RT on DVD: Oscar-Winning Sweeney Todd Slashes Away The Competition

Tim Burton's vibrant operetta leads releases new to DVD.

by | March 31, 2008 | Comments

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street as Tim Burton’s deliciously gory operetta-turned-film spectacle comes to DVD, the critical superior to the CGI/live-action
Alvin and the Chipmunks
and Jake Paltrow’s dark romantic comedy

The Good Night
, starring sister Gwyneth, Martin Freeman, and Penelope Cruz.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Tim Burton turns his delightfully macabre sensibilities to the tale of Sweeney Todd, the bloodthirsty London barber with the sharpest straight razor in town. Adapting Steven Sondheim’s Broadway play into an epic horror-musical feature film, Burton cast frequent collaborator Johnny Depp as the vengeful madman and his own baby mama, Helena Bonham Carter, as his meat-pie baking accomplice. Critics hailed the film as a lush, bloody affair true to both Burton’s flair for the gruesome and Sondheim’s original vision — just don’t expect perfectly polished vocals from its untrained leads. Pick up the 2-disc release for nine behind-the-scenes and filmmaker featurettes, a Moviefone Unscripted video with Burton and the Oscar-nominated Depp, and more.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Tomatometer: 24%

The antics of lovable chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore have delighted generations of kids since their debut as a chart-topping gimmick group in 1958; now, critics say, the time for chipmunk love is no more. Updated as a family adventure blending live-action and CGI, the new pic finds the pop-singing trio helping a desperate jingle writer (Jason Lee) find a hit for the American Idol set – dismal stuff for grown-ups, especially those who look back with fondness on classic-era Alvin and the Chipmunks. Special features include an inside peek at Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, a conspicuous reminder that there are far better animated experiences out there than allowing oneself to get “Munk’d.”

The Good Night

Tomatometer: 24%

A former pop star-turned-has been Gary (Martin Freeman) finds more happiness with his ideal woman in his dreams (Penelope Cruz) than he does with his sourpuss girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow) in this dark romantic comedy. As his dreams increasingly blur with reality, Gary must choose which life he’d rather have. Gwyneth’s brother Jake makes his directorial debut with this Sundance entry, which the scribes say has plenty of interesting ideas unfortunately cobbled into somewhat of a snoozer. Eternal Sunshine fans may still find use of it; director Paltrow’s audio commentary is the disc’s lone extra feature.

The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream

Tomatometer: N/A

If you loved 1991’s The Cutting Edge, and you watched ABC Family’s 2005 sequel The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold, then you’ll be interested to hear of this year’s third installment, The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream. The cable-debuted trequel naturally follows the franchise formula of pairing a prim figure skater with a rough-and-tumble hockey player, but get this: the gender roles have been reversed, as a veteran male pairs skater (Matt Lanter) begrudgingly takes on a female Gretsky (Francia Raisa) to go for championship gold! Will the unlikely pair resolve their differences on and off the ice? Could — gasp! — romance bloom betwixt the two by movie’s end? Pick up The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream to find out!

That ’70s Show Season 8

Tomatometer: N/A

Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher may have left the show that made their careers in its eighth and final season, but the rest of that ’70s crew stuck around to wrap up the hit series. Back in Season One could we have guessed that Donna (Laura Prepon) and Eric (Grace) wouldn’t be together, that Jackie (Mila Kunis) would go for Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), or that disco would ever die? Twenty-two episodes, a handful of episode commentaries, a Season 8 in 8 Minutes featurette and plenty more extras comprise the four-disc release.

‘Til next week, Ave atque vale.

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