Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman
“These are desperate times, Mrs. Lovett and desperate measures are called for”
Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd
Tim Burton on Blu Ray? Boy oh boy! Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was recently released on Blu Ray by Dreamworks.
Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) is returning to London after a long absence. He was a successful barber with a beautiful young wife and one year old daughter. That is until tragedy struck. A ruthless local barrister Judge Turpin( Alan Rickman) was jealous of Barker and his wife and framed him for a crime he did not commit, all so that he could put his hands on Barker’s wife. Somehow, Barker has escaped and now returns to the dark and rain drenched streets of London to seek hi revenge. He has taken on the name of Sweeney Todd.
He finds a space to rent in the building belonging to Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who runs a disgusting bakery downstairs. The two strike up a friendship of a sort.
Soon, Todd discovers that his wife is dead and his beloved daughter is being raised by the unseemly Judge Turpin. He vows revenge and sets his plan into motion. But, not without a few hitches first and Todd has to commit a murder in order to retain his secret identity. Never to fear, Mrs. Lovett has a plan for this “fresh meat”. She can put them into her meat pies in the bakery.
It isn’t long before Todd is racking up a body count while Mrs. Lovett keeps stuffing them into pies. Mrs. Lovett becomes the toast of the town with her “delectable” pies and Todd helps by supplying the “meat supply” as he steers ever closer to his ultimate revenge.
This film is an achievement on every level. The songs by Stephen Sondheim are wondersous, the performances by all, particularly Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are perfection, the direction by Tim Burton and the gorgeous cinematography by Dariusz Wolski (Dark City, The Crow) is drenched in sumptuous velvety darkness.
The cameo by Sacha Baron Cohen as a rival barber shows a different side to the funny man. And, of course any fan of British cinema already can tell you how great Timothy Spall and Alan Rickman are?
Even if you are not a fan of musicals, trust me: this film is wonderful on every level. And, there is a nice amount of gore for the gore hounds too.
The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The image is positively beautiful and despite the dark visual style of the film, the black levels are very respectable and the level of detail is impressive. This film looks fantastic on Blu Ray. It’s a modern film so it shouldn’t be a victim of aged source material and it isn’t. There are no major dirt ar scratches on the print and the overall presentation may even be more striking than it was on the big screen.
The film is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The audio is crystal clear and every note sang in the musical numbers is impressively clear and vibrant.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Blu Ray is presented in standard Blu Ray amaray case.
A ton of bonus features are available on this release. All of them are offered in Hi Def, except for a press conference. The bonus features are as follows: Burton, Depp and Carter= Todd is a 25 minute behind the scenes look at the film. Sweeney Todd is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber is a look at the legend to see if there was a real Demon Barber in London, Sweeney Todd Press conference features all main cast discussing the film in a light hearted way.
Also offered is Musical Mayhem: Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd is a discussion with the famed composer, Sweeney Todd’s London looks at what London would have looked like during the industrial age, The Making of Sweeney Todd is self explanatory. Grand Guignol: A Theatrical Tradition discusses Guignol genre and the theater that gave the style is unusual name.
Designs for a Demon Barber is a look at the art direction for the film. A Bloody Business is a piece on the special effects. Moviephone Unscripted features Burton and Depp answering yet again some more questions about the film. The Razor’s Refrain is a photo gallery of production stills that is set to music. Rounding things out is a more traditional Photo gallery and Theatrical Trailer.
While a commentary would have been nice, this is an extensive collection of bonus features that will make any Burton fan squeal with delight.
Overall ( Not an Average) 9/10
The Movie 8.5/10
The Video 10/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 9.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10