Friday, January 11, 2008

Catching up on What I'm Watching

I've been a bad blogger, so I need to catch up on a pair of movies I saw in the theater.

The first is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. When I originally saw the trailers for this film, I wasn't particularly interested because it seemed like the latest installment in the Will Farrellesque Super Wacky Character series ala Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Blades of Glory, only with John C. Reilly instead of Will Farell. What got my interest was the involvement of Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan, a reunion of the Freaks and Geeks collaborators. Apatow's been on fire with The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad, so Walk Hard was at least worth a gander.

The film itself was a funny, if mostly forgettable, send up of the biopic, taking most of its cues from Walk the Line. John C. Reilly does a great job in the lead, but he sadly feels interchangeable with Will Farrell. They're both tall, curly haired goofballs and at times I forgot I was watching one and not the other. For me, the fun of the film comes from the celebrity cameos including Jack White as Elvis and Jack Black playing hilariously against type as Paul McCartney.

The second film is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, because I like movies with colons in the title. I didn't know that this was originally a musical, because I lead a sheltered life. But any pairing of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is cause for celebration.

Sweeney Todd felt a lot like an opera with a minimalist plot, there only to give the characters something to sing about. But the musical numbers are very enjoyable and the production design, make-up, and costumes are fantastic. Of course, you should expect no less from Tim Burton. Burton regulars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are their usual excellent selves, but the one performance that left me wanting a great deal more was that of Borat himself, Sacha Baron Cohen, as Signor Adolfo Pirelli. I read recently that Baron Cohen had retired Borat and Ali G and I have to admit that makes me happy. He's a phenomenally talented character actor and it would be criminal for him to waste his gifts on the same old schtick. A word of warning, however, Sweeney Todd features more blood than an Italian horror film.

1 comment:

JD said...

I liked both of those films.
I feel that Sweeney Todd may be Burton and Depp's masterpiece.
When these two work together it id pure magic for the most part.