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The Phantom of the Opera (Special Edition) [HD DVD]

Gerard Butler , Emmy Rossum , Joel Schumacher    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   HD DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
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Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

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)

Evita (DVD)

Andrew Lloyd Weber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (DVD)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's the Phantom of the Opera Companion (Book)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better late then never May 5 2005
By J. Thompson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I fell in love with the music of "Phantom" when i bought my 1st Sarah Brightman cassete many years ago. I have waited these many years for the play to make it to film and at long last it has.
There will be many who grumple that "Webber" deliberatly delayed the making of this film to deny "Brightman" her film immortality in a movie adaptation of the greatest play and greatest music she has had or ever will have in her astonishing career. Maybe there is truth somewhere here a lingering bitterness of their failed marriage or what ever. I too would have liked to have seen the original Broadway cast reprise their roles on the big screen, but for whatever reason that window was closed forever.
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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting! May 26 2005
I will never thank enough the person who gave me the DVD as a gift! As an avid fan of Gaston Leroux's work, I was a bit apprehensive regarding this version. I don't think I have ever been happier to be so utterly wrong! Patrick Watson (Raoul) is a delightful lyrical tenor and makes a great romantic lead, while Emmy Rossum is the definitive Christine (sorry Ms. Brightman, I adore you but Rossum was perfectly cast), she conveys the perfect mix of purity, youth and innocence and comes of age right before our eyes. Brilliant. But my main appreciation has to go to Gerard Butler (the Phantom), who makes us feel his pain very keenly. You empathize with him big time. I was totally blown away by his ability to convey so much emotion while signing. Whoever made the final decision to cast him instead of a trained singer deserves all my admiration. It was a gutsy move, but a very brilliant one. He delivered every single note to perfection in terms of emotion and of vocal performance. He creates the perfect contrast with Watson and Rossum (intense and passionate compared to lyrical and romantic). "The Point Of No Return" is a particularly poignant number. Supporting actors are also very well cast and provide an interesting comic relief to the drama that unfolds, particularly in the case of Minnie Driver, Ciaran Hinds and Simon Callow. I highly recommend this DVD to everyone. You don't even have to be crazy about musicals to appreciate it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No disappointments here June 6 2005
By Baggy
Having seen the stage show in Toronto several times, I found myself hoping a film would be made that managed to capture the romance, excitement and drama of that excellent production. It was, therefore, with great anticipation that I watched this movie for the first time. To my delight, it met and even surpassed my highest expectations. The casting was inspired, and the producers managed to make the transition from theatre to big screen flawlessly, adding just minor embellishments that only enhanced the story.
I suppose some might say that the voice of Gerard Butler as the Phantom may not be quite as polished as those before him, but it has a raw, sensual edge to it that exudes all the passion and longing of that tortured soul. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I am adding the soundtrack to the Toronto cast recording CD that is already in my collection.
As I watched the DVD, excitement began to course through me, and I realized that half way through I was feeling the same emotions that I had in Toronto, once again thinking "I can hardly wait to come back." Indeed, I have come back many times since, and if I don't eventually wear out the DVD it won't be for trying.
I LOVE this movie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In dreams he came Jan. 10 2009
Sumptuous, rich, lush and inviting. Like a gilt-edged dream, Joel Schumacher's "Phantom of the Opera" is a triumphant love note to beauty, song and scenery.

Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical (and Gaston Leroux's novel), this movie ends up being beautiful in every scene, with solid acting and and a tragic antihero. The singing, the sumptuous sets, the acting -- all are the ingredients of a musical tour de force.

In 1870, a Paris opera house is under new management -- just as diva Carlotta (Minnie Driver, a glorious diva-from-hell) is almost killed by a stage curtain, and stomps out. Fortunately Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum), taught by a mystery tutor, can take over the soprano's role, and soon becomes famous for her singing. Even better, it catches the attention of her childhood sweetheart, Vicomte Raoul (Patrick Wilson).

But Raoul doesn't realize that Christine was taught by a disfigured, tortured genius who hides under the opera house. And the Phantom of the Opera is not only determined that Christine should be the star, but also be his wife. And he's willing to kill for it. Can Raoul break the Phantom's hold over Christine, or will she embrace "the music of the night"?

Watching this, it's hard to believe that it was directed by the same guy who did "Phone Booth" and the awful "Batman and Robin." Instead it looks as if the love child of Jean Cocteau and Peter Jackson decided to direct a musical, swathed in masks, roses, gilt angels, snow and velvet.

And it all wraps around Webber's solid songs ("Turn your face away from the garish light of day/turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light/and listen to the music of the night!") from the stage musical.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My wife and I love it and watch it regularlu
Published 6 days ago by jon
5.0 out of 5 stars This is done very well I watched part of it ...
This is done very well I watched part of it on TV and just had to see the whole thing.
Published 14 days ago by Elizabeth Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast
Bluray was perfect and it arrived in 2 days
Published 19 days ago by Dustin Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I thought it was a good story and wished it ended in a happier way.
Published 1 month ago by Nancy Hayashi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it and play it all the time
Published 1 month ago by Angela Woodley
5.0 out of 5 stars I have watched it several times and although he isn't a professional...
I am a huge Gerard Butler fan and have seen him in so many action movies so I was quite surprised that in his earlier days he did this movie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chisa
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent price.
Fast shipping, excellent price.
Published 2 months ago by amakel
2.0 out of 5 stars You can't win them all
Christine and Raoul are great. The set is lovely. The phantom is terrible. Tell me, why pick a hunky actor to play the part of a man who spends his entire performance behind a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steph
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a powerful, spellbinding and emotional film
I loved this movie and cried through the phantom scenes. The powerful emotions brought through loss are well played by Gerry Butler and Emmy Rossum. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Melodramatic
4.0 out of 5 stars A nicely done movie
The cast and acting is good. Saw the opera a few times in real, but years ago only when I watched this movie version, I felt it went much smoother and told the story in a more... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kenny Leo
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