All’s Right With the World

2 Jan

Whew! I was beginning to think I was going soft in my old age, what with liking three movies and every game I played over the holidays. But then I went to see Sweeney Todd, day before yesterday, and I’m pleased to report that the Hating Is Back.

Man, I do not see what all the critics saw in this one. The pacing is plodding. The plot is basically a throwaway — about nothing, really. The characters are two-dimensional. The songs (I know, I know… it’s Sondheim… He’s a genius… yadda yadda…)…. For my money, every song took itself way too seriously, musically speaking, and they all telegraphed their meaning in the opening line (which leaves me wondering why bother with the rest of the song?!) The cartoonishly crimson blood came in bucketloads, though it was so over the top it was more funny than anything.

On the plus side, the stars can all sing surprisingly well, which was an unexpected bonus. The film really did open up, geographically speaking, so there was none of the claustrophobic, static, adapted-from-a-stageplay feeling you often get in films based on plays. And Tim Burton’s visual style is as dramatic as ever, though, in fairness, Sweeney Todd is SO relentlessly monochromatic and grim — qualities I usually love — that even I was silently begging for any splash of color (other than nail-polish red!) by the time we hit the hour mark…

Overall, the most damning thing about Sweeney Todd is that it left me completely unmoved. The several, intertwined,  tragic love stories at the heart of the plot left me cold. The music seemed overblown and inflated by a sense of self-importance. Like I said, the visuals eventually seemed like a real drag. There isn’t a believable performance in the bunch.

I was checking my watch by the time 30 minutes had passed…

Musicals are dead again. Sigh…

Good thing I still have Phantom Hourglass (al…most…done….) and Mario Galaxy (which I broke down and started playing) to take my mind off bad movies. 

Happy New Year! 

8 Responses to “All’s Right With the World”

  1. exmachinax January 2, 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    Oh dear. You are getting old dear Mr. Spector. We wait MONTHS for a new post and what we get? A couple of half baked “critics” of movies… Wait, are you really Warren Spector the author of these so called “posts”?

    But I share a feeling described in the posts, in a way. I can’t see what all the critics saw in the game called “Deus Ex – Invisible War”. And I talk to everyone: “Man, ‘Invisible War’ could have been better if only they’d done X, Y and Z.”

  2. jfromfrance January 2, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    Have a happy new year!!! May all your projects get fulfilled.🙂

  3. jfromfrance January 3, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74575

  4. dyvion January 3, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    If you loved Enchanted and loved The Golden Compass, then you owe it to yourself to take your wife and go see Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I know the previews were kinda flaky, but they don’t do the movie justice. The move is entirely about that magic you mentioned in one of your other posts. The acting in the movie is top notch, with Zach Mills (the young hat collector) doing a superb job being compared to the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman.

    It’s also the reason my wife now calls me Mutant.

  5. melomel January 4, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    I misread your mention of “Phantom Hourglass” as “Phantom Tollbooth.”

    So now, after your mention of wanting to do a Golden Compass game, I want a Warren Spector game based around the Phantom Tollbooth. Does Disney own Phantom Tollbooth yet?

  6. Bryant January 6, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who just didn’t get Sweeney Todd. I completely agree with all of the points you said, although I wasn’t impressed with the vocal talent of the cast. The singing seemed so flat and unmoving. I should watch Hairspray again to renew my faith in movie musicals🙂

    Happy new year!

  7. gshonk January 8, 2008 at 7:13 am #

    This is really a response to the post before but there are to many people arguing in there. Good picks of movies Juno was my favorite out of the bunch (though I haven’t seen Enchanted yet). I’ve heard good things about Enchanted and your post just made me decide I must indeed see it. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts. O and I think the blood in Sweeney Todd was supposed to be funny.

  8. JulianP February 13, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Warren, you are a prophet: http://www.dailytech.com/IBM+Proposes+One+Computer+to+Run+Entire+Internet/article10612.htm
    Deus Ex is becoming a reality.😀

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