Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweeney Todd: New Website

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" has a new website complete with audio clips. Here's the link. Now, I will admit, Johnny's audio did not impress me as much on some of the clips BUT I think he may make up for this on screen with his acting. For example, on the MySpace feature for "Sweeney", you see Depp during "Epiphany" and when he is in the studio, he's not that great but when you see him acting, it's more impressive. To put it another way, I may love this movie head over heels but I might only like the soundtrack. What do you think of the audios and also the website as a whole?


Alison Flynn said...

I've had the same reaction to this as you, Daniel. Listening to the audio clips, I've been very underwhelmed by the singing. It's flat emotionally, except for Laura Michelle Kelly (who is a trained singer and is able to deliver the emotion with just her voice). Johnny Depp doesn't have a bad voice and he at least attempts to sing full out and match the fullness of the orchestra. But his David Bowie style pop/rock singing doesn't do it for me. I have a different aesthetic of how this music should be sung - not necessarily operatic, as some people want, but not pop/rock either.

That being said, watching the clips and getting the visuals, facial expressions etc., the singing works fine for me. It's not great, but the whole package works. That includes Helena Bonham-Carter, whose singing is very weak (though her voice has a pretty timbre). I like her dry, deadpan humor and she's brought a more sympathetic angle to the Lovett character.

There are screenings for critics today. Supposedly they don't want anyone posting reviews, but they're allowed to post impressions. Emmanuel Levy already has something up on his website. He has very nice things to say about Johnny Depp's performance.

Brian Erickson said...

I agree with Alison that the pop/rock is detestable. But I do think that they should do it operatic...why ruin the best show of all time?

Just because it's his best friend and his fiance, I don't see why Tim Burton cast people who can't sing as the leads in his musical. They both under-sing the score, especially Helena Bonham Carter. Mrs. Lovett needs to be obnoxious and loud, or else the ending makes no sense (and neither does By the Sea). And Johnny is just talking, with flashes of pretty good singing. I think that acting will be what brings the song down.

Alison Flynn said...

It will definitely be the acting that delivers all of the music, and this is a top-notch cast. I have no doubt that Depp did great justice to the role acting-wise, it certainly looks that way from these few clips we've seen, and I am still looking forward to seeing the movie.

Visually, it's gorgeous, the orchestrations are beautiful and lush, and for the most part it sounds as if the stage show has been preserved as faithfully as possible while also adapting it adequately to the film medium.

The website is a little busy, but it's pretty cool.