Other responses to “Sweeney Todd”

There was supposed to be an embargo on Sweeney Todd reactions until Monday, but then Envelope guy Tom O’Neil posted last night and then N.Y. Times Oscar columnist David Carr (a.k.a. “the Bagger”), let go. So I called my Paramount guy this morning and begged for a release from bondage, and he said okay.

Then David Poland posted this morning, mentioning also the embargo and being careful to point out that the film “plays a lot better on multiple viewings.” (Mutliple viewings because, you know, Poland is so important and well-connected.) The only guy who’s unmoved so far is Red Carpet District‘s Kris Tapley.

52 thoughts on “Other responses to “Sweeney Todd”

  1. snoop on said:

    Off topic:

    I’ve been thinking about how this is being called this best year in film since 1999, and so I thought i’d post something here.

    I don’t know how to feel about 2007 yet, having not seen several of the major films. However, I do think this year has found some perfect cohesion, especially because it’s the first time since 1999 that Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher have all had films out in the same year (I know there may not be Darjeeling love on this board, but I loved it).

    That being said, there’ve been some pretty solid years since 1999, specifically 2002.

    2002′s best were Road to Perdition, Adaptation, Minority Report, Narc, About Schmidt, The Quiet American, About a Boy, Insomnia, Punch Drunk Love, Far From Heaven, Gangs of New York, Catch Me if You Can, and The Bourne Identity, but there were many other good films (Two Towers, The Hours, Solaris, Changing Lanes, etc).

    While I agree this year has been very good (and i haven’t seen Sweeney Todd, Atonement, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Once, There Will Be Blood, I’m Not There, Control, In The Valley of Elah, Juno or The Savages), 2002 had a pretty good bunch.


  2. “(Mutliple viewings because, you know, Poland is so important and well-connected.)”

    I’m too lazy to look it up, but haven’t you said this exact sort of thing about There Will Be Blood?

  3. snoop, I think the “which recent movie years have been really good?” thread has turned up over a few times at The Hot Blog, but I don’t really get tired of it, especially towards the end of the year when those comparisons are natural. I agree that all of this “best since ’99″ talk has sort of glossed over some good years between now and then. ’99 was great, but after nixing some of your picks (Quiet American, About a Boy, Far From Heaven, The Hours) and elevating some others (Lilo & Stitch, 25th Hour, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Episode II! Yeah, that’s right, suck it LOTR), I would absolutely agree that ’02 was a strong one — really sort of an echo of ’99 in that back then, a lot of those world-class filmmakers were still on a regular schedule of delivering something new every 2-3 years. I know this hasn’t always been their fault, but the ridiculous gaps between movies for P.T. Anderson, Spike Jonze, David O. Russell, and now (it looks like, since Sideways) Alexander Payne can hurt the overall picture. The new class could learn from guys like Spielberg, Soderbergh, Woody Allen and Spike Lee (though I guess they all, save Woody, can command greater studio trust on occasion).

    I also thought ’04 was pretty strong: Eternal Sunshine, the second half of Kill Bill, The Incredibles, Life Aquatic, strong work from Eastwood, Scorsese, and David Gordon Green, some very good comedies in different flavors (Anchorman, Napoleon Dynamite, Garden State, Starsky & Hutch, Mean Girls), and popcorn movies that actually worked (Spider-Man 2, Cuaron’s take on Harry Potter, Sky Captain)… plus some solid movies I like but others around here love, like Sideways and Collateral. Not quite ’99 or ’02, but a good showing that sticks out to me.

    That said, ’07 is shaping up really nicely, on par with ’02 if not quite ’99 (that was really an amazing year; there were a good 30 ten-best-quality movies). Right now, I could put together a perfectly strong 2007 ten-best list; hell, I could’ve done one a month ago (and only using movies that had actually been released).

  4. Wells did say that but from what I understand nobody but long lead critics had seen Sweeney Todd before yesterday. If Wells had said it about There Will Be Blood when it showed up at Fantastic Fest then it would be the same thing.

  5. Burton’s masterpiece is Beetlejuice. And I’m a little tired of Depp-as-muse and freakin’ Bonham Carter as nepotism-player.

  6. Burton’s masterpiece is ED WOOD, as has been discussed on other threads. And there is no nixing ABOUT A BOY, perhaps the most perfect Britcom of the modern era, certainly the best film of Hugh Grant’s career.

  7. Re: Sweeney Todd.
    Specifically, Johnny Depp and his accent. Is it not beginning to get on your nerves. He has been rolling out ever since he unleased Capt. Jack Sparrow. He did the same thing in The Libertine. I am not saying it is inaccurate (certainly not anything like Dick Van Dyke doing his Cor-blimey Cockney nonsense in Mary Poppins), but it is rather one note… a bit like Timmy’s films.

  8. First of all Snoop, I second your admiration of Darjeeling and I never get tired of saying that. People are free to disagree, but for them I know of a pair of balls that need kissing.

    As for this or that year being better than another. I don’t know. Every year to me brings its own set of wonders. It’s what keeps me going back to the movies year after year, despite the large amounts of time filler that comes out.

    I will say, I can’t remember seeing so many good movies in so short of a period of time as I have in the last month. Even going back as far as September.

    There’s an intensity at this moment I don’t quite remember feeling. I hope it continues with Sweeney Todd.

  9. 2002 and 2003 were great movie years in my opinion.

    GONY, though should be omitted.
    Road to Perdition is a solid movie, I enjoyed it. But I doubt it’ll be considered great anytime soon.
    I HATE Punch Drunk Love…but.
    Adaptation, The Two Towers, Pianist, Bowling for Columbine, Spellbound, Minority Report, Catch Me, Narc. All great films.

    Still so much to see this year.

  10. 1941 was a great year for films so much better than 2002 and 1939, take Citizen Kane or Sullivan’s Travels … 2007 is up there somewhere

  11. The Two Towers is weak, because it’s a transitional film where nothing happens. The only thing I liked from 2002 was Millennium Actress.

    ThePope: He’s used that accent since at least Sleepy Hollow.

  12. Good morning.

    Can I just get you to verify this statement: “The only thing I liked from 2002 was Millennium Actress.”

    Not ‘my favorite movie from 2002 was…” or “the only thing I loved was…”, but the only thing you liked, out of an entire year of movies, and everything else you hated? Just to clarify? Out of how many movies seen?

  13. You’ll have to forgive DZ, Jeff. In 2002, besides watching Millenium Actress 43 times, he spent the bulk of his time masturbating to Nova in the 2nd StarBlazers series on DVD.

  14. Funny, I’ve always looked at 2002 as a particularly weak year. Outside of the two Spielberg films, I can’t think of a film I’ll be watching again. I mean, hell, my favorite movie of that year may have been Signs, which I’m sure most of you hated.

    Oh right, City of God. But Signs is probably #2.

  15. Oh, I did love the film; but I’m using the term “like” to make a comment about how uninspiring most of the line-up was that year.

    CJ: Um, no, I saw Spirited Away and Spiderman, and Minority Report, and didn’t really feel the excitement of any of them to see anything else.
    Anyway, it’s funny you think I’m the guy who gets off on that show, when you’re the one who knows the characters more than me…

    Josh: City of God was better when it was called “Boys N the Hood”.

  16. This is a good example of the snideness and condescension I was telling you about the other day. You mention one movie that you liked from that year and proceed to get your hate on for another five or so.

    Are you familiar, DZ, with the phrase “agree to disagree”?

  17. Yes DZ, I loved StarBlazers. We never ‘went all the way’, but I still carry a torch.

    All snarkiness aside, it’s fair to say you dislike more movies than you like, right? Or at least you dislike 90% of the movies that are discussed on these pages?

    What joy do you get from coming here exactly? Humor me. I’m just curious.

  18. “The Two Towers is weak, because it’s a transitional film where nothing happens.”

    That’s why I consider it the best in the series. It’s not saddled with exposition or weighed down by 10 endings. Plus it contains the best music Howard Shore ever wrote.

  19. DZ, if you had your own blog, you could probably live off the advertising revenue. Look at how many posts in response you’re able to generate simply by making odd, unexplainable statements.

  20. I liked GONE WITH THE WIND better when it was called BIRTH OF A NATION. I also liked KIDS better when it was called STAR WARS.

  21. I’m not sure about the depth, but the cream of the 2000 crop still strikes me as the best in a long while. In the Mood for Love. Amores Perros. George Washington. Requiem for a Dream. Ratcatcher. Memento. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Traffic(not my favorite, but whatever). Dancer in the Dark. The Wind Will Carry Us (I think). To my mind, Unbreakable.

  22. 2002 was a pretty damn fine year; the best in some time. But 2004 was not to be looked over either. Sideways, Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland, The Sea Inside, Kinsey, Friday Night Lights, Ray, The Aviator, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, Fahrenheit 9/11, Mean Girls, Hotel Rwanda, Eternal Sunshine and The Motorcycle Diaries.
    And let’s not forget The Incredibles, which even though it’s a cartoon, is my favorite of all those films.

  23. The Two Towers is weak, because it’s a transitional film where nothing happens.

    Madness. The defense of Helm’s Deep is the human high point of the whole trilogy.

  24. Best movie year ever? Try this and see if anything else can compare:

    Ride the High Country. Lolita. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. The Longest Day.

    The Manchurian Candidate. To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Jules and Jim. Viridiana. An Actor’s Revenge.

    Lawrence of Arabia.


  25. how about 1974:
    Godfather II
    blazing saddles
    Alice Doesnt Live Here anymore
    The Gambler
    Hearts and Minds
    The Paralax View
    taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3
    Harry and Tonto
    flesh Gordon/The Groove tube: midnight miovie perennials
    grindhouse classics: caged heat/truck turner
    and texas chainsaw massacre

  26. Good thread. Love the lists from other movie years. Great one above me here. ok…the Pope here mentioned Depps accent in recent movies which to me is annoying. What I don’t understand is why does he have this accent when he does interviews too?? If you listen to an interview he does now with one he did 10 years ago, he sounds now like he sort of became British over the years? sort of. Why?????? I think he was born in the states. It is kind of what bugs me about Burton movies. A tad too prentitious. A tad too contrived.

  27. In looking at it a bit last night, 1999 has tremendous depth, but I don’t personally love its best films. Look at 98 right before it.

    The Thin Red Line.
    Taste of Cherry.
    Flowers of Shanghai.
    Fallen Angels.
    The Big Lebowski.
    Saving Private Ryan.
    There’s Something About Mary.
    Out of Sight.
    A Simple Plan.
    Shakespeare in Love.
    The Celebration.
    The Idiots.
    Dark City.
    Buffalo ’66.
    Love and Death on Long Island.
    Henry Fool.
    THe Truman Show.
    The Last Days of Disco.

    SO that list has two of the great war films (SPR, TTRL). One of the performances of the ages (Blanchett in Elizabeth). Three of the most influential and outstanding recent comedies, with one already a cult classic (TBL, Rushmore, TSAM). One of the great car chases (Ronin). A first rank film from the three foreign masters of the time – Wong Kar-Wai, Hao Hsao-Hsien, Abbas Kiaorastami. The best of the Elmore Leonard craze that launched two stars and resurrected Steven Soderbergh. Two of the big Dogma films. The touchstone of J-Horror (Ringu).

    That’s a good year.

  28. Oh God, I hate Babe: Pig in the City. That was one of my worst moviegoing experiences of all time.

    I’m sure others had a different experience.

  29. If someone is going to make a case for 2002 (most of those movies are good, but…) I’m going to make a case for 1986:

    Soul Man
    Stand by Me
    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Blue Velvet
    The Fly
    Color of Money
    A Room With a View
    Hannah and Her Sisters
    She’s Gotta Have It
    Peggy Sue Got Married
    Down by Law
    The Mosquito Coast
    Ruthless People
    Round Midnight
    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
    Down and Out in Beverly Hills
    Betty Blue
    Children of a Lesser God
    Something Wild
    River’s Edge
    Mona Lisa
    52 Pick-Up
    From Beyond
    Nine 1/2 Weeks

  30. For the 2002 Brigade, I don’t agree with you. But at least put in some of my favorite films of the year … All the Real Girls, Solaris, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and 24 Hour Party People.

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