Posts Tagged ‘Boring as Fuck’

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

When watching a movie there are two questions you should ask yourself at the end.  This first and least important is “How dodgy was that movie?”  In this case, the answer was supremely.  The second, and really the only question that matters “Did I enjoy that?”  For Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the answer was a resounding No.
Normally, a collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp has my dodgy sense tingling, and when I first saw this film advertising it rang like a fire bell. The opening sequence had me a little concerned, but it is Tim Burton and I was kind of expecting what was delivered. Then the singing started, which, I was also expecting. What I wasn’t expecting was how repetitive it would be. Needless to say, this was more than a little offputting.

Now, I was vaguely familiar with the source material and the storyline, so I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  After all, it’s about a barber who kills his clients, and then disposes of the bodies by turning them into meat pies through Mrs Lovett’s Meat Pie Emporium.  I was expecting a fairly dark musical with some humor, instead of a dark repetitive tune with different words.

In case you haven’t noticed, the music was repetitive and annoying (kind of like my lack of vocabularly for describing it).

This was supremely dodgy and would have gotten a high rating just based on the Burton/Depp collaboration.  Throw in the throat slashing barber and you have a 5 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale.  It’s kind of hard to single out the dodgiest moment with the whole film attaining a pretty constant level, but the opening sequence showing the bloody path through the mincing machinery sets the stage and makes you wonder just what you’ve got yourself in for.

While rating very high on the dodgy stakes, I found myself wondering on more than one occasion why I was continuing to subject myself to this.  The answer, I did it, so you won’t have to.  This one ranks right up there with Aeon Flux and Catwoman as far as whether or not you should watch it.  Don’t!

It was a musical, so not much dialogue.  Even the lyrics weren’t all that memorable.  Or they may have been and I’ve just tried to block them all out in an effort to forget I ever watched this.

When not even Alan Rickman can save a movie, you know it shouldn’t have been made.  Don’t waste valuable hours of your time watching this one.


Catwoman starring Halle Berry held a lot of promise. Halle Berry, in tight leather outfits wielding a whip. That was an image that should have been able to carry the movie by itself. Unfortunately, it didn’t. It’s kind of hard to decidde why the movie was so bad. The terrible dialogue, stiff acting or abysmal cinematography may all have contributed to the feeling of despair I had while watching this film. I think the only thing that managed to keep my interest was waiting for the ad breaks, after all, there might be a new advert or at least an old advert that I enjoyed.

Any superhero movie that takes 40 minutes before the superhero even starts to get her powers is off to a bad start. I should have stopped watching then, but morbid curiosity got the better of me. The only redeeming feature in the film was Patience’s, (Catwoman’s alter ego’s), boss as he was the actor who played the Merovingian in the Matrix series, which allowed me to think of the Matrix and the happier times that that memory brought me. Unfortunately that didn’t last for long as I was brought back to the horror of the scenes on the television. Time to wrap this review up before I run out of polite adjectives and have to resort to swearing.

There are many dodgy moments in the film. At 24 frames a second for 6240 seconds that makes 149760 dodgy moments, and there wasn’t a single one I would call my favourite. Actually, I lie. The end credits had a certain something. Mainly because they signify that the carnage was over and I could now get down to the serious business of forgetting that I ever saw the film. I found it hard to assign a dodginess rating to this film, mainly because I see dodgy as a good thing, which this film was not. In the end, it scored 2 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale, After all quantity is not always a good thing.

If a 1 on the scale is reserved for movies that I would only watch once, this one scores a 0, otherwise known as the antinike, just don’t do it. Yes, don’t even watch it to see if it really is as bad as I say. That is the trap I fell for.

Again, a tough choice, mainly to find a quote that was remotely memorable. In the end I had to go with one with which I could identify. “Would you go out on a ledge to save a strange cat?” “Only if the cat was carrying pizza.”

I think I finally understand the true meaning of the phrase curiosity killed the cat. Don’t watch this film, ever.

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300 is a bit of a strange movie. I only realised during the final scene that it was a saga in the style of the Odyssey or any of those other historical Greek poems with visuals being used to avoid the long descriptions, which they felt were necessary to put in using a Narrator anyway. Maybe, if I had realised this earlier, I would have enjoyed it more, but I doubt it.

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a film quite like 300. It had some gratuitous sex, lots of gratuitous violence and still almost managed to put me to sleep. How could a film based solely on a band of 300 men defying an army of thousands put you to sleep I hear you ask, and to tell the truth, I’m still puzzled at that one myself.

Maybe it was the number of slow motion impaling-death sequences they showed, like they were worried about running out of film during shooting so they used slow motion sequences to stretch 30 minutes of footage into a 90 minute film. Maybe, it was the half-hearted (and I’m probably being a little generous here) attempt at using any semblance of a plot so that the film didn’t consist solely of gratuitous violence, although that might have improved it. Or maybe it was the fact that the CGI was so appalling that the blood looked like solid chunks of rock and the wolf at the beginning, well, words cannot describe it. Suffice to say that if the narrator hadn’t told us it was a wolf, we’d still be wondering how the Spartans had managed to master genetic manipulation. All of these things combined to form a completely forgettable film and I find myself wondering how it got any reviews at all, nevermind any reviews that were positive.

A film consisting solely of gratuitous violence strung together with minor narrative really should score full marks on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Scale, but, seeing as how most of the combat sequences felt like repeats of the first one and the fact that if it wasn’t still light outside while I was watching it I would have fallen asleep, it only manages to score a 2. I should have realised when the film makers decided to unleash this monstrosity on the world at Comic Con and not at one of the film festivals that they realised how bad it was and tried to cover it up by doing something unusual. And it worked, they got their publicity, and won the dodgiest moment award. The second one without even trying.

Where some films suffer from ADD directors, and I’m thinking of Aeon Flux in particular, this one seems to have a director hopped up on serious dinosaur tranquilisers. Maybe the slow motion sequences would seem to be real time if I was stoned out of my bracket, and that might have been the secret ingredient I was missing while watching. However, watching in real time was so bad that you had time to leave the room, make a cup of tea, and return before the spear had finished going through the body of a Persian soldier. But, to it’s credit, 300 just managed to avoid getting the not-so-coveted Anti-Nike and scored a 1 on the rewatchability index.

When you spend half the movie trying to place the voice of the Narrator, (who is the monk in Van Helsing that invents all the cool equipment), it’s not likely that you remember too many quotes. Fortunately, IMDB comes to the rescue, and a quick browse of what people think are the memorable quotes reveals that I didn’t miss too much. The only one that is vaguely memorable is because of the foreshadowing inherent in the quote. “Our arrows shall blot out the sun” “Then we will fight in the shade” and lets face it, it’s not a very good one.

Unless you have a morbid curiosity and insist on watching things to see if they are as bad as people tell you, or have an insatiable lust for gore, 300 can stay in the DVD case in the shop. You may want to watch it if it comes out on television and it’s free, but I am sure you will have better things to do with your time, like learning why cat bathing is considered a martial art, or if all else fails, watching paint dry. You won’t be missing anything by skipping this one.

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