has an average rating of 7.9 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1
include nearly 4 hours of features.
– 116 minutes
– DreamWorks (Paramount)
Street Date : October 21st 2008
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Brendan Surpless —
The Movie Itself is directed by Tim Burton. The film tells the story of Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) who has his wife stolen from him by the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman). Barker is sentenced to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon release he returns to London and teams up with Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) in hopes of riding London of the evil and in hopes of reuniting himself with his long lost daughter Johanna (Jayne Wisener). What results is a film that may easily be BOTH Johnny Depp’s and Tim Burton’s best film to date.
The real charming and interesting aspect of this film is not only the excellent acting by nearly every member of the cast (which I’ll mention more below), but the true highlight is the great score by Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim’s score brings the dreary, chilly London life alive via excellent musical numbers that capture each and every London emotion from the poor (the homeless woman) to the powerful (Judge Turpin). One can assume that none of the actors are professional singers or maybe even had singing lessons, but each add their sense of uniqueness to the role creating an all around convincing and sometimes funny musical film. But the really great aspect besides the musical numbers is the fine direction by veteran Tim Burton.
I’ve been the type of person that has mostly enjoyed Burton’s sense of oddity when it comes to his filmmaking. He typically makes those kinds of movies that when taken at a far glance might sense downright strange and would elicit the kind of comment that he is downright weird. But what makes this movie special in my eyes is the when Burton tells the story in the London world. Never do we think that Todd is an evil character per say even though he is committing all the killings. Burton makes Todd seem like the hero that he is actually ridding the London streets of the corrupt government that unjustly threw him and jail separating him from his family. With that said another truly great aspect (one of which should come as no surprise) is the fine acting by veterans like Rickman and Depp.
I almost always say to most that one of the best actors alive is Christian Bale. For some reason I forget Johnny Depp even though he has given us a fair share of great performance. “Sweeney Todd” is easily one of his best if not his best roles to date. Depp excels in this role in both conveying emotions of anger and hatred but also in the musical numbers showing us his depth as an actor. Other veteran Alan Rickman gives us another creepy almost slimy role similar to his Professor Snape in the “Harry Potter” series. He has that sense of slithering evilness to him.
Simply put “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is one of those movies that some might overlook because they aren’t a fan of ‘musicals’. While this film does have musical numbers, everyone has put in their own special unique feel to the production giving us a great movie that needs to be seen not just by fans of the actors but fans of excellent movie making.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Blu-ray Disc). The single best aspect of this transfer is the sense of clarity to the image. At points it’s like we can just reach into the screen and feel the image as it gives us a great sense of “3-Dimensional” pop. The color palette did tend to focus more on the grayer side of the spectrum with a majority of the characters having a pale look to them. Darker scenes hold up fine as well with a small bit of film grain that was present in the theatrical experience so no DNR filters were used. The few brighter sequences the film does have (ie when Todd and Lovett are walking on the pier) showcase excellent detail. Speaking of detail, detail is great as well while fleshtones aren’t overly turned up resulting in an all around great picture. A near perfect “4.5 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The first immediate part of this TrueHD track that viewers will notice is the extremely deep LFE that occurs in the opening credits. In fact the LFE was so deep that I had to lower my 605 from 50 to 40 otherwise my whole room was shaking! With that said the film’s score by Stephen Sondheim is excellent consistently giving us that sense of chilliness of the London setting. Dialogue is fine enough but again in comparison to the film’s musical numbers I did have to mess with the volume a bit here and there.
What does keep this one from perfection is I noticed that the film’s sound design tended to focus a bit too much on the front channels, which disappointed me a bit. I figured with the grand musical numbers we might get a bit more response from the rears. Don’t get me wrong there is rear presence but not just as much as I thought there would be. When we do get rear response the balance is perfect bouncing from left to rear in a fine manner. All in all this earns a fine “4 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials are presented in High Definition and Standard Definition video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo surround. I’ll note which are in HD. Total runtime for features are 3h59min7sec.
- Burton+Depp+Carter=Todd (HD): This one runs about 26min8sec minutes and is your behind-the-scenes look at the film with comments by main collaborators Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
- Sweeney Todd Press Conference: This one runs 19min42sec and was a press conference with many members of the cast and crew.
- Sweeney Todd is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber (HD): This runs 20min8sec. Certainly one of the better features available on the disc as this one looks as the possible history of the ‘real’ demon barber.
- Musical Mayhem: Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (HD): Running 12min5sec, Sondheim speaks on working on the film.
- Sweeney’s London (HD): This runs 16min17sec and takes a look at the living conditions in London at the beginning of the industrial age.
- The Making of Sweeney Todd: Running 24min3sec this feature gives us an in-depth look at the film from production to director’s comments.
- Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition (HD): At 19min16sec in length here we get a look at type of genre Guignol is.
- Designs for a Demon Barber (HD): Running 8min56sec this one shows us how the varying designers completed the look of the movie.
- A Bloody Business (HD): At 8min53sec here we get a look at the film’s effects.
- Unscripted with Burton and Depp: In 11min36sec we get to see Burton and Depp have a bit of fun answering questions.
- The Razor’s Refrain (HD): Running 28min40sec, this one gives us some stills set to the film’s chilly score.
- Photo Gallery and Trailer (HD): More photos and the film’s 2min33sec theatrical trailer.
Overall the provided bonus materials are very interesting and fans of the film should enjoy both the historical look at London and the lengthy making of.
Blu-ray Disc packaging: