Digital Breakdown: Close shave with ‘Sweeney Todd’

“Sweeney Todd” is an interesting movie. Fans of director Tim Burton will love it, but the general public many not find it entertaining. Basedon the famed Stephen Sondheim musical, the ultra-quirky tale set in the 19th century is a dark-humor extravaganza about a wronged man’s lust for revenge that drives him to murder. Burton mainstay Johnny Depp stars; Helena Bonham Carter plays his partner-in-crime. Both sing as they plot and kill. Some “Sweeney Todd” traditionalists will loathe that some songs in the stage version aren’t in the movie. What can you do when Hollywood grabs hold of your favorite play? This DVD set has a separate disc with lots of extras including information about the film’s press tour, a photo gallery, audio commentary and deleted scenes. Price: $39.99 Rent or buy: Buy if a big fan, otherwise rent.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS

It’s hard to believe, but plans are being made for a sequel to this live-action film based on the cartoon of the same name. Yes, many people actually went and saw this movie in the theater. A struggling musician (played by Jason Lee) opens his home to three talented chipmunks; almost overnight they are a music sensation. Of course, a greedy corporate producer tries to exploit the trio and hilarity and mayhem ensue. The plot line is tired, but, given that it’s primarily for kids, it doesn’t have to be rocket science. The DVD includes three making-of featurettes; on Blu-ray, there are a few more extras. Price: $29.98 standard; $39.98, Blu-ray. Rent or buy: Rent.

FATHER KNOWS BEST — SEASON ONE

The wholesome classic featuring family-value centric messages is finally available in digital. The TV show was a staple in many homes because it represented what were believed to be traditional family values in the 1950s. The 26-episode DVD has some good stuff, including a never-before-seen episode created for the U.S. government, new interviews with the cast and crew, home movies from star Robert Young, and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Price: $34.99. Rent or buy: Buy, if a fan.

THAT ’70s SHOW — SEASON EIGHT

This set includes the last season of the show about the 1970s that launched a number of careers. There isn’t very much that’s new here, just another 25 episodes, a few audio commentaries and an interesting flashback featurette. It’s a must-have if you already have the other sets in your collection. Price: $49.98. Rent or buy: Buy.

BBC NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTION

This DVD, in a new package in time for Earth Day, offers BBC shows that already have been released. The set includes “Planet Earth: The Complete Series,” “The Blue Planet: Seas of Life — 5 Disc Special Edition,” “The Life of Mammals” and “The Life of Birds.” More than 33 hours of programming highlight the beauty of the Earth and its animals. Price: $199.98. Rent or buy: If you don’t own any of these collections, this is a must-have.

Other DVDs out Tuesday: “What Love Is,” “Extreme,” “The Cook Unrated,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit — The Sixth Year,” “The Bette Davis Collection — Volume 3” and “Murder, She Wrote — The Complete Eighth Season.”

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