Sweeney Todd Blu-Ray Review

Review Covers Blu-Ray & 2 Disc DVD Edition

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
They did make with this packaging. Sweeney Todd was a stage play long before it hit the big screen, so the theater style box is a throwback to the history of the story, pretty cool. The slip off cover isn’t a new idea, but with the window cut out to kind of frame the inside box (DVD Only), well, it’s not just like all the others. I like that.

The menu is an almost still image behind the navigation. There are some moving parts, but not much to brag about. Both discs of the 2 disc set have the same kind of menu. Functional, moody, but nothing too exciting.

Features: 8/10

  • Burton + Depp + Carter = Todd Featurette – Very good collection of interviews and clips from the making of the movie that covers the process from idea to the finished film. Excellent extra you will find on the single disc version.
  • Sweeney Todd Is Alive The Real History Of The Demon Barber – Another excellent extra that takes us through the history of Sweeney Todd from the first Penny Blood in British newspapers to the current interpretations. It’s a very cool story about a man who some believe is a real person…you be the judge.
  • Musical Mayhem Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd – Yet another good documentary type extra that tells us the behind the scenes of how Sondheim created his 70’s version of the story and then how that became the Tim Burton movie version.
  • Sweeney’s London – The original story of Sweeney Todd is controversial, is he real or not? This extra takes us through a tour of the time in which the original Todd was supposed to have lived. His address, the customs, fashion, etc. of the time and it’s really quite educational. Don’t be afraid, you won’t melt if you learn something.
  • The Making Of Sweeney Todd – Making of’s, as they are, are good. This one is standard, but still fun to watch.
  • Grand Guignol A Theatrical Tradition – Learning more more more!! I never had heard of Grand Guignol, a French gore theater experience from the 20’s and 30’s. It’s fascinating and makes me want to look into the subject even more. Lovely extra!!
  • Designs For A Demon Barber – Costumes are important for a period piece. This is a run down of how they decided on the styles and personalities of each lead character.
  • A Bloody Business – A good demonstration of how they got so many cut throats to bleed so violently. Whew, bloody for sure, but very cool to see the man behind the curtain, so to speak.
  • Moviephone Unscripted With Tim Burton & Johnny Depp – A one on one with Burton and Depp answering questions from Moviephone internet readers. It’s pretty fun to watch certain people, and these two are entertaining, so it’s worth a watch.

Movie: 9/10
I find it hard to talk about movies I really really enjoy. I’m not sure why, I guess it’s because I want to just enjoy it as I watch it and then in my head without spilling out all the drooling accolades to the general public. Oh, but I do write my little reviews every week, and do the podcast discussion, so I am finding it hard to keep it all to myself, as you can imagine.

What do I love about Sweeney Todd? I have no idea. That’s the truth. I watched it once on my laptop, which was a sad way to watch any movie, but it was what I had at the time and even with the small dark screen and headphone sound, I fell in love completely with this story and with the whole movie.

No, I’m not a fan of musicals. No, I’m not a huge fan of Johnny Depp. No I’m not obsessed with Tim Burton, or dark stories, or blood and gore, or anything like that. I do like Johnny Depp. I have enjoyed every Burton flick. I haven’t always liked Helena Bonham Carter….so it all sounds kind neutral. The funny thing is, from the opening moment of the movie when we meet Sweeney Todd coming back to a grubby dark London I was hooked.

The story unfolds pretty quickly. Todd was married to a beautiful young woman and had a small daughter. An unscrupulous judge, played by Alan Rickman, send Todd to prison wrongly and proceeds to (apparently) rape the young wife and then takes the daughter to raise as his own. That’s what got me I think. This man loved his wife so much and then his whole life was taken from him by some greedy perverted sleazebag and now, after 15 years of prison he’s come back to hopefully get his life back. That’s not going to happen so revenge becomes his obsession.

The look of the movie is typical Burton dark and grungy. I love it. The contrast of the music with the grim setting is another thing that gets my attention. It’s all just different than anything I have seen in a long time, if ever and I appreciate the break from convention. Don’t be scared off by the darkness, or the loads of squirting blood. It’s not scary or traumatizing, it’s just extreme and jolting sometimes. Not everyone who falls prey to the demon barber chair and the human pie maker Mrs. Lovett deserve to have their throats slit, but gosh, I kind of forget about that as the montage of gruesome killings floats before my eyes. I’m just so in the zone of believing that this guy is motivated by hate and anger to take it all out on the shithole city and culture he has come to despise.

Everyone does a good job, some better than others, but overall the acting is spot on. There are a few moments when the campiness gets a little tad too much, but then it’s reigned back in so it wasn’t distracting. The singing is all good. I’m not an expert in singing so I’m impressed with these people who are not professional singers, and it all sounded natural and not the overly over-sang musical style.

A young man finds the 15 year daughter of Todd hidden away and wants to rescue her. Todd only wants to kill the evil judge who ruined his life. Mrs. Lovett only wants to make some dosh and have Mr. T for her own and have a nice cozy life. Everyone has their own very strong motivations for all the things they do. Nothing is left to the imagination, we are taken from song to song, lyric to lyric and it doesn’t leave room for much reading between the lines. It reminds me of old 30’s and 40’s horror movies, which adds to my already gooey love of the movie. The straight forward story and no brooding hidden agendas to wonder about or interpret.

The music is not the West Side Story style where they all break into a song and dance routine every 2 minutes. There is some spoken dialogue and when someone sings it’s just what they want to say or what they are feeling, without any big musical numbers to make it corny at all.

I can’t say enough good stuff about this movie. It transported me. I am impressed with the characters, the look, the songs, the story…..not much more to say:)

Video & Audio By Ascully: /10
Paramount were out of the HD war when Sweeney Todd was released on DVD, and only now chose to bring it to Blu-Ray disc. This is a movie that is made for High Definition so its great that its finally here. Sweeney Todd is a dark movie, what am I saying its not Dark its almost black in tone and visually. Paramount have done a great job with this transfer preserving the inky black look of old London and its inhabitants. Using the AVC codec at a average bitrate of 24mbps (it sounds a little low but there is less information on darker movies). Audio is delivered as always in uncompressed Dolby TrueHD and is another reason the Blu-Ray version shines. The musical numbers sound alive and come at you from all angles.

Overall Sweeney Todd on Blu-Ray disc was worth waiting for and is a definite upgrade from the DVD version, and even better its around the same price as the DVD if you look around online.

Value: 6/10
I want a DVD to cost LESS than it does for me to go the theater. Until that day, no matter how much I love a movie, I will not be satisfied with the prices. You are going to pay around 25 bucks for Sweeney Todd. It’s not a great deal, but then again, I’m a cheap chick. I want to own this one just because I will watch it again, and probably again. So it’s worth the cash. If you are just curious about Burton’s first musical, rent it and enjoy the extra moo-la in your pocket.

Overall Score 8/10

One thought on “Sweeney Todd Blu-Ray Review

  1. At last something is at the movies that is worth watching. I think a lot of last years movies were good but towards the end some of the bigger blockbusters were abit of a let down. I am looking forward to this year though because I think we are in for a few surprises especially from smaller studios.

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