Tim Burton's (Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street picked up an Oscar for Art Direction and a handful of Golden Globes, including a Best Actor award for Johnny Depp's (Sleepy Hollow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) titular barber. An adaptation of the Broadway musical, Todd joins Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter: Big Fish, Fight Club) as he seeks bloody revenge on a corrupt judge (Alan Rickman: Galaxy Quest, Truly Madly Deeply). Both a musical and a horror movie, Sweeny Todd also features Sascha Baron Cohen (Borat, Da Ali G Show) and a beautiful, dark aesthetic that could only have come from Tim Burton.
The 1950's novelty music act has been resurrected in the new Alvin & the Chipmunks movie. Jason Lee (Mallrats, The Incredibles) plays Dave Seville, an unsuccessful songwriter who discovers Alvin (voiced by Justin Long: Dodgeball, Jeepers Creepers) and his chipmunk friends who have the ability so sing hit songs. With any luck, Dave and his Chipmunks can impress a record executive, played by David Cross (Run Ronnie Run, Arrested Development).
Martin Freeman's (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dedication) crumbling relationship with his girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow: Possession, Sliding Doors) has inspired him to dream up a new one in The Good Night. He consults a lucid dreaming expert (Danny DeVito: Even Money, Living Out Loud) to track down his dream girl (Penelope Cruz: Volver, Vanilla Sky), but the more he focuses on his dreams, the more his real life falls apart. With Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead).
David Thewlis (Naked, Kingdom of Heaven) and Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos, Clockers) star in The Inner Life of Martin Frost, as writer Martin Frost leaves New York for the country, only to wake up one day with a strange woman sleeping next to him.
A number of period pieces are new this week, including the recent Masterpiece Theater production of Jane Austen's (Pride & Prejudice, Emma) Northanger Abbey. Two new BBC productions of George Elliott (Silas Marner, A Simple Twist of Fate) stories are also new this week: Middlemarch with Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist, Dark City) and Daniel Deronda with Hugh Dancy (King Arthur, The Jane Austen Book Club) and Romola Garai (Amazing Grace, Vanity Fair).
The new documentary this week is Confessions of a Superhero, about four people who make their livings on Hollywood Boulevard as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk.
Swords and Guns
Adrian Paul reprises his role from the Highlander TV show in the fifth installment of the film series, Highlander: The Source, where Duncan MacLeod must find the origin of the immortals power. Val Kilmer (Top Secret, Mindhunters) plays an ex-Marine who brings justice to a small border town in Conspiracy when he finds a company smuggling illegal aliens into America.
Reckless Video has also picked up more films from the After Dark Horrorfest. Tooth & Nail focuses on a group of survivors in a post apocalyptic world as cannibals assault the hospital they've taken refuge in, with Michael Madsen (Sin City, Kill Bill) and Vinnie Jones (Slipstream, Snatch). Mike Vogel (Poseidon, Rumor Has It) is being stalked by an evil presence that forces him to die every day unless he can find a way out in The Deaths of Ian Stone. A group of tourists, including Sean Astin (50 First Dates, Lord of the Rings), Brian Presley (Home of the Brave), and Jake Muxworthy (Grind, I Heart Huckabees), are targeted by a cult in need of human sacrifices in Borderland. Nick Damici (In the Cut, World Trade Center) is one of the few survivors of a plague that turned most of Manhattan into murderous rat people in Mulberry Street, and people are forced to band together to survive.