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Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
Special Edition, Collector's Special Edition
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Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces again in a big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical thriller "Sweeney Todd." Depp stars in the title role as a man unjustly sent to prison who vows revenge, not only for that cruel punishment, but for the devastating consequences of what happened to his wife and daughter. When he returns to reopen his barber shop, Sweeney Todd becomes the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who "shaved the heads of gentlemen who never thereafter were heard from again." Joining Depp is Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney's amorous accomplice, who creates diabolical meat pies. The cast also includes Alan Rickman, who portrays the evil Judge Turpin, who sends Sweeney to prison and Timothy Spall as the Judge's wicked associate Beadle Bamford and Sacha Baron Cohen is a rival barber, the flamboyant Signor Adolfo Pirelli.
On disc 1, along with the movie, is the 26-minute "Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd," consisting of interviews with Tim Burton and the major cast members (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Ed Sanders) talking about a variety of topics, including the challenge of singing the difficult score. Alan Rickman says, "One of the more challenging moments in ones life is when youve got the music in your hand and youre in a huge rehearsal room and Stephen Sondheim walks across the room and says, 'OK, lets hear it.' It doesnt get much tougher than that." Disc 2 is filled with a number of fairly substantial featurettes and other bonuses. Focusing on the movie are a 24-minute making-of featurette, "Designs for a Demon Barber" (costumes and sets, 9 minutes), and "A Bloody Business" (violent special effects, 9 minutes). "Musical mayhem: Sondheims Sweeney Todd" (12 minutes) focuses on the score, and to those who complain about the changes the movie made, the composer says "Leave your memories at the door." There's also a light-hearted 20-minute press conference from November 2007 with Burton, Depp, Bonham Carter, Rickman, Timothy Spall, and producer Richard Zanuck, and "Moviefone Unscripted (11 min.) in which Burton and Depp answer caller questions. "Sweeney Todd Is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber" and "Sweeney's London" (20 and 16 minutes, respectively) trace the historical/legendary character Sweeney Todd and his time, and "Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition" analyzes the macabre style on which the play was based. Finally, there are "The Razor's Refrain" (stills set to audio clips, 8 minutes), a photo gallery of stills and drawings, and the theatrical trailer. --David Horiuchi
- Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd: A behind-the-scenes look at the collaboration of Tim Burton with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter featuring exclusive footage from rehearsals, recording sessions and more
- Sweeney Todd 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
- Design for a Demon Barber
- A Bloody Business
- Moviefone Unscripted with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
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I hadn't seen the film since it first came out and I was very disappointed with it then. The recent death of Alan Rickman spurred me on to watch it again and this time around I enjoyed it even less. There are two serious flaws the most egregious being that most of the cast can't sing. You know you're in trouble when Sacha Baron Cohen, as the barber Pirelli, has the best voice. Why bother with the music when most of the cast can't carry a tune? Why bother with the music when you're planning to do away with over half of the score including one of the signature tunes "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd"?. It's like doing CABARET without "Willkommen". I just don't understand it. There are always changes made between the film and stage versions of hit musicals (the recent films of LES MISERABLES and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA are prime examples) but the gulf between this adaptation and the original is the widest that I have ever seen.
Some changes, such as the downgrading of Johanna's character and the virtual elimination of the beggar woman who looms so large in the denouement of the original, are puzzling in the extreme. Then there is an overall edge of cruelty to the proceedings which undercuts the dark comedy and any sympathy that one might feel for Sweeney and some of the other characters. Helena Bonham Carter does manage to make Mrs Lovett sad and sympathetic which makes the brutal depiction of her fate especially hard to take. In fact all of the killings out grand guignol Grand Guignol and that coupled with the overly stylized visuals (think Edward Gorey on hallucinogens) made sitting through this an unpleasant experience. If they had just left the music out of it, this could have been a SWEENEY TODD for the ages. I'm glad that Stephen Sondheim was so happy with it. I truly wish that I could say the same.
Let me start out by saying I believe I am a "cultured" individual but one genre I consistently avoid is musicals...I love horror, thrillers, action, comedies and heck, even a RomCom once in a while but musicals are consistently absent from any movie playlist I create. Enter this film that changes all that (to an extent; realistically).
This film is probably disturbing to some as it does have a lot of blood, violence and is a darker film with a dystopian-esq feeling to it. Depp is absolutely amazing and Borat (Cohen) actually turns in a very good performance (I absolutely love the mindless humor he provides in Borat, Ali G, etc but it is not exactly Academy Award content). Helena turns in a great supporting role also and her and Depp meld well together, as they usually do in every Burton film.
The songs were frequent but not bad and Depp was pretty good (better than I anticipated) and the musical portions added a little something extra and contributed to some of the dark drama. I think this brought things to another level and brought this above a gory sort of mystery thriller. The actors cast were very appropriate and my wife and I really enjoyed this film. I am still looking for the next "Sweeney Todd" to come into my life but have a hard time taking the jump to see if it is just another musical (which this is absolutely not).
I don't recall this having too much profanity but it does have some content that could disturb some young and mature people alike. The story is great, the twist is awesome and I believe it is well done and deserved of a 5 star rating.
If you are the type to despise musicals but love thrillers, horror or the ilk, give this a try and I believe it will make you feel extremely strongly, one way or the other.
That said, I'll take a brave, thoughtful if only partly successful film by some of the most creative people in the dramatic arts today over 99.9% of what comes out of Hollywood.
TOO MUCH blood and violence for family viewing and many people do not want to see this, understandably.
I enjoyed everything about this version, and later looked up the history of this story and subsequent plays, etc. and watched several.
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