Monday, August 18, 2008

Hitchcock Had Jimmy Stewart. Burton Has Depp!

About 20 years ago or so, I discovered the brilliance of Alfred Hitchcock's films.
And became hooked on his brand of stunning, on the edge of the seat suspense.

"Psycho", "The Birds",
"Rear Window", "Vertigo",
"North By Northwest", and his last, American film "Family Plot" are some in my movie collection.

Ironically, there is a scene in Family Plot, which shows a day-by-day calendar reading May 18th, I think-- the same day that I watched that VHS film for the first time. Not to my utter surprise, considering how calculatingly devious and detail oriented, director Hitchcock was. Shudder...

There is only one Hollywood director today, who is the heir to Alfred Hitchcock,

His name is Tim Burton.

From my alltime favorite comedy movie, coincidentally (?) directed by Burton, "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", and the uncomfortably poetic cartoon, "Nightmare Before Christmas", and now to the dark and sinister "Sweeney Todd", Burton now takes command of the genre, vacant since Sir Alfred's death.

An unbelievably twisted musical slasher film, with it's momentary points of genuine compassion mixed, as only a Hitchcock or a Burton could, with genuine, revengeful hatred and the signature, unexpected twist at the end.

A "twist", as would a meat grinder twist.
"In theory".

I thought that I saw Sir Alfred Hitchcock make a cameo walk through in the crowd, at the corner of Bleeker and Fleet Streets, in the 19th century, London based film,
this is that good a film!

With this character, Johnny Depp won the Golden Globes' Best Actor award, in 2007. And in a Burtonesque way, I saw traces of other Depp ventures, including his portrayals of Captain Jack Sparrow, Gilbert Grape, and even Edward Scissorhands.

Johnny Depp sings. Profusely. Uuugh. (*Shades of Fox TV's '24 Jump St'.)
But then everyone sings in this.
And then, everyone bleeds. Profusely.

I rented the movie tonight to watch. After only 30 minutes into it, I paused the DVD, drove back to the video store, and bought "Sweeney Todd", before I came back home to watch the rest.

IT. IS. THAT. STIMULATING (( I especially respected the Capitalistic venture between Todd and Mrs. Lovett!))!

If you will excuse me now, I am going to watch it for the second time.

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