Or should I say dreary, awful, slaughter-house Todd? Then throw in some non-stop singing for a double finger rating. (You know, when you hate a movie so bad you whip out both middle fingers at the screen while the credits are still rolling.) We didn't actually do that in this movie, though, since people were clapping and animatedly talking about how wonderful it was in the seats right next to us, behind us and in front of us. The finger thing would've been over the top even for us, not to mention we would've most likely been stoned to death where we sat, in the spirit of the movie. The audience was so appreciative of this particular ensemble, at the end there I looked around and thought maybe I'd see a few Sweeney Todds creepily sitting next to me, just like the Star Wars fools all dressed up in space paraphernalia. Thankfully there were none.
But excuse me? Edward Scissorhands grows up to be a murdering barber who slashes people at random and then the spooky gal downstairs feeds them to the locals, and this is clap worthy? I looked over at my husband throughout this hellish ordeal and every time I did he had his hands over his eyes and was sadly shaking his head. For the whole movie. His movie choice had been Walk Hard. Poor sap. I'll be paying for this faux pas in a lifetime of servitude.
Okay, I probably need to back up a bit and rearrange some tidbits or the musical lovers will egg my house and kill my children tomorrow. And now that I've purged some of my angst I'm feeling a little better about the movie, a tad more generous and not so, well, opinionated. The facts are clear: this movie, for people who love this genre, was well put together and was acted perfectly. I love Johnny Depp and always will. He became the creepy Sweeney Scissorhands. I believed it and he deserves any sort of award nom. It was well shot and put together like art. Creepy, dreary art, but art none-the-less. Well done Mr. Burton, you are the master of art disaster but please stay at least 50 feet from my person at all times. I have that in writing.
Yes, we knew it was a musical. We're not idiots. But even though it was created first for the stage we, meaning my poor husband and I, really thought it would be more Hairsray-esque. You know? Some light singing, some fun acting, an overall Chicago style musical with some rompy singing numbers, but ultimately with enough acting to get you through the tedious vocal parts, which in this movie were laced with blood and guts, and not kitschy bouffant wigs and clippy saddle shoed dance numbers.
Nope. It was all about the shrieking and very, very little else. Well, that and lots and lots of gruesomely graphic scenes of bodies clunking on their heads. I didn't even know you could do that in the movies. Well, of course I knew there could be graphic amounts of blood, think Saw, but I really thought there was some mandatory standard ratio of acting vs singing in place to guard against such things, or really, we'd just call it Broadway now wouldn't we?
Kind of like when a memoir has to be 87% true? Well movies which become musicals on the Big Screen should, by law, have 87% be talking and 13% be stupid singing numbers and not the other way around. I'm at a MOVIE. I am not holding $9 broadway tickets. I'm not dressed in my Sunday best. I'm not having a moment on a special trip to NY to see Wicked. I'm not anywhere near Times Square. I'm in jeans and a pair of old tennies and this is a MOVIE. From now on please adapt them accordingly whoever you are in charge of such things. Or at the very least have a stamp on the bottom of the commercial which clearly reads, "May not be suitable for the average viewer: contains over 87% singing and dancing numbers." And then I will consider myself fairly warned.
I loved Dreamgirls. I'm not a hatah, really I'm not. I can stomach the occasional Hairspray meets High School Musical. Grease was my favorite movie at age 11 and see that proves that I'm not all bad or horribly unfeeling. I watched Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera without too much dry heaving, but come on!!! Sweeney Singinghands was way too much. It was also much too dark and dreary, and not in the cool Blade vampire kind of way. It was dark and boring. Even with all that killing. There were no surprises, nothing to keep you guessing. There was singing and slashing and Johnny didn't even talk like a pirate. Double finger.
If you love musicals more than you love your mother, go see it. The people around us were happy and clappy. But if you're at all like us, skip the movie and rent the third Pirates movie for your Johnny fix. Even though that was the worst one, he still looks hot and it's actiony and fun. Or go see Juno. Which rocked. A pregnant 16 year old? What could be funnier? At least nobody got stabbed in the eye.