Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blood Lust Satisfied

I watched "Sweeney Todd" a couple of days ago, and loved it. "But, wasn't it violent and bloody, you ask?" Yes, yes, yes. It was. It isn't subtitled, "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" for nothing, ya know.

On the other hand, there was that marvelous Stephen Sondheim music. Almost impossible to sing, because it is sometimes discordant, but that's what makes it so impressive. I'd bet there won't be a Stephen Sondheim night on American Idol any time soon.

Johnny Depp gave his usual flawless performance, and he can sing! Who knew? OK, everybody but me. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise. Helena Bonhan Carter was so-so, but she can't hold a candle to Angela Lansbury in that part. Nobody can. Sasha Baron Cohen and Alan Rickman were well cast.

"But, about the blood?", you whimper. The thing is, although there was a lot of blood, you were never expected to believe that it was real. The whole movie had the feel of a Broadway musical, which it was, of course, originally. So, the blood-letting was more, oh, call it "theatrical" than realistic. It was red, it flowed freely, and without it, there would have been no show. Just don't think that you can cover your eyes only in the bloodiest parts, because you'll be peeking through your fingers for an hour and fifty minutes.

So, if you're even the slightest bit squeamish, you might want to give this movie a pass, but, you'll be missing a fine production.


American Idol. It's fixed, you know. How else to explain the departure of Michael, who was one of the best, if not THE best singers of the bunch, in my very humble opinion. If you need even more evidence that the fix is in, look at last night's bottom two - Syesha and Carly. WHAT? After that cutie, Jason, and the infinitely forgettable Brooke stunk up the place Tuesday night?

Jason proved that he can't take direction, when Andrew Lloyd Webber tried, in his gentle, if twitchy way, to tell him that the song he had chosen was the wrong one, and he soldiered on, anyway. "Memory" from "Cats" was written for Grizabella, an ancient female cat. Jason, honey, you just can't bridge that gap. Brook, dear, you got away with starting and stopping one other time, even though we've been told that we didn't really see what we saw with our own eyes, in one of the first shows of the season. Enough of the "Drama Queen" act.

Personally, the only two I thought did a decent job with Webber's music were Big David and Little David, and Little David, not so much, actually. Note to Little David: It is supremely insulting to take Webber's music and put your own "spin" on it, a concept which Big David understood completely. Note to Big David: Thank you for showing respect for "The Music of the Night" by singing it as written ........... except for those last two NOTES! WTF?????? Not every musical number has to end with a loud screech, despite what we see on "Idol" every week. It's as though you just couldn't help yourself. A nice, soft ending is what was required. Nice. Soft. Even so, you were the best of the lot.

All in all, I think the powers that be on American Idol owe a heartfelt apology to Webber. The contestants, in general, just weren't up to the challenge that his music poses.

Next week: Neil Diamond music. Woo Hoo! Unless he watched this week, and suddenly discovers he is going to have a scheduling conflict.


Speaking of blood-letting, I guess we can expect Hillary to go "scorched earth" for the rest of her campaign. Apparently, she's hoping to do some high-powered arm-twisting among the super delegates at the convention, in order to capture the nomination. Because, it is becoming more and more apparent that she can't win any other way. And, I would suggest that she needs to brush up on her math skills. She's claiming she is actually ahead of Obama, when you factor in Florida, where she campaigned in spite of her promise not to, and Michigan, where hers was the only name on the ballot, after she promised to take it off. For one thing, she is not taking into account the number of votes Obama got in Florida, even without campaiging.

Whatever. The super delegates will go along with Hillary to their peril, and I'm sure no one has to point that out to them. They would have to have balls as big as church bells to turn their backs on the voters and then try to claim that they are only doing it for the good of the country.

Stay tuned.


Dianne said...

I was wondering if I wanted to see Sweeny and thanks to your review now I know I do.

Usually I hate musicals turned into movies - with a few amazing exceptions - and I didn't want to discover Johnny couldn't do something. Now it's all good LOL

Kay Dennison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kay Dennison said...

I think I want to see Sweeney. Thanks~

I don't watch "Idol" for the reason you stated.

As Election 2008 -- I want to vote NO for president. said...

Put Sweeney Todd in my queue.

AI: We were flummoxed when they said the starting and stopping had never happened before.

I guess they don't count the preliminaries as part of the competition?

@Kay: Me too. I want to vote "No" or "Other"

Richard said...

Thanks for the 411 on Sweeney. I'm not a fan or musicals so I'm going to pass, but in general I like Depp. I like him in other things besides the pirate role.

Another turn off for me is gore; theatrical or otherwise.

The only gore I'm going to watch this year is the rest of the Dems nomination process.

Thanks for coming by today Betty.


Anonymous said...

You crack me up! ..."balls as big as church bells" I've probably read a dozen posts on the political blogs this evening and you have said more in two paragraphs than all of them combined.

patsy said...

i saw your comment on sis3's blog about maybe we were getting the rath of God because of our evil ways. I am going to change your name to PAT as in Robertson. lol
as for hillary and the election I think Obama has the nonomation as to where he can win the election we will see. surley a 3 legged dog could beat McCain.

Betty said...

dianne: I am beginning to think Johnny can do anything.

kay: I was thinking, "none of the above". lol

goinglikesixty: I've about had it with Idol, as I guess you can tell.

rich: You don't like gore, and yet you will watch the rest of the Dems nominations process? Wow.

gawilli: I'm ready for the conventions.

paatsy: That comment was a little out of character of me, wasn't it? LOL After all this time, I'm still wishy-washy about Hillary v Obama. You'd think I would be sure of one of them by now.

Nancy said...


I live in Florida in Winter and I can tell you honestly that Hillary Clinton did NOT campaign in our State once.

She soundly defeated Obama in the Florida Primary which will not count now, and on Election Night she came to Florida for the first time and thanked the voters for her victory.

Barack Obama did not campaign in Florida either.

Betty said...

nancy: Thanks for the correction. I guess I was relying on the pundits who said she did campaign. Not a good idea, huh? Frankly, I don't think the Dems ought to refuse to seat any delegates from any state. Seems sort of, um, undemocratic.

Velvet Sacks said...

I haven't seen "Sweeney Todd." Thanks for the tip.

Like you, I thought Michael Johns was excellent and hated to see him go. Truth be told, though, I can picture him more as the lead singer of a band than as a solo artist. I hope we hear from him again. As of now I'm pulling for Big David. Little David has a great voice, but his cutesy "sweet-face" expression is beginning to get on my nerves, and I'm also tired of looking at his tongue sticking out of his lower lip. (Am I picky or what?) As for Jason (who bears a resemblance to the young John Travolta, he doesn't have the big voice of the others, but he's the only one I'd like to hug. Maybe A.I. will open some doors for him to act or something.

Now, then, Hillary. A year ago, I would have told anyone who asked that I'd definitely vote for her. Three months ago, I would have said that I'd vote for her if Obama didn't get the nomination. Now, having watched her in action recently, I'd have a hard time doing it. I hope that isn't the choice I have to make in November.

Betty said...

velvet sacks: I think you're right about Michael Johns. He does seem more like a lead singer in a band.

About Hillary: I have been so ambivalent about her, and not happy about the lack of information about Obama, that I haven't been able to make up my mind. Her recent actions are not new to me, after following her career here in Arkansas for so many years. She's ruthless, but then, aren't they all? If she's the candidate, I'll vote for her, thought. Can't stand John McCain, the old phony.