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"Let's be bad guys."
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December 23 2007

A List, to Start the Conversation. Southland Tales makes New York Times critic Manohla Dargis's list of "favorite releases of the year," but not his her Top Ten.

OK, admittedly, a story that mentions a movie of B.A.E. Sarah Michelle just once is ripe for Moderate Deletion, but it seemed at the time like a fine excuse for your excellencies to discuss this year's excellences.

ETA a period to the title so as not to screw up the RSS.

EfurtherT conduct a minor sex change operation.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-12-23 16:46 ]

Starting with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Another article this morning says "in 2007 an unprecedented number of serious films, along with the usual slasher movies, contemplated the end of life." Todd is a serious film (possibly history's most serious musical) and a promiscuous slasher flick, all-singing, all-dying.

A very simple story with easily grasped character motivations reverberates by its climax into something that explores the dangers of romantic ideals as deeply as Hitchcock's Vertigo, the relation of violence to family and politics like Shakespearean and Greek tragedy, and whatever ineffable mystery is embodied in a pieta. It didn't need a cast that could sing (because the music is by Stephen Be-Damned-If-You-Can-Hum-This Sondheim) but it did need one that could act brilliantly (because the words are by Stephen My-Subtexts-Have-Subtexts Sondheim) and Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Snape reach the necessary heights. The men are excellent, and Carter still blows them away.

Flaw: Anthony Stewart Head's appearance is subliminal.
um, Manohla's a girl. been reading her off and on for years, living in LA.
Huh. H'bout that. Well.
I'll go with "Pointy" with "Sweeney Todd". I call it a slasher musical, but this story has been around for than a hundred years and the musical for nearly 30 years. Leave it to Burton to put a new spin to this classic tale by making the movie version a different animal than the Broadway version. Johnny Depp should get an Oscar nomination for this.
This morning, I'd say "Waitress" was the favorite film, but that may change after I see "Juno" this afternoon.
I nominate Ed Sanders, who played Toby, for a Best Supporting Actor award, myself.
It would be great to include Ed Sanders in the mix for that category, because his permornace is great as a singer and actor.
By the way, when Juno arrives in your town, go and meet her. Ellen Page just owns this movie, but Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner are also great as the adoptive couple. J.K. Simmons is also a riot as Juno's dad, too. This movie may not have enough to overcome No Country For Old Men or possibly There Will Be Blood in the Best Picture race, but it should get Original Screenplay. I'd even vote for Ellen for Best Actress, but that may go to Julie Christie for Away From Her.
Critics seems to love Sweeney even if they don't quite appreciate what Tim Burton's doing with it.

I think the young man was icky and his love(ahem) was bland. They were basically non-entities for me, and even with the soundtrack I'm skipping their songs. The meat, if you'll pardon, was Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett. What a beautiful tragedy it was.

What I loved:

Alan Rickman. He can never be bad, not even if he tried. I mean, he can't be a bad actor. He can always be bad...

It was bloody, but not what I'd consider gory. If that makes any sense.

Helena Bonham Carter. I generally find her oogy for some unexplainable reason, but I really liked her here.

Saturation. Or de-saturation rather. God, what a dreary place that London is. Beautiful.

Johnny Depp. Yeah, well, duh.

The Priest. He was good. Too good, at least. :~)

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-12-25 00:16 ]

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