"Absolutely fantastic"–a review of SWEENEY TODD from the first screening

Steve Biodrowski is a lucky man–he attended the first screening of Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET on Tuesday, October 23rd in Los Angeles. Fortunately for us, Mr. Biodrowski is also an articulate man with a good memory. “Got a sneak peak at SWEENEY TODD on Tuesday, and it is absolutely fantastic,” he declares on the Cinefantastique website. Biodrowski pronounces the movie “one of the best things Tim Burton has ever directed! [. . .] The movie is pretty much your dream of what it would be when you first heard that Burton and Johnny Depp would be turning the Stephen Sondheim musical into a movie,” says Biodrowski. “It’s a dark, brooding horror-musical-comedy that hits all the right notes.”

As for Johnny’s interpretation of the demon barber, “Depp casts aside the over-the-top antics of Jack Sparrow for a much more self-contained performance,” writes Biodrowski, “in which the emotions (primarily a lust for revenge) ooze up to the surface in controlled bursts; without ever blunting the character’s knife-sharp edge, the actor demands that we sympathize and root for Sweeney as he slashes his way through half the throats in London.” Biodrowski has much more to say, including lavish praise for the supporting cast; you can read his comments in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Many thanks to Emma for sharing the review!

The screening was conducted for marketing purposes, so the audience was polled after the movie to gauge their reactions. “It was clear that the small audience (a bit over forty, made up mostly of fans of Burton and/or Johnny Depp) loved the film,” says Biodrowski. “Over thirty called it great; eight called it very good; two said it was merely good; and no one disliked it.” We imagine the marketers, as well as the audience, went home happy. –Part-Time Poet

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