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Movie Review: Sweeney Todd

Alternate Title: Blood, Sweat and Pies

Story: Revenge is sweet, they say, but in this case it is down right bloody too. Director Tim Burton adds his gothic signature to a screen adaptation that should make the Broadway show originators, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler very happy. The screenplay by John Logan and adaptation by Christopher Bond, sticks close to the original script.

Sweeney Todd returns to London after15 years to exact revenge on the man who falsely imprisoned him and then stole his wife and infant daughter. He is abetted by Mrs. Lovett, infamous for her meat pies. How they team up to both fulfill his vengeance and add a secret ingredient to her pies is the meat of the story. It is all accomplished through wonderful songs, terrific acting, fabulous sets and lots of flowing, spurting, fluid, spouting, gurgling pools of blood.

In lesser directorial hands this could have turned out kitschy, campy and flat, but Tim Burton's style pulsates throughout. You will have fond remembrances of some of his other shadowy work including, of course, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow and Batman. If you like your holiday movie fare a little dark, bloody and unusual, take yourself (not the children) to see this fine film.

Acting: Johnny Depp is terrific as the possessed Sweeney Todd. He fills the role with passion, exactitude and style. Helena Bonham Carter as the crazy Mrs. Lovett is perfect. Alan Rickman as the mean, mean judge is right on the money. Timothy Spall is always creepy and squirrely. Sacha Baron Cohen delivers a terrific performance and is the first to get that close, last shave. Jayne Wisener, Ed Sanders and Jamie Campbell Bower are all more than fine as well.

Predilection: None

Critters: Cockroaches and horses

Food: Meat pies (gulp)

Sex Spectrum: No sex, just murder.

Soundtrack: Deliciously yummy to the ear by Stephen Sondheim

Opening Titles: Stunning graphics in a steely gray, black and white background with oozing, flowing blood.

Visual Art: Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski is terrific. Filled with gothic images, shadowy visuals and a blue gray bleached out palette

Theater Audience: A few brave souls.

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: The first knife slitting is the squirmiest. Then you get used to it.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Probably

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. For some of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's other collaborations you can rent: Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood and of course, the great Edward Scissorhands.

Length: Two hours