Hey it’s time once again for the monthly movie picks.
First movie worthy of noting in this blog is "Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". Not easy to find a really good, well made musical today that is not some sugary sweet family sap story or a Disney-born animated blockbuster. "Sweeney Todd", directed by Tim Burton, is definately not normal fare though what Tim Burton film is actually ever "normal"? Delightfuly dark and typical of Burton’s work and wonderfully cast. Set in Victorian Era London, Johnny Depp stars as barber Benjamin Barker, who is falsely accused of a crime and sent into exile by a scumbag of a judge played masterfully by Alan Rickman who was lusting after his wife. Years later Benjamin Barker, now known as Sweeney Todd, returns to London meeting up with Mrs. Lovett who tells him that his wife had died and his daughter is in custody of the evil Judge Turpin. Sweeney Todd soon becomes a man obsessed with vengeance and soon people begin to mysteriously vanish.
The next movie is director Wolfgang Peterson’s "Troy", adapted from Homer’s epic tale about the Trojan war which started when the beautiful Helen, queen of Sparta, runs off with the prince of Troy. Helen’s husband, Menelaus, of course is not real thrilled about this and with his brother Agamemnon gather their armies and declare war on Troy. They even convince the half-god Achilles and his small army to join them in the glory of battle. Orlando Bloom plays Paris, the young prince who spirited Helen away from her husband, Eric Bana is his more heroic elder brother Hector, Peter O’Toole their father the king of Troy, and Brad Pitt plays Achilles. Now don’t expect this story to go exactly the way the original story is told. The writers have left out all of the god interventions, Paris does not die (cannot have pretty boy Orlando die in a movie now can we? lol), and the war does not take the 12 years or so that it had supposedly taken. The other key points are there though, and if you enjoy classic tales of the ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, then you won’t mind a few discrepencies. Not like they totally butchered the original work. The characters can still be felt through the actor’s performances. I would recommend reading the original work by Homer so you can see the hows and whys of many of the movie’s elements and what truly happened, and just for the sheer enjoyment of a good story that has truly withstood the test of time.