A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

January 02, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I took in three films not previously chronicled here over the holidays. Enjoy.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd delivers exactly what you would expect when you hear the concept: a Tim Burton musical about a barber who kills people (Johnny Depp) and a woman who makes meat pies out of the bodies (Helena Bonham Carter).

I'm no fan of musicals. The idea of people spontaneously bursting into song just doesn't add up in my head. The only one I've ever seen that I enjoyed is Moulin Rouge, and that was primarily because it was completely off the charts insane. With Sweeney Todd, the reaction is the same at first: "Why are they singing? They could just say what they want to." After awhile though, the fact that they are singing just becomes another layer of weirdness in what may be Burton's best film since Edward Scissorhands.

Depp is Sweeney Todd, who was framed for a crime he didn't commit by a judge (Alan Rickman - yes, he sings too) who wanted to marry his wife. Depp is now out of prison, his former wife may be dead, and his daughter is now the object of Rickman's affection (nice Woody Allen theme). Depp vows revenge and opens a barber shop above Helena Bonham Carter's meat pie restaurant which boasts the worst pies in London.

You can imagine where it goes from here. Depp starts cutting throats, beginning with Borat himself, Sacha Baron Cohen (people in the theater chuckle at the mere sight of Cohen now, its annoying), but what to do with the bodies? Carter has the brilliant idea of using them as pie filling and soon her shop is hopping with business.

The only flaw of the film is the subplot of the kid Depp met on the boat back to London who is in love with Depp's daughter. The story itself is fine, but you get no resolution to it at all.

Thunder Matt Rating: 4 human meat pies out of 5

*On a side note, the more cracked out and crazy Helena Bonham Carter is, the more I'm attracted to her. Marla "I haven't been fucked like that since grade school" Singer in Fight Club is still my favorite. Perhaps I should see a shrink.

Eastern Promises

Another year, another Cronenberg movie with Viggo Mortensen.

A young Russian girl dies giving birth and leaves a diary. Naomi Watts steals it and takes it home to her Russian family to be translated. The diary leads her to a Russian restaurant owned by a guy who turns out to be a mobster who seems to have a real interest in doing the translation himself. Its hard to summarize without giving too much away, so if you want to see it, I won't spoil it for you.

The big twist that comes is unnecessary though. It really adds nothing to the story. Also unnecessary is the five minute long fight scene in the steam room. Yes, Viggo is naked.

While OK, the film doesn't really amount to much thanks in large part to the twist. Its really only worth watching if you're a huge fan of Cronenberg's work or Mortensen's junk.

Thunder Matt Rating: 2 Russian mobsters out of 5


Stardust is great little fantasy film. If I watched while I was high, it would likely be the greatest movie ever. A small British town is situated near a wall that serves as a portal to another world called Stormhold. A young man successfully sneaks across the wall and impregnates a busty gypsy girl, who as you may have guessed is also the slave of a witch. She has the baby and it lives with the man in the real world.

The baby grows up and needs to venture over the wall himself to retrieve a fallen star for the town spoiled brat he's in love with. She's marrying someone else, but will consider another offer if he brings her the star. Bitch. Using a transport candle his father stashed away, the young man transports instantly to the spot where the star fell, but instead of a rock, he finds Claire Danes. You see, she's the star.

He's not the only one after the star though. Three witches need it to reverse the aging process. One, Michelle Pfeifer, uses what is left of the last star they found to look normal again and set out to retrieve the star. They need to cut the heart out and eat it to regain their lost youth.

As it turns out, the witches and kid aren't alone either. The star/Claire Danes also happens to have a precious stone that will turn back into a ruby when the rightful heir to the throne of Stormhold possesses it. The dying king, who killed his brothers to take the throne, has left seven sons who try to kill each other and find the stone to become the new King.

Are you following?

The chase is on. There are close calls, near misses, and Robert DeNiro as a closeted gay lightning pirate who helps the kid and Claire Danes escape. It all leads to a showdown with the kid, the last surviving prince, and the head witch to solve this once and for all.

Stardust didn't do that well at the box office, but this has cult classic written all over it. Get ahead of the curve and rent it now.

Thunder Matt Rating: 4.5 gay lightning pirates out of 5