The Phantom of the Opera (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Musical Drama based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's celebrated musical phenomenon. The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Gerard Butler) who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera, waging a reign of terror over its occupants. When he falls fatally in love with the lovely Christine (Emmy Rossum), the Phantom devotes himself to creating a new star for the Opera, exerting a strange sense of control over the young soprano as he nurtures her extraordinary talents.]]>
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.
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The special edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.
The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi
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Top Customer Reviews
Ranting over, on with the good stuff. The movie is an absolutely over-the-top, spectacle in everything (AS IT SHOULD BE, FOLKS!) We're dealing with 19th century, gothic romance and a musical score that is closer to opera than not.
Honestly, what else could you expect?
The visual aspects of the movie are rich and sensual and draw the viewer into 19th century Paris. From the opening crack of the auction gavel to the end scenes of phantom disappearing into the emptiness of his life, I found myself ignoring the actors to "let the spectacle astound" me.
The performances were very good with moments of brilliance for some. I'll save the best for last, so...
MIRANDA RICHARDSON-MADAME GIRY-wonderfully mysterious, has great empathy for phantom, yet realizes he must be stopped. Any cast is improved by her presence.Read more ›
Starting with a black and white prologue, the film tells the story of budding opera star Christine Daae and the two men who fight for her heart: the noble Viscount who she knew in childhood, and the mysterious Phantom of the Paris Opera House who hides his ugliness behind a half-mask while sponsoring Christine's career. Like the stage production, this film is awash in glorious colors and sets that would put many epics to shame. It's well balanced by solid performances that help propel the romantic, if melodramatic, story along.
Gerard Butler makes for a wonderfully dark and obsessive Phantom, while allowing the character to retain the audience's sympathy. Miranda Richardson is solid as the dour Madame Giry, who knows the Phantom's secret. Minnie Driver easily gets the most laughs as the over-bearing diva, Carlotta. (It's interesting to note that Ms. Driver's singing is dubbed in the film proper, while she actually sings the new closing credits melody "Learn to be Lonely.Read more ›
I was then somewhat hesitant to see the film version, fearing that it would not live up to my expectations. A little over two hours later and I found myself crying over the Phantom (Gerard Butler) and his love for the young Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum) as she decides between him or the nobleman Raoul (Patrick Wilson).
In short, I love this movie! It was everything I had hoped it to be and more. The story is faithful to the stage version but it also gives the audience a closer look into the lives of the three main characters. The art direction, sets and costumes are resplendent and breath-taking. And the songs are brought to life superbly by the talented cast of young newcomers (Rossum, Wilson) and film veterans (Miranda Richardson, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Callow).
I know many would argue that Michael Crawford was a superb Phantom...that is, except for me. I always felt that Crawford's voice was too high-pitched and not manly enough. To me, Gerard Butler is more effective Phantom. Apart from being incredibly handsome (under that make-up), tall and well built, he also has this rough and raspy voice that is very masculine and full of passion. He IS the Phantom! Emmy Rossum has a hauntingly beautiful voice and has an innocence and sweetness that fits perfectly for Christine. Her voice gives me goosebumps! Patrick Wilson's romantic voice contrasts well with that of the Phantom's.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Songs were repetitive. Staging was boring. I was just too tired to turn it off, or I wouldn't have watched the entire thing.Published 3 days ago by Mary
One of the best musicals ever made! The music, stunning voices, and the human emotions of pain, love, sorrow stay with up you for days.Published 6 days ago by Donna Maile
This is the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, filmed. It is atmospheric and well done. Gerald Butler is not primarily a singer but he does perfectly fine, not as good as some of the... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Snoosh
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