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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2007 R CC

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces again in a big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical thriller "Sweeney Todd."

Starring:
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
Runtime:
1 hour, 56 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Musical, Horror
Director Tim Burton
Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
Supporting actors Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener, Ed Sanders, Gracie May, Ava May, Gabriella Freeman, Jody Halse, Aron Paramor, Lee Whitlock, Nick Haverson, Mandy Holliday, Colin Higgins, John Paton, Graham Bohea
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Although critics have been almost unanimous in their praise of this film, many fans of the show are quite harsh in their appraisal, chiefly for two reasons - one, that the principals are not great singers, and two, the deletion of roughly 50% of the score. I surprised myself in that, having purchased the soundtrack and seen the movie, I am in neither camp, as either of these factors might heretofore have caused me to pronounce most film adaptations of almost any Broadway musical a failure. Instead, I am thrilled far beyond my expectations with this production.

It might not have been so, had I not had so much respect for Stephen Sondheim. As part of the pre-release publicity, he has granted an unusual (for him) number of interviews, and says that he is unequivocally satisfied with Tim Burton's vision. As anyone who appreciates his high level of artistic integrity will agree, Mr. Sondheim would not give praise to this project if he were not satisfied with it. At 77, Stephen Sondheim is considered by many to be the greatest composer in the history of the American theatre, and I have followed him long enough to know that no amount of financial consideration could cause him to declare his endorsement if he were not truly happy with the finished film.

I have listened carefully to what Mr. Sondheim has had to say in those recent interviews, and now understand why so many stage musicals previously transferred to celluloid haven't worked. To begin with, time passes very differently in a theatre than it does on film. That which takes several minutes in a Broadway theatre (i.e. a full-blown production number) is apt to seem like a small eternity on screen.
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Format: DVD
An R rated musical about a vengeful barber who kills his victims only to serve them up as meat pies must've made the studio a little nervous to bankroll a big budget adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Although, they must've been reassured that Tim Burton would be helming the project with his long-time collaborator Johnny Depp stepping in to play Todd. Burton, with his affinity for all things dark and gothic (see The Nightmare Before Christmas (Special Edition) and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (Widescreen Edition)), seems like an obvious choice to take on such dark subject matter and Sondheim agreed, giving the filmmaker his blessing.

The first disc has a featurette entitled, "Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd." Tim Burton had always been a fan of Stephen Sondheim's musical and had contemplated a film version for years. Helena Bonham Carter was also a fan and had always wanted to play Mrs. Lovett. Burton liked the idea of her and Depp as this "weird" couple. The director and his leading man talk about their long-standing relationship in this excellent featurette.

The second disc starts off with the "Sweeney Todd Press Conference, November 2007" which features Burton, producer Richard Zanuck and his main cast answering questions from the press. Not surprisingly, Burton and Depp tend to dominate the bulk of the questions. Both men are very charming and joke good naturedly with each other.
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"Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barbour of Fleet Street" will surprise a LOT of movie-goers. It's a musical about a London barbour who is wronged and returns home looking for revenge.

I'm usually skeptical of film remakes of musicals. Being a fan of Tim Burton was enough to get me through the door. I am really glad I saw it. This is a very good movie that will satisfy a very wide audience, including those unfamiliar with the original musical as well as it's loyal fans.

DISCLAIMER: Not for younger kids or squeemish adults. This is one R rating that is well deserved.

First and foremost, this movie is worth seeing in the theatres. I expected this version to be even less "musical" than it was. Surprisingly, it is VERY true to the original musical, with almost all the original Steven Sondheim score re-sung by the modern cast. Musically, the songs and score are all well done and add to the theatre experience.

Visually, Sweeney Todd is STUNNING. This version is MUCH BETTER than any other previous version. Tim Burton has created a dark and dingy London that deserves to be nominated for an Oscar for almost every technical category. The black and white backdrop make the bright colors stand out when they are used. Color is used artistically and powerfully, as you'll see. :)

The actors will also attract some die hard fan groups. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter have some very different fan bases, but I think both will be satisfied and surprised by the performances. In fact the whole cast does wonderfully, and the director no doubt had something to do with that.

This is also another movie where I will be looking forward to the HD DVD. Hoping for a wealth of deleted / extended scenes and "making of" featurettes.
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