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Sweeney Todd Runs Late February 24, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 1 comment so far

Sweeney Todd was the better part of this evening’s entertainment. This is one of those movies that I would have seen during its original release run in theaters if my ex and I were still together, but that is its own story. Released around the Xmas season of 2007, most folks who are going to see this flick have already seen it and decided it falls outside the two weeks rule (that is they can reveal details of the movie without anybody being allowed to cry foul). I try to avoid spoilers unless they are necessary to some point I am making, so hopefully I won’t have any points that demand such, eh?

Anyway, as a fan of actor Johnny Depp and actress Helena Bonham Carter (and to a lesser extent actor Alan Rickman – I recognized his face as somebody whose work I enjoyed but had to look up his name), and a fan of director Tim Burton, this film seemed destined to entertain me some evening or other. It didn’t disappoint. My ex was a fan of most of these folks too, which is part of why I am sure I would have seen it much earlier if circumstances were different.

Anyway, this movie has been out there for more than a year, and it is based on much older material (stretching back to 1846 according to Change-a-pedia). Luckily, nobody ever spoiled the plot for me. This is not one of those adaptations whose original was familiar to me, either, so I didn’t have much in the way of preconceptions. The end was actually a twist to me, and caught me by surprise. It was poignant and tragic, however, so I was happy with it.

Hm, I guess I can see how avoiding spoilers of any kind limits your range a bit. Suffice to say that I finally saw this movie this evening, and despite the fact that most movies that engage in any sort of “musicals” style tend to bother me, this was one that I enjoyed. The beginning bugged me a little bit, because I found the music loud enough to interfere with my easy catching of the lyrics and even the prose lines that were interspersed with them. I felt that the volume of the musical interruptions was better arranged as the film progressed, and I found the brief musical pieces less and less interrupting of the plot.

Burton’s signature dark fantasy approach to set and characterization was right on target. The movie felt like a bigger, grittier film version of an 18th century stage setting. Depp and Carter were fantastic as the main characters. They even made me forget it was nominally a musical. Did I mention I am not a huge musical fan? And did I mention that the movie managed to downplay that?

Anyway, an entertaining evening, but it is off to sleep now. If you haven’t seen Sweeney Todd, I hope you will give it a try and perhaps find that  you enjoy it as much as I did. Goodnight all, and be careful if you have pissed off your barber!!!

Sunny 70s and Stone Mountain February 8, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Today was a beautiful day here in Atlanta. It might be February, but it was sunny and in the low 70s. After the winter cold managed to cajole (bully) me into forsaking my regular trips up Stone Mountain, I finally got to climb it again today. I was surprised that I it only took me about 41 minutes to make it from what I call “parking lot to parking lot” after such a long break. (By parking lot to parking lot, I mean the time it takes me to walk from the parking lot where I leave my car, to the trail up the mountain, to climb all the way up the mountain, any time I spend resting at the top, to climb all the way back down the mountain, and to finally reach the same parking lot where I left my car.) After the trip, I popped into the German restaurant there in the town of Stone Mountain and got some dinner and some beer. It was a beautiful, sunny day, closed out with a nice relaxing dinner. My legs are already sore, though. Hopefully they won’t be any worse tomorrow.