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Jesus Christ Superstar (Widescreen)
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The stage spectacular makes a stunning debut on DVD! Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar is now available to own for the first time ever. When it exploded on the scene in 1970, Jesus Christ Superstar changed the way the world watched musicals. At last, the phenomenon has been filmed especially for DVD, so you can see one of the world's best-loved soundtracks come amazingly to life. Powerful performances of Jesus Christ Superstar an unforgettable extravaganza you can't afford to miss!
Before Andrew Lloyd Webber took over Broadway with his operatic productions and Tim Rice tossed in his lot with Disney's animated musicals, they were the young turks of musical theater and their rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was their calling card. Director Gale Edwards's 1999 stage revival, which became the basis for this video production (also available on CD), takes the show out of ancient Jerusalem to an indeterminate mix of modern New York (complete with graffiti-scrawled walls and T-shirt garbed disciples) and timeless Rome. The grandly abstract sets, rainbow lighting, and striking costumes are more theater than cinema, but like the previous made-for-video Lloyd Webber-Rice production Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the enormous soundstages give the director free reign to combine the mediums.
The setting folds fascism, intolerance, and revolution into a portrait out of time, robbing the play of its powerful historical grounding but injecting it with energy and insight. As Christ, Glenn Carter (who played the role in the 2000 Broadway revival) flashes his anger and rolls his eyes at Judas (Jerome Pradon) but cannot deny the truths of Judas's fears: "Every word you say today gets twisted 'round some other way." As Christ sees his cult of personality overtake his message and struggles with the fears of his sacrifice, he reaches within for faith and forgiveness, giving the show the spiritual dimension it so often lacks.
It's an entertaining, thoughtful, and well-sung production. Edwards avoids the tepidity of Norman Jewison's solemn 1973 film, driving forward with energetic editing and swooping cameras, and guided at all times by the dramatic, exhilarating score. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Is it ejoyable for those who only know the '73 movie?. Well, I kinda liked it. My guess is that if you love the play, you'll like this DVD, because it's all about the songs and the play. But certainly, I cannot say that, as a whole, this DVD is better than the old movie.
The "modernized" enviroment is intended, I guess, to give the play an "updated" feeling. JCS for the new generations. But the street looks of the stage, the grafittis, the Nazi/Darth Vader-like costumes of the authorities and guards, and other elements, compromise compatibility. I mean, the message of Jesus Christ is universal, but the time and place in which events took place were unique. More than updated, the historical facts look out of place.
OK, maybe it's just a false impression. Some would argue that the '73 movie version had the same flaws, with, among other things, roman guards in jeans and construction helmets. But since the movie was filmed in locations close to the originals in place and looks, details like modern costumes were easier to overlook.
Regarding the voices, most of the singers are wonderful. I was specially impressed by Tony Vincent (Simon), Fred Johanson (Pilate) (by the way, he sounds so much like the judge in The Trial, in Pink Floyd's The Wall), and Renee Castle (Mary Magdalene). But the leads...Read more ›
While there are moments of overacting on both the parts of Glenn Carter (Jesus) and Jerome Pradon (Judas Iscariot) - perhaps appropriate on stage - the intensity and emotion both bring to the material illuminated the complex relationship of these two men far greater than the 1973 version.
Also the singing quality of both main leads at times leaves something to be desired and in general are inconsistent. However, again, both actors have an intensity that propelled this viewer into watching the production 5 times in a row.
Renee Castle as Mary Magadeline is compeling and the vocal quality of the actor playing Peter (sorry I don't have his name)was amazing.
The staging of the title song brought new insight into this moment in the production, but at the same time it was a little awkward in its execution.
While the filmic version of this stage production worked on many levels, it at times seemed to be unskilled. Overall, I think huge credit needs to go to Gale Edwards for her vision in the direction and staging of this production.
A fine and compelling cast, while showing imperfections in acting and vocal talent at various points, when pulled together make for a strangly addictive production. Well worth the purchase for those who love the music and are suckers for stories of ordinary folks caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
Most recent customer reviews
excellent picture and sound ,I liked this version as much as the film......Published 17 months ago by Mark Stanton
This version resets the story in a more modern vernacular. And it works well. By leaving behind the "hippy dippy" setting of 70s version, this production makes the story... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2008 by grant corriveau
Jesus Christ Superstar is somewhat of a period piece. The style of the music reflects the time period in which it was written. Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Mark
That's all. Disappointing from the beggining. New arrangements, ciber-punk fashioned people, and a cast that really works... until Jesus starts to act. My god! Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Abraham Romo
The first time I saw this musical was a few years ago at an outdoor theater on Montery, CA. It was a traditional interpretation of the show, and I absolutely loved it!!! Read morePublished on May 9 2004 by K. Cassada
I have been looking high and low for this DVD and I was exhilarated when I found it. I had to have it specially ordered because the store I went to did not have it in stock. Read morePublished on May 2 2004 by huiwen86
I'm sorry I may be the minority who preferred the 70s version, maybe I'm getting old and sentimental. Read morePublished on April 26 2004 by r10623
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