Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweaty Rodd

Ok, so last night, a friend and I went to see Sweeny Todd. I had reservations about seeing this film in the theaters, mainly because I didn't want to have to admit that I saw it the theaters later on down the line, when the movie ended up being a total crap festival. I mean, I did go see Mad City in the theaters, and am forever making up excuses for myself.

The movie, from the outset, i.e. the people waiting in the lobby, was a bit unnerving. It's like going to see Ted Leo in concert, you might tell your friends your going, but once you've gone, you'll never tell anyone. It was an eclectic mix of died in the wool Johnny Depp soccer moms with their unwitting husbands who can't do much more than stare at the poster for Rambo, and a large cavalcade of teenie bopper hipster girls who think, that after watching Dead Man's Chest, that they have an in tuned connection with the man from 21 Jump Street. It was frightening, but a lot of people really liked Strangelove and thought it was a straightforward piece.

The film itself started out very sketchy, with a terrible CGI credit roll, but it quickly turned much better. Through some unscrupulous means that I wish not to expose (Thanks Drew!) I procured the theatrical sound track, but refused to listen until I'd seen the movie. I think I did well to do so. If you like Rent or Chicago, you probably won't like this movie, but if you like orchestral musicals that are nearly operas, you should see this movie. It was very music heavy and not much dialog, but the interspersed dialog was well executed, but I am of the opinion that one Danny Elfmann singing could not have adversely affected this movie. The singing was good, if not bordering great. The story moved slowly through the few interspersed plot lines, thankfully breaking away from the shocker/thriller equasion of the 2000's an the climax rose exponentially to a wonderfully displayed conclusion. The adaptation, which I can't speak about with too much accuracy was well done, and sounded period enough to be convincing, but dumbed enough to be followed by any audience. The cinematography was fantastic. Well above even Tim Burton's high standard. The stylistic touches were good; especially the blood which didn't look like blood, as much as a viscous Play-Doh. The drab look of the movie was a little bit over-produced, to a photographer, but to anyone else, the film would probably look almost black and white.

In the long run, I wasn't quite surprised by this movie, but it did go beyond my expectations. I'd recommend it above a sharp poke in the eye with a stick, or even perhaps watching reality television all night while drinking heavily.

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