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Sweeney Todd

Tim Burton's 2007 film adaptation of the musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

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Musical Mayhem And Gore

  • May 15, 2008
Rating:
+4
Stephen Sondheim's wonderful "Sweeney Todd" gets a superbly creepy and gory treatment from Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. My knowledge of musicals goes only as far as "My Fair Lady," "Camelot," and "The Sound Of Music," so I will review this particular musical as a fan of Depp, Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, among others in the production. First of all, Burton sets a dark and gloomy tone for the story as it opens on Todd's return to London. He has been away for fifteen years in a prison for a crime he did not commit. When he arrives on the streets, revenge is in his heart. We also meet a young sailor named Anthony (Jamie Campbell Bower), who will play a key role later in the story. Todd returns to his barber shop where his family is no more. He learns from one Mrs. Lovett (Bonham Carter), that his wife has committed suicide and his daughter is being held captive at the home of Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), who is the source of all of Todd's turmoil. This sets into motion a brilliant story of revenge, internal struggle, and all-out violence. Todd and Lovett conspire to get revenge not on the judge alone, but any and every person of high importance. From vicar to royal, no one is safe.

The brilliance of this story is built not on just the music and atmosphere, but on the performances of the actors as well. Depp is sinister as the wronged Todd. Bonham Carter plays the longing romantic in love with Todd perfectly. Rickman and Timothy Spall (Beadle) outdo themselves with their characters. Young Ed Sanders plays the highly loyal and overprotective Toby and, in my opinion, delivers one of the best performances in the film. Sacha Baron Cohen (yep, Borat) surprised me with his portrayal of Pirelli, a devious con man out to blackmail Todd. Also of note is a brief cameo from Anthony Head.

There is plenty of blood in this film. Lots of it. Tons of it. Although not as garish as modern zombie films, when the blood flows, it sprays walls, faces, and just about anything within reach. If you cannot handle gore, you may not want to watch this. What's bizarre is that in all of this film, only the bright red color of the blood stands apart from the gloominess of the rest of the story.

I highly recommend this film to fans of Depp, Bonham Carter, Burton or Rickman. Even if you've never watched a musical, sit through this one long enough and you'll see that it really is a wonderful, macabre tale.

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More Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber... reviews
review by . January 04, 2013
Can You Tell This Is A Tim Burton Film?
This movie, like all Tim Burton movies, screams TIM BURTON. That being said, it's an enjoyable musical adaptation. Of course, "Johanna" is the stand-out musical number, being hauntingly and achingly sad. Sacha Baron Cohen is memorable and Helena Bonham Carter is quite bearable (to be fair, much of my ire towards her comes from her being Burton's wife). There are some striking visual shots (as expected) and lavishly grotesque scenes which make the lack of character depth and plot …
review by . May 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    Tim Burton gives me all that I look for in a musical feature film with "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim hit Broadway show of the same name. If you've followed up on the filmmaker's works to this day, then you'll know that he's usually not afraid to go to dark places, but I don't think he's ever purposely corned himself in a dark alley and proceeded to inflict severe and perverse emotionally deconstructive …
review by . December 12, 2010
In all fairness this is probably the worst version of Sweeney Todd out there, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. I actually do like this movie, but it seems that the only reason Tim Burton decided to adapt it is that it's a dark musical and he has already laid claim to anything with even an iota of macabre. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love that, but it just makes me think that he amped up the blood and guts and downplayed the original beloved characters whereas the …
review by . May 02, 2011
I decided to rewatch this movie and after doing so, I have deduced that I was being unfair, comparing this to the stage show. Of course the stage show is brilliant, but this is a splendid work in its own right and arguably the best thing Tim Burton has done since Beetlejuice. There are some things that this movie does better than the show, and some things that the show does better than the movie, but I shall get on about that later in the review. This musical is my favourite musical of all time, …
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Strong performances all around in both singing and acting. Even though I thought Bonham-Carter was a bit too young to play Mrs. Lovett when the cast was announced, she pulled off this role wonderfully. Depp totally got into this role as he usually does. Like he does all of his roles, he played Sweeny Todd as a three dimensional character, who did horrible things, yet you could feel sympathetic to what he went through.
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
this movie was weird to say the least. when i first heard that it was a musical i was totally uninterested, but then when i saw it i was pleasantly suprised, it was really good!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Depp shows his wide range of talents. He shows that he can both act and sing in this movie. Burton's direction is also at its best.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A quite amazing musical/drama revenge movie. It had great potentilal and rose to the challenge. A fantastic cast.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
very......interesting, and strange movie. for a musical not that bad though.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Loved this movie! I went and bought the original afterwards and I must say, they did a great job with this movie! It is entertaining and the effects are amazing!
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

2007 musical thriller and the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's stage musical starring Johnny Depp

Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Directed by Tim Burton
Writers: John Logan, Steven Sondheim (Musicals)
2007

After years of rumors, it turns out that Tim Burton was the perfect visionary to filmSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim's Broadway masterpiece, and the result is a macabre and moving musical movie as enthralling as anything Burton has ever done. The show's mix of gothic horror, Grand Guignol,verydark humor, and witty and beautiful music never was the stuff of traditional musical comedy, but it's a powerful work, and perhaps the richest of the late 20th century. In the movie, Burton's frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp, plays Todd, a wronged man whose lust for revenge drives him to murder (an 19th-century legend who has been traced to a real-life barber). Helena Bonham Carter, another Burton mainstay, is Mrs. Lovett, the barber's partner-in-unspeakable-crime. It's no surprise that Depp is an excellent choice to convey Todd's brooding intensity and volcanic rage, but he can also sing a score that is so challenging it has often played in opera houses (though not with the same style as the Broadway original, Len Cariou, and he occasionally lapses into pop style). Bonham Carter is small of voice and lacks the humor of the original Broadway Lovett, Angela Lansbury, but ...
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Details

Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: December 21, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 56min (116 Minutes)
Studio: Dreamworks PIctures, Warner Bros Pictures
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