Media

Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2008

ARTICLE INDEX

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (SD DVD)

movie-sweeney-todd.jpgSynopsis

In ca. 1850's London, Benjamin Barker (Depp) returns after having been in prison for 15 years for a crime he did not commit.

Judge Turpin (Rickman) put him in prison because he coveted Barker's wife, and when Barker was taken away, Turpin imprisoned her in his home.

Barker finds that his wife has committed suicide, but that his daughter, Johanna, still lives with Judge Turpin.

He re-opens his barber shop above a meat pie restaurant, owned by Mrs. Lovett (Carter).

Benjamin says he has changed his name to Sweeney Todd, and will exact his revenge on those who destroyed his family. Mrs. Lovett decides to give him a hand.

And, exact he does, in the most graphic movie scenes I have ever witnessed. The budget for stage blood must have been enormous.

 

Specifications

  • Dreamworks
    2007, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 54 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 480i
  • Codec: MPEG-2
  • English DD 5.1
  • Directed by Tim Burton
  • Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Graphic
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The movie is a film version of the Broadway musical by the same name, with music by Stephen Sondheim. The story is based on an English legend, where a barber in the 1750's (the movie was moved up to the 19th century instead) murdered 150 people in his shop, cutting their throats, taking their money, and dumping the bodies into the basement below, where a Mrs. Lovatt cut them up and turned them into meat pies for her restaurant.

Technical

The movie is very dark, literally, with many scenes taking place at night, and regardless of the time of day, in very dark rooms. It is an excellent disc to test your display's black levels, as well as your stomach for graphic murder. The problem I had was that most of the time, the actors were singing, even when cutting throats, and it was very difficult to understand what they were saying. Nevertheless, it is a very entertaining movie. Depp is incredibly versatile, and soon, he will win one of those Best Actor nominations he keeps getting.

Extras

The extras are mostly on a separate disc and include rehearsals, the history of Sweeney Todd, The Making of, and other things.