Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Saturday, December 29, 2007

OK, I'll Say it: Sweeney Todd the movie SUCKS

Upfront disclosure: I am a Sondheimophile. I even went in with low expectations of this movie. The leads are NOT singers. I like Johnny Depp. But, I'm sorry. Sweeney needs to be a booming bass voice to give it that extra 'ummffth' of forboding and sinister darkness. I thought the movie was more of a caricature--too "Bride of Frankenstein"ish. Helena Bonnam Carter goes FLAT in most of her songs! You're recording this in a studio for fuck's sake! Re-record it and mix/splice it until it's on key through the whole song! I'm so pissed that I pre-ordered the soundtrack.
Antony is some androgenous 'pretty boy', hardly a rugged seaman. But he and Toby at least had good singing voices. I'm really surprised that SS sanctioned this. Really, Stephen?! I do want more of the general public to know your work, as I think you're highly under appreciated and under-rated. But this is not the best example of showcasing your genious. I was not expecting the play to be reproduced on the screen. It would not translate well. But I expected better/more from Tim Burton.

I had a discussion with my friend who is more of a musical snob than I. He liked the movie. He made the argument that it had to be made with big name actors who were not singers, rather than great singers who were not big hollywood names or not get made. My assessment is that it should not have been made then. I can't believe all of the reviewers who have gone orgasmic with their reviews.


gay CME guy said...

Follow-up. I chatted online with a guy I once dated, who is the ultimate Sondheim fanatic. He's even had drinks at SS' house once. He had not seen it yet when we chatted. Here's what I said to him (abridged), "If you're not familiar with Sondheim, you really like Tim Burton's work, and Johnny Depp, you'll like the movie. -How's that for a glowing endorsemment?! ;)"
His response, "You always knew how to sell it!"

Dead Nurse said...

You confirmed my suspicions. I just love Sweeney Todd and have not seen the movie since I was sure I would hate it.
By the way...HELLO!

gay CME guy said...

Hello Dead Nurse:
Thanks for dropping by. I checked out your site. we must talk.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I think that the musical was so much better than the movie. The original musical, with Cariou and Lansbury. Johnny Depp can't sing for shit, he didn't embody quite the, almost comical act that Cariou brought to the stage. Furthermore, neither did Bonham-Carter. She was not old, she was not funny, she didn't have a HEAVY London/Irish accent that Lansbury had, which made the musical very enjoyable.