The Phantom of the Opera (Special Edition) [HD DVD]
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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
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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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
We really enjoyed this Phantom. Who knew what a fabulous voice Gerard Butler has. The three main characters did a wonderful job and they were backed by an excellent troupe. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Gabbie
This movie version is the closest to the original musical. Love Love Love it!Published 2 months ago by florafl
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