Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Reviews
User reviews on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I saw this production on Broadway so it had a lot to live up to. That said, I walked out about 15 minutes into it. It's been a long time since I walked out of a film. I didn't see a single drop of blood shed because it wasn't worth sitting through the auditory dribble.
This was one of the greatest Tim Burton films i have ever seen. I watched every one of his films that has ever come out, and this is by far the best. the cla**ics are cla**ics and i think this film has set up a higher standerd for the rest of the film makers to live up too.
This movie gave me chills from begining to end, but also kept my eyes fixed on the screen throughout the whole thing. Johnny Depp's performance fit perfectly in with the movie's intended feel, and Helena Bonham Carter played wonderfully, too.
I'm not usually too big of a fan of musicals, but this movie was different. The music was placed perfectly, and who knew Johnny Depp had such a singing voice?
The moment I saw the commercial for this movie, I instantly thought "I have to see this." Not only is it done by Tim Burton - someone who's movies I've always loved for the darker style, - but it also has Johnny Depp, my faveorite actor of all time. If all that wasn't enough to draw me in, the bits of storyline revealed in the trailers definately did the rest.
The setting seemed very real and well-done, and it was just overall a fantastic movie, though I'm one for blood and guts. It does have quite a lot of blood, so I wouldn't imagine that someone with low tolerance for that kind of thing would enjoy it, but if you're a person who can handly blood and canniblism, then it's definately something to see. True to Tim Burton's style, I think it's sure to become another one of his cla**ics.
(O ne more thing: during the scenes with Johnny Depp and the Alan Rickman, I kept finding it hard not to think of Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean and Professor Snape from Harry Potter. If you see it, you'll know what I mean.)
There are really three things going on for me in this movie. One is the artistic integrity ... which is superb. The songs compliment the story. The imagery was good. And the acting was outstanding.
The second thing is the message that is being conveyed ... which I see as something like this: "Two wrongs don't make a right." In other words, Sweeney took the low road of vengeance, and paid for it in the end. "What you sow, so shall you reap."
The third thing is this: sitting in front of me were a man, a woman and a girl who I estimate was somewhere between 11 and 15 years old. (I don't know how she got into an R-rated movie. Perhaps she was 17 ... I don't know.) It looked like Mom and Dad taking their daughter to the movies. Now ... I, personally, find it very difficult to not be aghast at images that depict killing in such a graphic manner. But I'm an adult. And as such, I've developed mechanisms to absorb these kinds of shocks. For instance, I am aware that there are people that simply get off on this kind of thing, and if they happen to be artists or story writers, then they naturally will bring this into the wares that they are selling. I know about this, and I know how to deal with it. I simply try to avoid them. But what about an innocent 12-year-old girl? What defense mechanisms does she have? How is she going to be able to absorb these hideous images into herself without being injured?
Although I am a huge fan of Johnny Depp's, I was left a little disappointed by this film. I think that it was well acted and fairly well sung, but I wonder if the problem was the jump from stage to screen. I did find the movie entertaining, but left feeling that something was missing. I would have also liked to see Johanna and the sailor leave in the coach rather than leave that set of strings untied.
Now that I've seen what he did with it, I just can't imagine anyone else but Tim Burton directing it, and Johnny Depp playing Sweeney. It's their best colaboration, yet. Everything about it is just so spot-on.
He took the piece and while keeping it true to the stage-play, has made it feel like a chamber piece. I just love the suffocating, claustrophobic 1850's London he's created-- all impoverished, and gloomy, and dirty -- and filmed mostly in close-ups. And it feels like it's done in black and white-- but not really (the blood, of course)... and when there is color it's always used to inidicate a better time in the past or a future fantasy.
Don 't let the word, "musical," keep you away if you think you don't like musicals. It's not your grandma's musical. It's very dark and macabre and gorey, and deliciously sinister, and the music is carefully placed and plot-filled to drive the story.
As a huge fan of the musical since seeing its debut on Broadway in 1981, I was excited about its arrival to the big screen. Tim Burton is a visual master and offers a surreal and quite literal translation of Hugh Wheeler's story, which I found artful and satisfying.
Burton also honors Sondheim with a fairly complete and accurate rendition of his brilliant lyrics and music.
Clearly Burton values acting talent over singing ability..as all actors except the young and unknown ones speak-sing rather slowly compared to the stage productions to make it all work.
Without the great visuals and star power this musical would sink.
The shock value ranks high with the level of graphic throat slitting often in sync with Sweeney's melodic vengeful lamentation. The blood fest was too much for my enjoyment... that why I recommend the stage production more.. it takes this extreme, diabolical, insane and poignant story giving it more balance with wit, humor and subtlety.
The musical score was unimpressive and overdone. The lyrics were difficult to hear and in several scenes, the message had to be pieced together, which is not always a negative, but in this case it was cause for annoyance. The blood and gore was somewhat gratuitous but exceptionally shocking; watching Depp's closely shaven customers bounce on their heads in the pit below his barber's chair was a nice touch and made the audience squirm in their seats. Notwithstanding the musical criticisms noted here, Johnny Depp is an impressive actor; his presence made this film work. This dark tragedy played out in a way that was sad, funny, and entertaining. Burton and Depp are a great team.
As the opening credits and music fill the screen, my mind is full of visions of the dark, violent bloody mess that may await me. Afraid to look at the screen but to enamored to look away, I hold my breath in anticipation of Johnny DeppÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entrance as this Ã¢â‚¬Å“demon barber.Ã¢â‚¬Â I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have long to wait as the opening shot brings him right to the front of the screen as his newfound singing voice fills the air, something that is in no way a comparison to the listening of the soundtrack. The cinematography, a typical Tim Burton appearance, is familiar; yet beautiful in a strange compelling way. The biggest surprise is that the next hour and 55 minutes is not as much a scary horror-fest, as the press have painted it; but yet a scattering of giggles and laughter stemmed from the witty-sided humor that is peppered throughout the film. Helena is a shining star in this tale, standing out amongst the backdrop of the gloomy London streets.
The most fulfilling scene in this artist mural is the first song by Sweeny to his razors. Whoever said that Johnny only sings in this movie obviously missed this piece, in which as his hands connect with the blades, turns into a poetic dance. His beautiful fingers caressing and grasping the silver as he proceeds to sway his arms and gracefully move across the screen in something that resembles no less than a waltz, with the razors as his partner. Throughout the story you can see that Johnny is more than comfortable with these tools of SweenyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trade, a reminiscent of EdwardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hand or JackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sword that have always become an extension of himself. His singing his strong and true with an unwavering conviction. The audience experienced a hushed silence following the climatic ending that echoed of the classical film area, with Johnny in a more than masterful pose that will stick in your mind as his greatest exit in any film.