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Sweeney Todd (SE)
DVD disk
04.10.2008 By: Sturdy
Sweeney Todd (SE) order
Director:
Tim Burton

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Helena Bonham-Carter
Alan Rickman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
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.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton make one heck of a duo. Itís hard to believe, but I actually didnít like Tim Burton when I was younger. It wasnít until I got older and wiser that I started to really appreciate the brilliance of his vision. Now, of course, I think heís a genius and even though I donít always love his films, I always respect them and I always seem to have a good time watching them.

Until watching the film, my only experience with SWEENEY TODD was in JERSEY GIRL, which is a whole lot funnier now. So although the plot isnít hard to figure out, I didnít know how it was going to be played out. I liked the story and I thought it worked very well with the world that Tim Burton created. Itís always fun to see what kind of settings and costumes Burton is going to come up with for his films and this is no exception.

Of course, all is not well with SWEENEY TODD as you probably figured out by my rating. The first problem is that this is a musical performed by people who arenít professional singers. I heard the same complaints about MOULIN ROUGE, but the difference is that those songs were written by pop stars with pop star voices. SWEENEY TODD was written by a musician with musical performers in mind. Iíd watch Johnny sitting in a chair for two hours, but I donít know if singing is really his forte. Same goes for Helena Bonham Carter. Sheís a fantastic actress and one of my personal favorites, but singing doesnít seem to be her thing.

Even with some questionable musical performances, I still enjoyed the film. It was very dark and dreary, but when itís Tim Burton at the helm, all is well. I think fans of his will enjoy this, but those not familiar with his films might find the darkness and gruesome nature of the film unappealing.
THE EXTRAS
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
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
To sum up; if you like Tim Burton, then buy this film. If not, then I would definitely recommend a rental before going for the purchase. Itís a dark film with some gruesome, violent scenes and that may be enough to turn away the casual movie fan.
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