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Sweeney Todd on DVD
Reviewed by Gary Mitchel, © 2008

Format: Movie
By:   Tim Burton
Genre:   Gothic musical
Review Date:   April 03, 2008
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   9/10 (What Is This?)

"It’s a light-hearted comedy to me."- Tim Burton

I’ve said before Sweeney Todd is one of my favorite films from last year. I really can’t add to Laura’s review, so let’s take a look at the DVD of this musical masterpiece.

The film is transferred beautifully, which really is a given these days. We also have all the standard subtitle/language options, which is cool as it means you can have a sing-a-long with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as they slit throats and make meat pies if you wish.

If you get the single-disk version, the only other extra you get is a quick behind the scenes documentary with some short interviews and shots of Depp and HBC in the recording booth. It’s a cool, if short, behind the scenes look at the film.

The two-disk Special Edition, which I recommend, comes with a lot more. It has eleven more documentaries and making of pieces, along with the Sweeney’s trailer. I really do enjoy when they stick the trailer on the DVD, mainly because I’m a completist.

The documentaries cover everything from the production design of Sweeney, the story’s origins and how it was adapted in the Victorian Penny Dreadfuls, the debate over whether or not Sweeney was a real person, and film’s ties to the Grand Guignol theatrical tradition.

Along with all of this, there are the usual interviews, a press conference, and production photos. The one that I enjoyed most was a piece called “The Razor’s Refrain” where a medley of the songs from the movie play over more behind the scenes stills.

Watching all the extras took me nearly two and a half hours, so while they’re not as in depth or intense as the ones on the Lord of the Rings Special Edition DVDs, there’s a lot more than on the usual DVD release. There’s also not a lot of repeated information in them, which is also a plus.

Another thing I liked about the disk is that aside from a quick ad for Blu-Ray disks, the DVD doesn’t force you to watch two or three previews and ads before getting to the main menu.

If you enjoyed the movie, and just want a digital copy of Sweeney, then you can probably get by with the single-disk edition.

If you really loved the movie, and love behind the scenes extras (as I do), then you owe it to yourself to spend the extra funds and pick up the Special Edition.

Besides, it doesn’t cost so much more that doing so would bleed you dry.


At last! RevolutionSF staff writer Gary Mitchel's arm is complete again!

 
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