Jesus Christ Superstar
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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!
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Top Customer Reviews
With that said I loved it. I am crippled by trying to not compare it to the original, but I think for what it was trying to do it was completely successful. The standout performances were by Fred Johanson (Pilate), and Michael Schaeffer (Annas) they both took their roles and made them THEIR roles, they weren't just copying something they saw.
I think that the only real failure was in the execution of it being Judas' story. The direction seemed to be more focused on the ensemble cast and not Judas or the Judas/Jesus relationship like it should have.
The original movie is impossible to improve on because A. Every member of the cast performances seemed like they were actually living their role and you could see, hear, and feel their emotions and B. It was filmed in Israel, COME ON! How do you follow that?
With this remake it was on a stage so the cast couldn't get as deep in to the roles.
Jerome Pradon (Judas) did make Judas more over the top and more entertaining than the original and I loved him sitting on the cross and putting a bible in front of Jesus' face. The background dancers/chorus also shined in that scene.
Honorable mention to Rik Mayall as Herod and his chorus, he/they was/were just the comic you were hoping he/they would be.
If you look at this as a stage adaptation (with the restrictions the stage makes) to the original movie, you will love it. If you want it to out do the original you won't.
The DVD itself has bonus features but I really would have liked a commentary track on it. Universal had to be annoying and place an advertisement after you hit "Play" on the movie which was a d!ck move to do but I guess they must need the extra 30 seconds of our lives.
Of the versions available on video of any format, this is my overall favorite. The casting was brilliant and the performances extracted are generally top-notch, and the sense of dread and foreboding is thick and perhaps a bit heavy-handed, but this is the Story of The Passion and it is a heavy story, whether you're Christian or not (I'm not).
This new version disc is genuinely Bluray and full HD remaster off the film master reels. It played instantly in my SONY here in the US without any problems whatsoever. There is a choice of stereo or surround playback, so you could just play the disc for the audio.
It looks great and is dynamic. The audio is excellent, if not a tad overproduced so it's more like an album than a live recording. It compresses well, though, if you have others in the house you have to subdue the punchiness for.
If you're looking for a sense of hope and light in a production, this ain't it. This is the third version of this I've had. The prior were lower rez.
Don't let the seemingly loud start of the disc fool you. It gets quite a bit louder, so you're forewarned: good audio dynamics.
This is a production that really conveys the impending dread as it builds and the guilt of many involved, including Jesus. The government/official characters are played ominously, even when campy. There are modern touches that help to retranslate The Passion in a way that is contextually more accessible to new, younger audiences.
I'm trying not to give a lot away. This production is definitely geared at drawing you into the pain of the story, which the multicam shooting technique helps to do, as I mentioned. I also believe that the smart set choices will help to make this production age well, not becoming dated other than, perhaps, hair styles.
This isn't hippy-dippy happy like Godspell or even like the decades older film version, which is good. This is the cold slap in the face which will stick with you visually, even when you're just listening to the soundtrack.
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