Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Christmas Massacre

I just got back from seeing Sweeney Todd. Before you read on, I just want to let you know that these are the thoughts of a guy whose all-time favorite Broadway show is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I’ve seen a letter-perfect recreation of the Broadway show back in the late 80’s; I’ve listened to the score several thousand times and know it by heart; I even played the part of Toby in a small production that had me killing someone four times a night. With that said, let’s proceed…

First off, let me say that ST is an F-ing incredible movie. As I waited for the film to start, I had to tell myself to be objective about it: This was not Tim Burton trying to film the Broadway version…It is simply his retelling of the story. And film and stage are quite different beasts. The atmosphere is so depressing it’s amazing. You only see the sun shine twice in this film. But the characters seem so at home in the gloom you would think England really did look like that back in the 1800’s. Many of the songs made it to the movie, though most shortened by a verse of two. It’s was also odd not to hear the crowd singing along during the God That’s Good number. Only the main characters sing…there’s no Greek chorus moving the story along. In fact, The Ballad of Sweeney Todd is only heard in sections of the score.

The best staged number was A Little Priest when Ms. Lovett figures out what to do with Sweeney’s victim. It was actually quite creepy the way they looked outside the windows and the passers-by pay them no heed as they are discussing the heinous acts of baking they could do.

I did have to adjust to Todd and Lovett being played and sung by younger actors, and having an actual child playing the role of Toby…not an adult with an adult singing voice. Helena Bonham Carter probably had the weakest voice but played the character wonderfully. The Worst Pies In London must be sung with more force than she did.

But all the actors were wonderful, the few that there were. Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall were both great as the villains (but is Sweeney the villain, too?). I was a bit annoyed at how fatalist they made Johanna be. Not a happy girl at all.

On to the gore….yea gads! It was amazing! Pretty much the level of gore you saw in Tim Burton’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow film. There was one person in the theater I kept seeing their hands fly up in front of their face whenever a throat was slit. This is the only reason this film got an R rating.

For the Sweeney enthusiests, you will notice the musical numbers left out of the movie, most of the ones left in are shortened, and one number, Todd and Anthony’s duet, Johanna, moved a few scenes early. There were also small story changes but it stays true to the plot of the musical.

The only thing in the film that I would have done differently……(wait for it)…..was the abrupt ending. I’m talking even more abrupt than the musical’s ending (but, then again, the Ballad of ST number and the Greek chorus wrap the musical up for you at the end). So as not to spoil it, the few additions I would have done to the film are listed at the very bottom of this post. If I wasn’t a fan of the musical I would have no gripes at all. But comparing it brings up the little things I’ve mentioned. But don’t get me wrong…this film will become my all-time favorite musical film version…and I’m hoping it’s out on Blu-Ray, not HD-DVD when it makes it out of the theaters.

And another thought…this film will do well, but because there is no happy ending I see that hurting its total gross. Most critics love it, and the Johnny Depp fans and musical fans will gladly help it be a success. Hell, I will be seeing it again soon with the Hubby (I had a half day today so went straight to the Pleasure Island Theaters and saw it). But it is not feel-good Holiday fare, and definitely not a date movie…unless you are Goth.

If you’ve never heard the musical soundtrack or seen the musical, go see it…as long as gore doesn’t put you off. And once you’ve seen the film I suggest you then purchase, or at least borrow, a copy of the 2-disc original Broadway recording and let it fill in the full story for you. Maybe I’ll come listen with you…and bring along my razor.

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Read no further if you don’t want anything spoiled!

My additions to the ending would be this: Show Toby witnessing Todd killing Mrs. Lovett; allow Todd to finish singing the entire verse before being killed; and show us Anthony and Johanna in some form…in the musical they come rushing in right after Todd dies with the police with them…that would have been good, or at least them leaving the city together.

Geared Up

Today I have a quote from a journalist who saw an advance screening of Sweeney Todd. You can read the entire (but brief) post HERE.

As a member of the working press, I saw tonight’s screening under embargo, so I can’t say anything specific about Sweeney Todd until it opens in selected cities on December 21. (It opens wide on January 11.) What I can say is that it is–without exception, and by a considerable margin–the best film ever to have been made from a Broadway musical. The only other one to which it can possibly be compared is Bob Fosse’s 1972 screen version of Cabaret, and Sweeney is, aside from everything else, a better show. (It is, in my opinion, the best musical to have opened on Broadway since the end of World War II.) I also think it might actually do well at the box office, not to mention the next Oscar night.

I am so there on opening night. And it better be showing in DLP, too.

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I spent yesterday at Disney with my mom, sister, niece and nephew. My niece is three and a half years old and she lasted the entire day. We were at the Magic Kingdom by 8:45 in time for rope drop and we stayed until 8:45 PM, leaving just before the fireworks. We also went over to Epcot for lunch and to see the Finding Nemo attraction.

Only once did my niece fall asleep and that was in the stroller for about 15 minutes in the late morning. Otherwise she was rearing to go all day. She absolutely loved Goofy’s Barnstomer, a kid-sized rollercoaster. We had to ride it a second time before we could move on to something else. She made a pet out of the gummy worm that was on her dessert plate. She named it Wormy, and carried him in her hand for several hours. She finally ate him when my sister would not buy her anymore candy. But my niece was nice enough not to eat his head, but save it to show her grandpa.

My nephew is only 6 months old but was so well behaved, and even enjoyed the country Bear Jamboree, bouncing around on my sister’s lap during the show. I can’t wait to see the photos my mom took throughout the day.

Linux Taking Over Christmas?

I noticed something the other day at Walgreen’s. They had their Christmas candy stuff up and there was this two-foot tall chocolate penguin.

Then I started seeing penguins everywhere in holiday decorations. Is this the first year for them? I sure don’t remember them last year.

Penguins

Oh well, tomorrow kicks off this crazy season. We are supposed to go see Enchanted tonight. A friend of ours saw a sneak preview and really liked it.

At work I found out our hot Hispanic maintenance guy is getting a divorce. Stud, I’ll try keeping you satisfied until you find someone else.

Otherwise I’m off until next Monday. We now have two Thanksgivings to go to since the Hubby’s sister has moved up here. So everyone eat safe and see you next week.

Extra! Extra! Friday’s Post Comes Early!

Yes, readers! I just had to post this becasue it may not be around much longer for free. Yep! I said free!

The short film, Zombie Prom, is available as a free download on iTunes! It’s cheesy and fun…and you can’t go wrong with a diva drag-queen as the baddie! So check it out before you gotta pay!

ZP Cover

He Loved Waving His Magic Wand

It seems J.K. Rowling is letting the world know some old fart wizard from her book series was gay.

WTF? If it was so important a plot point then why not put it in your book? I just see this as a way for Rowling to create further “interest” for her book series. It just appears to me as a publicity stunt.

I still haven’t read the books.

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I totally vegged this weekend. It was rainy Saturday morning, and then cloudy all weekend, so the heat wasn’t too bad. I did go see Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D. The only movie I’ve seen more than this one in a theater is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Go figure.

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Maybe I should spend more time at Biketoberfest…

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — An Orlando man is recovering Monday after he said he was grabbed by two men and sexually assaulted in Daytona Beach while attending Biketoberfest.

Police said the man was walking along the 400 block of A1A in Daytona Beach early Sunday when two men attacked him and dragged him to a nearby beach.

The victim said he was sexually assaulted by the men at gunpoint.

Never Forget. Never Forgive.

In honor of the approaching holiday (I’m referring to Halloween), here’s some appropriate viewing material.

He’s coming!

Re-TRON

From DarkHorizons.com:

Kosinski To Helm “Tron” Remake

By Garth FranklinTuesday September 11th 2007 12:27pm

Commercial director Joseph Kosinski, who last month signed on to helm the remake of “Logan’s Run” for Warner Bros. Pictures, is in final negotiations to develop and direct a remake of 1982 cult classic “Tron” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The original, about a computer programr thrust into a computer and forced to fight in games he helped create, is remembered for its sci-fi gladiator-style battles and groundbreaking special effects.

“Lost” scribes Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are penning the script, however story details are being kept secret. Steven Lisberger, who co-wrote and directed the original film, will produce.

I am totally psyhced about this and totally worried it will suck. What’s a computer nerd to do?

TRON

Dear God Won’t Someone Stop Them?!?!?

You know….I really like Disney’s Escape To Witch Mountain, so much so, I used to pretend I had powers like Tony and Tia’s. But there’s still some idiot in charge at Disney Studios! Someone stop him (or her), please!


LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in talks to star in “Witch Mountain,” a modern re-imagining of Disney’s 1975 adventure movie “Escape to Witch Mountain.”
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The story follows a pair of siblings, endowed with paranormal powers, who go on the run from a diabolical group of men who wish to exploit their abilities. Johnson will play a Las Vegas cab driver who is in for the ride of his life when he picks up the duo.

Disney is eyeing a March 2008 start date. Andy Fickman is on board to direct; he and Johnson worked together on Disney’s upcoming family comedy “The Game Plan.” Johnson’s recent credits include “Walking Tall” and “Gridiron Gang.”

Toto, We Are Totally F***ed This Time!

I found this on DarkHorizons.com:

Olson & McFarlane Return To “Oz”

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are teaming on “Oz,” a revisionist take on the L. Frank Baum’s 15-book “Wizard of Oz” novel series reports Variety.

Scribe Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”) will write and “Spawn” creator Todd McFarlane will produce. Both are working out the tone which will aim to be a darker and more adult – something along the lines of the recent “Harry Potter” film than the famous 1939 MGM feature.

McFarlane says “I want to create (an interpretation) that has a 2007 wow factor. You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”

They also say the film will be more of a sequel than a remake.

I see Dorothy as a militant lesbian with a flat-top hairdo. The Tin Woodsman is actually a metallic, human-size vibrator. The Scarecrow is a voodoo doll and sticks pins in himself to attack his opponents. And the Cowardly Lion is a cat/human hybrid who wears clothes but also uses a giant litter box. And Toto becomes an iguana that Dorothy keeps wrapped around her neck.

It could happen!

WoO

[Click for the larger version]

Rednecks and Rumors

How was your 4th? We went and saw an early movie (only $5 at AMC on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays before Noon). We saw Knocked Up which was enjoyable (not enjoyable enough to review). I would necessarily watch it again or buy the DVD. We headed home as the rain started and spent time at home relaxing. We then went to a friend’s for her 4th of July block party. She had lots of food and this group of redneck neighbors who were there, spent over 2 hours shooting off fireworks in the street. I was glad we had had a ton of rain (it ended just after we got there) so less chance of them setting a nearby house on fire.

By the end of the evening they were holding bottle rockets in their hands to fire them off.

Yee Haw!!!

Could fireworks be God’s form of natural selection for the redneck community?

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I just heard that the Full Moon bar in Orlando closed! My source says he hasn’t heard of a reason, yet. Interesting. Stay tuned for some dirt – I’ll post it when I find it.