New on DVD, April 1, 2008

What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday

All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to the titles below, you can also now rent the 2008 Kids' Choice Award winner for Best Movie: Alvin and the Chipmunks.


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
It's no secret that Tim Burton's film adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd was a major critical hit. It racked up tons of awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Picture and several Oscar nominations in visual categories, not to mention a Best Supporting Actor nod to the film's star, Johnny Depp. Accolades aside, this movie is simply a match made in heaven, with Tim Burton's dark film aesthetic falling perfectly in sync with Stephen Sondheim's bloody, scary musical.

Johnny Depp plays Sweeney Todd, the disturbed barber who becomes a psychopathic serial killer after being wrongfully imprisoned. Burton's beautiful visual style along with an outstanding cast that includes Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman make this movie a can't-miss. One word to the wise though: it's incredibly gory — not just lots of blood but also chopped-up human meat. So, proceed with caution if that kind of thing makes your stomach turn.

The special edition two-disc set features behind the scenes footage of the cast in rehearsals as well as a featurette titled, "Sweeney Todd Is Alive: The Real History of the Demon Barber."

A couple lesser-known titles up next so read more.


The Good Night
A film with a cast like this definitely gets my attention: Gwyneth Paltrow, Martin Freeman, Danny DeVito, Penélope Cruz, Simon Pegg, and Michael Gambon. Speaking of Gwyneth, The Good Night is actually a Paltrow family affair, as it was written and directed by Gwyneth's brother Jake. This fairly straightforward romantic comedy had a very limited release in theaters, however, which doesn't bode all that well for the quality of the movie.

Then again, sometimes an interesting premise combined with a lot of good intentions and a quality cast make for an at-home viewing adventure, even if it's not executed perfectly. Or maybe I'm kind of geeky like that. Which leads me to my next DVD title of the week.


The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream
Is it just me or is there sometimes a lot of inherent sexual tension involved with ice skating pairs? When you are watching real-life Olympic games or something, do you ever want to think that all that eye-gazing and intimate ice dancing means true and everlasting love between them? Maybe this is the reason the '90s cult classic The Cutting Edge was such a hit with many people brave enough to admit it — because it tapped into the love story we've always wanted to exist between skaters.

As I've said before, this franchise is alive and well: ABC Family continues to run marathons of all three of the films, and now this third installment is available on DVD! The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream features hot skating bachelor Zack Conroy (Matt Lanter) who brings a hockey player Alejandra "Alex" Delgado (Francia Raisa) into the figure-skating fold after his former partner — and, naturally, ex-girlfriend — breaks her leg.

Bonus features include a special featurette titled, "Making of The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream."

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