32 Days of Halloween VI, Day 32: The Final Day

Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing

Well, the undead fat lady is about to sing for 32 Days of Halloween. As we’ve been sifting through the madness of the season, we hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves. If so, do let us know. That’s how we decide if there’s going to be a Part VII or not. As always, we try to launch the final day with the various and sundry bits that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else. And that seems to sum up our first video, which is part of a training vid that Vincent Price recorded for Sears. Sears Roebuck had The Vincent Price Collection of art available for sale…and no, we’re not talking stuff like prints by Giger and Wrightson…Price was a Serious Art Guy. Showing here…

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By | 2017-09-24T22:29:09+00:00 October 31st, 2012|32 Days of Halloween|1 Comment

Sweeney Todd (2008) – Theatre Review

Sweeney Todd Tour poster

National Tour
Seen in Atlanta, Georgia, May 28, 2008

Lyrics & Music by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by John Doyle
Starring Judy Kaye, David Hess, Keith Buterbaugh, Benjamin Magnuson, Lauren Molina

So after seeing the John Doyle production in New York and finding it the singular best theatre experience I’ve had in years, I was happy as hell to hear it was going out on tour. Because there are many people who need to see this–and if you haven’t, then you’re one of them. I won’t go into too much about the show itself or even this interpretation–because it’s the same show I saw, with the same set, just on tour with a slightly different cast–and you can read my review of that here. But part of what you have to understand is that there’s no orchestra for this production–the cast is also the orchestra. Also, it’s interesting to note that–if I’m remembering correctly–Edmund Bagnell as Tobias is the only cast member to not have come from standby/understudy status on the Broadway revival, or been imported from Doyle’s other recent revival triumph, Company.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:18:23+00:00 June 1st, 2008|Reviews|0 Comments

Headsup: A Very Close Shave and More

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

Sweeney Todd 2-Disc Special Edition DVD Cover Art
Cloverfield DVD Cover Art
Middletown DVD Cover Art

My main problem with Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd is that I want to know what he’s got against the chorus. I mean, honestly, he stripped all the chorus parts out of the musical. And I’ll just say this for the cast: if Depp and Carter were singers as good as they are actors, then the movie would have been amazing. Let’s just leave it at that. Actually, no, I’ll just say one more thing: standout of the “known” players? Sacha Baron Cohen. Hands down. This two-disc set, out from DreamWorks, is reasonably outfitted, although there’s no commentary. You get a behind-the-scenes bit, a historical featurette, a featurette on London, a featurette on the original musical, and more. Not bad, but I would love a commentary, if not from Burton, then at least from Colleen Atwood and Dante Ferretti, the costume and production designers. Because Burton’s films are never, ever hard to look at. As long as you’re good with pale people wearing lots of black. But that’s Burton. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Cloverfield is headed for DVD and it’s good to see a new giant monster movie set in the U.S., shakycam or not. But then again, the shakycam from Blair Witch didn’t bother me, so maybe I’m not a good judge of such things. That’s right, shakycam is fine, but if I try to read in the car? Oh man, just kill me. Anyway, Abrams’ movie monster. While some have been unhappy with the handling of the monster I just think conceptually it’s fascinating enough to warrant at least a rental. And I do agree that we could have done with a bit less talking and more splode. But hey, at least this monster didn’t magically change sizes! I’m looking at you, Sony Godzilla. This Paramount release comes with deleted scenes, alternate endings, outtakes, a making-of bit, featurettes and a commentary from director Matt Reeves, plus more. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

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By | 2017-09-24T23:20:30+00:00 April 6th, 2008|Headsup|0 Comments

Sweeney Todd (2007) – 27 Second Review

Sweeney Todd movie poster

Written by: John Logan, based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener, Ed Sanders

Review: Rarely will you ever hear me say that a movie could do with less blood, but the sadism kind of took away from the artistic aspect. Not that sadism isn’t an art form, just not a musical one. Other than that, you get the perfect combination of music, murder, cannibalism, and pedophilia. And you don’t even have to go to the Neverland Ranch (allegedly!) to get it.

Time: 14 seconds

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By | 2017-09-24T23:22:11+00:00 January 29th, 2008|27 Seconds, Reviews|0 Comments

Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou Reprise Todd: What is That?

Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd

Nice. Stumbled across this on YouTube: Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou are back in their roles as the original Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd, respectively, for Sondheim‘s 75th birthday concert from last year. Not of bad voice either of them, all things considered: especially Lansbury, who pops right back into character and pretty much nails it. Fun as hell.
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By | 2017-09-24T23:38:58+00:00 October 19th, 2006|Stimuli|0 Comments

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp to Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd

Meatpie

Yeah, I know everybody’s already reporting this, but hell. Johnny Depp‘s Todd and Tim Burton‘s in the chair.

Can Depp sing? If he can, then I’m not worried about him in the least.

As for Burton, as long as we’ve got the Big Fish and Ed Wood Burton and not the Apes or Sleepy Hollow Burton, then I think we’re in good shape.

My review of the kickass current revival on Broadway is here.
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By | 2017-09-24T23:41:22+00:00 August 18th, 2006|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

Sweeney Todd (2005) – Theatre Review

Sweeney Todd revival poster

Theatre folks know Sweeney Todd well. The really twisted ones among us know it well and enjoy the hell out of it, for many reasons: the gallows humor and the straight-up gallows; Sondheim being 110% Sondheim; and, well, we just dig things with “demon” in the title. Some of us are so weird we think about rock versions of the musical. And we all are quite familiar with the Len Cariou/Angela Lansbury version, played big with a tremendous body count, bright whites to get a bit of red on, and so forth. Some of us have been lucky enough to be in a production of the show (myself included).

John Doyle, however, has taken the production in an entirely different direction. It’s one thing to say you’re reviving Todd. It’s another to say you’re doing it completely stripped down to the point where the company is ten people. But we all sit up and pay attention when you say something as daft as, “Well, he’s stripped the whole damn orchestra out of it as well–the ten people on stage are both actors and orchestra.” I’m sorry…what was that?

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By | 2017-09-24T23:45:10+00:00 May 31st, 2006|Reviews|1 Comment