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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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Sweeney Todd (Tim Burton Adaptation)

  • Dec 12, 2010
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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 stage show downplayed the blood and guts and amped up the character, story and wonderful musical numbers.

The score is also incredibly dumbed down, but I already ranted about that in my review of the other Sweeney Todd. Not to say I didn't like the songs in this movie, I just like the original theatrical score better. I also disliked how they reduced the character of Todd's daughter Johanna (played by Jayne Wisener) to a couple lines and a short song. I'm serious, she only has a couple lines in this movie and they're all under twelve words and a song that's only two minutes. Inn the play, she actually has lines and more singing and a backstory and whatnot, whereas she's pretty much a silent role and a character for Jamie Campbell Bower (the far too effeminate for my taste Anthony) to fall in love with.

So, I've bashed it so much you probably are wondering why I gave it a fairly high score. Well, it definitely has it's own merits as a film. First of all, as per any Tim Burton film, it's really nice to look at and the visual style is absolutely fantastic. I also liked how it was filmed in a sepia tone to portray the dark, depressing nature of 1800's era London. The actors also did pretty well in their respective roles, and for (mostly) untrained singers they all did a damn good job, especially Johnny Depp. But that being said, the role of Sweeney Todd requires a strong bass voice (like George Hearn, the best Todd), which comes from a trained singer. Johnny, however, is an untrained tenor, which isn't the proper voice for Todd, but I liked how he brought something different to the role in terms of vocals.

The songs are also pretty good, my personal favourite being "A Little Priest", which is sung in the middle of the movie by Johnny and Helena. I did like the Johanna Quartet, and Jamie Campbell Bower has a nice tenor voice (albeit a little weak, Cris Groenendaal's was much stronger) and Johnny does have a nice voice, which is surprisingly powerful. Helena's voice is also quite nice (again, just a tad meek), and Alan Rickman's voice is actually quite good.

In terms of the supporting acting, Sacha Baron Cohen was a perfect casting choice for Pirelli. The role of Pirelli is nothing more than comic relief really, and Baron Cohen took full advantage of that, being incredibly foppy and hilarious. Edward Sanders also did well as Toby, despite my personal problems with Toby in the play not being a child. Sanders is a cute kid and a good actor, and despite all problems, played Toby well.

However, just because this is a musical doesn't mean that it's okay to watch this with your children. This is a definite keep-away from anyone under the age of thirteen, and even people above that age that are squeamish around blood should steer clear of it. Even though the blood is artsy and fake looking, the murder scenes are still pretty damn graphic, and they get more graphic in the end. There was only one part I had to look away from, but I'm not squeamish in regards to blood, so I did fine.

If you haven't seen this, it depends on your personal tastes whether you see it or not. Like I said, if you're squeamish around blood, this is a definite no-no, but if you appreciate good movies and are not squeamish around blood, it's a definite maybe. If you're a fan of the musical, it's watchable, but you'll probably have the same problems I had with it. All in all, it won't appeal to everyone and it's not as good as the 1980s broadway show, but it's perfectly watchable entertainment

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December 13, 2010
I am a huge Depp fan, but I couldn't watch the whole movie only because I hate musicals! LOL I loved the way Depp looked in the film though---creepy yet still hot.
December 12, 2010
My girl Helena Bonham Carter was great in this
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 . 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!
review by . May 05, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
This may be a bold statement but I believe that Burton may have crafted his best since Ed Wood when he made Sweeney Todd. Believe me when I say those were pretty big shoes to fill but The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is just a fantastic work of art from beginning to finish. Taking his cure from the ghastly legend of Sweeney Todd & retaining all of the original Sondheim soundtrack music, Tim Burton has proven himself once again to be nothing less than a genuis in the grand halls of cinema.   …
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About this movie


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)

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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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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