It's time I post something in my blog. I haven't done it in so long. Here are three full-length reviews of films I've seen the past couple of weeks.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim Burton) - I've been a fan of the original Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim for quite some time now. The story of barber who slits the throats of his customers and his landlady who bakes the bodies into meat pies have been around since the 1800's. It was immortalized on the stage through Stephen Sondheim's music and in a genius pairing with director Tim Burton, brought the material to the big screen. The music and story come to life in vivid, bloody, austere colors. This is Burton at his very best. The entire cast is outstanding. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter may not be Broadway-level type singers but their acting and characterization more than make up for their lack of vocal prowess. It's one of the best films of the year.
American Gangster (Ridley Scott) - This is a slickly produced (like what most Ridley Scott films are) but ultimately hollow crime drama that tells the true story of the rise of Frank Lucas, the biggest drug lord in Harlem in the late 1960's, 1970's and the cop that took him down, Richie Roberts. The story itself would've made a compelling film but the film only does an adequate job of bringing it to the screen. The colorful supporting cast (including Josh Brolin and the Oscar-nominated Ruby Dee) make the dull leads, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, half-way intersting.
Cloverfield (Matt Reeves) - Described as Blair Witch meets Godzilla which is quite accurate. It's a very novel and inventive way of making an old-fashioned disaster/monster movie. Although the characters and performances make it feel like the monster element just walked in an episode of Felicity which is not necessarily a bad thing. For what it is, it's a harmless time killer. It's a genius of marketing but nothing to go crazy over.