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Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [Blu-ray]   [Region Free]
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Tim Burton's film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Based on a 'penny dreadful' tale (which later became an urban myth) from the mid-19th Century, this musical tells the tale of Benjamin Barker (Depp), a barber who returns to London after spending years in exile for a crime he didn't commit. He soon discovers from pie-maker Mrs Lovett (Bonham Carter) that, in his absence, his wife has taken her own life and his daughter is now in the care of the man who had him sent away - the dastardly Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman). Seeking revenge and filled with a murderous rage, Barker sets up a barber's shop above Mrs Lovett's premises. Now calling himself Sweeney Todd, Barker kills off all his customers with a razor to the throat and sends their cadavers to the shop below to be used as a tasty new filling for Mrs Lovett's meat pies. What was once the worst pie shop in London quickly becomes one of the city's most popular eateries, but Barker won't be satisfied until he can lure Judge Turpin into the barber's chair...
After years of rumours, it turns out that Tim Burton was the perfect visionary to film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim's Broadway masterpiece, and the result is a macabre and moving musical movie as enthralling as anything Burton has ever done. The show's mix of gothic horror, Grand Guignol, very dark humor, and witty and beautiful music never was the stuff of traditional musical comedy, but it's a powerful work, and perhaps the richest of the late 20th century. In the movie, Burton's frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp, plays Todd, a wronged man whose lust for revenge drives him to murder (an 19th-century legend who has been traced to a real-life barber). Helena Bonham Carter, another Burton mainstay, is Mrs. Lovett, the barber's partner-in-unspeakable-crime. It's no surprise that Depp is an excellent choice to convey Todd's brooding intensity and volcanic rage, but he can also sing a score that is so challenging it has often played in opera houses (though not with the same style as the Broadway original, Len Cariou, and he occasionally lapses into pop style). Bonham Carter is small of voice and lacks the humour of the original Broadway Lovett, Angela Lansbury, but she sings on pitch, in rhythm, and in character at the same time, which is no small feat for a Sondheim show. Aficionados will regret the loss of certain musical passages--"The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" is just an instrumental overture and the chorus is gone altogether, among others, but the reassuring presence of orchestrator Jonathan Tunick and conductor Paul Gemignani ensures that the music feels right and sounds great. And the film's depiction of a Victorian London hellhole, with cinematography by Dariusz Wolski and costumes by Colleen Atwood, also looks and feels right.The excellent cast is filled out by Alan Rickman as the villainous Judge Turpin, Timothy Spall as his seedy Beadle, Sacha Baron Cohen as a rival barber, Jamie Campbell Bower as the young lover Anthony, Jayne Wisener as his object of affection, and Ed Sanders as the young Toby. For fans of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp who don't think they like musicals, Sweeney Todd should be a revelation (though not for the squeamish, as the gore is intense and completely appropriate). For fans of Broadway and Sondheim, it's hard to imagine getting a better adaptation than this. The fact that there's no newly composed Oscar-bait song sung by a Josh Groban-type over the end credits only makes it better. --David Horiuchi See all Product Description
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Languages: Dolby Digital English 5.1, Castilian Spanish 5.1, French 5.1, German 5.1, Italian 5.1, Spanish 5.1
Subtitles: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Castilian Spanish, Complex Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish.
I think it's a brilliant movie if you are open to see and hear something different from the ordinary. Tim Burton is pure genius and Johnny Depp amazing as ever!
However it may be no the best movie for people with a sensible stomach...
Somehow it doesn't come as a shock to me that Tim Burton adapted Stephen Sondheim's musical "Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" -- or that he somehow spun it into something so delicious. That dark, grotesque, hilariously melodramatic story is perfectly suited to Burton's style, and Johnny Depp is absolutely stunning as the titular bloody barber.
The malignant Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) lusts after the wife of Benjamin Barker (Depp), so he convicts Barker of a crime he didn't commit, and enfolds his family into his evil hands.
But fifteen years later, the Barker returns to London and sets up a barber shop over Mrs. Lovett's ghastly meat pie store. Of course, he's enraged when he learns that his wife was raped and since poisoned herself, and that his daughter is the ward of the lecherous Judge. Enraged and maddened, Barker renames himself "Sweeney Todd" and vows revenge.
And he finds that he LOVES using his razors for a far bloodier task than shaving. With the help of Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) -- who finds a thrifty use for those bodies -- Todd cuts a bloody swathe through all who have wronged him. And when his daughter is punished for refusing to marry the cruel Judge, Sweeney closes in to get his revenge at last.
There's always been a gothic look to Burton's movies, and he's always dabbled in very twisted, macabre storylines. And he really tops himself with "Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" -- London is painted in black, white and grey, right down to the ghoulish faces of the characters, and their bleak little dens of horror.Read more ›
With the potential for such sharp disagreement about the quality of the film, a person's own Burton biases may help determine his or her feelings about it. So being a fan of Tim Burton, I would fall down on the side of the fence of liking it. However even though Depp and Bonham Carter hold their own on the singing, I have never been a fan of musicals, they make me cringe and take me out of the film, I'm sure I would be of a different opinion if people broke out in song on a regular basis in real life, but they don't. The dark style of the film did help to some what temper the ridicules plot device of singing to express thoughts and feelings, but I still can't help thinking that this would have been so much of a better film if it was "normal". But what is normal when Tim Burton is concerned?
What's beyond dispute is that Burton commits to grisly violence like never before. Even in a movie in which beheadings were the standard (such as Sleepy Hollow), there was never this much blood and this many dead bodies. Like almost everything else in the film, even the blood is some shade of brown or black. It's clearly a conscious effort on Burton's part to be so unrelentingly dreary, but it may turn off viewers seeking colour, which we get only during a day at the beach for Todd and Mrs. Lovett.Read more ›
I've seen the West End show of Sweeney Todd (who was then played by Jason Donovan) and absolutely loved it, so I was familiar with the story and the songs and knew what to expect when going to see this movie adaption. The team of Burton, Depp and Bonham Carter have done it again and recreated the classic tale perfectly and kept the charm and black comedy of the stage play perfectly in the big screen version - something that raley happens in stage to screen conversions. Depp's singing abilities and London accent were surprisingly good and Burton's usual dark imagination created a believable, yet still stage-like atmosphere to the Victorian London setting.
If you are unfamiliar with the story or the play, I do warn you that this is very gory (hence the 18 certificate) and the dialogue is also mainly in song, which I can see from some reviews (not necessarily on Amazon) that this isn't to everyone's liking. I personally found it to be one of the best films I've seen in a long time and every performance from the whole cast was brilliant. Although not as good as the stage play, it has a mix of murder, music and comedy that blends together to be one of the best movie musicals I have ever seen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
too grisly and over the top for words,what is wrong with tim burton, and why is he so obsessed with johnny depp - there are other better actors in the world tim, really, get over... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer