Archive for January, 2008

All’s Right With the World

January 2, 2008

Whew! I was beginning to think I was going soft in my old age, what with liking three movies and every game I played over the holidays. But then I went to see Sweeney Todd, day before yesterday, and I’m pleased to report that the Hating Is Back.

Man, I do not see what all the critics saw in this one. The pacing is plodding. The plot is basically a throwaway — about nothing, really. The characters are two-dimensional. The songs (I know, I know… it’s Sondheim… He’s a genius… yadda yadda…)…. For my money, every song took itself way too seriously, musically speaking, and they all telegraphed their meaning in the opening line (which leaves me wondering why bother with the rest of the song?!) The cartoonishly crimson blood came in bucketloads, though it was so over the top it was more funny than anything.

On the plus side, the stars can all sing surprisingly well, which was an unexpected bonus. The film really did open up, geographically speaking, so there was none of the claustrophobic, static, adapted-from-a-stageplay feeling you often get in films based on plays. And Tim Burton’s visual style is as dramatic as ever, though, in fairness, Sweeney Todd is SO relentlessly monochromatic and grim — qualities I usually love — that even I was silently begging for any splash of color (other than nail-polish red!) by the time we hit the hour mark…

Overall, the most damning thing about Sweeney Todd is that it left me completely unmoved. The several, intertwined,  tragic love stories at the heart of the plot left me cold. The music seemed overblown and inflated by a sense of self-importance. Like I said, the visuals eventually seemed like a real drag. There isn’t a believable performance in the bunch.

I was checking my watch by the time 30 minutes had passed…

Musicals are dead again. Sigh…

Good thing I still have Phantom Hourglass (al…most…done….) and Mario Galaxy (which I broke down and started playing) to take my mind off bad movies. 

Happy New Year!