Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Demon Tied to a Chair in My Attic

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
directed by Tim Burton
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

I'm assuming this musical doesn't meet Steve's standards for a great one, insofar as there's no justification for anyone taking to lyrics to express his sentiments and urges (unless it's the implication of an on-board romance between the pre-London sailor set of Sweeney and young stage-prop Anthony). And once again I'm appalled at how obvious the ravages of computer generation render effects Burton could have managed with much more finesse had the on-retainer stop-motion team drummed up a Claymation meat grinder. But not since the last time I watched the Evil Dead movies have I seen anyone enjoy fake blood so much, and the last ten minutes of Sweeney Todd are perfect: open-ended and beautiful high drama. Throughout the film, main characters are dispatched with so little fuss that death is inadvertently given the weight it rarely receives in movies, where the last gasps of mortality too often inspire soliloquies that make the great beyond seem far less permanent than it is.