Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: -1/2

Content: -4

Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen. Musical. Written by John Logan. Directed by Tim Burton.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces again in a big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheims award-winning musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Depp stars in the title role as a man unjustly sent to prison who vows revenge, not only for that cruel punishment, but for the devastating consequences of what happened to his wife and daughter. When he returns to reopen his barber shop, Sweeney Todd becomes the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who shaved the faces of gentlemen who never thereafter were heard of again. Joining Depp is Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Sweeneys amorous accomplice, who creates diabolical meat pies. The cast also includes Alan Rickman, who portrays the evil Judge Turpin, who sends Sweeney to prison, Timothy Spall as the Judges wicked associate Beadle Bamford and Sacha Baron Cohen as a rival barber, the flamboyant Signor Adolfo Pirelli.

PREVIEW REVIEW: If ever a star, a director and a supporting cast were meant for a movie, this is the team. Too bad Bela Lugosi wasnt around to add to the mix. Dark, cynical and oppressive, Sweeney Todd is abundant with a visual violence that surpasses excess and enters the realm of sadism. The stars and the filmmaker are creepy. Theyre always creepy. The film is a gory bloodbath. A most disturbing film-going experience.

Oh, I know, its going to get nominated Best Picture. What can I say, some people like the dark and depraved.

DVD Alternative: The Phantom of the Opera. There are several remakes, but if youre adventurous, may I suggest the classic silent version with Lon Chaney. The story concerns a vengeful composer who kidnaps a young singer and makes her his protge. Its not gory, its eerie. Some scenes will give you the willies (always fun when viewing spooky movies). The unmasking of the Phantom is downright scary. And the two-tone colorization of the Bal Masque is artistically a cinematic moment of greatness.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: A few obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: I caught none.

Violence: Excessive violence, including a child beaten, and numerous throats slit, the victims bodies dumped through a shoot to land on their heads; these people are then cooked up in meat pies and served to unknowing customers; a woman is thrown into a furnace, we see her burn up; we see human remains that werent placed in the furnace. Blood: Oh, a lot of blood. It sprays from the jugulars of the murdered victims.

Sex: Rape is implied in one brief scene.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: A homeless child is fed gin until he passes out.

Other: None

Running Time: Too long
Intended Audience: Adults

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