'Sweeney Todd' shaves the day on DVD

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008

'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'

Johnny Depp's customers check in, they don't check out. Teaming with frequent collaborators Tim Burton and co-star Helena Bonham Carter, Depp scored an Academy Award nomination for the title role in the Stephen Sondheim musical about a vengeful barber slitting throats in old London and the landlady who makes a killing serving up the victims as mystery meat in her pies. Single DVD, $29.99; two-disc set, $39.99.

'Alvin and the Chipmunks'

The beloved rodents scampered to the big-screen and scored a blockbuster family hit that combines computer-generated animation and live action. Jason Lee heads the human cast as a songwriter who takes in the three mischievous 'munks with the furry singers becoming pop stars that face exploitation by a conniving producer. DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray disc, $39.98.

'Bette Davis Collection: Volume Three'

The Hollywood legend gets another boxed-set treatment with this six-disc collection packing half a dozen movies from the 1930s and '40s: "The Old Maid" features Davis as an unmarried woman who gives up her daughter to be raised by a cousin and poses as the child's spinster aunt; "All This, and Heaven Too" casts Davis as a governess romanced by her employer and suspected of helping him do away with his wife; "The Great Lie" pits Davis and concert pianist-pal Mary Astor as friends at odds over a child and a man; "In This Our Life" pairs Davis and Olivia de Havilland in John Huston's melodrama about a sister who betrays her sibling; "Watch on the Rhine" has Davis as the wife of a German underground leader during World War II as the family finds continued intrigue after relocating to America; and "Deception" is a World War II tale of separated lovers that reunites Davis with her "Now, Voyager" co-stars Claude Rains and Paul Henreid and director Irving Rapper. DVD set, $59.92.

'Night of the Shooting Stars,' 'Kaos,' 'Fiorile'

Three foreign-language favorites from Italian siblings Paolo and Vittorio Taviani come to DVD, led by a new edition of "Night of the Shooting Stars," with "Kaos" and "Fiorile" making their U.S. debuts on disc. From 1982, "Night of the Shooting Stars" is a loving portrait of a small Italian town whose residents are in limbo between Nazi occupiers and their American liberators as World War II nears an end. The 1984 drama "Kaos" is an anthology of tales based on stories by Luigi Pirandello, dealing with family, separation, passion, mourning, mortality and the art of storytelling itself. "Fiorile," from 1993, chronicles the consequences of a curse that has beset a family for 200 years. DVDs, $26.98 each.

TV on DVD:

"Becker: The First Season" - DVD set, $39.99.

"John From Cincinnati" - DVD set, $59.99.

"Father Knows Best: Season One" - DVD set, $34.99.

"Terry Jones' Medieval Lives" - DVD set, $29.98.

"The BBC Natural History Collection" - DVD set, $199.92.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Year Six" - DVD set, $59.98.

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