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"Sweeny Todd (The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)" ** 1/2

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp: together again for film #6 as they team for the perfect Christmas movie. This one is getting great advance reviews. Unfortunately, I kept looking at my watch for it’s nearly 2 hour running time. The production values are typical Burtonesque and, in that vein, top notch. It kind of reminded me of his "Nightmare Before Christmas" with humans: perpetually dark (the only vivid color is blood red, of course) and the 19th century English sets are wonderful-existing somewhere between a stage and real life. The music, is, well, plentiful (it seems that only about 10% is spoken word). And while the gore is just as plentiful (I keep squeezing my neck trying to stop the flow of blood from squirting out) as Sweeney gleefully cuts the throat of patron after patron sitting in his barber chair, the corresponding action throughout is surprisingly listless. Depp is in his usual element, playing the intense demon barber to the nth degree as he goes about trying to avenge the wrong done by the corrupt judge, the smarmy Alan Rickman, who sent him into exile while simultaneously stealing his beautiful wife and child. And Helena Bonham-Carter (Burton's love in real life) does a nice turn in the Angela Lansbury role as Depp's longing lover who turns the barber's victims into meat pies. Although both actors do not have the operatic voices one usually associates with the roles, both are more than capable in this adaptation. And, newcomer child actor Edward Sanders will probably get a best supporting actor nod as he is wonderful as a helper in Mrs. Lovett's meat pie establishment. Alas, something about it left me, pardon the pun, cold-and bored.

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