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Sweeney Todd (2007)


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Argh. Just saw the one with Ray Winstone and thought it was good enough to put an end to Sweeney Todd remakes.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I'm all for a cinematic remake, but I don't trust Burton with it. And I guess I don't know whether Johnny Depp is enough of a singer to pull it off. It's a very difficult part.

Nonetheless I'd watch it. Just saw the current road show last November and loved it.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Ah interesting,

I love love love love love Sweeny Todd the musical and am glad to see it getting a remake, although I can't quite see Depp as the lead.

MLeary did you like the Ray Winston one then? And have you ever seen the musical live or anything?

My brother played Tobias in a version of Sweeney Todd under the same artistic director who did something like that in the original stage version saw the first part and didn't really rate it.We were both put off by Ray Winstone's comments in the BBC's popular Radio Times (TV guide) along the lines that Sondheim's muscial is a bit too jolly. I suspect he at least has never seen it.

Anyway, my brother said...

Saw the first hour of Sweeney Todd yesterday, which I thought was rubbish! All blood and violence, but nothing really convincing in the way of plot or character development. Had a good mind to post something along those lines on the BBC website, just underneath where Ray Winstone described the Sondheim version as "Lovely-jubbly". (Not that I'm bitter you understand.)

BTW there is also this article which I found via the Sondheim society webpages

Not sure whether Burton's version will be better, although it's not hard to see his motivation, but the only filmed version of the musical is the stage version with Angela Lansbury as far as I'm aware. That's pretty good, but it would be good to see a film version, even if it proves disappointing.

Matt

Edited by MattPage
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MLeary did you like the Ray Winston one then? And have you ever seen the musical live or anything?

Is that a quote from your brother? I really did enjoy it, but I haven't seen it live though so I have nothing to compare it to. Depp is great in From Hell, and there seems to be some overlap at least in the tones and atmosphere of the storyline.

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Yeah (I've now altered the post to make it clearer). HE has an undying love for all things Sondheimic

Is From Hell Depp playing a bad guy. A friend and I were just racking our brains to think of a role where Depp is a villain, and the best we got was Pirates of the Caribbean. That said Sweeney is so sompelling because he's both a villain and a victim - perhaps more often the case in real life.

Matt

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Don't care. Cannibalism is one of my "content" hangups: will not watch anything about human beings (not zombies, nuclear mutants, werewolves, or shapeshifting snakes) eating other people. Don't like the Sondheim music I've been exposed to.

What's interesting to me about this is that apparently, the suits are ok with the Reigning Weirdest Mainstream Director In Hollywood doing *this* project. Last couple of adapted musicals tanked; last couple of Burton pictures did only middling well. Why this story now?

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derringdo wrote:

: . . . last couple of Burton pictures did only middling well.

Eh? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made $206.5 million domestically and $473.4 million worldwide, and it ranks 6th for 2005 on both charts. That's also the highest gross of any Tim Burton film since Batman.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 5 months later...
Variety picks up the story.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

I like the Lansbury version, but I hardly think it's so definitve as to rule any other version as unnecessary. For one thing that's essentially a filmed version of a stage play. A dramatised film would be totally different. For one thing the stage version feels somewhat at a distance, and thus lacks the tension that you get watching it in a theatre. This version could take the viewer into the action more (or it could be terrible - please not the latter Tim, please)

Matt

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Having seen what other actors have accomplished who were previously unknown as singers (Renee Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, etc.), I am not going to count Depp out. I'd watch him in almost anything anyway. However, I saw it with Bryn Terfel at the Lyric and he is certainly not going to beat that.

a friend of mine counts Todd as his favorite musical by far, and I once mentioned to him that there was nothing of redemptive value/theology in it. He parried that

the ending is very evocative of hell and therefore shows Todd has to pay for his actions.

Couldn't argue with that.

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  • 1 year later...

Sweeney gets Christmas Premiere

As for Sacha Baron Cohen - I note he is playing Pirelli - which I think will work actually (assuming he can sing). That part requires over the topness, but is so condensed it can't really ruin the show. I hope they have a tobias who can also deliver on the comedy in the Pirelli scene.

Good to see Spall and Bonham Carter in it too.

Meanwhile the Sunday Mail is claiming that significant cuts have been made (sure there is a gag there somewhere). There's a great looking photo there FWIW

And a poster here

ANd more images at IMDB

Matt

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Oh I thought I'd linked to that one.

BTW Was it your blog that covered that article on the success of movie posters with black backgrounds and a bit of light in the middle? It was the first thing I thought of when I saw this!

Matt

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Now I sound crazy!

I'll delete mine too

(which will in turn make you look crazy, so I guess you'll look crazy so you'll delete your post leaving me looking crazy, so then I'll delete this one as well, which would be pretty crazy even if the others remained.)

Hmm I sound like someone whose hair might be getting cut off for a wig maker any minute. "There's tawny and there's golden saffron, There's flaxen and there's blonde..."

Matt

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  • 1 month later...
I anticipate major suckitude.

Hmmmmmm.... I may have to change my avatar. :(

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I got a new trailer for Sweeney Todd in my inbox this morning: Sweeney Todd. Can't wait. It'll be interesting to see the way Tim Burton realizes this story, I've only ever seen it on stage (and high school productions at that). I'm glad it ended up being him, even if people are saying that this is just another Tim Burton stylized piece that won't stand apart from the others... I think the story is perfect for his style.

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I hear ya on the singing, and I picked up that some of Depp's notes lacked the power. At the same time I think there's more to Sweeney than just the music per say, there's a whole darkness and wicked comedy that Burton and Depp will pull off. And Depp's hair is no worse than the bloke in the Lansbury production - and there's a definite over the topness to it all anyway which makes extravgant hair more than acceptable in my book.

But then despite seeing various professional versions of this, it was the one I first saw - done by a bunch of teenagers - albeit under the direction of the Artistic director of the Broadway one - that remains my favourite Sweeney experience.

Not saying this won't suck just that it might not.

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...
Cinefantastique posts a detailed review from a recent marketing-research screening.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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