003797Reviews & Counting
Sweeney Todd
BLU-RAY disk
11.27.2008 By: Sturdy
Sweeney Todd order
Tim Burton

Johnny Depp
Helena Bonham Carter
Alan Rickman


star Printer-Friendly version
After being kicked out of London on false charges, Benjamin Barker returns as Sweeney Todd to exact vengeance on those that did him wrong. With a baker and a kid by his side, he sets out to regain his life; one shave at a time.
Iím proud of Dreamworks for releasing their movies on Blu-ray, but their kudos are limited given how long itís taking them to bring some of their new releases to the format. SWEENEY TODD is another one of those that should have been released a long time ago and since they didnít offer anything new, Iím curious as to whether or not fans will take the time to upgrade, or theyíll just let this one go.

But even after watching it for the second time, I still find it to be a bit of a let down. I enjoyed the impressive directing effort from Tim Burton and the great performances from Depp and Carter, but the movie itself falls a little flat. Like I said before, it may be because the voices of Depp and Carter are not really cut out for this type of singing. But the movie is a nice change of pace from the usual Hollywood trifle and once again we have to be appreciative of Burton for going against the Hollywood norm.

Personally, I didnít find the release to merit an upgrade, but then again, Iím not the biggest fan of the film. I enjoyed it, but I donít feel it has much of a re-watchability factor. The Blu-ray release solves some of the black level fading that was persistent in the DVD transfer and the colors popped a little more, which was a nice improvement. The audio was also upgraded and the TrueHD track proved to be very powerful. If youíre a fan of the film and plan on watching it multiple times, then the Blu-ray is definitely the way to go.
Unfortunately, the extras are the same as found on the DVD release.

Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd (26:07): I love all three of these guys and all of them are fun to listen to. This is a nice featurette that includes some behind the scenes footage and interviews with everyone involved. They heap a lot of praise upon one another, but given the people involved, itís all merited. My favorite participant had to be Bonham-Carter, who seems like a really cool woman. I was surprised this was her first time singing professionally.

Sweeney Todd Press Conference, November 200 (19:41): This is exactly what it says it is. I wish they would have had a wider camera angle so we could see the other participantsí reaction. All of the main participants have some cool responses and funny quips. This is a really good featurette and I enjoyed hearing what they would say next. And not that you need further confirmation, but Johnny Depp is awesome.

Sweeney is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber (20:07): I guess no one really knows how true the story of Sweeney Todd really is. This is a pretty good featurette that gives a glimpse to the legend of Sweeney. No mention as to whether or not the ďrealĒ Sweeney sang all the time.

Musical Mayhem: Sondheimís Sweeney Todd (12:03): Right off the bat, youíll be annoyed that thereís too many movie scenes. What legitimate footage it does have is actually informative. It mainly chronicles Sondheimís inspiration for the story and musical.

Sweeneyís London (16:15): This is more of a history lesson than movie featurette. Itís ok, but I was expecting more of a focus on Tim Burtonís world. It was pretty interesting and I enjoyed the historical context to go along with the film.

The Making of Sweeney Todd (24:02): This is more of a fluff featurette that repeats some of the stuff we saw in the first featurette. Thereís also a lot of movie scenes, which distracts from the content. This isnít one of the better features on the set.

Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition (19:14): I had no idea what grand guignol was, but itís a particular style of horror theater and this featurette focuses on it. I really enjoyed this featurette because it taught me something I didnít know and I actually found it interesting. If youíre not familiar with this, I highly recommend checking this out.

Designs for a Demon Barber (8:55): This is your token featurette on the costumes and settings in the film, but since itís a Tim Burton film, nothing is ordinary. I enjoyed this one too and found Timís comments on the setting and costumes interesting and informative.

A Bloody Business (8:52): Nine minutes about blood is a bit much, but thatís what you get. I thought the blood was a brighter red than real blood and they didnít even discuss that. Other than that, they say what youíd expect them to say. I thought the female assistant that was helping with the blood was pretty cool, but she seemed to enjoy practicing the stabbing a little too much.

Moviefone Unscripted with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (11:36): These are becoming more common inclusions on DVDís lately and Iím ok with that. These are good because fans ask better questions than journalists. So the responses are more interesting than what you would get at a press conference. Thereís nothing here that will blow your mind, but itís mildly interesting. And why canít anyone say ď21 Jump StreetĒ around Johnny Depp? That would be my question.

The Razorís Refrain (8:40): Finally, we have another 9 minutes of images set to music from the film.

There are also some Previews and a Photo Gallery
Die-hard Burton fans will no doubt want to upgrade their DVD to the Blu-ray, but for everyone else, I think itís fine to let this one go. Without an added commentary or at least some BD-Live capability, thereís no reason to move up.
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9:45AM on 03/21/2011

Grand Guignol

The Grand Guignol is not just a "style" of theater, it was the name of an actual theater in Paris that basically did "splatter" theater. It opened in the late 1800's and closed in 1962. Just FYI.
The Grand Guignol is not just a "style" of theater, it was the name of an actual theater in Paris that basically did "splatter" theater. It opened in the late 1800's and closed in 1962. Just FYI.
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