Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Before Christianity entered my household, my step-dad used to let my brothers and I watch pretty much any action movie he brought home. He’s a huge fan of Schwarzenegger and Stallone, so fill in the blanks. My biological father never really cared what we watched when were were at his house, and he had HBO. This means I saw such gory glories as Commando, Predator, Terminator, and all three Rambo flicks before the age of 10. It also means that I’m all but desensitized to the over-done film violence in some modern cinema. While situationally disturbing, for instance, Se7en‘s graphic crime scenes did little to turn my stomach. So despite what I’d heard about the veritable river of crimson effluent in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the Sondheim musical, it was with eager anticipation that I attended a showing of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Let me tell you, this flick is filled to overflowing with blood and violently realistic depictions of throat slitting (save for some over-dramatic squirting). But it’s also filled with excellent music and fantastic acting. I’m already a fan of and quite familiar with Tim Burton’s work, so I expected a heavy dose of black humor with the excellent direction, and I wasn’t disappointed. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter made excellent leads (with surprisingly decent voices), and the supporting cast, especially Alan Rickman as the despicable Judge Tarpin, helped carry the weight quite well. The story was fairly simple, and great actors don’t always make great singers, but this movie was a solid 4 out of 5 stars for me. I can’t wait until Burton releases Alice and Wonderland

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