Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Horror / Musical / Thriller
Paramount, DreamWorks || R - 116 minutes - $39.99 || October 21, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-10-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Tim Burton
Writer(s): Harold Prince (orginally staged by); Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler (music and lyrics); John Logan (screenplay)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen


Theatrical Release Date: December 21, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd
  • Sweeney Todd Press Conference
  • Sweeney Is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber
  • Musical Mayhem: Sondheim's Sweeney Todd
  • Sweeney's London
  • The Making of Sweeney Todd
  • Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition
  • Designs for a Demon Barber
  • A Bloody Business
  • Moviefone Unscripted with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
  • The Razor's Refrain
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Sweeny Todd tells the tale of a young man named Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) who comes back to London after being sent away many years ago. When he was in London last (told through flashbacks) he had a beautiful wife and young daughter. The evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) took a liking to his beautiful wife and forced Benjamin out of the city. Now, after many years away Benjamin has returned under the alias Sweeny Todd where he sets out on revenge to those that harmed him.

Once he returns to London years later, we notice that Benjamin is quite different. His hair is a bit more frazzled and his overall look is much, much darker (as is the film). He initially goes back to where he use to live only to find it’s not a bakery run by Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) so makes the worst meat pies in London. She quickly figures out who he is and offers to let him stay upstairs where he quickly opens up a barber shop. While still plotting his revenge Todd and Mrs. Lovett soon scheme an idea to kill people that no one will miss and use the meat from them in Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies... tasty!

There are many things about the film I loved - from the acting, to the story, to the singing - and Sweeny Todd simply shines in all of these areas. The acting for example is top notch all the way. Johnny Depp, who I've had a man-crush on for as long as I can remember, gives a performance that seemed to be his most depressing yet. While not his best work, its still pretty amazing to see him in the state of revenge he is in. Other notable performances include Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter and Timothy Spall.

What most people didn't know about this film when it was released into Theaters is that its essentially a musical. The film opens up with several songs almost right off the bat to help explain the back story and give the audience an idea of what’s going on. Now, I'm personally not a fan of musicals. The only ones I've watched more than once have been South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut along with the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode "Once More, With Feeling" so I was a bit hesitant at first to actually watch the film...but after doing so I found myself rather enjoying the film.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are Presented in HD unless otherwise noted.

Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd (26:06) – This is sort of all the other features rolled into one as we get a wealth of information regarding casting, locations, how the film was translated from the play to film etc.

Sweeney Todd Press Conference (19:41; SD) – A Q/A with Burton, Depp, Carter, Rickman, & Spall as they answer questions from fans) regarding the film.

Sweeney Is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber (20:06) – Probably one of the best features of the disc takes a look at if Sweeny Todd ever really existed as well as some historical information regarding London.

Musical Mayhem: Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (12:00) – A brief idea on how the play was transformed into the film we are now watching today.

Sweeney's London (16:15) – A really great historical feature that delves into London's past. Worth watching.

The Making of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (24:01; SD) – This is the typical "Making of" feature that has short interviews with cast and crew talking about the film and how awesome it is to work with [insert person].

Also includes are several other, small features: Designs for a Demon Barber (8:52), A Bloody Business (8:52), Moviefone Unscripted (11:35; SD), The Razor's Refrain (8:38), Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition (19:13), Photo Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer. Most of these features don't offer a whole lot of information but still worth a look if you are a fan of the film.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Sweeny Todd is presented in 1.85:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. Most of the film is very dark and grainy (with the exception being Mrs. Lovett's dream sequence) and the quality is simply stunning. Even though there is plenty of intended grain, everything else looks very sharp and clear. Easily one of Paramount's finest this year.

Paramount has included an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track as well as standard Dolby Digital 5.1 in French and Spanish. Since the film starts out literally with a song, you will notice how strong the TrueHD track is. Dialog is incredibly clear and small little effects can be heard in the rear speakers nearly the entire film. Another strong effort from Paramount.



.::OVERALL::.

Sweeny Todd is definitely an odd flick but still worth a rental. The Blu-ray packs impressive Picture and Audio along with hours of special features to enjoy.