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PHOTOGRAPHY

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
2-DISC Special Edition
DVD Review by David Blakcwell

DETAILS: 116 minutes, 2-disc set, multiple featurettes, photo gallery, and theatrical trailer
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
(feature film and featurettes have subtitle option)

STUDIO: Dreamworks Pictures/ Warner Bros. Pictures/ Zanuck Company
RELEASE DATE: 4-1-2008

PLOT SYNOPSIS: Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) goes for revenge against the judge (Alan Rickman) who framed him (and took away Todd's daughter) and goes mad in the process as a mad murderous barber. ANALYSIS: SWEENEY TODD was hit and miss for me in the movie theater. A second viewing on DVD has made me love the movie much more. It's growing on me. The movie is definitely Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and the visuals by director Tim Burton. That combo is what makes SWEENEY TODD work. SWEENEY TODD continues the tradition of Gothic Fantasy that director Tim Burton has used to great effect in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and the two BATMAN films he diretced. It may be visually beautiful with some dark humor moments and great acting all around. Johnny Depp steals the film as Sweeney. The film is in the same vien as the classic silent horror and the 1930s horror films. It is a tragic tale that gets better with each viewing.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
The featurettes on the two discs give an extensive look at the making of the film and the folklore behind Sweeney Todd. All featurettes feature clips from the film, interviews with various cast and crew, Sweeney Todd folklore experts, and Sondhiem.

DISC 1-
BURTON+DEPP+CARTER=TODD is a behind-the-scenes look at the collaboration between driector Tim Burton, actor Johnny Depp, and actress Helena Bonham Carter (who also has a child by Burton) from the rehearsals to music recording sessions to the production on the sets.

DISC 2-
SWEENEY TODD PRESS CONFERENCE, NOVEMBER 2007- Tim Burton, Richard Zanuck, Timothy Spall, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman feild questions from the press. It is definitely as entertaining as the only featurette on disc 1.

SWEENEY TODD IS ALIVE: THE REAL HISTORY OF THE DEMON BARBER- a look at the real criminals that inspired the legend of Sweeney Todd and the history of Sweeney Todd from print to theater to film to musical to Tim Burton's film.
SWEENEY'S LONDON- It examines how lOndon was during the time Sweeney Todd legend was based in and the life history of this folklore murderer Sweeney Todd.
GRAND GUIGNOL: A THEATRICAL TRADITION- the history of the Grand Guignol theater in Paris and Grand Guignol plays, the influence of Grand Guignol on silent film and early sound films, and teh revival of Grand Guignol in the USA.

MUSICAL MAYHEM: SONDHIEM'S SWEENEY TODD- how Sondhiem came about doing Sweeney Todd as a musical and the reinvention of the musical for the Tim Burton film (Tim approached Sondhiem about doing the musical asa film 20 years ago).
THE MAKING OF SWEENEY TODD traces the casting, costume and production design, the music, and the production of the film. Tim Burton saw the Sondhiem musical 11 times.
DESIGNS FOR A DEMON BARBER looks at the production and costume design of Burton's SWEENEY TODD
A BLOODY BUSINESS is a behind-the-scenes look at the blood effects and dummies used for the film.
MOVIEFONE UNSCRIPTED WITH TIME BURTON AND JOHNNY DEPP has the two answering questions sent in by fans.
THE RAZOR'S REFRAIN is skippable as it is just movie and behind-the-scenes stills set to the music fo the film.

Rounding out the extras are the original theatrical trailer and a photo gallery of film stills, costume and production sketches, and behind-the-scenes stills featuring Tim Burton

FINAL ANALYSIS: SWEENEY TODD is much better the second time around for me. The extras are worth watching.

this DVD review is (c)3-27-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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