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Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Mastidon sing along to clips from SWEENEY TODD in Venice!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Mastidon is back and he's got some SWEENEY TODD scenes to tell ya' about as well as a wrap-up of the entire awards ceremony. He even brought you some pictures... my favorite is Depp channeling Jack Sparrow. Enjoy!!!

What's this? What's this? There's magic in the air. I just got in from The Tim Burton Lifetime achievement award ceremony. Full details on that to follow. After the award was given to Tim, he told the crowd he was going to give us a short preview of his new movie Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter . The film opens with a style similar to the second Batman with everything having a washed out and almost black & white look. Johnny starts to speak to Helena. There's a real sadness and despair quality to his voice. Helena informs him that his whole family has been killed. He then says my name is no longer (can't remember) but now it is Sweeney Todd so I can seek my revenge. Helena leads him upstairs to what appears to be her apartment. There is a baby crib covered with a blanket. She tells Johnny that its ok to look. He removes the blanket to reveal a dead baby. He then covers it back up. Helena bends down to remove a floorboard. She pulls out a case covered in dust. She removes the dust and hands it to Johnny. Johnny opens it with a gleam in his eye to reveal a box full of old fashioned razor-blade style knives. The camera has a long pause on the knives. Helena informs him that the knives are all silver. He agrees to that. He pulls one out and opens it. Johnny Depp then starts to SING!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. Johnny sings on camera. Not a body double. Not an animated figure. But Johnny himself. And I'm here to tell you he has a killer voice. I wish I had a recording of the lyrics for you. Johnny sings a love song to the razor blade as he holds it in his hand! The song is about how happy he is to finally have the blade in his hands for his sweet revenge. Towards the end of the song, Helena joins in and they sing a duet to a knife!!!!! The scene ends with Jonny holding the knife in his hand and he says "Now, my arm is complete!" The camera pulls back through the window to reveal a city from the 1800s. Lights come up. The audience is stunned. Dumb luck brought me to this evening. I am forever grateful to an Italian woman who I will never see again. My day started yesterday with waking from a few hours sleep after returning back from "The Hunting Party". I grabbed the first boat over to Lido where the festival is held and headed to the ticket office. It was raining like mad and there appeared to be no line whatsoever. When I went up to the main window, a guy approached me to ask if I was here for Tim Burton tickets. When I said yes, he informed me I had to get on the list. The lovely list had at least 60 people on it ahead of me who camped out in the pouring rain for a chance to get a ticket. After waiting about a half hour but still 40 minutes before the box office opened, I decided to take a risk and head to the circus tent. The risk paid off. Once there, I was given a number, 20. Far better than what I had at the main office. The windows open at 8:30 on queue. The line moved very fast. The girl in front of me gets to the window, turns around and says that the event has sold out. F**K!!!! At that same moment, another Italian woman asks me if I want to buy a ticket. I asked how much. She said 40 Euros (face). It seems that the people in line all agreed to each buy at least 2 tickets to help everyone else out and since I was next in line, I won the lotto. The ticket was 3rd row center. Not exactly what you want for a movie screening. However, it is EXACTLY what you want for an awards ceremony.

The evening began with a 15 minute montage from all of Burton's films. Ed Wood, Both Batmans, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Mars Attacks, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Big Fish were the most heavily featured. The lights came up. One of the directors of the festival came out. Spoke lots of Italian that I had no clue about. Introduced another guy who also spoke lots of Italian. Then they introduced Tim. Tim came out and started speaking without a microphone. Somebody realized and handed him one. He gave the usual bit about what a great honor it was but what really mattered to him was that Venice is a festival about movies, not about business so the award seemed more special coming from them. One of the festival directors then introduced Johnny Depp who then came out and took the microphone from Tim. Johnny talked about that not only was Tim his favorite director but he was also his best friend. He said the usual thanks and then asked if he could "get on with it and just give Tim this thing". The director clearly didn't understand what he meant and after saying it a second time, Johnny picked up the statue and handed it to Tim. All of this action occurred about 10 feet in front of me. Somehow I had a much better seat than any press. Talk about dumb luck. The speeches ended with Tim introducing Sweeney Todd followed by saying they would screen Nightmare Before Christmas in digital 3D, the way it was intended to be shown.

Lights went down, Sweeney Todd played, Johnny sings, lights went up. Hot young Italian girls passed out 3-D glasses to the audience. The audience oooed and awed then applauded when Johnny put on his. No surprise there. Lights went down, they did a test to verify if 3-D was working, then started the film. Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D First let me tell you, I love this film. I own it on DVD, have the soundtrack on my iPod. This is actually not the first time I have seen it in digital 3D. I read a report saying this was the world premier but that was certainly not the case as I was able to catch a screening of it last October in London's Leicester Square. The film fits perfectly to the digital format. 3D is not abused to make you jump but more as a tool to give everything dimension. With the claymation and movement, things just flow better. Being in the 3rd row, I had a kind of IMAX style experience watching it. Thoroughly enjoyable. Never felt too close but more right in the thick of it. If Nightmare's holiday release runs in your area, take somebody who hasn't seen it before as it's great to see it again just like all great holiday movies. Always will be right up there with "A Christmas Story" and "It's a Wonderful Life" as something to watch once a year.

With that, the lights came up and my Venice experience ended. I could not have asked for a better end to a perfect trip. I'll send you guys a wrap up with final thoughts and recaps of all tomorrow. Ciao from Venice! -Mastidon (not Mastodon damnit!)-

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Sorry I missed it

    by Aloy

    congrats tim

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:34 a.m. CST


    by Uridium

    Sounds like an awsome experience. Dispite my deep seeted hatred of musicals, I am looking forward to Sweeny Todd.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:37 a.m. CST

    So, third row center.....

    by Aloy

    Must be the neanderthal dude right?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Geek Love...

    by Redfive!

    I doubt Burton will ever do it,I wish Lynch would do it though.A Direct adaptation of the novel from burton would be great,but lynch's would be a masterpiece.Neil Jordan might do the book justice too.Man i just really want to see Olympia in the flesh.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Awesome Mastidon

    by Bobo_Vision

    Great coverage. Are you gonna send in a review of Darjeeling Express?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 3:53 a.m. CST

    These Are My Friends

    by Skinny White Lad

    See how they glisten... Lyrics from the musical version the movie is based off of can be found here: You shall drip rubies...

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Definitely not the world premiere

    by stomm

    Along with the person's view in October, i watched it last year in December (day of my birthday yeahh!) at the IMAX in Manchester.<br /> Felt a bit sick afterwards to be honest, the 3d effect can knock you off a bit. But it was well worth it, and i never noticed that Zero has a pumpkin for a nose before lol.<br /> Very much looking forward to this movie though and also Dark Knight in 3D!!!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:19 a.m. CST

    That fucker can sing too!!???

    by IndustryKiller!

    Is there ANYTHING Depp can't do?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:20 a.m. CST

    I know that movie by heart

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    Honestly. I got it for my 6th birthday on VHS and watched it every day for years. The Nightmare Before Christmas was THE movie for me that made me what to make films.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Three Cheers for MASTIDON

    by skintandminted

    Great work dude!! Awesome coverage!! I echo Bobo_Vision.. Did you catch the Darjeeling Express? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Here's the song that he sang

    by SmellyO

    "My Friends" Here's Sweeney Todd played by George Hearn with Angela Lansbury as Lovett

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:37 a.m. CST

    by SmellyO

    the song

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 5:43 a.m. CST

    I saw "Sweeney Todd" years ago...

    by Rei-Ginsei

    Despite the fact that it's a musical, I found it extremely twisted - in a good way. Actually, I think the fact that it's a musical makes it even more twisted. (Spoiler) I mean, how many other musicals involve turning people into meat pies? (/Spoiler)

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Mmmmmm People Pie

    by Yeti


  • Sept. 6, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST


    by Mastidon

    Hey guys, I wrote a review of it but it never made it online. Must have got lost in the email universe. I'll resend and see what they do with it.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST


    by Mastidon

    That's the song! Thanks! Been trying to remember the lyrics but was too much in awe to do so. Depp was f**king amazing.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 8:07 a.m. CST

    How did that lemur get on top of Tim Burton's head?

    by Pound Sand

    Don't they have security?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 8:22 a.m. CST

    It's nice that he moves his lips in sync...

    by Stalin vs Predator someone's voice played back. Hey, if Iglesias's son can do that... By the way, did this guy actually describe his "adventures" in getting to this premiere? Because I skipped this section as soon as it seems to have started. Did it continue until the end or did it return to the film at some point?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 8:43 a.m. CST

    When the hell

    by Purgatori

    are we going to get the freaking trailer for this??? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Nightmare Before Christmas = sheer excellence

    by performingmonkey

    The songs do NOT suck. Maybe Danny Elfman's finest moment.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    depp looks like colonel sanders.....

    by kingoflight

    Anyone else heard a rumor that after sweeny todd burton may be making grim fandango the movie ? ? ?

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    great report, Mastidon

    by CherryValance

    I love it when lucky things happen like that. And I'm very happy to hear that Johnny's voice is so good. I was worried. Just from the description of that clip the movie sounds more Tim Burton-ish than Sweeney Todd-ish, but we'll see. That could be a good thing but you never know. The show itself is great so too much tweaking could backfire. But this report is encouraging.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Thank God Burton didn't get Superman

    by liljuniorbrown

    Although I like Nic Cage and would like to have seen his take on it, and if Burton would have put Depp in a villan role it would have been interesting. Ever since his role in Once Upon atime in Mexico I have found that Depp seems to be getting better with age. I loved him in Donnie Brascoe and Blow and wish him nothing but luck with the musical. I hate musical and wil never watch it, but i'm sure it will be great.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 11:49 a.m. CST

    I am so stoked!

    by Bob G.

    His real name is "Benjamin Barker," and the line is "My, them handles is chased silver, ain't they?" Angela Lansbury goofs up in the taped version (now on DVD) and says "Them BLADES is chased silver, ain't they?" Thanks for the report.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    ricarleite and Pound

    by skimn

    When did Tim Burton ever look good? He's always looked like he just got up after falling out of bed, fighting a mongoose.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST

    That's no MONGOOSE! That's Helena Bonham Carter!

    by finky089


  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Wow...that sounds completely...

    by ninpobugei

    and utterly...HORRIBLE! A thriller/cheeseball musical?!?! Uh, that would be a "no". Not even as a rental!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST

    ninpobugei- Sweeny Todd is a classic

    by Lovecraftfan

    One of the best musicals ever.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4 p.m. CST

    Sweeny Todd proved

    by Purgatori

    that musicals could have horror and blood in them, and still be considered broadway material. If it hadn't been for that you probably wouldn't have gotten Phantom of the Opera or Jekyll and Hyde quite as easily. God I can't wait.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Enough with Depp and Burton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by crackerfarmboy

    Seriously you two, get a room!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Sweeny Todd is serious musical, and it's the greatest!

    by Midol Boy

    You idiot, ninpobuttfucker!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 10 p.m. CST

    Love Burton. Love Depp. Love them together...

    by Osmosis Jones

    ...but hate live-action musicals. I'm severely torn.