4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtakingly beautiful and unique love story
I absolutely love Moulin Rouge. I have never seen anything at all like this movie; it is nothing short of indescribable. Previews and descriptions offer only the smallest glimpse into the epic world of intense human emotion, amazing sets, and incredible music that is Moulin Rouge. The setting is Paris in 1900, where the Moulin Rouge is the place to be, a spectacularly...
Published on June 20 2006 by Daniel Jolley
3.0 out of 5 stars This musical is only for those who crave silly love songs.
Well, today is Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Now is the time for me to write my long-awaited review for 2001's "Moulin Rouge." Set in the village of Monmarte in 1899, this film brings Baz Luhrmann's visual talents to the forefront, setting the stage for the return of musical cinema. Actor Ewan McGregor portrays a poor English writer named Christian, whose life...
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Pamela Scarangello
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtakingly beautiful and unique love story,
This review is from: Moulin Rouge (DVD)
I absolutely love Moulin Rouge. I have never seen anything at all like this movie; it is nothing short of indescribable. Previews and descriptions offer only the smallest glimpse into the epic world of intense human emotion, amazing sets, and incredible music that is Moulin Rouge. The setting is Paris in 1900, where the Moulin Rouge is the place to be, a spectacularly unreal world wherein inhibitions are left at the door and beauty, truth, freedom, and love are pursued on an epic scale. Ewan McGregor plays Christian, a young, idealistic, penniless poet who has come to Paris to embrace the bohemian spirit flourishing there. He soon finds himself writing songs for a lavish production alongside a truly unforgettable cast of characters led by Toulouse Lautrec (John Leguizamo). His new friends are awestruck by the lines and lyrics he comes up with, all of which are drawn from the pop culture of our own modern day. A shot of absinthe and a vision of the Green Fairy (played by the lovely Kylie Minogue) later, he finds himself inside Moulin Rouge. Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) leads the way for one of the most lavish musical production numbers ever created on film, topped off by the appearance of Satine (Nicole Kidman) on a huge swing above the amazingly enthusiastic audience. Despite the odds, Christian and Satine fall in love, but they must keep their love hidden because the club's wealthy patron, The Duke (Richard Roxburgh), wants Satine for himself and is willing to make her the real actress she longs to be in return for her affections. I was rather surprised to discover such a deeply emotional tale at the heart of this movie; it is a beautiful but tragic love story that outshines even the incredibly lavish production numbers for which this film is most famous.
I love musicals, but I had come to doubt the ability of modern moviemakers to make one worth seeing. What director Baz Luhrmann has done is to actually reinvent the musical as audiences know it. It sounds strange to say that the music for a movie set in 1900 consists of modern pop, opera, hip-hop, and other songs of the late twentieth century, but it really works beautifully and draws the modern viewer more deeply into the world of "real artificiality" Luhrmann succeeded in creating. If you had asked my thoughts on having two guys who look like David Spade and Rip Taylor singing Madonna's Like a Virgin in a movie, I would have laughed you out the door, yet it actually works in Moulin Rouge. Each of the terrific songs included here does serve rather than detract from the story itself. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman do actually sing their own songs, it is important to note, and I was amazed to discover that Kidman's singing voice is as beautiful as she is herself. Dialogue alone could never manufacture the power unleashed by the music of Moulin Rouge, and the great tragedy of the story is made even more poignant by songs such as the haunting Come What May. Don't think this movie uses its garish production numbers as a means of hiding a weak story because the love story of Christian and Satine is nothing short of breathtaking, heartbreaking, and somehow wondrously beautiful all at the same time.
A terrific movie deserves a terrific DVD release, and Moulin Rouge features more extras than I could even watch all at once. When you watch the movie, you will marvel at the sets and costumes and wonder how on earth this movie was made. There are features on just about every aspect of the making of Moulin Rouge included on Disc Two. I love the commentaries and interviews, but what I really love are the uncut dance sequences. The dance numbers in this movie are just beautiful and beyond amazing, but they cannot be shown uncut in the film itself because things are happening story-wise at the same time and those scenes take precedence over the dances. Here, not only can you watch each of these musical production numbers in its completeness, you can even watch each one from multiple camera angles.
I know there are some people who dismiss this movie out of hand because it is a musical or because the hedonistic themes revealed in the movie previews give the impression of gaudiness over substance. This is not a musical in the traditional sense of the word, and the sets, while opulently lavish, are actually less stunning than the plot itself. This is a love story for the ages, sprinkled with comedy but dominated by the deepest of human emotions. Even though I was interested in this movie from the time it was released, I myself did not expect story itself to be as powerful and moving as it is. Moulin Rouge is, in almost every conceivable way, one of the best motion pictures I have ever seen.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And I'm not even a fan of musicals,
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This review is from: Moulin Rouge [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A great package. The music is reworked fantastically to fit right in with every scene. The scenes, backgrounds and colours are spectacular and the storyline is sad but brilliantly conveyed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Romantic Fantasy, Simply Brilliant,
This review is from: Moulin Rouge! (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Most people I know either love or hate MOULIN ROUGE. People who are sticklers for accuracy probably won't like this DVD because it doesn't portray either Paris or Montmarte's "Moulin Rouge" accurately. That was fine with me. I loved the fact that MOULIN ROUGE is a fantasy and a very romantic one at that.
MOULIN ROUGE is the story of Christian (Ewan McGregor), a penniless writer who dreams of penning a play that will be performed at the "Moulin Rouge." It is Toulouse-Lautrec, himself (John Leguigamo) who gets Christian an interview with Satine (Nicole Kidman), the "Moulin Rouge's" star. When Christian meets Satine, he falls in love immediately, but even though Satine returns his love, everything isn't sweetness and light for this star-crossed pair. Christian isn't the only man vying for Satine's love. A wealthy duke (Richard Roxburgh) has promised the "Moulin Rouge's" owner, Zidler (John Broadbent) that if he wins the hand of Satine, both Zidler and the "Moulin Rouge" will have nothing to worry about ever again. And, even if Satine weren't under pressure from Zidler, she's not entirely healthy.
Despite some over-the-top special effects (like Christian and Satine dancing in the clouds in the midst of stardust), the love story that forms the plot of MOULIN ROUGE is both believable and touching, due to the first-rate work of McGregor and Kidman. Both play young lovers with such a wistful romanticism that it's impossible not to love them and their singing and dancing were not so elaborate as to look "forced." Kidman, especially, shines, and I think her role as Satine has been her best to date.
It's impossible to comment on this DVD without commenting on the music (and MOULIN ROUGE is a musical). Lurhmann has incorporated "modern" songs into the film, such as "Your Song" and "Roxanne." I know people who hated this aspect of the film, but because it's a fantasy, I loved it and I thought it worked wonderfully.
Despite it's ending, which I didn't mind and, which I think, is inevitable, I think MOULIN ROUGE is a lot of fun. It's a gorgeous, stylish fantasy and yes, there are excesses, but fantasy sometimes requires excess and I think MOULIN ROUGE did. Its production numbers are infused with an energy and love for life that's missing in so many other films, most notably CHICAGO.
Nicole Kidman was so good as the tuberculosis stricken Satine, I would have loved it if she had received her "Best Actress" Oscar for this film rather than for THE HOURS, in which she was equally brilliant, but in a much smaller role.
If you love Paris, fantasy and romance, then you'll probably love MOULIN ROUGE just as I did and definitely want to own it. If, however, you like your DVDs "reality based," then MOULIN ROUGE probably won't be the DVD for you. Whether you like MOULIN ROUGE or not, it really is a brilliant, and brilliantly conceived, film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is One Fully Packed DVD,
I won't be reviewing the movie much except to say that I enjoyed it tremendously. The music, the choreography and the sets were wonderful.
I will just say a few things about the DVD edition. For one thing, it is given in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and not cut to 1.85:1 as stated in Amazon's website. It is an anamorphic transfer (enhanced for 16x9 widescreen TVs), although there is no mention of this on the box cover, or anywhere inside for that matter.
The casing unfortunately is a flimsy cardboard affair which cracked at the edges when I opened it.
The print used for the transfer is practically flawless and the picture quality is generally quite good. There is however quite a bit of edge enhancement seen in various scenes, especially the darker ones.
The sound is sumptuous and comes in both 5.1 Dolby Surround and 5.1 DTS.
The DVD had a tendency to default to displaying the subtitles when played on my RealMagic Hollywood Plus player but this wasn't a problem on other DVD players.
The extras make up the second of this 2 disc set and they alone are worth the price of the DVD. Unfortunately none of the material here has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs. There's a half hour documentary on the making of Moulin Rouge. There are separate interviews with all the main stars. There are full rehearsal sequences for all the major dance numbers. There are also sequences in the choregraphy section, of Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman rehearsing their dance routines and clowning around. There are extended sequences for all the major dance numbers and there are multiple camera angle shots for all these numbers. This allows you to view the dances from whatever position you like. Fascinating. Unfortunately the camera angle thingie works in a small window and not full screen.
The deleted scenes segment contains alternate sequences for several scenes. The "Come What May" sequence includes scenes of the lovers rowing on a lake and of the them in a hot air balloon a la "Around the World In Eighty Days". The "Dance Across The Sky" sequence is longer with heavier use of animation. There is also an extended Can Can Sequence and an alternate Green Fairy Sequence.
There is also a mini documentary showing Kylie Minogue rehearsing for her role as the Green Fairy. This is tucked away under the "Design" section in a sub-section under that titled "Smoke and Mirrors".
There are numerous other short documentaries on the special effects, costumes, artwork etc used to create the show and tonnes of photographs.
The music videos section includes a glorious full screen version of the Lady Marmalade music video which has razor sharp images compared to some of the other material here. There is also a live performance of Lady Marmalade taken from the MTV Awards which looks soft and almost blurry by comparison. After that there is a letterbox version of the "Come What May" video, the one featuring the insistent underlying thumping rhythm. For those who don't like this version, you can go to the Japanese Movie Trailer (it's in english) which features "Come What May" with a standard orchestral accompaniment.
This DVD release is fully packed and aside from the edge enhancement problem would be fully worthy of five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Mikey, I liked it!,
Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor embark upon a dangerous love story in "Moulin Rouge." A courtizan and penniless writer, the two must battle for their love, defying men at the nightclub, a jealous duke, and a fatal illness. Their love story is enveloped within extraordinary musical performances and tantalizing dance scenes, and the lovers' songs live on long after the movie has ended. I think the work as a whole is phenomenal!
5.0 out of 5 stars Come what may...indeed...,
Frankly, the first reaction for this movie is, musical...cheezy! I have to admit, it is hard to look for a really good musical nowadays, or at least up average would be fine for me. Then, I heard Nicole Kidman is going to star on this musical, so I firgured, what the heck, let's gie it a shot. Since she just had her divorce and such. I must say, I have had put my foot in my mouth for this. The movie was splendid. Despite her personal mishaps, Nicole has proven to be one of the best. She sings, with Ewan Mcgregor as her co-star and they have their work ut out for them.
This is a story of a poor writer (Ewan) in strive of getting his unobtainable object of desire (Nicole), who happens to be the main star of this circus theater show in Paris. They succumb into some sort of Forbiddened Love and they tried anything to be and stay together but fate have other plans for them. Nicole has to help her friend and boss from going bankcrupt and with that, she has to attend to this other rich guy, who owns the deed to the place. Help in the sense of be her compainion. Meanwhile, to cover up their affair, the Ewan has manage to create a play, due to mistaken liason earlier in the movie; therefore giving them the room to be together at least somewhere along the line.
I must add one thing.
The rich man gets what he wants, and if he can't have what he wants...nobody else will either.
An applause for this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW. That's all I have to say!,
The first time I saw this film I was BLOWN AWAY by the songs, the visuals, and the performances. Even the people who hate this movie have to love the sequence where "Roxanne" is turned into an erotic Tango!
This is the film that brought the musical back to the modern screen, filling a definite void that can not quite be captured by animated Disney movies with songs. While the story is nothing original (and, actually, neither are most of the songs as they are new arrangements of existing songs), what Baz Luhrmann has does is infuse the excitement of bohemian Paris into the minds and hearts (and tapping feet) of a modern audience. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor turn out incredible performances, but the one who steals the show for me is Jim Broadbent--watch this film and relish in his performance as Harold Ziegler, and then flip to "Bridget Jones' Diary" and enjoy his performance as Bridget's dad.
Who should watch this? Hopeless romantics, music lovers, film students, theatre majors, and everyone in between.
5.0 out of 5 stars A few of my thoughts on Moulin Rouge,
I could go on and on about Moulin Rouge, as it is one of my all time favs, but don't have the space to do so here. The following is thus some exerts from a paper I wrote on Moulin Rouge shortly after its release. The paper attempts to uncover and discuss what I feel Moulin Rouge is truly about.
Moulin Rouge is an exquisite example of a film that deals with a number of concepts that are highly important within the postmodern world. Quite simply, one of the key components of Moulin Rouge, and possibly the main theme of the film, is its questioning and reaffirming of the value of art within a postmodern culture. According to Jean Baudrillard in his essay "After the Orgy":
"When everything is political, nothing is political any more, the word itself is meaningless. When everything is sexual, nothing is sexual any more, and sex loses its determinants. When everything is aesthetic, nothing is beautiful or ugly any more, and art itself disappears."
Within the postmodern realm described by Baudrillard, art no longer has the value it once did, and whether or not it even has any value at all is a valid question. Moulin Rouge plays on this key notion of postmodern thought throughout the film, as it constantly questions this viewpoint. In order to do so, a number of classic pop-songs are recycled within the construction of the film. The songs (two important examples being "Your Song" by Elton John and "Silly Love Songs" by Wings) are present not only for nostalgic and emotional purposes, but for master-narrative purposes as well, as it is through the use of such songs that the film does its questioning of the post-modern. The songs (which are almost all directly connected to love) are obviously portrayed as still being important based on the lyrics that have been chosen. The most prolific example of this occurs in the medley sequence of the film in which Christian and Satine sing the following songs from "Silly Love Songs":
"You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love longs. But I look around me and I see it isn't so. Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs. And what's wrong with that? I'd like to know."
Because they play such an important role in the film, the referenced songs, must be seen as advocating that love songs (and on a greater level, the notion of art itself) still have value today within the post-modern realm. Moulin Rouge can thus be seen as attempting to discredit the post-modern ideal at hand.
Yet, at the same time in reconstructing pieces of old songs for a new purpose, the film also employs one of the key aspects of postmodernism. Because Moulin Rouge references and recycles so many ideas, it is in its construction a very post-modern film. Moulin Rouge is thus a postmodern film (in theme and in construction) that in some ways discredits one of the key driving notions behind postmodern thought (that art is dead) at the same time through its narrative choices.
2.0 out of 5 stars The Musical that's Nothing Like One,
This review is from: Moulin Rouge (VHS Tape)
Let's make this short and sweet. I love musicals like My Fair Lady, Gigi, and West Side Story. This movie is very pretty to look at, but it's the cinematic equivalent of a Michael Bolton album: a rehashed, overblown piece of trash with bad acting and musical numbers that are so campy that even anyone of the alternative lifestyle's persuasion would be humiliated to be caught watching it.
Let's face it; you know something's wrong when you're sitting in a darkened theater, telling yourself repeatedly how you're going to keep your mind open to this intestinal discharge. I hate this movie, and the extras are even worse--if that's possible. Not only do you have to wait 2.5 hours for a bad actress to die, but then you have to see a bunch of so-called singers at an award show committing a crime they call entertainment in French lingerie.
This movie is so bad it's almost on par with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Don't waste your time with this intelligence insulting swill. Watch a classic musical like Gigi instead. At least the songs are all Lerner-Lowe originals!
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Fantastic,
When watching this movie for the first time, it is advisable to wear a seat belt. It is so fast-moving and thrilling and confusing that it results in sensory overload. Which is, of course, fantastic - if that is the kind of thing that excites you.
The film is edited in such a way that you can hardly focus on a scene before it changes. It sets off at a rapid pace, but soon slows down into a hugely entertaining, funny and endearing romance. The plot is quite simple - it has to be if the audience is to keep up! Boy meets girl, boy can't have girl, boy gets girl anyway and...Luhrman's love of the Shakesperean tragic ending shines through.
Of course, it IS a musical, so if you don't like people breaking out into song and dance, don't watch it. The fun part is, you should know most of the songs already, so you can feel all clever when you figure out what song they are about to start singing.
The DVD is wonderful, so many extras that you will be entertained for hours. There are even hidden clips in the stills, so look out for them. I thouroughly enjoyed and continue to enjoy owning this DVD.
After repeated viewings, you will be able to adjust to the rapid pace and spot things that you missed at first glance. In fact, the more I watched this film, the more gratifying it became, because upon first viewing, you are just shocked at the COLOUR! Later you become awed by the complexity of the entire production.
Great casting, perfect music and wonderful sets - Moulin Rouge is a huge success!
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