Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street – 2 Disc Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Apr 16th, 2008

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Starring Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen
Written By: John Logan
Directed By: Tim Burton
Studio: Dreamworks Home Entertainment
Buy on Amazon.com link

Did you ever have to watch something because your girlfriend wanted you to? Well that’s what happened with me and having to sit through Sweeney Todd. I guess guys will do anything sometimes for their girlfriends. I usually like Johnny Depp and Tim Burton movies but after seeing Sweeney Todd; I think I just like Deep/Burton movies that aren’t musicals!

Sweeney Todd is based off the stage musical of the same name. Right there should have been a red flag for me to stay clear of this movie. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is about a skilled barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) sent him away for life since he was in love with his Barker’s wife Lucy. 15 years later, Barker (now called Sweeney Todd) escapes prison, and is rescued at sea by a sailor named Anthony Hope. They return to London and Todd goes to his old apartment, above Lovett’s pie shop. Things have definitely changed there. Lovett (Helen Bonham Carter) tells Todd that his wife drank poison after Turpin raped her and that Turpin adopted Todd’s daughter Johanna. Todd vows to get revenge for all of this and he plans on doing it at his newly opened barber shop. He gets lots of help from Lovett and her pie shop as well.

As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of musicals. I pretty much despise them. There’s about only 2 movies that have singing in that I like, and that’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut. With those movies, there are songs but there’s also dialogue as well. In Sweeney Todd, there’s pretty much just singing in about every scene. Just as you think you’re going to get straight up dialogue, there’s more lame singing in it. I mean really, who freakin sings about razor blades? I seriously thought people were going to break out in song when they were taking a shit. “Hey you, I’m taking a shit, taking a shit with you…mmmyyy Darling!!!” Within the first five minutes of the movie, I was just dreading this movie. But if the singing wasn’t in the movie, I would have loved it. I thought the songs weren’t that great at all, except maybe one or two songs. I actually found the songs to be quite distracting. The songs also didn’t help the plot along either. Half the time I couldn’t figure out what the hell was happening.
I’m just not a fan of Stephen Sondheim after I had to get dragged to adaptation of one of his musicals in college. The musical was “Company” and I really really hated it. Those songs were even worse than Sweeney Todd because it was just songs like “BOBBY, BOBBY, BOBBY BOBBY” over and over and over. And I didn’t really want to watch a musical about a 35 year old “Bachelor” either.

Musical stuff aside, this seemed like a perfect movie for Tim Burton to tackle. His dark style of filmmaking really fit the story of Sweeney Todd. The film sets and CGI work looked incredible and very Burtonesque. The acting was pretty good and I thought it was impressive that Depp sang all the songs. He doesn’t seem like a singer to me but he pulled it off. Too bad the songs themselves suck. I’m not sure why Burton made Johnny Depp look like Edward Scissorhands though. I thought Helen Bondham Carter was good as well, although her singing wasn’t great and I think she knows that. I kind of wished there were more scenes with Sacha Baron Cohen and Alan Rickman because their screen time was limited. Rickman had scenes but it wasn’t enough in my mind. I didn’t really care for the scenes with Anthony Hope, and I was trying to telepathically tell my girlfriend to fast forward his scenes. It didn’t work.

The 2-disc edition DVD has a lot of special features on it. The behind the scenes featurette was really good because there was a lot of interesting interviews, and you get to see behind the scenes types of stuff. Helen Bonham Carter admitted she always wanted to play Mrs Lovett so I found that strange and interesting at the same time. You also find out that Sacha Baron Cohen auditioned for his role and sang pretty much every song from Fiddler on the Roof. Disc 2 has many featurettes like one on the real demon barber (didn’t know it was based on a real person), Stephen Sondheim’s musicals, Sweeney Todd’s London, and set design featurettes. Many things to hold fans over after they are done with the movie.

I seriously tried to watch this movie with an open mind, but I’m afraid I just didn’t like this movie that much. It had its moments though. I’m sure fans of musicals & Tim Burton will love this movie but I wish there wasn’t any singing in it. Why can’t people adapt stories from musicals, and not have any dumb singing in it? It would make the world a better place! It would actually be something some-what original since people wouldn’t expect a musical to be turned into a normal movie. But regardless of what I thought and think about most musicals, this movie will probably be praised by everyone else. If you want to get Sweeney Todd on DVD, be sure to get the 2-disc version with the extras on it!

Disc 1:
– 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!

Disc 2:
– 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
– Designs for a Demon Barber
– A Bloody Business
– Moviefone Unscripted with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
– And more

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: I liked the scenes with Johnny Depp. And also like scenes with Sacha Baron Cohen
Rating: R
Running Time: 116 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: