's an artist genius. Thank you both Burton and Depp for the inspiration.

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