Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.
Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties. --David Horiuchi
More on The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera (Special Extended Edition Soundtrack) (CD)
The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack) (CD)
The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast) (CD)
Andrew Lloyd Weber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (DVD)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's the Phantom of the Opera Companion (Book)
However, that being said it in no way lessens the visual & audio impact of this new movie. Gerald Butler captures the essence of the troubled and lonely Phantom and his vocals of "music of the Night" and indeed throught out the movie leave nothing to be desired. Emmy Rossum is young , fresh and the perfect Christine. Her voice is true and crisp and she need never feel she failed to raise to the challange left her by Brightman, she met that challange head on and matched it beautifully. Her rendition of "wishing you were here" performed in the grey mist of a cemetary will reach down deep in anyone who loves good music well performed. Her duet with Patrick Wilson "say you'll love me" well it just dosen't get any better then that.
If you don't have your copy BUY IT you will never regret the purchase price. However, one cavet of advice buy it it "wide screen" NOT full screen for the sheer grandeur of the visual aspects of the film.